The national average cost of hiring an electrician ranges from $150-$500 depending on your electrical project and how long the job will take. Electrical contractors typically charge by the hour, and the hourly rate for an electrician ranges $50-$100 an hour. Electrician costs vary depending on your location, material used, whether they need to bill for travel time or not and how long a job actually takes.
Whether you're replacing an old ceiling fan, installing a new light fixture or need additional electrical outlets in your bedroom, chances are, you're going to want to hire an electrician for your project instead of doing the job yourself. To help you estimate how much your electrical project will cost, this guide will break down common project prices and what's included in them.
What's in this cost guide?
- Common electrical problems
- How much do electricians charge by the hour?
- Electrician services pricing list
- Recessed lighting fixtures
- Hanging Chandeliers and Pendants
- Tips for hiring an electrician
Electricians can be hired to add electrical outlets, install a ceiling fan or an attic fan. They can troubleshoot a home's electrical system to fix shorts and blown circuit breakers. Electricians can rewire a room, an entire house or help with security systems and smart home additions.
Electricians are also qualified to install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) equipped outlets, which are safety devices designed to shut off power to an outlet when it senses an imbalance between the outgoing and incoming current.
For most projects, electricians charge by the hour with an average rate of $50-$100/hour nationwide. Most projects only take a couple of hours and many pros have a minimum service fee for electrical jobs.For lighting jobs, pros sometimes charge by the light and not by the hour. Lighting projects include ceiling-mounted fixtures, recessed otherwise known as can fixtures, exterior fixtures, pendants, and chandeliers.
As with any home improvement job, different electrical services will cost different amounts, partially because of increased time and labor costs, and partially because of materials needed to complete it.
Recessed Lighting Fixtures (Cans): $130-$150 per Fixture
The national average price of recessed lighting installation is $130–$150 per fixture. The price includes the cost of the light fixture, labor, travel, and any additional materials or hardware. Recessed lighting, also called can lights or pot lights, are a popular type of fixture that's recessed into the ceiling with a nearly flush appearance. Most electricians and lighting contractors offer a package rate to provide a bulk installation discount for doing entire houses.
For rooms that are already pre-wired for lighting, S & S Electric and Residential Services in Rancho Cucamonga, California, charges $65–$85 per recessed light, including materials and labor. The company charges an additional $100–$125 per room for rooms without an existing electrical source. The price variations reflect a range for differences in ceiling height. If a pro is doing a job in a room that has not been pre-wired for lighting and has to install switches, the average price will be $75–$150 per switch.
Ray Marrow, the owner of NY Lite Design in New York City, starts his rates at $60 per fixture to install recessed lighting. Fixture costs for a basic can style light run about $15–$30 each, depending on the size and whether the lights are dimmable. Install pricing can go up depending on the complexity of the job. Pricing varies by state, so be sure to get a quote in your area to figure out the true cost of the job.
To use cans, a certain amount of space is needed above the ceiling - either an attic or a crawlspace. The housing or can of the fixture comes in two main types, Insulation Contact (IC) and Non-Insulation Contact.
Insulation contact (IC) housings are designed to come into contact with attic insulation safely without posing a fire hazard. Non-IC housings can only be used in locations where there are at least three inches of separation from any insulation and the can.
Most recessed lighting fixtures feature a self-resetting thermal switch as a safety feature to prevent overheating, but it's still a good idea to select the right kind of housing. IC fixtures typically cost a few dollars more than non-ICs.
Housings are also categorized for installation in new construction or remodeling projects. New construction fixtures cost about 30 percent less than those intended for remodels.
Hanging chandeliers and pendants
Because chandeliers and pendants include making calculations for how high the light will hang, the ceiling height in the room influences the cost factor. Some ceilings are pre-wired which helps defray the costs.
Here are two examples of costs for installation of hanging lights from S & S Electric and Residential Services:
- Standard, lightweight, pendant light on a 10- to 12-foot ceiling over a dining room table = $95.
- 300-piece crystal chandelier hanging from an 8.5-foot ceiling requiring four workers to assemble and hang the fixture = $500.
Keep in mind that the electrician's total bill will have additional costs built into the hourly rates quoted to cover insurance and overhead. The actual hourly wage paid to the workers is less than the quoted hourly labor rate. Always ask for free estimates when pricing electrical work and get more than one quote. States vary for licensing as well, so be sure to grab a quote from a Thumbtack pro in your area today.