Industry sector:

Electrician: Your work rate


Assuming that you get a fairly steady stream of work, the amount you can earn depends partly on the number of days you work and the length of your working day.

You may decide to stick to normal business hours, for example 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday and perhaps Saturday mornings, or alternate Saturdays. Or you may decide to work longer hours - perhaps working long hours when your services are in demand and taking time off during quieter periods.

Some electricians offer a 24-hour emergency call out service. If you intend to offer this, you need to make sure that you can provide cover at all times. You might decide to team up with another electrician to share responsibility for emergency calls.

As an experienced electrician, you should have an idea how long certain types of jobs will take you. It is very important when quoting for a job that you can make an accurate estimate of how long it will take. It's no good quoting for three days work if it ends up taking you five!

The speed at which you work depends on your own skills and experience and on the type and standard of the work that you do. Your charges should reflect all of these things.

Non-productive time

Unfortunately, not all of every working day will be spent earning money. Here are a few examples of reasons why you may sometimes find yourself working hard but earning nothing:

  • visiting sites to cost new work
  • finishing off jobs that take longer than you had thought (possibly due to unforeseen problems)
  • re-doing faulty work
  • travelling to and from jobs, or to get tools or materials from a supplier
  • repairing tools or vehicles

Sometimes you may find that you are unable to work at all, because:

  • you are waiting for materials to be delivered
  • another contractor is behind with their part of the job
  • a vital tool or piece of equipment is broken, or your van is out of action
  • you are ill

Seasonality

Depending on the type of work that you carry out, you may find that business is much busier at certain times of the year than at others. For example, new building work, maintenance and improvements are often done in the spring and summer - so these may be your busiest months.

Take all of these factors into account when estimating the maximum number of productive hours that you can work each month.