Poll: How Much Overtime Is Common for Electricians? (And How It Pays)

Electricians are well-known for earning a decent living. Many electricians, however, supplement their monthly salary by working overtime, and some more than others. This article will describe the opportunities and rules for electricians working overtime. But what is most common, and how many overtime hours does the average electrician work per month?

According to a poll of 461 electricians, 75% of them report working 1-20 hours of overtime on a monthly basis. 25% of electricians don’t work any overtime hours at all. However, approximately one-fifth of them work 21 hours or more every month in overtime.

Working overtime as an electrician is a great way to supplement your income. Overtime hours is also more lucrative than an electrician’s standard hourly wage (which is also federally mandated in the United States). Because not all professions provides the same opportunity to supplement one’s income, it is regarded as one of the advantages of becoming an electrician. But what is most common, is it expected of you, and is it acceptable to say no to overtime? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this article.

How Much Overtime Do Electricians Work?

As an electrician, I have worked overtime hours in smaller increments of time rather than over longer periods. In most cases, I was asked if I was interested in participating ahead of time. But I’ve also stayed longer on projects in order to complete them on the same day. In both cases, I never felt compelled or forced to say yes. An added benefit is that, In my current employment situation, overtime in most cases pays out twice as much in hourly wages. And on average, I’ve worked somewhere around 5-10 hours of overtime on a monthly basis.

The following poll shows an overall average of how much overtime electricians work on a monthly basis. The results are based on 461 responses from electricians in different industries and sectors.

Overtime (Hours Per Month)RespondentsPercentage
21 or more9921

To begin with, 25% of electricians report not working any overtime at all. For some, this is a conscious strategy and choice. Many electricians do the basic necessities and are perfectly content with their decision. The following respondent of the survey explains the decision not to work overtime for a reason that I believe is the general consensus among this group of electricians.

I try to work as little overtime as possible. I work to live, not live to work. Once I top out I don’t plan on working any more hours.

Survey Respondent

On the other end of the spectrum, is the majority of electricians, with 75 % responding to work some amount of overtime hours on a monthly basis. 23 % are working overtime between 1-5 hours and 31 percent are bringing home an extra paycheck with overtime worked between 6 and 20 hours. Electricians work overtime for a variety of reasons. However, the most obvious benefit is to bring home some extra cash each month. If you struggle financially, extra hours for an electrician can also be a golden opportunity to make ends meet.

50 hours a week is what I need to make ends meet for my family. It’s also necessary to keep up the work. I’m an electrician in residential solar. The solar industry often has brutal hours.

Survey Respondent

The biggest paychecks due to overtime are brought home by 21 % of the electricians who are working 21 hours or more (it just so happened to be the case). Some choose to do overtime willingly for that extra cash, and some do it out of bare necessity, as the previous respondent layed out.

How Much Does Overtime Pay For Electricians?

The average hourly wage for electricians is currently $29.59. By converting this to the federally mandated overtime standards, an electrician should at least be earning $44.38 per hour working overtime.

As a rule of thumb, workers in the United States (including electricians) are required by law to be paid at least one and a half times their standard hourly wage. We can make a qualified estimate of how much an electrician gets paid more by working only 5 more hours a week. The table below compares the salaries of an electrician who does not work overtime to one who does.

An electrician average salary$ 4734 per month
An electrician average salary + 20 hours overtime$ 5621 per moneth

Important: Electricians in the United States are beholden to federally mandated minimum overtime hourly wages. Different states, however, may have their own specific guidelines and regulations governing overtime work for electricians.

Also Read: What type of electrician earn the most amount of money?

How Much Overtime Is Expected of Electricians?

The answer to this question is mostly determined by your employer’s expectations and requirements. If you’ve been working on a project with a deadline, it’s common practice to put in those extra hours to satisfy both the customer and your employer. In my own experience, I’ve only ever stayed longer maybe four or five times due to this reason. I was never forced to stay, but I wanted to put in those extra hours to get it done.

Key takeaway: According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), there is no upper limit to the number of hours, employees (aged 16 or older) can work on a weekly basis. The same act also states, that your employer can require you to work overtime if necessary. You are also required by law to receive one and a half times your standard hourly wage by working overtime.

Why You Should Learn to Say No

Peer pressure can be felt if you have been working on a project with a group of people for some time. If you are the type of person who strives to please everyone, this could quickly become an unhealthy habit. As a necessary consequence, the ability to say no is something that must be learned.

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

I personally know an electrician who consistently takes on overtime projects and even night shifts because he lacks the ability to put his foot down. I suspect that some employers may take advantage of weaker employees who have difficulty saying no to superiors. Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to prioritize your own health, both mentally and physically. Overtime work, on the other hand, could be a valuable resource for electricians if you’re up for the challenge (and the extra money).