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How to earn above market rates as a qualified electrician

As the founder of electricianXchange and as someone who’s followed this industry over many years, I get asked this question often:

How do I earn above market rates? How do I increase my annual salary?

Let’s look at the scenario for an A-Grade Electrician in search for work in the domestic space with an electrical contractor on a permanent full time basis in Melbourne as an example.

The “market rate” as per Seek is $60,000 to $80,000 per annum.




$60,000 per annum for a fully qualified A-Grade Electrician in Melbourne is just painful to see.

At 1,850 hours in a year this equates to $32.43 per hour.

For an A-Grade undergoing four years of training – both academic + on-the-job, then an LEA exam, being licenced and from next year having to do continuing professional education each year to continue to be licenced - earning at this level is sub-standard.

If there are any A-Grades earning at this level, then for a start they need to seriously start looking elsewhere. This is the bottom of the barrel.

Having dealt with lots of electricians, those worth their salt are not even close to this hourly number. The lowest I have seen A-Grades agreeing to recently is $36 per hour and it goes up to $50 per hour for a standard A-Grade and $60/hr for an A-Grade with solar experience.

But how does one earn closer to the $50-$60/hour rather than the $36 per hour which is the absolute bare minimum?

Firstly; by turning up to work on time, every time.

There are a few A-Grades I’ve seen who’ve said they will turn up for an interview or even turn up to start work – but they do not show up or do not inform the proposed employer with sufficient notice after they’ve accepted the role.

Now any employer worth their salt will do a ref check before taking someone on and if they call and the referee being called, cannot give you a good account, you will find it hard to earn at the upper end of that range. Just doing what you say and saying what you do is a good principle to have.

Secondly start to become indispensable to your employer – so much so that they’d loath having you leave. And this means being courteous given it’s a service oriented industry electricians operate within.

Of course it’s a given that you are technically proficient and get better as each day passes in what is the basics of being an A-Grade which is your technical ability.

But it’s the softer skills which will allow you to earn and remain at the higher end of the rate band.

So sign-up to electricianXchange to see what employers will pay for your services especially if your existing employer is taking you for granted despite you doing everything right.

It is easy to create your work profile through electricianXchange. Just go to Then register, log in and spend the 3-5 minutes needed to create your work profile through which employers can locate you. It’s a direct employment market-place for electrician WITHOUT any labour hire companies, recruiters or job boards involved. This means less taken away from you by intermediaries and a direct dialogue with genuine employers who are interested in paying market rates which you rightfully deserve.

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