Newly certified electricians often wonder whether it’s more profitable to strike out on their own or work for a larger commercial business. Longtime entrepreneurs running their own electrical companies also frequently have questions about increasing profits. This guide aims to help journeymen and master electricians make more money in less time. Find out what the most profitable electrical work is in your area.
Quick Resource for Most Profitable Electrician Services
A career in residential electrical installation may not be as profitable as you think, especially if there’s a lot of competition locally. Remodeling projects are more lucrative, as you can make twice as much for rewiring versus installation. An excellent option to boost your income is offering specialized services that set you apart, such as solar panel installation or smart home electrical installation. There’s also significant demand for electrical consulting and troubleshooting services.
Most Profitable Electrical Work Options
The first decision new electricians should make is whether to pursue electrical work independently or become an employee of a manufacturing business. The average annual take-home pay for these options varies by state.
According to Forbes, the average salary for electricians in the United States is about $59,190. States such as New York, Alaska, and Illinois have much higher pay averages of over $75,000 a year. Minnesota, California, New Jersey, and Oregon are other great states where installation electricians can make good money.
The amount of money you can make from a well-paying industrial job is comparable to or higher in many places, depending on the company. According to Glassdoor, top employers include Tesla, Sikorsky, Honeywell, and Boeing. These jobs pay around $30–$40 an hour for expert electricians.
Electrical Specializations That Make the Most Money
One way to find the most profitable electrical work is to pursue a specialized electrical career. The following figures come from Indeed:
- Oil rig electricians: When oil prices go up and oil rigs boost output, electricians on-site can make $65,000 a year or more.
- Electrical automation technician: Experts in electrical systems for automated processes can make $80,000 or more a year. This job requires training in programming in addition to an electrician’s license.
- Electrical foreman: Managing a team of other electricians in an industrial setting can net you about $61,000 annually.
- Electrical engineer: These professionals are responsible for designing electrical systems from the ground up. You need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, but the job pays $100,000–$140,000 a year in many places and there’s consistent work.
- Commercial maintenance electrician: Manufacturing companies also have a high need for electrical maintenance techs, which is why these jobs pay an average of $57,000 a year.
Most Profitable Electrician Services and Add-Ons
What are the most profitable projects for electricians in the U.S.? The answers may surprise you.
Business Consultation and Electrical Design Services
Electricians get the job done, meet code specs and call it a day. Consultants do more. They help third-party businesses identify project needs, recommend solutions, and design layouts that go beyond code requirements. That way, companies save money, reduce downtime, scale operations, and maximize profits.
This type of service lets you charge a premium. You may not even need to pick up tools. Your job may be to design and oversee the project from start to finish. According to ZipRecruiter, electrical engineering consultants make about $94,000 a year on average, with some hitting $148,000 annually.
One of the most profitable electrical work options is often overlooked: electrical inspections. Many electricians charge a flat fee for inspections, making anywhere from $200 to $500 per job. For commercial inspections, electricians can several thousand dollars depending on the size of the building and the complexity of the work.
Take advantage of hot home markets and periods of local business expansion to market your inspection services. If a large portion of your revenue starts to come from these inspections, you may consider expanding your business by working with a home inspector or plumber.
Energy-Efficient Smart Home Upgrades
How profitable this electrical service is can depend on the type of housing market near you and especially the age of the houses. Newly built homes often have C-wires for smart thermostats, HVAC units, and other energy-efficient systems, whereas older homes generally need expert wiring services to bring them up to date. You may make up to $2,000 per job for upgrades.
In many areas, there’s a strong need for experienced electrical troubleshooters. Manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, and other businesses may pay a premium for urgent help locating problems. They want to get operations going again ASAP. Electrical companies often hire electricians to troubleshoot client problems.
For the most profitable electrician services, troubleshooters often charge a flat fee per service visit, easily making $100 or more in less than an hour. Others charge a minimum per visit and an hourly rate after the first hour for complex jobs.
Tips for Greater Profitability As an Electrician
To run an electrical services business successfully, you need to make smart decisions. These tips can help you avoid common mistakes and benefit more from the most profitable electrical work.
Think Long and Hard About Profits and Pricing
Pricing mistakes are one of the biggest reasons why some electricians struggle to have a profitable business. Instead of looking at job price, calculate how much you’re making per hour for your work. If you can get the same amount working as an employee, you’re not charging enough.
Build a Good Relationship With Third-Party Businesses
To get the first call for remodeling projects or electrical inspections, you need to be friends with local contractors and real estate agents. For kitchen remodels, ask local home improvement centers, interior designers, or carpenters to recommend your services.
Offer Better Services Than Competitors
Many electricians discount their prices because they want to beat competitors. A better solution is to offer superior work. For example, if you specialize in state-of-the-art home automation, you may attract the attention of homeowners looking for those services. Another option is to offer a 100% work satisfaction guarantee (you’re probably liable for work performed anyway, but offering a guarantee sounds more professional).
Interested in becoming a licensed electrician? Look up the requirements for your state in our Directory of Electrical Contractor License Requirements by State.