What Hours Do Electricians Work

If you become an electrician, what would be your working hours?

What would be your schedule?

While the average American works 47 hours a week, would you have to work more or less than that?

In the following article, we will talk about the average workweek of an electrician.

Also, we will cover some factors that can influence the electrician’s work hours.

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Mostly the Workweek Is Forty Hours

Mostly, electricians work a normal 8-hour day.

Their schedule can be a 9-to-5, but often it can start earlier.

So many electricians start their day at 6 or 7 or 8 am.

Annually, those hours amount to around 1,800 to 2,080 hours.

Federal employees usually work 2,087 hours annually.

This number can be higher since many electricians can work overtime.

However, on average, the hours per year are between those two estimated numbers.

So, in simple terms, the working hours of electricians are similar to the rest of the world in business.

However, some aspects can add or reduce the working hours a week, which are listed below.

Hours Depend on Where You Work

Electricians work in a variety of locations under different work agreements.

Some electricians work for a certain facility or company (e.g., a hospital).

They may have a set schedule and work 40 hours a week.

Others may have to work in various locations, so the hours will be different from one job to another.

Sometimes, hours per week will still be required, and sometimes, you may have to work more.

Both electricians who work standard and odd hours can make a decent living.

However, one will have a minimum of hours every week while another one will have hours depending on the job.

Hours Also Depend on Location

In some parts of the country, there is more work for electricians, and they may work over 2,000 hours a year.

In other regions, it can be harder to find work.

The availability of work depends on many factors, such as geographical location, and the strength of the local and national economies.

For this reason, many electricians travel for work, which can be a great option leading to better job prospects.

Those jobs usually come with great overtime hours and can be quite profitable.

Union Electrician Work Hours vs. Open Shop Electrician Work Hours

One of the advantages of being a union electrician is that the union will negotiate your working hours.

They guarantee a certain number of hours per week, and any overtime hours will be paid at a negotiated rate.

Usually, overtime is paid at a time-and-a-half rate.

Union jobs can be more long-term since they are usually much larger in scale.

Non-union (open shop) employed electricians have their benefits as well.

Open shops can negotiate work with more flexibility, so there can be more overtime options.

Also, since the non-union shops often perform smaller jobs that are finished faster, it can be easier to find work during the down-time periods between jobs.

In both instances, the workweek is usually 40 hours.

The “generally accepted” idea is, though, that non-union electricians can work more hours but at a lower hourly rate, while union electricians get fewer hours, but earn a higher rate.

Other Factors

There are some factors that can provide for more or fewer hours per week, including:

Weather Conditions

Due to the weather work opportunities can become unpredictable.

If you work outdoors, the job can get delayed because of fog, rain, sleet, or snow.

Maintenance Jobs

Mostly, the work is done during standard hours, but some maintenance jobs can be done while facilities are closed and other workers aren’t there.


Similar to other construction trades, sometimes systems can go down, and experts will be required to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Sometimes it can happen during your shift or in the middle of the night.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 9% of electricians in the US are self-employed.

Working like that, you can have more flexible hours and choose your own schedule.

Running a small business, though, brings a lot of responsibilities.

Most business owners work more than 40 hours a week.

You can increase your income, but for that, you would have to seek new business, maintain business relations, and advertise your services.

All this requires time and adds on to the regular electrical work that has to be done.

Work Hours of Apprentice Electricians

Apprentice electricians usually work the same 40 hours as licensed electricians, but they have to dedicate additional hours to classes.

Apprentices need to meet a requirement for a specific number of hours per you to complete each stage of apprenticeship.

Additionally, they have to complete a certain number of classroom hours.

In some programs, classes take only one day per week, in others, classes take place at night after the day shift.

“Down” Times

Sometimes, between jobs, there can be downtime which can affect the number of your working hours per year.

It may happen while an electrician is waiting for the job to be assigned to them by the union, or when work in the open shop has dried up.

In some areas in the US, it rarely happens while in others it can be common.


We hope you have a better idea of the working hours of electricians now.

Unlike the standard 9-5 hours in most office jobs, there are a lot of factors that can influence the workweek of an electrician.

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Get information on Electrician programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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