How to Price Electrical Work

Updated February 21, 2017

An electrician is a highly educated individual who undergoes a rigorous training regimen through an apprenticeship program. The years involved in training are necessary to learn the technical and safety aspects of the trade. Once you have obtained your journeyman license and strike out on your own, you -- as an independent contractor -- must learn about pricing. Many electricians charge flat rates that are locally competitive. As a beginner, break down each job to understand the costs before setting your prices.

Meet with the prospective client. Discuss the project and look at the job site.

Measure every part of the project. Take detailed notes about every step of the job.

Break down the project into parts. Write out the number of wires, receptacles, pieces of conduit and fixtures needed.

Outline the unseen incidentals involved with the project. Such items include wire nuts, electrical tape, conduit fittings and anything else that you will need to get the job done.

Review your list. Add the price of drywall board, tape and compound to your list for any areas that you will need to tear out and replace. Screws, sanding screens, primer and paint must be taken into account.

Add your expenses. Multiply that sum by 250 per cent to account for labour and incidentals such as fuel and wear and tear on your tools. This amount is your bid price.

Check your materials list and your math. Compare your final bid price to local industry standards. Contact your local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for up-to-date versions of these figures. Adjust your bid price so that it is no more than 25 per cent higher or lower than the local average.


Underbidding will destroy your business. Overbidding will cost you the project.

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About the Author

After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.