In This Guide: Average Cost | Types of Electricians | Additional Cost Factors | DIY vs. Professional | Signs You Need an Electrician | How To Save | Conclusion | FAQs

If your home’s lights are flickering or you need to reset your circuit breaker every few days, it’s probably time to call an electrician. These licensed professionals can do everything from grounding an existing outlet to upgrading your home’s entire electrical system. This guide breaks down the signs that it’s time to hire an electrician and how much you can expect to pay.

Compare Quotes from Local Electricians
See how much your project will cost:

Average Electrician Cost

Most electricians charge $40–$120 per hour, adding up to $150–$600 for most small to medium electrical tasks. The total price depends on the following factors.

  • Home size: Jobs that require whole-home wiring or rewiring cost more for larger homes.
  • License type: Experienced electricians with advanced licensing charge more.
  • Project complexity: Longer, more complicated jobs cost more.

Electrician Cost by Project

The type of electrical job you need completed is the biggest cost determinant. Replacing an electrical panel or integrating smart-home features costs much more than installing a light switch. However, electricians usually have a minimum fee for the first hour of work, even for small jobs that may only take a few minutes. Here are some price ranges for the most common electrical services.

ProjectAverage Cost
Grounding an electrical outlet$50–$100
Installing a ceiling fan$100–$650
Installing a light switch$85–$200
Installing a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet$120–$200
Installing smart-home automation$2,000–$7,000
Performing an electrical inspection$125–$500
Replacing a circuit breaker box$500–$1,800
Replacing a circuit breaker switch$150–$250
Upgrading an electrical panel$1,300–$3,000
Wiring a 220/240-V outlet$200–$400
Working on a light fixture$150–$900

Electrician Cost by License Type

Professional electricians charge based on their licensing, which is generally determined by their experience level. There are also professional exams that test electricians’ knowledge of building codes. We’ll explain the different licenses in the next section, but here are the average hourly rates by license type.

ProjectHourly Cost
Apprentice electrician$40–$60
Journeyman electrician$60–$90
Master electrician$90–$120

Electrician Cost by Home Size

Any large-scale home improvement project involving rewiring requires an electrician. Though electricians don’t typically charge by the square foot, larger areas cost more because it takes longer to complete the job. Wiring for new construction is easier than rewiring existing homes because there’s less to work around. New wiring costs $3–$5 per square foot on average while rewiring costs $6–$10 per square foot.

Square FootageNew Wiring CostRewiring Cost
800$2,400–$4,000$4,800–$8,000
1,000$3,000–$5,000$6,000–$10,000
1,200$3,600–$6,000$7,000–$12,000
1,500$4,500–$7,500$9,000–$15,000
2,000$6,000–$10,000$12,000–$20,000
2,200$6,600–$11,000$13,200–$22,000
2,500$7,500–$12,500$15,000–$25,000
3,000$9,000–$15,000$18,000–$30,000

Compare Quotes from Electricians in Your State

 


Types of Electricians

Professional electrician licensure varies by state, but there are some themes in pricing and experience level. Below, we outline the three types of electricians.

Apprentice

The most basic level of licensure is the apprentice electrician. An apprentice has completed their classroom work and about 8,000 hours of field training. Not all states grant licensure to apprentices, but it’s expected that apprentice electricians will only perform small tasks and work under the supervision of someone more senior. They charge the lowest rate at $40–$60 per hour.

Journeyman

All states recognize journeyman electricians who have completed an apprenticeship and passed a journeyman test. Journeyman electricians can perform most electrical work and don’t need to work under supervision. They charge between $60 and $90 per hour.

Licensed Master

A master electrician has worked as a journeyman electrical contractor for at least two years and passed a master electrician exam. They must be familiar with the most recent National Electrical Code and able to design systems to meet it. Because they charge the most—between $90 and $120 per hour—it’s best to hire them for only the most complex projects, such as rewiring historic buildings or planning and designing your home’s electrical system.


Additional Cost Factors for Electricians

While the type of work and license are the most significant determinants for electrical costs, a few other things may factor in as well.

  • Accessibility: The job will take longer and cost more if the electrical wiring, panel, or fixture that needs work is difficult to access.
  • Emergency calls: An urgent service call, especially on a night or weekend, adds at least $100–$200 to the standard fee.
  • Hourly minimum: Most electricians have a minimum price for small jobs to make the travel time worth it. This is typically a flat rate equivalent to one to four hours.
  • Inspection: A simple safety inspection might cost $100–$150, but these are often included in whole-home inspections, totaling $200–$500.
  • Location: Electricians’ hourly rates are higher in areas where the cost of living is higher, such as New York or California. You may also be charged a travel fee if the electrician has to drive a long distance to get to you.
  • Permits: Installing new wiring or fixtures requires a permit costing anywhere from $75 for simple work to $900 for major rewiring on older homes.

Free Quote: Get your quote from an electrician today


DIY vs. Professional Electrician

Licensed electricians aren’t cheap, so you may wonder if you can perform electrical work yourself. It is possible for some small jobs, such as replacing a light switch, as long as you’re aware of the risks and shut off the power or disconnect from the power source before performing the work.

However, there’s a reason electricians must be licensed. Doing a poor job modifying an electrical system risks your safety while performing the work and the safety of anyone who uses that system afterward. You’ll also likely have problems selling your home if your work isn’t up to code.


Signs That You Need an Electrician

Sometimes, it may be obvious you have an electrical problem. In others, the problem may be gradual. Call an electrician if you notice one or more of the following signs:

  • Your circuit breaker trips repeatedly.
  • Your fuses keep blowing.
  • Appliances spark when you plug them in.
  • Your lights flicker.
  • There are buzzing or crackling noises coming from outlet receptacles.
  • Your home is older and unable to provide the power you need.
  • You need three-pronged outlets for your electronic devices.

How To Save on Electrician Costs

There are other ways to save on electrical work than attempting to do the job yourself.

  • Purchase your own fixtures, then hire a licensed electrician to install them. Buying directly from the electrician is more convenient but includes an upcharge.
  • When possible, wait until you have several small jobs and have them completed at once to save on hourly minimums and trip fees.
  • Protect your electrical system by avoiding overloading circuits or using appliances with bad wiring.
  • Update your circuit directory labels so your electrician doesn’t waste time trying to find the right one.
  • Clear out the area where your electrician will be working so they don’t have to spend time doing it themselves.
  • Unless you have a complex project, hire a journeyman electrician instead of a licensed master.

Most home warranties cover your home’s electrical system. These contracts don’t cover all types of damage, but repairs will be covered for the cost of the service fee if your electrical system malfunctions due to wear and tear.

Free Quote: Get your quote from an electrician today


Our Conclusion

You’ll need to hire a licensed electrician for all but the smallest electric jobs. This ensures the work is completed correctly and according to code. A professional can also help you get the proper permits for your job.

Professional electrical work can cost as little as $80 for simple jobs to more than $10,000 for home rewiring, but most tasks will set you back $150–$600. Electricians charge hourly, so anything you can do to save them time once they arrive at your home will save you money. 

Compare Quotes from Local Electricians
See how much your project will cost:

FAQs About Electrician Cost

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.