Day and hourly rates for electricians and electrical contractors

Electricians and electrical contractors have different rates depending on:

  • Their location in the UK
  • The type of work they carry out
  • The types of building being worked on
  • Sole trader or employed through a limited company

I am a sole trader working throughout South Glamorgan carrying out a wide range of domestic and commercial work. My day rate is £230 (or £120 for half a day).

Prices for electrical work vary throughout the UK. There are other factors electricians price in to work other than area which Is what I discuss below.  But it’s safe to say if you live in Roath, Cathays, Cyncoed or Splott; electrician’s in Cardiff will charge less for a consumer unit replacement compared to Chelsea or Oxford for example.  The fuse board, cabling and circuit breakers may cost the same although the labour rate is higher due to the cost of living.

Commercial and industrial electrical work is more expensive than domestic.  This is for several reasons, including:

  • Higher level of skill demands a higher salary
  • Often the equipment required costs more to purchase or hire to complete the job
  • Jobs are more labour intensive.  Rewiring a factory may take months compared to a house which would usually be completed in about two weeks.
  • Insurance for carrying out electrical work in domestic dwellings will cost less than working in a petrol station
  • Preparation.   Planning a house rewire needs thought, but not as much as a restaurant, block of apartments of shopping outlet

Sole trader electricians overheads will be less than electrical contractors who employ several electricians with office-based staff.

Costs electricians pass on to customers include:

  • Their salary, pension, holiday and sick pay
  • Insurance(s) – public liability, professional indemnity, van, tools, sick, accident and Jury Service
  • Vehicle – van purchase / hire , road fund license, servicing, tyres, MOT and general running costs
  • Tools.  Hand and power tools.  Tools do not last forever.  They eventually wear out and sometimes get lost or stolen
  • Testing equipment.  Multimeters, multi-function testers, voltage testers, earth leakage clamps all need to be purchased, calibrated and replaced when they eventually wear out.

A typical day for many tradespeople would be something like 8am to 4pm.   This is the working part that the customer sees and would include:

Self-employed electricians have to make time for everything else that is required to keep the business running including:

Traveling to look at work people have asked you to price up. If a customer calls to ask about having a new shower, consumer unit or rewire – a site visit is required. Very few electrical jobs can be priced up without being inspected first.

Preparing estimates – domestic and commercial customers like estimates to be in writing for clarity on what work is being carried out. Looking up parts and working out labour rates and compiling it in to a written estimate takes time.

Collecting stock items and tool purchase. Consumables such as fixings, lamps and connectors need to be kept topped up. Tools including drill bits, dust masks and hacksaw blades need to be replaced frequently.

Paperwork.  Receipts and invoices need to be kept for safekeeping and accounting purposes.

Returning emails and calls. It’s common for self-employed electricians to finish the paid part of their working day and then set aside time to respond to potential and existing customers.  Due to traveling, the working environment, enclosed spaces, limited mobile phone coverage and trying to get work completed within necessary time frames its not always possible to deal with calls and email enquiries when they come through.