An electrician journeyman reads blueprints and floor plans from architects, then installs circuit breakers, outlets and electrical wiring. Journeyman electricians start out as apprentices. Subsequently, after four years in the apprentice program, they become eligible to take the journeyman electrician examination. Once they pass the exam, they can work on any type of electrical project. However, they cannot obtain permits until they become master electricians, the next step up. Journeyman electricians usually get paid by the hour.
Journeyman electricians earned $15.05 to $34.02 per hour in 2011, according to the PayScale website. PayScale uses ranges for salaries which, in this case, represent the middle 50 percent of all journeyman electricians, or those between the 25th and 75th percentiles. Converting hourly wages to annual salaries, these professionals earned between $31,304 and $70,762 per year, based on 40-hour workweeks. Including bonuses and incentives, they earned total incomes of $31,933 to $76,567 annually.
Wages by Years of Experience
Journeyman electricians can expect to earn slight increases in hourly wages as they gain experience. For example, those with less than a year of experience earned hourly rates of $9.74 to $21.29, PayScale reported, or $20,259 to $44,283 per year, based on 40-hour workweeks. The middle 50 percent, people with one to four years of experience, earned $11.95 to $25.66 hourly, or $24,856 to $53,373 per year. With five to nine years of experience, they earned hourly rates between $14.81 and $30.81, or $30,805 to $64,085 per year. Journeyman electricians with 10 to 19 years of experience earned $16.84 to $34.59 per hour, or $35,027 to $71,947 per year. And those with at least 20 years of experience earned hourly rates of $18.11 to $39.24, or $37,669 to $81,619 annually.
Wages by Industry
Journeyman electricians' wages can vary considerably by industry. For example, the middle 50 percent earned their highest wages in the construction industry at $16.60 to $36.52 per hour, or $34,528 to $75,962 annually, based on 40-hour workweeks, Payscale reported. They earned their second-highest hourly rates working in electrical distribution for power companies at $14.61 to $36.64, or $30,389 to $76,211 per year. Those who are general contractors earned hourly rates of $14.74 to $35.61, or $30,659 to $74,069 per year.
Wages by State
The middle 50 percent of all journeyman electricians earned the highest hourly rates in California at $17.65 to $40.24, or $36,712 to $83,669 per year, based on 40-hour workweeks, according to PayScale. Those in Washington earned the second-highest wages at $17.22 to $38.31 per hour, or $35,818 to $79,685 annually. Journeyman electricians also earned relatively high wages in Massachusetts and $18.12 to $35.31 per hour, or $37,856 to $73,445 per year.
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.