$25 an hour electrician?

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kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
my experience has been that if my price is ridiculously low, i won't
get work, 'cause i don't value myself enough to charge enough to
support myself on. who would know my worth better than i?
and if i consider myself worthless, how on earth am i going to
convince anyone else otherwise? lie to myself and them?

.
You will also convince the cheapskates that you are worthless as compared to the rest of the trade, and also affordable. Then they get upset with the poor job you did, or when they find out what was not included or whatever.

A guy that charges half the labor rate but takes twice as long costs them the same in the end, yet they still think they got a deal.

They guy that charges twice as much but brings two guys and gets done in half the time costs the same in the end also, but he is ripping people off.
 

haskindm

Senior Member
Location
Maryland
If you will be happy with $25 per hour, by all means ask for it, but get it by working for someone else. They can pay you $25 per hour + Vacation time, + sick leave, + retirement, + health insurance, + rent for a building, + salary for a bookkeeper, + unemployment insurance, + Workman's comp insurance, + a little profit to pay for warranty claims etc. If you charge a customer $25 per hour you are actually paying the customer for the privilege of doing work for them. Wake up and smell the coffee; being in business for yourself is an expensive proposition.
 

jmsbrush

Senior Member
Location
Central Florida
If you will be happy with $25 per hour, by all means ask for it, but get it by working for someone else. They can pay you $25 per hour + Vacation time, + sick leave, + retirement, + health insurance, + rent for a building, + salary for a bookkeeper, + unemployment insurance, + Workman's comp insurance, + a little profit to pay for warranty claims etc. If you charge a customer $25 per hour you are actually paying the customer for the privilege of doing work for them. Wake up and smell the coffee; being in business for yourself is an expensive proposition.
Excellent post!!!!!
 

ZZDoug

Member
Location
North Dakota
I would say that $25 an hour itself is close to what overhead costs for the little guy are. Depends on where you are and your situation, but I can't see how anyone could operate legitimately for less than 15 or 20. Health insurance alone is roughly $5 an hour, social security taxes are 14% instead of 7, then insurance tools transportation etc. People who ask questions like this are always ignorant about business, and there are two ways to learn. You can either listen and think about all the responses here, or you can learn the way most people do - the hard way.
 

CopperTone

Senior Member
Location
MetroWest, MA
after thinking about it I kinda changed my thinking.

At $25 an hour for 40 hours a week that's $1,000 a week that would be good for me. I don't have kids, don't own a home, don't have expensive toys and pretty much live my life happily with very little by choice. I can very easily live off of $500 a week. So if I made $1,000 a week I would take $500 for living expenses and the other $500 back into my business.

I'm at $50 an hour right now but I'm lucky if I work more then 2 days a week sometimes. At $25 an hour I could and most guys could get tons of work for sure. I rather stay busy all week then sit around looking at my tools wishing i was working. I'm just thinking about this not sure If I would do this.

Thoughts? Comments?
If you gross $1000/week, how about taxes? gas, insurances, license and code update fees, workers comp, retirement fund, health insurance, office expenses, vehicle repair, cell phone, internet,
I can type all night.

That alone could be $25/hr. Better not plan on going on vacation ever, don't take holidays off, don't get sick, don't retire. don't own a house, don't have kids,
Again, I can type all night.
 

PetrosA

Senior Member
For $25 an hour, I'm not your electrician, I'm your employee.

Even if you tack 25% on materials and charge for supply runs you're still going to feel cheated when a better customer comes along and you have to turn them down because you've committed to replacing that porcelain pull chain in the closet at 948B Smokem Ct again because the crack-head tenant had a bad day at work and the level sensor for the septic pump at the house out on Red Necks Rd stopped working again so could you take a look at it and...
 

rgiraldo

Member
Location
FL
I had a call yesterday from my craigslist ad (yeah i know:lol:) from a property investment company. The lady said she is looking for a backup electrician because her main electrician is always busy now. She tells me he charges them $25 an hour and they have plenty of work for him. She says he runs a business and always busy. My first thought was no way in hell he is a business and only charges $25 an hour but after thinking about it I kinda changed my thinking.

At $25 an hour for 40 hours a week that's $1,000 a week that would be good for me. I don't have kids, don't own a home, don't have expensive toys and pretty much live my life happily with very little by choice. I can very easily live off of $500 a week. So if I made $1,000 a week I would take $500 for living expenses and the other $500 back into my business.

I'm at $50 an hour right now but I'm lucky if I work more then 2 days a week sometimes. At $25 an hour I could and most guys could get tons of work for sure. I rather stay busy all week then sit around looking at my tools wishing i was working. I'm just thinking about this not sure If I would do this.

Thoughts? Comments?

OK in this recession its a good idea not to let anything go. First how much work does she have your you?

Second if she can give you a steady 25 hour a week then just bring someone in at 15 bucks an hour and you should still be able to cover your overhead if you bill out 35 -40 an hour. Remember that the non-billible hours is what drives our hourly rates up.

However I don't know your overhead.

Also make sure that you have an arrangement on payment. Have your terms listed on invoice with contract printed in rear of sheet. Customers like this tend to hold on payment. Good luck
 

TobyD

Senior Member
There are many good posts on this thread I'd like to add one that was given too me.A wise old man told me this."It's one thing to be tired--and even more difficult to be tired and hungry".Of course he was speking about our trade and what all is involved with turning a profit.Keep in mind although you are self employed the company in which you are running has to maintain a reserve for all those hidden costs.
 

Joethemechanic

Senior Member
Location
Philly Pa burbs
Tell her to call Labor Ready, or Manpower and see what it costs to hire a laboror for a day, then get back to you.

Bottom like is she is very cheap, and is looking for someone who will ignore things like licenses and insurance.

You can't even use your pickup truck for commercial use without commercial insurance. So while you are running to the supply house or out on a call for her, you are not insured. What if you have a traffic accident?

This woman is looking to hire a drunk or a junkie who just wants to secure his "gettin high" money
 

KVA

Senior Member
Location
United States
It's funny that in Central Bucks, where I do a lot of work, we have the same prices as "expensive" parts of CA, both labor wise, and in real estate prices. Yet just up the road in upper Bucks, you can justify $25/hour. :eek: I've done work in Bedminster and Tinicum, and never felt the need to adjust my prices, nor have the customers balked at my pricing.

$25/hour doesn't come close to covering overhead.
I have never worked for $25 an hour this is just a discussion. I have worked all over Bucks which is my main territory. Yes Quakertown is a blue collar town and most can't afford the big guys like Lowry to come out. I have been at $50 an hour but I always charge flat rate. 90% of my work is residential and like 10% light commerical. The residential market is saturated in Bucks their are soo many electricians you can flag one down like a cab. I have 6 electricians within 2 miles of me in Perkasie.
 

sameguy

Senior Member
Location
New York
Occupation
Master Elec./JW retired
I like the get others to work for you; then you are open for good work and could fill in if needed. Get a contract for per man and new work or such.
 

growler

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,GA
The lady said she is looking for a backup electrician because her main electrician is always busy now. She tells me he charges them $25 an hour and they have plenty of work for him. She says he runs a business and always busy.

If the jobs are big enough to keep someone "busy" they are big enough for a quoted price. This is better than an hourly rate.

If these are small service call type jobs then you will starve to death at $25 an hour because you will still only bill 20-25 hours a week and expenses are high. They will want to buy their own materials so you won't get anything there either.
 
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