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Electricians install, maintain and repair electrical systems and wiring in commercial and residential buildings. Some install new electrical equipment and wiring for new construction sites. A union electrician is a member of one of multiple Illinois labor unions in locations throughout the state. In May 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the wages for electricians in Illinois.
Most electricians start their career by entering a union-sponsored apprenticeship program. Some obtain vocational training in high school to increase apprenticeship opportunities. Illinois was one of five states with the highest levels of employment of electricians in the United States, with 22,940 employed in 2010. The average salary was $68,430 per year.
Salaries for electricians vary based on their experience. Among those employed in Illinois, the 50th percentile earned $70,560 per year. The salary ranged from $40,230 to $92,900 per year, including the bureau’s 10th through 90th percentiles. The 25th percentile earned $53,220 per year, and the 75th percentile earned $83,610 per year.
Many unions negotiate hourly wages and overtime wages for electricians. The average hourly wage was $32.90 in Illinois. Hourly wages ranged from $19.34 to $44.66 per hour, including the Bureau’s 10th through 90th percentiles. Average overtime wages, which are typically 1.5 times the hour wage, were $49.35 per hour.
Among 18 metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas in Illinois, the highest levels of employment of electricians were in the Chicago area, where the average salary was $71,260 per year, or $34.26 per hour. The highest wages in the state were also in Chicago region. In Champaign, the average salary was $68,640 per year, or $33 per hour, and in Springfield, the average salary was $65,590 per year, or $31.53 per hour. Among the nonmetropolitan areas, electricians in the northwest region of the state earned an average salary of $62,770 per year, or $30.18 per hour, and in the east central region, the average salary was 460,940 per year, or $29.30 per hour. In the southern region, the average salary was $55,830 per year, or $26.84 per hour.