Commercial electrical work sometimes requires the bidder to submit a price-per-square-foot bid. The bidder must understand the scope of the work in some detail in order to make a realistic bid. Once the probable cost is known and the profit margin determined, the calculation itself is simple. Getting the information needed to determine the cost, however, requires some footwork.

Things You Will Need
  • Blueprint

  • Bidding instructions

  • Local building codes

  • Electrical Estimator's Manual

Obtain a copy of the blueprint for the electrical project. Review the blueprint to evaluate which supplies and how much labor is required.

Read through the general notes attached to the blueprint. These notes include bidding specifications such as permitted work times and whether or not employees are present during the work. The requirements stipulated in these notes can add a significant amount of time and cost to the project.

Find out what type of permits and fees are associated with the work. Depending on the area, these fees could add thousands of dollars to the total cost.

Use the "Electrical Estimator's Manual" to calculate the cost of supplies.

Calculate the total cost of labor by figuring out the hours needed for the job and multiplying the hours by the wage paid to electrical workers by your firm. Add any additional labor that is needed for the job. Often for commercial jobs its necessary to hire specialists to do certain work.

Add together the total cost of supplies, labor, permits, overhead costs and profit margin. Divide the total by the number of square feet. The result is the price per square foot.

Compare the price to projects of similar size and scope that your company and others completed in the recent past. If the numbers are vastly different, go through the pricing again to make sure the amount is correct.

2016 Salary Information for Electricians

Electricians earned a median annual salary of $52,720 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, electricians earned a 25th percentile salary of $39,570, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $69,670, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 666,900 people were employed in the U.S. as electricians.