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How Much Does It Cost To Hire An Electrician?

National Average Change Location | View National
$314
Typical Range
$160 - $501
Low End
$80
High End
$900

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Electricians usually charge between $50 to $100 per hour. For the entire project, you’ll spend an average of $314, or within a range between $160 and $501 or more. Both hourly and project rates vary depending on the type of project, license and experience of the service provider.
Frustrated by the lack of outlets when your cell phone, laptop or pad starts to die? Want to install a dimmer, fix a light or upgrade your home’s security? Old electrical systems often can’t keep up. Because smart homes and personal electronics are becoming commonplace, electricians are increasingly in demand to update and modernize the aging home.

Electrician Hourly Rates and Guarantees

Licensed electricians can charge anywhere from $50-$100 an hour depending on experience level, license type and complexity of the job. This does not include additional costs for parts or minimum trip fees. An apprentice electrician could charge less than this for simple jobs.
It’s important to note that there are two hourly rates when it comes to most electricians. There is a difference between the rate the electrician gets paid and the rate the electrician will bill. Travel, supplies and overhead are sometimes included in the hourly rate, though some electricians provide a detailed line item bill with hourly rates separate from all other costs. This guide references what a licensed electrician will charge.
Most large companies don’t do small jobs like fixing a light. Some electricians will do “side work,” or work without the overhead of an electrical company. In these cases, you may be able to find electricians working at a slightly lower rate than a professional shop charges.
There are a few minor cost factors to consider when hiring a local electrician:
  • Distance – Electricians will figure in the cost of travel to and from your home and any supply stores into project and hourly costs.
  • Accessibility – Is the project simple, like installing a light fixture, or complex like running a new circuit through finished walls? Complex jobs will increase the time of the project.
  • Experience – There are three license grades for electricians – Apprentice, Journeyman and Master. Each increasing grade requires more knowledge, experience and testing which all translates into higher rates. We’ll dive into the specifics below.
Most will bid a total cost for the project. Get multiple, detailed bids on the price of parts and labor for each project in your home. Additionally, make sure all expectations are in writing and that you completely understand the terms and conditions of the work. Talk to your contractor about what happens if you aren't satisfied or if unforeseen circumstances cause changes in the bid. Review all warranties and understand everything included in the estimate. Make sure your electrician is licensed and bonded.
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Service Call, Consultation, No Call, and Inspection Rates

Service calls or consultations, or any job that needs a diagnosis, typically cost between $50-$100 per hour. Homeowners usually pay more for the first hour – up to $150. This helps cover gas, travel time and small parts. Contractors bill for large parts separately. Consultations and inspections are usually considered service calls and fall in the same range. Estimates to fix already identified issues are usually free.
Inspections vary depending on type. An inspection to diagnose a problem is a service call. Inspections for code compliance are usually free and performed by the local electrical inspector. An electrical inspection may also be part of a complete home inspection and costs between $200-$500. And don’t miss your appointment. Many electricians charge a no show/no call fee, often the first hour of work to cover travel expenses. If you can’t make the appointment, let them know well ahead of time.

Average Prices Per Task

Often, an electrician will charge a minimum trip fee for a job, averaging around $25. This is sometimes figured into the first hour of labor, which tends to be at 1.5 times the usual hourly rate. Since you may be paying a minimum fee just for the visit, it's better to get a quote for everything you want done at one time instead of piecemeal one-off bids.
Do you want to install a ceiling fan? Add an outlet? Rewire a plug? Do you need dedicated circuits for your high-end electronics? Maybe you need to install an electric vehicle charging station in your garage. The possibilities are endless and doing a quick walk-through of your home to see where you might need work might save you time and money in the end.
Average Electrical Contractor Project Rates
ServicesAvg Project Costs
Generator Services$250 - $1,000
Outlet & Switch/ Socket Installation$150 - $250
Wiring a House$550 - $750
Light Fixture Work$150 - $750
Electrical Breaker$100 - $160
Attic Fans$200 - $400
Ceiling Fans$50 - $200
Smart Home Installation$400 - $2,000

Generator Services

Installing a generator costs an average of about $3,500 or anywhere between $1,000-$6,000. Having one repaired will only run about $250. Generators for backup power, off-grid living, and recreational vehicles are increasing in popularity. Keeping them running gives piece of mind and security in extreme situations.

Outlet and Switch/Socket Installation

A single outlet, or receptacle, only costs a few dollars. But with the first hour, installing an outlet will cost an average of $200. Installing a switch will cost a little less at $150. These are simple repairs, but since most electricians charge a minimum service call fee, it’s best to combine it with other work.

Wiring a House

It’ll run $6-$8 per foot for the materials alone. Depending on how accessible the wiring routes are, you can easily end up spending an average of $1,200 to install electrical wiring. If the area for new wiring is accessible, like during a remodel when the walls are open, the job will take significantly less time. If walls need demolishing, budget about $1,700 for new drywall and drywall installation. Professional interior wall demolition comes at a cost as well.

Light Fixture Work

Light fixtures are simple jobs that vary by type. Not including the trip fee, installing a light fixture will cost anywhere from $70 to $750 or more.
  • A glass ceiling fixture or pendant light - $20-$40 plus one hour of labor for a total of $70-$140.
  • Recessed lighting - $160-$350 per light.

Electrical Breaker

Replacing an electrical breaker will run you about $30-$60 per breaker plus about an hour of time, for a total of about $100-$160. Upgrading the entire electrical panel will run between $500-$1,600 depending on size and complexity.

Attic and Ceiling Fans

Installing an attic fan costs $550 on average. It will remove hot and humid air from the attic to draw in cooler air from the home below, helping with cooling costs. Installing a ceiling fan to circulate air inside the home costs about $250 on average.

Smart Home Device Installation

Smart home automation will set your budget back an average of $1,200. Low-voltage smart home devices don’t need a licensed electrician to install. Consult with a professional to find out if your smart home fixtures need a licensed pro, and if so, which type. For example, there are specialized licensed pros for home security alarm system installation.
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Labor Cost Factors

Typical Rates by State

Due to varying amounts of competition, state regulation, taxes and business overhead, the rates in your area may vary significantly from another. Get quotes from licensed electricians in your area for actual costs.
In urban centers like Denver, New York and Los Angeles, rates will fall on the higher side, in many cases exceeding $100 per hour. Rural areas tend to be cheaper, more like $50 per hour, though they factor in travel time and costs into their hourly rates (or charge a separate trip fee).

Urgent or Emergency Repairs + Time of Service

For evenings, weekends and holidays, expect to pay anywhere from time-and-a-half to double the hourly rate plus a trip charge of $100-$200 or more. Some electricians have hourly minimums of 2-4 hours. Even if the job only takes 30 minutes, they’ll still bill for the hourly minimum.
It's very disconcerting to plug in an appliance and see a spark shoot out, or to flip the bathroom light switch and nothing happens. Have a qualified professional inspect these potential fire hazards immediately.
Professionals often vary how they bill for emergencies, night work, weekends, holidays and the first hour. Consult multiple service providers in your area.

Fees for Residential vs. Commercial Electrical Work

Both residential and commercial electricians usually carry the same license and can provide the same level of work. However, experience differs greatly. Commercial and residential code requirements are not always the same. Commercial electricians generally charge about 25% more than residential electricians. The work is typically large-scale and deal with more complex systems.

Licensed Master vs. Journeyman vs. Apprentice

Average Hourly Rates by License Type
Type of ElectricianFirst Hour Rate*Avg Hourly Rate*
Master$150+$100
Journeyman$65+$55
Apprentice$65+$40
*These are hourly billed amounts a homeowner can expect to pay. Actual wages are lower and vary by location.
There are two types of electrician licenses in most states, Master and Journeyman. Licensing tests based on the National Electric Code are usually required in addition to state and local minimums for on the job experience. . Depending on the state or locale, an apprentice needs a few years’ experience working under a Master or Journeyman to be eligible for the Journeyman test. Even more years’ experience as a Journeyman are needed to sit for the Master License. States vary on licensing requirements, including years of experience.

Want to Save Money?

Electrical work can get expensive. Ask your contractor about these and other great ways to reduce your energy consumption.
  • Light dimmers allow you to adjust the light to meet your needs and may provide extra savings on your electric bill.
  • Light timers and motion sensors are another great way to reduce your energy spend and add convenience.
  • Energy-efficient ceiling fan installation could also help you save energy at the flip of a switch.
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Hiring the Right Electrical Contractor

Most electrical work requires special knowledge, skills and safety precautions. It’s not recommended for the average DIYer. Hire a professional if you’re not sure of the project. But some smaller projects, such as replacing a light switch, may be done on your own, so long as you understand that electrical shock is extremely dangerous – always shut off the power to anywhere you’re working.
Electrical shock and the risk of fire are possible with incorrectly completed work. If you are unsure of your abilities in any way, call a professional.
Knowing when to call an electrical wiring contractor and being able to choose the right one should be an informed decision. You shouldn't live with dangerous problems for fear of choosing a bad contractor.
  • Make sure you hire a licensed professional and ask for references to ensure their work and reliability.
  • Meet the electrician and make sure that you feel comfortable with that person in your home or office. Trust is an important factor in your choice.
  • Make sure that you see their insurance policy and ask about their liability in the event of property damage.
  • Follow these additional five tips for hiring an electrician.
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