Are you worried about not getting help from an electrician during evening hours and weekends? Don’t be. Some electricians work during those times and would be available to help you.
An electrician’s availability on evenings and weekends depends on their location, the emergency level of the job, weather conditions, and various other factors. Additionally, the individual or employer’s policies can also affect your ability to receive electrical services on weekends and evenings.
So, it helps to understand the factors affecting the electrician’s availability. And this article discusses those factors to help you know when it makes sense during off-peak hours rather than regular working hours.
What is a Typical Electrician Work Schedule?
Typically, electricians work full-time, translating to an average of 40 hours each week and anywhere from 1,800 to 2,080 hours per year.
Some work on a nine to five schedule, but others start their work earlier and end similarly. Therefore, if electrical professionals need to work during weekends, holidays, and evenings, they will likely consider those hours as additional work hours. And they may price their services differently during those times.
That said, some electricians work in shifts, which may fall on evenings and weekends. In such cases, such work is considered regular work and will be priced based on the standard charges.
Factors That Affect an Electrician’s Availability
Whether an electrician shows up at your property on evenings and weekends depends on many factors. Below are some of them.
1. Your Location
Your location relative to the electrician’s place of work or residence is critical. The longer an electrical professional has to travel to reach your place, especially on the weekends or during evening hours, the more money they will charge you in the form of a service call fee.
The same also applies if they have to travel long distances to purchase and fetch electrical supplies. That is because they would be taking time off other paying jobs, and their vehicles would consume fuel while undergoing wear and tear.
Electricians must factor all of these things into their pricing. So, if you are unhappy with what they charge, you may end up refusing their services, which makes them unavailable to you. For that reason, if you require the services of an electrician during off-peak hours, consider hiring one within your locale, as close as possible to where you are.
2. The Demand for Electrical Services
Where you stay partly determines the demand for electricians. Generally, there is a severe shortage of skilled workers, including electricians, across the nation. However, some regions have far fewer jobs for these professionals due to lower populations and poor economic growth levels, so those available are more willing to show up during off-peak hours during evenings, holidays, and weekends.
But other areas offer more electrical jobs that enable electricians to pick and choose what they can or cannot do. As a result, electricians may choose to say no to your request for their weekend and evening services, especially if your property is out of the way and what they can reasonably charge you is not worth the hassle.
It is also worth noting that the demand for electricians tends to rise and fall, depending on the season. In the summer, electricians may be pretty busy, trying to fix issues that cropped up during wintertime and need addressing so people can survive the heat and coming winter.
So, your electrician may work evenings and on weekends to meet the seasonal or locational demands.
3. The Weather
While a typical electrician has regular working hours, they may not work due to the weather. And to pick up the slack, they may avail themselves during evenings and weekends for some time until they catch up.
In that case, you may be able to hire even those electrical professionals that are usually unavailable during off-peak hours if you reach out to them shortly after a major weather event such as a significant winter storm or hurricane.
Unfortunately, the weather can also work against you if you need electrical services. Research shows that cold weather tends to increase work-related injuries for electrical contractors. These include hypothermia, falls, trips, and slips. As a result, some of the professionals in your area may decide to start and end work early when visibility is still high.
When excessive snow and cold are present in your locale, your chances of hiring an electrician on evenings and during the weekends may be much lower, especially if the contractors prefer taking winter off. So, you will be limited to hiring the available ones during regular working hours.
4. Area of Specialization
Electricians specialize in different things. Some work in residential properties while others work in industrial areas.
We also have outside linesman jobs that require people who work on electrical power lines and ensure energy is being transmitted properly to end-users from generation facilities. On the other hand, inside wiremen are in charge of electrical wiring and distribution within premises.
Depending on the area of specialization, an electrician may or may not be available to work on evenings and weekends. Some may have no choice but to work during off-peak hours.
For example, marine electricians work on vessels like cruise ships and tankers. And their jobs demand that they step up at any time of the day or week to work on electrical issues if the need arises. That’s because some industrial facilities cannot do without power, and the lack of it constitutes a severe emergency.
The same applies to linemen who are responsible for building or repairing power lines. Late night and weekend shifts are a regular part of their jobs. So, such electricians will work whenever they are called upon to do so.
5. Scheduled Maintenance
Maintenance electricians are responsible for ensuring that large electrical systems continue to function at peak conditions. Many usually work in extensive facilities, such as hospitals, industrial plants, multifamily units, and sea vessels. And they perform maintenance activities on wiring, lighting, and control systems. Inspections and constant repairs are routine for these professionals.
Typical maintenance electricians work 40 hours each week. However, they don’t necessarily work regular hours. For maintenance to occur, facilities tend to be empty or have a reduced workforce. The goal is to perform the planned maintenance when machinery is not in high demand to avoid lowering productivity or endangering most people.
So, that may only happen during off-peak hours in the evenings, nighttime, weekends, and holidays. For that reason, it is pretty standard for maintenance electricians to work in such times, especially during planned maintenance.
6. The Electrician’s Skill Level
Electricians differ in skill levels, depending on their education, training, and years of experience.
- Apprentices are electricians still under training. They must work under a licensed electrician until they have fulfilled the educational and fieldwork requirements.
- A journeyman is a licensed electrician with some years of training and work experience. Such a professional can work without supervision as an electrical contractor. However, they cannot run a multi-employee business. Electricians at this stage usually begin to specialize in what they want to master.
- Master electricians have the highest number of required education and work experience. Not only are they licensed to work as general contractors, but they can also run businesses that employ other people. In addition, they can supervise the training of apprentice electricians.
The level of skill an electrician possesses may determine whether they work evenings and weekends. For example, apprentices need about 8000 hours within five years to qualify as journeymen electricians.
On the other hand, master electricians earn a handsome salary. So, they may not feel the need to work on evenings and weekends to earn additional incomes. However, if such professionals need to supervise apprentices that need additional paid training and inspect their work, they may be forced to show up on some weekends and evenings.
7. The Electrician’s Employer
Some electricians work alone. However, others own businesses with multiple employees or work for various companies, such as factories, hospitals, and construction companies.
When an electrician is employed, they are subject to their employer’s demands within reason. For example, master electricians hired to supervise other electricians and apprentices during construction may be required to remain on-site even during off-peak hours. That means they may have to work on weekends and during evening hours to meet the deadline. However, they will also get compensation for the extra work hours they complete.
Journeymen electricians do not need to supervise anyone. However, if they have an employer, they may still be required to work during off-peak hours even when the client in question is a homeowner needing work on a residential property. And like the master electricians, they will get paid overtime.
On the other hand, self-employed electricians can do whatever they want regardless of their skill set, provided they do not have to supervise anyone. Some may choose only to work regular hours while taking evenings and weekends off. But a significant number of electricians would not mind working extra hours to improve their income.
So, it is not unusual to see electrical contractors who are on-call 24/7. And even those who are not available all the time may still be on call on some evenings and weekends for a few hours. The beauty of self-employment is the flexibility it offers electricians. They will take advantage of it depending on what suits their situation.
For that reason, if you need an electrician to work evenings and weekends, you should hire a self-employed contractor who is on-call during those times. Alternatively, you can contact an electrical company with shift workers or electricians on call during off-peak hours.
8. The Specific Job at Hand
Some electricians may only work evenings and weekends if there is an electrical emergency. So, the job at hand will determine whether they show up to help you or not. However, what constitutes an emergency in your mind may not be one.
For example, a radiator that doesn’t heat up is only an emergency during winter. In the summer, it’s an issue that can wait.
However, some issues constitute an emergency regardless of the time of the year. These include burning smells within your electrical systems, fallen power lines, complete power outages, electric shocks from items that should not be causing any, a noisy breaker box, and visible sparks from electrical systems.
Therefore, you must manage your expectations. Suppose electricians in your locale do not work on evenings and weekends unless there is an emergency. In that case, prepare to wait for a weekday for them to address your issues.
9. Union Membership or Lack Thereof
Some electricians are union members, while others are not. For example, many electricians in Canada and the U.S. are usually members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Generally, union members tend to earn more wages than non-union workers. So, your local electrician is likely to belong to a union somewhere.
Unions tend to negotiate for better pay and work conditions for their members. As a result, companies that employ electricians may face restrictions about when their employees may work. Also, they may be required to pay much more for asking employees to work off-peak times.
So, the electrical company you contact may avail someone to solve your problems during weekends and evenings if the worker’s union has no issues. But they will likely charge you a higher fee to cater for the more increased overtime the union has negotiated.
If you cannot meet that higher cost, then the electrician would be unavailable during such times. Instead, you may have to wait for the professional to show up during regular hours, which could be stressful if you have an electrical emergency.
10. Your Budget
How much money you are willing to spend on an electrician also influences your ability to get them to work for you on evenings and weekends.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electricians earn a median salary wage of $27.36 per hour. However, many of them charge higher fees than that. You should expect to pay anywhere from 50 to $100 per hour for regular visits.
But if your electrician has to travel a long distance to get to you, especially during evenings, weekends, and holidays an additional $100 to $200 as trip charges. In addition, their hourly rate would increase. And in the end, expect to pay 150% to 200% of the standard hourly rate.
The scope of the job at hand will also influence your costs. Whereas a small project can cost as little as $85, a larger one may cost as much as $1000.
In addition, the skill level of the contractor you reach out to is critical to your budget. A journeyman could charge you anywhere from $60 to $80 per hour during weekends, holidays, and evenings. But a master electrician would cost $150 to $200 for the same job during that time.
It is not difficult to find electricians who work evenings and weekends. For the right price, many of them would do it. The question is whether you would be willing to pay that price. However, other variables may come into play and prevent you from accessing electrical emergency services when you need them.
So, it would be best if you learned what factors affect access to electrical services during evenings and weekends. And then, you can adapt and find an alternative electrician if one search strategy does not work.