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If you have finished your apprenticeship or have experience working as an electrician, launching your own electrical business can be a rewarding next step. From legal documents to marketing and how much to charge, here is your guide to setting up your new venture.
An electrician business is responsible for installing and maintaining electrical wiring and equipment. As an electrician, you can work on residential and commercial buildings or on construction sites.
Follow this step-by-step guide to help you launch an electrician business:
Before you start your business, you need to make sure you have received proper training and experience as an electrician to work independently.
There are many pathways to becoming an electrician. Generally, electricians need to complete an apprenticeship which usually lasts four years. You may also be required to complete a Certificate III – Electrotechnology Electrician. The average fee for the course is $14,500.
After this is complete, you need to obtain an electrical licence so you can work unsupervised. Depending on the state or territory you are in, there are different government offices responsible for licensing:
|New South Wales||Fair Trading|
|Victoria||Energy Safe Victoria|
|South Australia||State Government|
|Tasmania||Department of Justice|
|Australian Capital Territory||Environment and Planning|
|Northern Territory||Electrical Workers and Contractors Licensing Board|
In some states, you need to get insurance cover before you can apply for a licence. In Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, you cannot apply for a licence unless you have proof of insurance, whereas in other Australian states it is not a requirement.
You'll need a few different tools and equipment to start your own electrician business. This includes:
You may also need software to keep track of your business. They include:
Depending on the level of your savings and the equipment you need to buy upfront, you may need to get a loan to start your business.
Our guide on small business loans can help you figure out which option is the best for you. Keep in mind some lenders will require you to have been operating the business for at least six months to a year, while other lenders will require a minimum annual turnover of at least $100,000.
If you're just starting your business, you may need to think about getting personal loans instead. Before you apply, always make sure you're able to afford all repayments, including any additional fees or charges.
Before you set up your business, you need to decide how you will structure it. We've written a full guide on business structures here, but the following is a summary of the types to consider:
You may need a few different legal documents to start your business and engage with customers.
You can charge a fixed fee or hourly fee depending on the nature of the job. Most residential electricians will charge customers a flat callout fee plus an hourly rate which is often calculated in 15 minute increments.
If you're charging an hourly rate, prices tend to range between $60 and $150 an hour according to hipages. Research the rates of your local electricians to make sure your hourly rates are competitive.
How you find customers will depend on your expertise and target market. If you intend to work as a subcontractor on construction projects, it will be essential to connect with your existing contacts in the building industry, but you won't need to invest too much in a logo and branding.
On the other hand, if you are targeting residential and commercial clients, you may need to invest more in your marketing by following these steps:
Where should my electrician business operate?
As an electrical business is a mobile business, it's a good idea to set geographical boundaries defining how far you will travel. Think about where your competitors operate, and where the new builds and renovations are so you can focus on the growth opportunities.
Do I need insurance?
You should get insurance to protect your business. One to consider is Public Liability Insurance which covers you if your customers sue you for causing personal harm or damage to their property during work. In some states, you also need Public Liability Insurance to be eligible for an electrical contractor licence. Read more about how Public Liability Insurance works.
How much can I make with an electrical business?
How much income you can generate will depend on the state you're in, the size of your business and the type of services you provide. According to trade insurer Trade Risk, electricians on average earn $91,000 a year.
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