In order to become an electrician, students complete apprenticeships, which involve a combination of 144 hours of classroom instruction per year with hands-on job training, explains the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While getting experience, apprentice electricians also receive a salary.
As of December 2009, the average annual salary for an apprentice electrician was $18 per hour, according to Payscale.com. Based on a 40 hour work week, that translates to an annual salary of roughly $37,440.
Apprentice electricians with one to four years of experience in the field average hourly wages of $10 or an annual wage of $20,800, according to December 2009 reporting on Payscale.com. Those with five to nine years of experience average $19.18 or $39,894.
Generally, apprentices receive 30 to 50 percent of the wages earned by experienced electricians, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those with experience, such as vocational technical training or work history as an electrician's assistant, often earn higher salaries.
Electricians who complete their apprenticeships through labor unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers may receive higher wages than other apprentices as well as other benefits like health insurance. In exchange for the union bargaining on behalf of the apprentice's employers, the apprentice pays monthly membership dues to the union.
After completing an apprenticeship, electricians earned average salaries of $49,890 in May 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest paid 10 percent of electricians earned as much as $79,420.
2016 Salary Information for Electricians
Electricians earned a median annual salary of $52,720 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, electricians earned a 25th percentile salary of $39,570, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $69,670, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 666,900 people were employed in the U.S. as electricians.