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Fin-ish Fantasy ('93)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Grandpa is a retired Master Electrician from the Austin area. We were having a conversation about electrical work the other day as I do some on the side since I was trained in it from high school on up. I am thinking that I would like to switch over to that trade once I get fed up good with the computers I work on every day.

My question is this. What is the hourly rate an electrician would charge on his own and what is the rate one would be billed out at by their company? I am hoping to gather some info from the Austin area. Residential or commercial is fine, I am just trying to get a feel for if it is an option. If you could PM me, that would be great!
 

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Most companies are billing $50-$65 per hour for their commercial service electricians in Houston. The biggest problem is finding companies that are willing to do small (1-3 hour) service calls. Many of the companies have dropped their service companies or don't do small service jobs.

Finding one when you need one is also a problem. Our backlog is running about 5-7 days before we can make a service call. And of course an existing customer takes precedence over a new customer.

Right now, finding good electricians is a big challenge for most all electircal contractors in Houston.

Good luck in whatever you choose.
 

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Going into the electrical contracting business (or any business for that matter) is a decision that must be carefully thought out. Many a good electrician has thrown out his shingle only to find out there is much more to running a business than there is to running the wire. First you have to get the license (the days of having a "leased license" are pretty much over. Then the contractors license (required by our good friends at TDLR.) If you are going to operate in Austin, you have the local union to deal with. And you haven't billed the first hour yet. Then comes insurance, a building (watch out for deed restrictions,) and vehicles. Oh yeah, then finding some qualified, dependable help. Don't let the union fool you, they don't have them either. $50-60 dollars an hour sounds like great money, but when you factor in the true and hidden costs of running a business, you will find the margins slim and you won't have much room for the occasional customer that won't pay or for the bid that you missed something on.
I am not trying to rain on your dream, just go in with your eyes wide open.
A great book to read is "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber. It will give you many things to consider and set you on the path to success. GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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Fin-ish Fantasy ('93)
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Runway...thanks. Me and my Grandpa discussed some of this type stuff today. I am probably not looking to become a contractor, and after seeing the amount of hours experience you have to have nowdays to even sit for the test, probably don't care to do much with it. I guess I will do a small job here or there when it is interesting and leave it at that, unless a few Masters I know around town need some weekend help from time to time and I can count that as apprentice time. It will take forever on weekends though.

2 solid years experience to even test for wireman is a joke I think. I am sure tha **** unions had something to do with that piece of state code though. They ruin every thing they touch. Look at the phone company. 4 hours with 6 breaks to turn a switch from 100 miles away on a computer. No wonder US auto makers are going out of business. (Sorry if I am offending any union folks, but the unions need to go ahead and move on back up to the east coast where idiots are used to paying 5 times what something is worth.)
 

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Gone Fishing
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Aggieangler said:
Runway...thanks. Me and my Grandpa discussed some of this type stuff today. I am probably not looking to become a contractor, and after seeing the amount of hours experience you have to have nowdays to even sit for the test, probably don't care to do much with it. I guess I will do a small job here or there when it is interesting and leave it at that, unless a few Masters I know around town need some weekend help from time to time and I can count that as apprentice time. It will take forever on weekends though.

2 solid years experience to even test for wireman is a joke I think. I am sure tha **** unions had something to do with that piece of state code though. They ruin every thing they touch. Look at the phone company. 4 hours with 6 breaks to turn a switch from 100 miles away on a computer. No wonder US auto makers are going out of business. (Sorry if I am offending any union folks, but the unions need to go ahead and move on back up to the east coast where idiots are used to paying 5 times what something is worth.)
Dang I went 5 years. and that was just to learn what is need to respect and learn how it works.. Then you need to know how to approach such a power to creatively work with it. Electricity can kill...
 

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Fin-ish Fantasy ('93)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am not saying that you shouldn't be careful and educated, but when you grow up doing it side by side with Pros on the weekends and during the summer, you learn most things. The most important thing I have learned is to respect it. I have seen guys blown off ladders and stuff like that. No probs with making folks get an education.
 
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