The compensation is consistently the most essential part of a profession for most individuals in polls across virtually every demographic – how much do electricians get paid where I live?
While there are a lot of factors that go into determining how much money you can anticipate making as an electrician, there is a lot of solid data on typical pay for electricians by the state in the United States, broken down by seniority level.
While your city’s pay may fluctuate significantly from the state average, these statistics might give you an idea of what to expect.
To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look at the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for electricians by states in the USA.
About Electricians in USA
In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published the average wage bill of people working in various professions across the United States.
According to their findings, the combined average annual salary across all these professions is 51,960 dollars.
On the other hand, the mean annual pay of an electrician’s salary as of 2019 rested at 59,190 dollars.
Whilst this average is probably bloated by the salaries of the highest-paid electricians, it does point out the obvious. Your average electrician is undoubtedly taking home a decent sum of money at the end of an honest day’s work.
Now before we jump the gun, let us not assume that the highest wages are just doled out to just any electrician.
Types of Electricians in the United States of America
It is therefore prudent to note that there are various types of electricians and as such, they demand different fees.
Electricians are first categorized depending on where they work i.e., inside electricians or outside electricians.
Inside electricians mostly deal with low-voltage wires found within buildings. They are thus responsible for tending to electrical systems within buildings.
Outside electricians deal with higher voltages of power. As their name suggests, they work outside often on power plants.
They are thus responsible for electric distribution systems that transmit power to substations. These are the electricians we see operate in high-volume residential and industrial facilities.
However, the classification of electricians doesn’t end here. There can be further cataloging of electricians based on their certification levels.
This typification has as a result instigated into three levels of electricians based on qualifications.
Like any other profession, electricians have to go through apprenticeship programs as well. In order to qualify for this stage, you at least need a high school diploma or its equivalent.
After that, you are required to sit for a specified number of courses, mounting up to hundreds of hours in a classroom.
The next step is registering for apprenticeship under a recognized, licensed electrician. Note that you are only eligible for an apprenticeship after three to six years.
This is the electrician who has gotten their license from the relevant state or federal licensing group.
You only acquire journeyman status after completing your apprenticeship program and meeting the set requirements.
As a result, this enables you to set up your own shop and train other people.
This level is reserved for the highest-paid electricians. As such, they have the highest level of certification among electricians.
However, what is required of them varies from state to state. That said there is a yardstick used to gauge a master electrician’s skills.
The most common requirement is to complete a minimum of 4,000 hours of relevant work as a journeyman.
Once this is done, you are then required to take a licensing exam. This is in order to display the extent of your knowledge of the nation’s electrical code.
This, therefore, gives them the license to work on the most complex electrical jobs in the United States.
The distinctions above prove that the premise of certification can be used to typify electricians.
This is both in terms of categorization and pay. For instance, due to their expertise, master electricians earn more than journeymen.
Other categorizations are done based on specialization with each area demanding different fees.
Highest Electricians Paying State in USA
Electricians’ salaries vary across state lines for various reasons. Be it the skill level required to work within said state or legislation passed that differs across state lines. As such, there are different salaries across all 54 states.
According to a study published by BSL in April 2021, these are the 10 states that have the highest earners.
Rank State Average Salary Entry-level salary Number of employees
- District of Columbia 84,450 dollars 49,470 dollars 1,270
- Illinois 83,980 dollars 46,380 dollars 23,410
- Oregon 78,700 dollars 42,380 dollars 9,830
- Virgin Islands 77,900 dollars 48,460 dollars 300
- Alaska 77,820 dollars 36,400 dollars 1500
- Hawaii 76,850 dollars 50,610 dollars 3,180
- Washington 73,130 dollars 41,260 dollars 18,900
- New York 71,050 dollars 39,400 dollars 36,310
- Massachusetts 69,090 dollars 36,170 dollars 15,500
- California 68,530 dollars 38,910 dollars 71,010
The statistics indicate going on basic salary alone, it is a tall order to be able to make six figures.
For instance, a journey electrician in San Francisco can make up to 150,000 dollars. This is after taking on commercial jobs on top of a basic salary.
Commercial jobs refer to electrical work done within commercial buildings rather than residential ones. For instance, doing electrical work for a mall is more complex and involves larger units than residential ones.
Due to the complexity and larger workload that comes with working in a commercial building, such work demands higher pay.
This means that whatever you specialize in if you do it at a commercial level, it should bring about more pay.
That said, your specialty could be the difference-maker even when working commercial jobs.
This means that they are certain specialties that are more elite than others and as such, they demand higher pay.
Highest Paid Electricians
Some of the highest-paid electricians based on their specialties include:
#1. Avionics technician
Avionics technicians work on aircraft. They are in charge of maintaining and installing electrical systems.
Pilots and computers use these systems to control planes physically and electronically.
Therefore, avionics technicians are vital to keeping planes in the air and passengers safe.
Avionics technicians also have the option of working overtime and often earn a sizable part of their income from overtime hours.
The starting salary across all states for an avionic technician stands at 35,935 dollars per year.
#2. Commercial electrician
This is a job in high demand. A commercial electrician’s duties are much like those of an industrial electrician, but they don’t have as much expertise in manufacturing settings.
Its relatively low demands and good pay are what make it such a sought-after specialty.
The average salary of a commercial electrician stands at 39,935 dollars.
#3. Marine technician
A marine technician installs and maintains the electrical systems on boats. As a result, this helps power and navigate equipment essential to running a boat.
Being a marine technician requires you to have specialized knowledge. As such, this knowledge creates the platform to be a high-paying job.
The average starting salary of a marine technician stands at 45,052 dollars per year.
#4. Wind turbine technician
As the title suggests a wind turbine technician installs, repairs, and inspects wind turbines.
This job involves complicated repairs and specialized knowledge. It’s therefore well-paying to compensate for the intricacies involved.
The average starting salary of a wind turbine technician starts at 50,174 dollars per year.
#5. Electrical technician
Electrical technicians work on building, repairing, testing, and maintaining electrical equipment, usually under the supervision of an electrical engineer.
What makes this kind of work intense is that it is based in laboratories, manufacturing, or repair shop settings.
The average starting salary for an electrical technician stands at 53,352 dollars per year.
#6. Industrial Electrician
An industrial electrician’s principal responsibilities include repairing and maintaining electrical equipment in commercial and manufacturing settings.
Many manufacturing activities use electrically powered equipment, they earn high pay in part due to the constant need.
Because of the isolated setting, the special safety expertise required, and the profitability of the sector, working as an industrial electrician on oil rigs can play very well.
The average starting salary for an electrical technician stands at$60,216 per year.
#7. Automation Technician
An automation technician is a highest-paid electrician. They work with electrical systems that control automation in a wide variety of settings, including manufacturing and industrial processing.
This job pays well because of the programming expertise required to repair and install automated systems.
The average starting salary for an automation technician stands at 77, 818 dollars per year.
#8. Technician at a substation
A substation technician, also known as a substation electrician, is responsible for monitoring and maintaining substations that manage and distribute power to local homes and businesses.
This job pays highly since it entails managing vast amounts of power. Note, the average starting salary for a substation technician stands at $69,423 per year.
#9. Technician in Automation
An automation technician is a person who works with electrical systems that govern automation in a range of contexts, such as manufacturing and industrial processing.
Because of the programming skills required to repair and implement automated systems, this job pays handsomely.
The average starting salary for an automation technician stands at 77,818 per year.
#10. Solar Installer
A solar installer, also known as a solar technician or PV installer, installs and maintains photovoltaic systems, or solar panels.
This profession entails a lot of travel and a lot of outside work. Solar panels are becoming more popular, and as demand grows, job opportunities and wage increases.
The average starting salary for an automation technician stands at $62,691 per year.
Do not let the desire to be one of the highest-paid electricians ruin your unique contribution to the industry. Whilst pay is a huge motivating factor, it is important to explore all the fields as an electrician.