Understanding Your Electrical Contractor Salary: What You Need to Know

electrical contractor salary

The average electrical contractor salary is $88,437 a year. That seems like an incredible salary and may make you want to take the job. However, electrical contractors can make a lot more or a lot less than that.

What factors determine the exact amount you can make with an electrical contractor career? Read on to find out.

What Do Electrical Contractor Jobs Entail?

In general, electrical contractors test, design and create electrical systems and equipment. However, the exact requirements can vary based on the exact industry the contractor is a part of.

For example, government facilities may need electrical contractors to work on high-voltage distribution systems. Smaller commercial buildings may need less complex electrical hardware and systems.

How Can I Become an Electrical Contractor?

There are a few different paths to becoming an electrical contractor. However, there are many requirements that you must meet.

High School Degree

All electrical contractors need a high school degree. A GED will work as well. So if you don’t have a high school degree, get a GED before taking another step.


After high school, you can choose one of two paths. Certain college programs can prepare you for electrical contractor jobs. You can get a certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree from a college.

What you choose depends on how long you want to be in college. You should also consider the advantages of more advanced degrees. A bachelor’s degree offers more advanced courses and can make you more likely to land certain electrical contractor jobs.

Another thing to consider is that certain college programs require certain test scores. To get into a bachelor’s degree program, you may need a high SAT score.


Is college not for you? Then you may want to choose an apprenticeship instead. You will get paid for doing an apprenticeship and it should last for around five years.

During an apprenticeship, you will work with industry experts. They will teach you all aspects of the industry. As you learn more, your salary will increase.

Getting a License

Many states require that you get a license to work as an electrical contractor. The exact requirements of this license vary from state to state. However, you should, at minimum, only have to take a relatively easy test and prove that you’ve worked in the industry for a few years.

What Controls an Electrical Contractor Salary?

If you take a lot at different electrical contractors across the industry, you’ll notice that each of them make different rates of pay. A lot of the time, these rates of pay have to do with things that are beyond an electrical contractor’s control. Different cities and states, for example, can offer higher pay rates than others.

The same goes for the pay rates of different industries. The best thing that an electrical contractor can do is seek out the places that pay the most. Here are some of the factors a contractor can look at to make sure they’re getting the best deal.

Working Time

Usually, the more an electrical contractor works, the more they can make. Do you want to be a top earner? Then you may need to work overtime.

However, in many cases, electrical contractors may have no choice. Some businesses require contractors to work overtime. Luckily, in most cases, they’re compensated well for this.

Working more may also help an electrical contractor get ahead in a company. However, this isn’t always the case.


The type of industry that electrical contractors work in can also influence how much they make. For example, electricians that work in building electrical systems for government buildings make more than those who work in general construction.

This difference in pay may have taken shape due to the number of specialists. A government building may be different than, say, an industrial building. Electricians who have worked with government buildings know these differences and how to work with them.

Government building planners will pay more to get a government building electrician specialist than a general specialist. They may also have to pay more if there aren’t many government-building electrical contractors around.

Skill Level

Another thing that people will pay more for is skill level. Apprentice electrical contractors, for instance, won’t get a high salary when they’re starting in the industry. Once they get years and years of experience, they can get higher-paying electrical contractor jobs.

Most of this has to do with responsibilities. A supervisor will have a lot more responsibilities on the job than an apprentice. Supervisors get these roles because they have gained trust and know what they’re doing.

Apprentices are more likely to make mistakes. They’re more of a liability at the start. They become less so as they gain skills.


Many states pay electrical contractors more than others. There are a lot of factors that influence how much an electrical contractor gets paid from state to state. An employer needs to pay enough so that their workers won’t go to other companies.

However, they also need to have a service price low enough to attract customers. They also need to compete with other electrical contracting companies in their area.

On small islands like those in Hawaii, there are probably few electrical contractors. Electrical companies can take advantage of the lack of competition by charging higher prices. However, they probably also need to hang on to the few electrical contractors they have in the area.

Get Electrical Contractor Services From Us

Now you can see how an electrical contractor should operate. You also know why customers need to pay the electrical contractor salary that they do. If they want the best work or, even, any service at all, they need to pay the best rate available to them.

Do you need electrical contractor services in one of several Washington state areas? At Tapps Electric, we serve Pierce, King, and Thurston counties. If your business is in one of these areas, we can help you with any electrical system errors you may have.

Get a price estimate for your electrical services today by filling out the form on this page.

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