2020 UK Trades Salary Survey: Average Electrician Salary Still The Highest!

Updated 16/11/2020

The results are in!

It’s that time of year again and the results are now in. We’re pleased to report that for the 6th year running our salary survey shows that electricians are still earning the most of all the trades with an increase of 1% on the previous year. 

Average Electricians Salary in the UK (£33,495)

This year the average electrician salary recorded by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is £33,495, compared to £33,176 from the year before. This is the median value, which is the ONS’s preferred measure of average earnings. They use this because it’s less affected by the small number of very high earners that tend to skew the data upward. The median value means that half of electricians earn more and half earn less, therefore, the median value gives a much better representation of typical pay.


Average salaries by trade

Last year we saw electrician salaries increase by nearly 3%. That has settled this year and some of the other trades have seen larger increases. It is likely we will see a larger increase for electrician salaries in the coming year similar to 2018 which saw a large jump. On average each trade earns:

  • Electrician £33,495
  • Plumber £32,356
  • Plasterer £29,772
  • Carpenter £28,488
  • Bricklayer £27,995
  • Roofer £26,994
  • Tiler £27,780
  • Painter £25,591

The data above is based on the 2019 to 2020 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, which is taken from the Office of National Standards (ONS). Check out what the average percentages are by clicking on the interactive chart above.

How realistic is it to earn over £30K as an electrician?

Established electricians tend to work on a self-employed or contract basis and whilst salaries in this article represent what you could earn when employed by a company the amounts earned as a contractor tend to be more realistic.

An established self-employed electrician is likely to earn around £35-40K per year, and in London and the South East this figure could be higher. Please note that the salary ranges reported in this article are only intended as a guideline.
How do electricians charge for their time?

Self-employed electricians will charge a day rate or a fixed rate depending on the job.

As a self-employed electrician or contractor you will be able to charge a day rate or fixed rate depending on the job itself and the part of the country you are working in. But as a rough guide, below is a list what you could expect to charge:

  • Consumer unit (fuse box) replacement £500 (0.5 – 1 day)
  • Electrical inspection report £90 – £180 (4 – 8 hours)
  • Install and supply a double socket £80 – £130 (1 – 3 hours)
  • Light fitting replacement £40 – £60 (0.5 – 1 hour)
  • Repair a damaged power cable £40 – £60 (0.5 – 1 hour)
  • Electric cooker installation £50 - £80 (0.5 – 1 hour)
  • Electric shower installation £250 – £400 (1 day)
  • Install an external security light £90 – £140 (1 – 3 hours)
  • EV charge point installation £200 to £300 (1 day)

Hourly rates / day rates (£45-£70 per hour / £180-£350 per day)

It’s hard to gather accurate data on how much electricians charge as this depends on whether they are self-employed or contracting and what part of the country they work in. In the South East and London and depending on experience, it’s realistic for an electrician to charge £45-70 per hour or £180-£350 per day.

When quoting for a job, smart working and marking up on materials can make a real difference to how much you charge for your hourly rate. The average price to supply and install a new consumer unit (fuse box) is approx. £500, and with the consumer unit costing around £100 and the job taking less than a day it’s clear to see where the money can really start to add up.

Although self-employed electricians tend to earn more than those employed, don’t forget that by being self-employed there are other costs to consider, such as the cost of tools, vehicle expenses, scheme registrations and business insurance.

How much do trainee electricians earn?

Apprentices tend to start out earning below the minimum wage, which is mainly because their employer is paying for their learning whilst they are earning. The current national minimum wage for a first-year apprentice is £3.90 per hour. However, many employers opt to pay more, with an average wage of approx. £178 per week.

For those that choose not to go down the Apprenticeship route, there are other options when starting out. One is to front load your training and complete a technical certificate first with a C&G 2365 Level 2&3 qualification. This will mean that you will then be able to command a better trainee salary of up to £24K.

JIB Electrician wage grades

You can view the electrical wages and pay grades that the JIB publish on their website. The JIB have clear guidelines for what an electrician can earn, however these are only guidelines and not every employer sticks to them.

As of the 7th Jan 2019, the JIB hourly rates for graded operatives who own their own transport are:

  • Trainee Electrician (stage 1 and stage 2) - £12.41 - £13.93
  • Electrician - £15.46
  • Approved Electrician - £16.77
  • Site Technician - £18.88
And if you live in London or the south east you should expect:
  • Trainee Electrician (stage 1 and stage 2) - £13.90 - £15.60
  • Electrician - £17.32
  • Approved Electrician - £18.78
  • Site Technician - £21.14
To qualify for the higher pay grades you may need to fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Trainee Electrician - Apprenticeship or electricians mate usually with C&G 2365 Diplomas
  2. Electrician - Relevant qualifications, Level 3 NVQ & AM2 (These days a 2357)
  3. Approved Electrician - As per number 2 plus periodic inspection and testing qualification such as the C&G 2394/2395
  4. Site Technician - As per number 3 plus over 5 years’ experience (3 of which in a supervisory role) plus a level 4 qualification such as an HNC

The key to earning more?

There are a number of ways you can increase your earning potential, and this really comes down to how much time and hard work you are willing to put in:

Ensure your work is carried out to a high standard

Be prepared to work hard

Always turn up when you say you will

Invest in yourself by increasing your knowledge through experience and further training

If you follow these simple rules, not only will your reputation grow but your income will too.

Ways of working:

  1. Agency work is great when starting out as it allows you to gain confidence and experience ready to go out to apply for contracts direct.
  2. Overtime is a great way to increase your earnings for those employed, as it’s often paid at a higher hourly rate.
  3. Up-skilling with further training is a great way increase your skills set and your earning potential.
  4. Self-employed electricians apply directly for their own contracts so allows for the opportunity to increase earnings.

To help you achieve better pay it’s worth considering undertaking the following courses:

A new revenue stream

Another great way to increase your revenue stream is to qualify as an EV point installer. With an estimated 1 million electric cars on the road by the end of 2020 it’s fair to say that there will be a huge demand for charge points to be installed across the country. All great news for anyone looking to add EV charging point installation as an additional skill. We offer 3 EV courses, run in partnership with Rolec:

If you would like to read more about the electrician skills shortage, click here, or to view all of the courses we offer, simply click here.

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