How much does it cost to hire an electrician?
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Electrical Work Cost Guide
Updated: Jan 01, 1970
Electricity is an important and integral part of every home. And if you are updating any part of the electrical wiring, lighting, or panels in your home, you need to make sure that it is done safely and correctly. That means hiring an electrician to do the work. They can handle many project types from simple outlet installations to completely rewiring your home.
Electricians charge between $40 and $120 per hour for most jobs. Low-cost projects, such as installing an outlet, start at around $85, whereas high-cost projects like installing a smart home system with HVAC monitoring, motion-sensor and alarm module and lighting control, among other features, can cost as much as $8,698. The national average cost for hiring an electrician is between $300 and $9,000, with most people paying around $398 for a new ceiling fan installation.
Cost to Hire an Electrician
|National average cost||$398|
Electrician Cost Per Hour by Level of Expertise
Electricians typically charge between $40 and $120 an hour, which is influenced by where you live and the electrician’s license grade. There are three grades - Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master. To achieve each grade, electricians must meet specific testing requirements. Apprentices are in the learning phase of being professional electrician, so they are the least experienced. Journeymen have more experience and are capable of more complicated processes. Master electricians are the most experienced and can supervise others and handle complex projects. Each grade also has a range of costs they charge:
|Grade||Hourly Cost for Electrician|
|Apprentice||$40 - $60|
|Journeyman||$60 - $90|
|Master||$90 - $120|
Apprentices can complete many basic electrical tasks, such as installing outlets and light fixtures. They charge an average rate of $40 to $60 an hour. To receive an Apprentice license, the electrician needs to complete hundreds of hours of classroom work, as well as 8,000 hours of supervised on-the-job experience. Apprentices will be responsible for conducting repairs and installations of electrical systems under the guidelines and supervision of a Master electrician. In most cases, this type of electrician only handles minor tasks.
A journeyman electrician charges $60 to $90 an hour. A Journeyman electrician has completed their apprenticeship and taken and passed the Journeyman electrician exam. They are qualified to take on more complex projects in your home, such as wiring and installing an electrical panel or car charging station. Journeymen no longer need to work under the supervision of a Master electrician. These electricians can take on many jobs but may not be appropriate for the most complex projects.
Because of their experience, Master electricians charge between $90 and $120 an hour. Master electricians have completed more than 4,000 hours of work as a Journeyman. They have also taken and passed the Master electrician exam. This is the electrician you want to call for complex projects like installing a new whole-house generator or rewiring a historic property. However, they are capable of minor jobs as well. A Master electrician is the most experienced and educated of all electricians available for hire.
Electrician Service Call Cost
When you call an electrician out to your home, you may have a range of associated costs before the project even begins. For example, if you need diagnostic work done, this may have a separate hourly charge than the actual wiring and installation work. This rate is usually between $75 and $150 an hour and encompasses the travel and diagnostics and inspection of the job. The amount of education, the extent of experience, and business size also factor into the call rates.
The lowest call rates are usually associated with Apprentice electricians, while Master electricians have the highest call rates due to their experience and knowledge. Some electricians also charge a higher rate for the first hour, then revert to their normal rate for the rest of the job. This service call rate guarantees their time and work, especially if the issue turns out to be something that could have been easily corrected, such as a tripped breaker. The rate covers their gas and time to come out to the job.
This service call rate is usually waived, however, if you are getting an estimate on a planned job. This estimate is usually provided at no charge.
Large projects may also have different rates. Some companies send out more than one electrician to the job, so they may charge a higher service call and hourly rate. In this case, expect to pay at least $150 an hour for the work.
Average Cost of Electrician for Small Tasks
Electricians handle various tasks, both large and small. These are less complicated, smaller projects that any level of an electrician can handle. Projects range from something that takes less than an hour, like installing a light switch, to projects that take more time, such as installing a whole-home fan. Projects range from $70 to $1,270 depending on what is being done and which materials are chosen.
Some of the simplest projects done by electricians include installing light switches, putting in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, adding outlets, and wiring hot tubs. For example, an outlet installation typically costs $120 to $200. Additional simple tasks for an electrician include electrical inspections, doorbell installations, light fixture work, and circuit breaker replacement.
Electricians can also install attic fans, bathroom fans, and ceiling fans. For example, installing a 48” five-blade rattan ceiling fan might cost about $400, while other ceiling fans may be more or less expensive. Electrical meter box replacement and whole house fan installation also fall under this category. This includes the fixtures for ceiling lights, track lighting, wall sconces, chandeliers, pendant lights, and more.
An electrician can do many simple tasks for you in a few hours or sometimes less than one. However, remember that the cost of the item being replaced or installed factors into the final cost. Below you will find a table with some of the most common minor projects for an electrician and their average costs. Bear in mind that those prices could be lower or higher depending on the project.
|Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Alarm Installation||$70 - $150|
|Light Switch Installation||$100 - $200|
|Outlet Installation||$120 - $200|
|Hot Tub Wiring||$120 - $270|
|Electrical Inspection||$125 - $250|
|Doorbell Installation||$150 - $300|
|Light Fixture Work||$150 - $900|
|Circuit Breaker Switch Replacement||$200 - $250|
|Attic Fan Installation||$225 - $850|
|Bathroom Fan Installation||$250 - $500|
|Ceiling Fan Installation||$350 - $650|
|Electrical Meter Box Replacement||$500 - $700|
|Whole House Fan Installation||$580 - $1,270|
|Recessed Lighting Installation||$800 - $2,000|
Cost to Hire an Electrician for Larger Projects
Electricians can also handle more complicated and complex tasks relating to electricity. To be considered a large project, the process typically takes days instead of hours. These jobs also require more effort and experience, so prices tend to be higher than for simple tasks. For these projects, it is advisable to hire a very experienced electrician such as a master electrician or a journeyman, who also has the experience to handle more complex projects.
A simple EV charging station installation could be as little as $1,000 or as much as $2,500 for a more complicated installation. Upgrading electrical panels also has a wide range of prices since the extent of the upgrade varies to such a high degree. As such, this product costs from $1,500 to $4,000. Home rewiring can be more complicated to determine prices since it depends on how large the home is. Costs range from $3 to $5 per sq.ft. for wiring and $6 to $10 per sq.ft. for rewiring.
Other tasks that an electrician can take on that count as substantial projects include grounding a house, electrical rough-in tasks, and installing generators. Grounding involves creating a connection between the electrical components in the home and the ground. Rough-in, on the other hand, is a construction phase when all the electrical wiring and boxes are inserted into the walls.
The table below gives the average price ranges for some of the most common complex tasks an experienced electrician can complete.
|EV Charging Station Installation||$1,000 - $2,500|
|Upgrading an Electrical Panel||$1,500 - $4,000|
|Home Automation||$2,000 - $7,000|
|Electrical Rough In||$2,000 - $8,000|
|Generator Transfer Switch Installation||$2,700 - $3,700|
|Wiring / Rewiring a House||$4,000 - $10,000|
|Grounding a House||$8,000 - $9,000|
|Generator Installation||$10,000 - $20,000|
Emergency Electrician Cost
If you have a sudden problem on a weekend, holiday, or overnight that cannot wait until the following business hours, you may need to pay a higher rate for the emergency call. Other signs of an emergency include burning odors coming from outlets or cords, hot electrical panels, or power outages. The exact rate is dependent on the grade of the electrician. But in most instances, the cost of an emergency call starts at around $150 an hour and may go higher depending on demand. For example, a call to service a generator in the middle of a power outage will likely have a higher rate than a call to inspect a circuit breaker. During high-demand times and holidays, some jobs also have an add-on fee of an additional $100 to $200.
In addition, it is not uncommon for emergency calls to have a minimum, such as the equivalent of 2 to 4 hours of work. Even if the job takes 20 minutes, you must pay the minimum fee.
Always ask what the various rates are when you call so that you are prepared. Also, assess if this is a true emergency that needs service right or if you can wait until the next business day when rates are lower.
When to Call an Electrician
If your circuit breaker keeps tripping, the fuses are blowing, or you have sparking appliances, it is time to speak with an electrician. Flickering lights, a lack of three-prong outlets, and buzzing in the walls are other signs that an electrician could help you. If you live in an older home and find the wiring is not managing the electrical load, an electrician can rewire the home and ensure it can keep up with your modern lifestyle. If you have any home issues that revolve around electricity, an electrician is needed. Electrical systems are dangerous. Only a licensed professional can handle the installation or repairs you need without the risk of danger.
How to Hire an Electrician
Electricians can be found in all locations, including large cities and small towns. Every state has specific requirements about licensing, so be aware of the rules before you hire someone. Once you find several electricians you are interested in, research whether the physical address and the one listed online are the same. You can also search with the electrician’s name to learn more about them.
When speaking with an electrician, make sure their labor cost and estimate are provided. This should include all services, so you know the price and results to expect. It is also important to be sure the electrician has insurance to protect you if your home is damaged while work is occurring.
Homeowners should also consider the payment schedule, contract, communication expectations, and dispute resolution options. Make sure the professional you choose is licensed and experienced with the work you require. Doing research and communicating with the electrician ensures you get the job done at a price reasonable for your budget.
Commercial Electrician Hourly Rate
While residential electricians charge between $40 and $100 an hour on average, commercial electricians usually charge a higher rate. This is partly due to the different demands and complexities of commercial applications, and many electricians working on commercial projects are Master grade. The average hourly rate for commercial electricians is between $100 and $120 an hour. Emergency rates and service call fees also apply.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Adding a dimmer to your lights raises and lowers the light level, depending on your needs. It may also save on your energy bills. They cost around $10 to $85 each. Most dimmers fit into a typical wall box opening so it can replace the standard switch for a light and allow you to get a broader range of light options. This simple project can often be done in under an hour.
Energy-Efficient Fixtures and Lighting Systems
As energy costs rise, many people want to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. The electrical work is identical, but the fixture is what drives the savings. Switching over can cost anywhere from $175 to $500 per fixture on average.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Need for a professional. Working with electricity requires extensive knowledge, skills, and precautions. Therefore, DIY is not recommended unless you have previous electrical experience. It is always advised to hire a professional for projects involving electricity.
- Electricians charge per hour. Electricians work by the hour. To keep costs down, make sure they can easily access the areas so that they can start work quickly.
- Save money purchasing your own fixtures. Purchase your own fixtures and appliances, then hire an electrician to install them. This ensures you have the greatest selection, can get what you want, and eliminate any markups the electrician may charge.
- Signs of overloaded circuits. Overloaded electrical circuits can be dangerous. Watch for signs like flickering or dimming lights, warm or discolored wall plates, buzzing or crackling noises at receptacles, burning odors, or mild shocks when approaching or touching receptacles. If any of these occur, contact a licensed electrician right away.
- Labor rates by state. Location plays a big part in the electrician’s price per hour. Some locations have lower prices overall, while other places have higher prices for any project. Large cities often have more expensive prices than small towns and rural locations.
- Electrician cost per square foot. In most cases, electrical work is priced per hour. However, sometimes an electrician charges by the square footage of the home. This is most common when wiring or rewiring a home, where the cost of electrical work per square foot is about $3 to $5 for wiring and $6 to $10 for rewiring. This is done because the size of the house is a large factor in how much work needs to be done and how long it will take to complete.
- What do most electricians charge per hour?
The going rate for an electrician per hour ranges from $40 to $120. The actual price is determined based on your location and the market in that area. In addition, the price can be higher for complicated projects. The electrician’s experience level and expertise also play a part in the average rate for an electrician.
- How much does it cost to rewire a 1,500 sq.ft. house?
Rewiring a 1,500 sq.ft. house will typically cost $6 to $10 per sq.ft. This includes putting in new wires, replacing electrical panels, and installing new outlets. Rewiring a home makes the space safer, saves you money on utility bills, and gives you extra electrical capacity for new gadgets and devices.
- What is a fair price for an electrician?
Electrical contractor rates per hour range from $40 to $120. However, the actual licensed electrician hourly rate depends on your location, the job being done, and any other factors that make the process more complicated. For wiring or rewiring, electrician services cost about $3 to $5 per sq.ft. of house.
- How do you estimate an electrical job?
The first thing to keep in mind is that electrical rates are an average of $40 to $120 an hour. The next thing you need to determine is how long a specific electrical task takes. For instance, installing a new electrical outlet might take less than an hour. Rewiring an entire home could take three to ten days. Determine how many hours the project is likely to take and multiply that by the hourly wage to estimate the electrician prices.
- How much does it cost to wire a 1,500 sq.ft. house?
The average cost to wire a 1,500 sq.ft. home is $4,500 to $7,500. In most cases, wiring a home costs about $3 to $5 per sq.ft. Additional costs may be incurred based on the cost of materials and how easy it is to access the area where the wires will be installed.
- How much do electricians charge per outlet?
The average cost per outlet installed is around $120 to $200. The price varies based on the capacity, style, and other factors of the chosen outlet. For instance, a standard outlet is the least expensive to install, while a smart outlet costs more to have placed in a home.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
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