How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Electrician Per Task
Hiring an electrician averages between $150 and $500, though your bill largely depends on the type of job, the length of the job, and the overall complexity of the work. Here are the costs of many common jobs that require a professional electrician.
Installing an Outlet
Installing a standard electrical outlet costs around $200. Since most electricians charge by the hour and often charge a minimum fee per visit, save money by having multiple outlets installed at once or include the outlet as part of a larger series of electrical tasks. Outdoor outlets cost extra, at around $300 a pop, as do larger 220-volt outlets intended for appliances like washers and dryers.
Replacing a Light Switch
Replacing a traditional light switch costs between $85 to $200, with a low of $60 and a high of $300. The cost varies according to type, as standard light switches cost less than double switches, dimmer switches, or timer switches. Smart switch installation also costs more than standard switches, at around $85 to $150 each. USB switches are easy to install, so you’ll only pay a few more bucks for the part.
Installing Transfer Switches
Transfer switches go near your home’s main breaker and direct power from a portable or standby generator to energy-hungry appliances. Hiring a pro to install a transfer switch costs between $200 to $400, though the distance from the home impacts the overall price.
Replacing a Circuit Breaker Box
The circuit breaker box and its various electrical panels operate as the heart of your entire electrical system. Replacing a circuit breaker box costs $1,150 on average, with a range of $500 to $1,800 depending on the type of box, the overall amperage, and the job’s complexity. Older circuit breaker boxes are a fire hazard, so be sure to replace your box or electrical panels every 25 to 40 years.
Installing Ceiling Fans
Installing a standard ceiling fan costs $250 on average and typically runs between $140 to $350, though complex installations creep up to $600. Also, adding wiring and a switch to the fan costs another $150 to $500.
Installing Light Fixtures
Installing specialized light fixtures: $150 to $900
Recessed lighting: $150 to $230 per fixture
Ceiling lights: $90 to $230 per fixture
Track lighting: $100 to $250
Outdoor lighting project: $2,000 to $6,000
Rewiring a Whole House
This is the big one. Rewiring an entire home costs between $1,500 to $10,000, depending on the size of the house and the complexity of the job. Pros charge by the square foot for these jobs, so you’ll pay $2 to $4 per square foot of necessary wiring. In other words, you’ll pay between $4,000 to $8,000 to rewire a 2,000-square-foot home from scratch.
How Much Do Electricians Charge for Labor?
In most cases, electricians charge by the hour. Hiring a qualified pro costs $50 to $100 per hour, and most electricians will let you know how long a project takes before arranging an estimate. Of course, this estimate is not set in stone and will vary depending on any obstacles or unforeseen hurdles that pop up during the job. The first hour of any electrical job costs more than subsequent hours, at around $150. Also, hiring an electrician for an emergency visit tends to double the hourly rate to $100 to $200.
You’ll save on this hourly rate by choosing an apprentice or journeyman electrician, as master electricians charge the highest premiums, thanks to their experience level.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Hiring an Electrician?
There are some additional factors to consider when pricing out potential electricians.
Electricians charge an hourly minimum, even if the job takes 30 minutes or less. This required minimum varies depending on the electrician but count on paying anywhere from one to four hours of labor no matter how much time the job requires. This is why it is always a good idea to wrap as many electrical jobs as possible into one visit.
Electricians also charge you a trip fee on top of the hourly rate. This trip fee averages $25 to $75 and, in some cases, folds into the increased cost for the first hour of labor.
Hiring an electrician in a big city, such as Denver or New York, is more expensive than hiring one in a rural area. Urban electricians charge $100 or more per hour, while rural electricians charge around $50 per hour, though this varies from pro to pro. Though rural electricians are cheaper by the hour, you’ll often pay an increased trip fee to factor in travel time.
Permits, Inspections, and Safety Codes
Minor electrical jobs, such as replacing a light switch, won’t require a permit or inspections, but more complex undertakings likely need both. For instance, rewiring a home often requires permits and safety inspections to avoid fire risks and other potential dangers. The cost of permits depends on your location but count on paying between $75 to $150 per permit. A safety inspection costs $100 to $125. If you are rewiring an old home, permits are more expensive, at $200 to $900.