You may have been shocked after you received a quotation for an electrical repair from an electrician near you. And now, you’re thinking of whether hiring the licensed contractor is still a wise idea or you’ll just fix the issue yourself to save money. Will you hire? Attempt a DIY? Or will you call your trusted relative who is a self-proclaimed handyman?
As we always say here at Same Day Pros, hiring a professional is always the best option – especially when it comes to electrical works. Why are electricians so expensive? First off, electrical work is dangerous and complex, and naturally, the riskier the job is, the higher the pay. But more importantly, even before an individual can become qualified, s/he must complete extensive training and exams before earning a license. So when you work with an electrician, you are assured that you are hiring someone who has the experience for the job. Let’s look at more reasons why electricians have high rates.
They work with high-tech, complex systems
Smart lighting, smart thermostats, smart locks, etc…with the increasing popularity of smart homes, electricians need to also be savvy in programming and installing various new technology. Nowadays, electricians would need to have some knowledge of basic computer programming so they can fully integrate the smart devices into the home’s automated system.
They spent years to qualify as an electrician
In most of the states in the U.S., electricians need to obtain a license before they can perform any type of electrical work. There are three types of electrician-licensing: apprentice, journeyman, and master electrician.
As mentioned above, to qualify as an electrician, the individual must go through training, tests, and years of work experience. Before moving to apprenticeship, one must take a school program for about four years before s/he even becomes an electrician’s assistant. At this stage, apprentices don’t hold any licenses yet and must be supervised when they are on the job.
An apprentice will then move on to a journeyman if s/he has completed their apprenticeship and passed a test for their license. Only then will they have a license to work unsupervised.
To be a master electrician, a journeyman must gain additional experience and pass another exam. A licensed master electrician can pull permits, work complex system installations and also supervise junior electricians.
When you hire a licensed electrician, you’re paying for their years of experience in the job.
If you’re curious to know about the types of electricians, read our article here.
They pay for insurance plans
Most states require electricians to have general liability insurance. It’s no denying that an electrician’s work is highly risky– they can get burns and shocks, climb ladders and high places, and work on tight spaces. This is also why electrical contractors pay huge premiums for their insurance, which also explains the price they charge for their labor costs.
Note that this insurance not only covers the electrician but also their client. You will not be liable should an electrician gets injured or something goes wrong while they are completing the job.
They handle the paperwork
Professional electricians would usually come out to your property before they give out an estimate. They will spend some time to identify the source of the problem and will discuss with you if you have any other requirements. So even before they begin a project, a contractor would have already spent time doing fieldwork, which takes up their time.
Besides this, a licensed electrician would also take care of the permits, licenses, and other paperwork required to carry an electrical work. Securing a permit is a necessary step if you are adding, relocating, removing electric fixtures, or will perform major electrical work in your property. The permit will also help ensure that the job done is up to the current safety code and standards. Typically, the person who will carry on the work is the one who can secure a permit, and only a licensed contractor can help you do this.
They take time to work on each project
While electrical work may look easy for an untrained eye, professional electricians usually take time working on each project. This is to make sure that the wiring is done correctly or the fixture is properly installed.
Depending on your agreement, the electrician would also purchase the necessary materials from various supply stores. Even before they begin working on your property, they’ve already used their time, fuel, and money to get everything ready.
Why is hiring a licensed electrician worth it?
If you’re not yet convinced on why you should pay for the high rates of electricians, here are some reasons why hiring a licensed electrician is worth it and why it’s actually for your advantage.
Keep your family and home safe
The first and most important reason why you should only work with a licensed electrician is safety. Dealing with any type of work that involves electricity is highly dangerous if you don’t have the training for it. Video tutorials on the internet may make it look simple, but it’s more complicated than you think.
Going DIY instead of approaching a professional not only puts yourself in danger while working on the project but also creates long-term safety hazards in your home, like electrical shocks. If left unfixed, shoddy electrical work can even lead to huge problems like an electrical fire.
Skip the guesswork
Fixing a faulty outlet, installing a smart thermostat, sounds easy right? Not exactly. If you have no experience doing these things, following the instructions on the manual will not be straightforward as you think. The reason why you want to hire a professional to do this is that they know the things you don’t. They save you time from guessing how to do the job properly and give you the assurance that the work is completed safely.
Get to the root of the issue
You or an unlicensed contractor that you hired may get it fixed, but the issue may just be a symptom of a more serious problem. Only a trained and experienced electrician can troubleshoot the issue, detect what’s causing it and use the appropriate solution to solve the root cause.
Instead of waiting for the problem to get worse, hire a licensed electrician to make a proper diagnosis to prevent future issues.
Most homeowners would think that completing the project themselves is the more cost-effective solution because they don’t have to pay for professional fees, but this is farther from the truth. Hiring a qualified electrician who has the proper training and know-how assures you that the job is done right the first time. You won’t have to go around in circles trying to figure out how to complete the project. Plus, when you hire a pro, you won’t have to spend a dime on the tools or equipment needed for the job.
How much do electricians charge?
Based on the latest industry rate, an electrician would usually charge anywhere between $50 and $100 per hour or an average of $75 for an hourly rate. Note that this price excludes other overhead costs, like travel fees and also the cost of buying the materials needed for the project.
To give you more idea, here are common jobs where you will require an electrician and how much they cost.
- Repair/Installation of Outlets – as much as $225
If you have faulty outlets or need additional ones to prevent overloading, it’s best to hire an electrician to do the job.
Read: Here are possible reasons why an electric outlet is not working
- Home Inspection– costs $200 to $500
An inspection is helpful especially if you’re planning to purchase a home. This will assure you that the property you’re looking to buy is up to code.
Read more about electrical inspections in our article.
- Generator Installation – starts at $1,400
Generators are important if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions, therefore are at risk of power outages.
- Electrical Panel Upgrade – anywhere between $550 and $2,000
While a bit pricey, having your electrical panel upgraded or replaced keeps your home and family safe especially when you’re already experiencing various electrical issues.
- Electrical Wiring – costs an average of $1,200
If you’re remodeling or getting new wiring for your older home, a licensed electrician is the best person to do the job.
Although upfront, hiring an unlicensed contractor or doing it yourself is much cheaper, hiring an electrician is a more sensible approach. With an experienced pro doing electrical work, you have peace of mind that you and your family are not at risk of electrical-related incidents. You’ll even save money because you know that the job is done correctly and you won’t be expecting any issues anytime soon. With these benefits mentioned, surely hiring a licensed electrician for the job is worth it.
Looking to hire an electrician soon? We can help you find ones working in your neighborhood!