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  1. #1
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    Default What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Hi guys

    I'm about to go on my own as a contractor with 1 assistant.
    Have Wireman's licence.
    Im very undecided as to what I should charge per hour for myself and assistant.
    Keep in mind I'm hands on and will be doing the work myself. Minimal overheads at present.

    Those in the industry what is a fair, reasonable rate?
    200/h....350/h...?

    Would I charge same rate for a 5 hour job as for a 3 bedroom house from scratch?

    Any contractors here?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    Hi guys

    I'm about to go on my own as a contractor with 1 assistant.
    Have Wireman's licence.
    Im very undecided as to what I should charge per hour for myself and assistant.
    Keep in mind I'm hands on and will be doing the work myself. Minimal overheads at present.

    Those in the industry what is a fair, reasonable rate?
    200/h....350/h...?

    Would I charge same rate for a 5 hour job as for a 3 bedroom house from scratch?

    Any contractors here?
    My father in law had some electrical work done at his house. The rate per hour was R480...
    2007 Nissan Pathfinder LE 2.5dCI 4x4
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Per meter electrical wire, per fitting of a lamp, per fitting of a power point etc. You may find that easier than trying to fit everything into an hour or part thereof. If I get an invoice and it lists the items done I can see how much I am paying for each item, you will probably save yourself a lot of billing trouble.

    If you are wiring an entire house it is a good idea to break it down per group of items, ie. wiring per room, light fittings per room, light switches per room, power points per room, that way you can bill in increments and be paid while you are still doing the work. If you and the owner don't see eye to eye you would have been paid for the work done or at least you can bill for work completed, but if you say you've been on site for xx hours and asking for Rxx, you will never see any money.

    That's just my experience dealing with contractors.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    If you not charging travel separately then I would say 450/h is fair

  6. #5
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    One way to work it out or have a good idea of what is required is add up all expenses including the assistant, work out how many hours you can feasibly work in a day(often in an 8hr working day you may only be able to fit in 5 or 6 billable hours once all the driving, purchasing and other time overheads are factored in) times by 20 and then divide that into what you need to earn each month yourself + the aforementioned expenses to come to a rough idea of what you will need to charge per hour to come out at the end of the month.
    Last edited by Skylark; 2021/05/06 at 01:49 PM.

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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Phone a contractor and ask him to quote on one plug point, light point, stove point etc
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  9. #7
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    People won't like to here this but even at R500 per hour you will still stay poor.

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  11. #8
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    People won't like to here this but even at R500 per hour you will still stay poor.
    100%

  12. #9
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Just remember that your costs and what you need to break even is of NO CONCERN to a prospective client. Nothing, niks, nada.

    You can only charge what the market will bare, which is largely defined by what others in your area charge for the same service. If your costs or needs exceed going rate, something is wrong.

    To establish your business you may need to discount your rate somewhat at first.
    Cheers

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  14. #10
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    People won't like to here this but even at R500 per hour you will still stay poor.
    @plunger not quite sure what you mean?

    Thanks for replies. Suppose it will be trial and error initially. Win some lose some kind of scenario.

  15. #11
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    you have only 1 commodity to sell, and that is your time so make sure you charge properly for it. Travelling time is billable, you cant earn while driving to and from a customer.

    Also keep in mind your hourly rate includes your sick leave, down time, holiday time because you cannot bill those hours either.

    Do quality, honest work and most people will not complain to pay, and those that do you dont really want back as customers anyway

    good luck!
    Anton Muller
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    People won't like to here this but even at R500 per hour you will still stay poor.
    The problem is people go R500 x 8 hours a day x 21 working days = R84k and think its a lot and they are being screwed over.

    What they dont realise is that you are not guaranteed to work all those hours a day, its practically impossible to be fully booked. Even at 80% that number drops to R67k, now go pay your overheads (insurance, maintenance, fuel, tools etc etc) and pretty soon there is not much left to live on as you intimated.

    (no personal experience, just my observation having spoken to a number of people making a living charging their time out)
    Anton Muller
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  18. #13
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Just remember that your costs and what you need to break even is of NO CONCERN to a prospective client. Nothing, niks, nada.

    You can only charge what the market will bare, which is largely defined by what others in your area charge for the same service. If your costs or needs exceed going rate, something is wrong.

    To establish your business you may need to discount your rate somewhat at first.
    Absolutely!

  19. #14
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Phone a contractor and ask him to quote on one plug point, light point, stove point etc
    THIS!!
    Phone a few contractors for a quote, and hit the middle of the average.
    Cheers,
    John Kilfoil

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  21. #15
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Just do not sell yourself short. Include in your calculations your yearly holiday and bonuses for you and your staff. Do not fall into the trap that everyone prescribes to that cheaper is better. Walk away from cheapscates if you value and take pride in your work. Rather work fewer hours per day at a good rate than be rushed for little pay. Plunger and Fluffy have hit the nail on the head with their explanations.......mine i learnt the hard way. Good Luck out there. Remember you are the face of your business and in your game reputation is everything. Word of mouth marketing is king.
    Last edited by DavidT; 2021/05/06 at 09:29 PM.

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  23. #16
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Just find out what the average rate is in your area. You may find rates in jhb are more expensive than in smaller town away from jhb eg east london etc.
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  24. #17
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by plunger View Post
    People won't like to here this but even at R500 per hour you will still stay poor.
    I agree, you need to quote on a job and make sure you can deliver to make a profit. U ask a price and i pay that price. I digress though, your game you need more than one crew.

  25. #18
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Been there and done that, easy answer is as much as possible. Having said that if you are way above your competitors you will price yourself out of the market so the easiest is to phone a few (not less than 4) sparkies in your area and base your pricing on that. Up in Joburg I believe they are charging over R600 per hour .

    Remember your material is charged by the purchase price plus 50% to give you a 30% profit margin IOW buy for R10 + R5 = R15 less than that you come short.

    On your Contract work you need to calculate what materials you are going to need (Dont forget the consumables like tape, glands Ferrules and Luggs, it gets out of hand very quickly) and add that to your labour. Compare this to a point calculation, it should be close as damnit is to swearing. In general a good way to check yourself your labour should be about 60% of a quote but that is a broad check.

    Ask at your local electrical wholesaler what the going rates are, they are usually pretty close even as far as light, plug and stove points go.

    One point to think about, you are about to go and work for the worst boss out there, first to get the bad and last to get paid with no consideration for sick leave or any such luxuries. Would not have it any other way
    I spent my whole life as self employed except for 12Y that I worked for an international electrical engineering firm as general manager, my boss was a most fantastic Portugese guy but even there I wanted back to my own thing

    Good luck with your venture
    Henk
    Adventure is out there go find it

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  27. #19
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    Default Re: What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    I wish I had the guts to commit to being my own boss as a call out, do it all mechanic.

  28. #20

    Default What should my electrical rate per hour be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Owen View Post
    Hi guys

    I'm about to go on my own as a contractor with 1 assistant.
    Have Wireman's licence.
    Im very undecided as to what I should charge per hour for myself and assistant.
    Keep in mind I'm hands on and will be doing the work myself. Minimal overheads at present.

    Those in the industry what is a fair, reasonable rate?
    200/h....350/h...?

    Would I charge same rate for a 5 hour job as for a 3 bedroom house from scratch?

    Any contractors here?
    A very rich man once told me this in my early entrepreneur days:

    You donít always need to spend all your time AT your business. You donít always need to spend all your time IN your business. However should be spending all your time ON your business. Another pearl of wisdom I received is a direct translation of a German saying which says the following : I was so busy working that I never had time to make money.

    I think you are still in the planning phase of youíre business rather than the execution of your plan phase. Most businesses fail because of poor planning. Make sure your plan is solid from all angles before you execute it. Get your facts and figures in a row to avoid becoming another statistic.

    The right plan will give you a most enjoyable freedom but not without stress and headaches at time. At least you have the balls that many others donít have.
    Last edited by Therackermann; Yesterday at 12:21 AM.

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