So you're thinking about becoming an electrician. If so, then you've made a smart choice. Not only are electricians one of the most respected of all tradesmen, they are some of the most skilled and highest paid as well. Being an electrician can even lead to owning your own company.
Electrician salaries in 2012
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average electrician made almost $50,000 in 2012. Remember, that’s just the average. The highest paid made north of $80,000 while apprentices, or helpers, pulled in around $30,000.
Those making salaries in the $30,000 range were apprentices, but it’s important to note that while not making the highest salaries, these helper workers were earning while learning on the job. Compare that to the high price of education and you can see how good a profession being an electrician is even from the very beginning.
Highest paying industries include the motion picture industry and natural gas distribution. While the motion picture industry does pay well, the total number of jobs is not particularly high. This is not true, however, for the oil and gad industry, which is adding more jobs to the American economy than any other sector.
Highest paying cities include NYC and San Francisco where the cost of living is higher as well.
Electrician salaries compared to other good, paying professions
The mean salary for electricians in 2012 was at the $53,000 level. That’s well above the mean salary for carpenters ($44,000), and way above that for construction workers ($34,000). While advancement to the master electrician level means a jump to $80,000 a year, note that construction managers were pulling in about $90,000 according to 2012 data.
Best earning cities for electricians include:
Trenton, New Jersey comes in at #1 when it comes to the highest paying cities in America for electricians. Master electricians in Trenton earn upwards of $81,000 per year.
Completing the list are:
#2 – San Francisco - $80,000
#3 – NYC - $79,000
#4 – Fairbanks, Alaska - $76,000
#5 – Oakland, California - $76,000
It’s important to remember that all these places have a higher cost of living than say Houston or Dallas, Texas. Also remember that while these are the top rates for master electricians, these are for those people who work for someone else’s company.
Being a master electrician means the ability to pull permits, bid on jobs, in short it means the ability to own your own company. Unlike many other professions, especially that of construction, it is much easier and less costly to get started in your own business as an electrician. Competition is not as high, as well.
Electrician salary data according to PayScale
According to salary data leader PayScale, the national average for an electrician is at the $20.57 level. Remember though, the average includes those on the lower end, apprentices, as is evident in the Total Pay section of the chart below.
Those lower end figures, however, are impressive when you consider that the nearly $30,000 per year average really amounts to on-the-job training. That’s nearly $15 per hour starting pay, almost double that of minimum wage.