Ultimate guide to making more money as an electrician

Check out this guide for average salary, qualifications, and money-making ideas you can try.

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You might be looking to start a career in the electrical industry or have a few years of experience and want to maximise your income as an electrician. The good news is that it’s entirely doable—remember that investing in and bettering your trade is key.

In this guide, we talk about the basics of the electrician trade and give you a few ideas on how to make more money as an electrician. Keep reading to learn more.

Can electricians make good money?

In the UK, electricians earn an average salary of £32,540, though this also depends on your skill level, speciality, and where you work. 

Electrician work is highly specialised and can be dangerous, so licensing requirements tend to be strict. While it varies across jurisdictions, you can explore the following routes to get licensed and work as an electrician:

  • Completing a diploma or technical certificate: You’ll need a level 2 diploma in electric installation or a level 3 diploma in electrical and electronic engineering. The number of General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE) subjects you complete will determine which course you can take. 

  • Taking an NVQ course: You can also opt for a National Vocational Qualification course.

  • Completing a domestic installer course: This course only takes about a month, though you won’t become a fully qualified electrician by the end of it. However, finishing this course allows you to take on residential jobs.

(Note that Scotland's only route to becoming an electrician is through a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ).)

  • Undergoing an apprenticeship: An apprenticeship helps you gain on-the-job training while pursuing your certifications. Most electricians will take on an apprenticeship while training under an NVQ course.

electrician working on wires

Completing an NVQ or level 2 or 3 diploma, plus some work experience, will mean that you are fully qualified to work as an electrician.

What qualities make a good electrician? You need logical and analytical thinking from technical knowledge to find and resolve faults. You also need to be able to apply techniques that will help you maintain safety.

Ways to earn more as an electrician

If you want to know how to make money as an electrician, you can focus on developing your skills through experience and continuing education, and seek electrical side work or start your own business. 

1. Choose the best training

If you’re 100% committed to having a career in the electrical trade, the very first step is making sure you have the right foundation through the best training. Your apprenticeship program should meet state and federal standards and provide you with the necessary technical and theoretical education. 

However, great apprenticeship programs offer valuable leadership and professional management skills that will set you up for success. 

2. Gain experience

Once you’ve completed the minimum requirements for licensing, the best way to find more opportunities is to gain as much experience as possible. Get experience across residential, commercial, industrial, or service work fields. You’ll be able to have a solid foundation of the specific skills needed for each that will help you decide what to specialise in later on.

electrician installing light fixtures

It’s also a good idea to set goals for how you want to make your progress, whether that means setting your sights on becoming a foreman or eventually setting up your own business. 

3. Choose a specialisation 

You may ask what electrician makes the most money in terms of the field they specialise in. Electricians concentrate on working indoors (wiremen) or outdoors (linemen). While you can gain experience with small residential jobs, some of the highest-paying are commercial or industrial jobs.

You may even explore qualifications to work with high-voltage electrical wiring and equipment, though keep in mind that these employment opportunities are more high-risk. Other common specialities include:

Auto electrician

  • Security and fire alarm electrician

  • Telecommunication maintenance

  • Smart systems installation

You could also eventually do more niche electrician work, like becoming an avionics, maritime, solar energy, or substation electrician.

4. Take continuing education courses

Want to discover how to become a better electrician? Consider continuing education classes. It may also be a qualification for maintaining your license, so check your specific state’s requirements. If you’ve worked in the trade for a while, you can also look into courses that will help you land more experienced roles. For example, you can take up electrician management or project management.

electrician checking a switch board's power rating

Not only will continuing education classes keep you updated on important industry guidelines, but they will also improve your chances of qualifying for better jobs or moving up in your current role.

5. Explore side jobs

If you have the required licences and bandwidth to take up electrical side work, consider the following ideas:

  • Cable and internet installation services

  • Lighting installation services

  • Other home setup installation services

  • Appliance repairs

  • Handyman services

  • On-demand tasks    

Taking up additional side jobs as an electrician is a great way to supplement your income as these typically don’t take too much time and don’t need much technical knowledge. You’ll have the flexibility to accept jobs only when you have extra time.

6. Start your own business

If you want to take your earnings up a notch, you can explore starting your own electrical business. Of course, consider that starting any business is never without any risk and that you need sufficient start-up capital. Also, you will want to check your state’s licensing requirements for operating as an electrical contracting company, as some states require this along with a business license. 

electrician doing electrical work

Nevertheless, starting your own business is a great option if you aim to be your own boss. Once you have all of the necessary licensing in order, you can figure out what type of legal entity you want for your business, develop a business plan, and then set out to find customers.

7. Market your services

Another way to grow your income as an electrician is to get more leads, which you can accomplish by increasing your visibility and meeting potential customers where they are. It’s important to get your services in front of the right audience, and you can explore the following tips:

  • Creating a Google My Business page for your electrical services business

  • Starting a blog and producing content on your topics of expertise

  • Establishing a social media presence 

  • Kickstarting a YouTube channel

If you have your own business or are determined to start one, a proper marketing strategy not only introduces and builds your brand but also introduces you to customers who may be a good fit for your services. 

Make money as an electrician

Once you have completed your qualifications and gained some experience, you’ll be on your way to earning more money as an electrician. Taking continuous education classes helps you improve your trade and leads you to higher-paying opportunities, such as side jobs or your own business.

To find potential clients, check out Airtasker and start working on tasks—everything from simple lamp installation to home rewiring.

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Frequently asked questions

To conduct any electrical-related side work, you’ll generally need to be licensed. This ensures that you’ve undergone the necessary training and experience to be a qualified electrician, making it much safer for you and your clients.

There are some types of electrical work that you can carry out in case the territory you’re in is placed under lockdown. And, while it may not be as easy to find opportunities for work-from-home electricians, you can explore jobs like estimation, consultation, project management, or teaching.

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