Do You Tip an Electrician? (a Quick Etiquette Guide)

We all know that it’s polite to tip the waiter or waitress when you go out to eat with a friend or colleague. It’s standard practice, and over time this has led to the “proper etiquette” for tipping at restaurants. Not tipping almost always means you’re being rude. But what about electricians coming into the comfort of your own home to do work for you? Should you tip them soo?

It’s not common for electricians to receive a tip from residential customers. And in my opinion, you shouldn’t tip your electrician coming to your house in most cases. They’re already charging a fixed price for technical and specialized work, so there’s really nothing else to compensate for.

Should You Tip Electricians?

First of all, it’s worth noting that some electricians do not accept tips as it may be against their company policy. This means that if you want to give a tip, consider asking first whether they accept it or not. This also points to the fact, that it’s not generally customary to tip electricians. However, in some cases, it may be considered appropriate. If an electrician performs work above and beyond what is normally expected or provides excellent service, then a tip may be received gladly.

Working as an electrician for three years, I’ve never received any tips from customers. As a natural consequence, I’m never expecting one, and would never think twice about not receiving tips from residential or commercial customers.

A guiding rule of thumb for those who really want to tip an electrician is to give an extra $20-49 if you feel the person did an excellent job. However, even in those cases, you shouldn’t feel guilty for not providing a tip to the electrician. And you should certainly not feel obligated in any way. They have done their job and will happily leave the house with the fixed price agreed upon for their work.

How Much (And How Often) Do Electricians Get Tipped?

Not all electricians are equally lucky in their chances of getting tipped by residential customers. I wanted to figure out what the experiences were from other electricians. As such, I did the most obvious thing, I could think of; making a survey with different ranges of how much electricians have previously been tipped by residential customers. The survey was sent out and received over 200 replies, with the following quite interesting results.

$ 1-19167.5
$ 20-494822.5
$ 50-99209.5
$ 100-199188.5
$ 200+178
I’ve Never Been Tipped9243.5

Almost half of them responded having never received any tip whatsoever. I wouldn’t see this as rather surprising, as this is also my experience. However, we do see a large group of almost one-fourth of electricians who have been given a tip in the range of $20-49. In the somewhat unheard of cases, 17 electricians have done such a great job, the customers decided to hand them a $200 tip and above.

Key takeaway: The most common dollar amount in the form of a tip, being received by electricians, belongs in the range of $20-49. More than half of electricians have collected extra money for their work. However, the other half of electricians have never been tipped by a residential customer.

I’ve done some work on a program to install new thermostats in low-income housing, I’ve been offered cash tips ($20) which I decline. But I have been given $5 gift cards for a Tims coffee, which I’ve accepted, and really appreciate.

Survey Respondent, Electrician

The respondents of the survey have various differences in experience, which should also be taken into account. With more experience comes more opportunity, which will make the chances of receiving a tip much higher over time. An interesting observation is also, that a majority of electricians have actually been given a tip at some point in their career (regardless of the amount received). If you were to compare this survey of electricians with one of the waiters, you would most likely have no one responding to never receiving any tip.

When Is It Appropriate to Tip an Electrician?

If you really feel like your electrician did exceptional work, then by all means pay him/her a little extra for their hard work. If you’re unsure if they deserve a tip just ask yourself this question: “Would I give this person a nice tip if they offered me the same extra help, expertise, and care in another service job?” If the answer is yes, then I’d go ahead and give them one. It’s also important to note that most electricians are paid quite well for their job so don’t feel pressured into giving them something if you didn’t feel like their service was top notch.

Remember that there’s no obligation to tip electricians. Even if we go above and beyond. However, electricians always appreciate a customer’s general hospitality. And we really also appreciate a black cup of coffee.

Also Read: Do electricians work mostly alone or with others?

The answer to the question also depends on several possible factors, including the amount of work involved and whether you’re especially satisfied with the electrician’s performance. If the service is simple, such as an outlet repair, you might not feel the need to tip. However, if the service was more complex, such as rewiring an entire room or moving heavy appliances to access an outlet, an electrician wouldn’t be “offended” by receiving a tip “per se”.

What You Do Is Completely up to You

When answering the question “should you tip an electrician” we should also consider the culture of the specific country in question. Some countries may have other traditions and practices for tradesmen doing work. And in some places of the world, it might even be considered standard practice. The world is vast with many varying traditions, which might be a good idea to also take into account.

Also Read: How much overtime is common for electricians?

However, with all this being said, in my opinion (also backed up by the survey), it is by no means a common practice to tip an electrician. You should only do what you’re comfortable with. If you’re really happy with the work of an electrician, and this person really did go above and beyond to implement the best solution, by all means, go ahead. But the key thing to remember from this article is that “a hot cup of coffee really does come a long way“.