Electrician Vs Plumber Salary in the UK

According to one research, tradespeople in the UK earn more than university graduates do.

If you found this surprising as I did, check out the details from Federation of Master Builders research. This, however, is not an isolated case in the UK.

The global construction industry is expected to reach a CAGR of 9% and clock in USD 11093.7 billion by 2024.

As one of the tradesmen, electrician to be precise, this is a fantastic piece of information. That we are giving our scholarly comrades a stiff competition has nothing to do with it.

Well, it may be a little. If I am frank, it does me a lot of good to know I bring in more money than a dentist or an architect.

But how much more are we talking about? And how does an electrician’s salary fare when it is pitted against a plumber’s?

Let us find out together in this post.


Who makes more Electricians or Plumbers in 2023 (update)

The average salaries for electricians and plumbers in the UK in 2023 are as follows:

  • Electrician: The average salary for an electrician in the UK is £33,636. Established self-employed electricians can earn around £35,000 to £40,000 per year, with potentially higher earnings in London and the South East.
  • Plumber: The average salary for a plumber in the UK is around £32,000 a year. Self-employed plumbers earn on average around £60,000 a year, with some reported to earn considerably more.

While the specific data for 2023 is not available in the provided search results, the information from 2022 and previous years can give an indication of the salary comparison between electricians and plumbers in the UK.

Electrician Vs Plumber Salary – A comparison

In Britain, the average salary of an electrician in the UK is £33,495 according to the Office for National Statistics, ONS. In the previous year, the figure was £33,176.

This shows a 1% increase in salary. This is the median value of the earnings, which means that half of the country’s electricians earn less and some earn more.

On the other hand, the ONS records the average plumber salary at £32,356 as of 2020. This is a handsome figure, and the plumber’s salary follows the electrician’s very closely. However, the electrician’s salary is still higher than a plumber’s pay.

When it comes to apprentices, electricians still earn a lot more.

An apprentice electrician in the UK with a 1-year experience earns £6.70 per hour, excluding tips and other benefits.

By contrast, a plumber apprentice earns £4.45 per hour.

This figure is inclusive of bonus, tips, and overtime pay.

This means that electricians are among the top earners among all the trades as of 2020. For someone outside the electrical unit, no pun intended, it may look like this figure is biased or exaggerated. Therefore, this written report of the 2020 UK trades salary survey with in-depth information should dispel all suspicions.

But that is not all. Electricians that have considerable experience and are self-employed earn the highest figures. If you are to look into the specifics, self-employed electricians make even more money than the contractors and those working with companies.

The reason is simple.

Independent electricians need only to calculate the cost of materials and the time taken to finish the job. Some of them also consider travel expenses. But unless he or she comes from a considerable distance, this is usually negligible. In any case, you will not be hiring an electrician from outside your town.

Also, other factors influence the earning potential of electricians. Let’s take a look.

Factors that influence the earning potential of electricians.


Regardless of the occupation, experienced individuals earn more than apprentices do. And electricians are no different. A well-established self-employed electrician can command up to £50 per hour. This is an impressive figure that can only be matched by the top earners across all industries.

However, self-employed electricians have a lot of expenses they need to worry about. This can include tools, transportation, insurance, and registration, among others. So the final cheque they bring home may be a lot less.

Contracting electricians or those who work with companies can earn a lot less than the above figure. But on the plus side, salaried electricians don’t have to worry about multiple expenses from their pocket.


Your location is another factor dictates how much you earn as an electrician. This is regardless of whether you are experienced or not, self-employed or not. Reading and London are the highest paying cities for electricians with £20.26 and £19.71 per hour respectively.

By contrast, the highest paying cities for plumbers pay £18.01 and £17.53. The cities are Oxford and London.

The type of work

There are many types of work for electricians. And some work pays more than others. A rough estimation of some electrical works and their charges looks something like this.

Fuse box or consumer unit installation – £500
Installing an electric shower – £400
Installing an electric vehicle charge point – £ 300
Reporting an electric inspection – £180
Repairing power cable – £60

Note: This figure is a rough guide and is by no means absolute. Factors including location, time is taken to complete the job, and your level of experience will also come into play while quoting a particular job.

Tips for maximising your earning as an electrician

It is always more comfortable and better to work with an agency or a company in the beginning. It also allows you to learn from experienced electricians on the team. Besides, you don’t have to worry about securing the contracts.

Working overtime is a great way to increase your earning potential as an electrician.

Enrolling in a training program is also a fantastic way to maximise your earnings. In addition, you get to polish your skills too!

As preachy as it sounds, working hard is always an excellent investment. Irrespective of your degrees and skills if you are not prepared to put in the hours, your earning potential will fluctuate. This can be a deal-breaker if you plan to work as a self-employed electrician.

Who earns more plumber or electrician?

2021 is a great time to train as an electrician. The earning potential for electricians in the UK is increasing exponentially. According to one report, out of the 43% of skilled trade vacancies in recent years, electricians formed a massive 13%.

The increasing demand for electricians is even more acute in cities like London, among the highest paying locations.

There is no end to the demand for other skilled jobs such as plumbers. However, there is a considerable difference in the average hourly pay between electricians and plumbers.

Bottom line, the future looks bright for electricians all over the UK, literally.

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