Author Topic: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck  (Read 348 times)

ilconsiglliere

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My friend recently bought a house and needed to have some electrical work done. He got 3 estimates from licensed electricians. Here is what he told me he had done roughly from memory:

2 ceiling fans + switches
3 new outside outlets
2 outside outlets repaired
7 recessed lights  + 3 pendants + 2 dimmers in kitchen
2 pairs of flood lights in the back.

He didnt get a single quote that was less than 5K. All the electricians told him that this is just a quote but the actual bill will be less as this is just time and materials. He picked a guy and the guy came with his partner - took 2 days to do it and they work from 7:30am to 2pm. Than they are out of there.

Total bill for the time and materials was $4000. My friend figures the cost of materials was probably close to $800. Remember the work also needs new wire and junction boxes. Regardless you can do the math - $3200 for 2 guys for 2 days. $1600 each so about $800/day for your time BEFORE TAXES. Figure they get hit at 30% for taxes as they are probably LLCs. So they are probably netting $1150 which works out to $575/day.

Thats pretty good money as most IT people cannot consistently pull that kind of $$ today due to the H1B. On top of this there are significant barriers to entry. Here in the PRNJ (People's Republic of NJ) there is a ton of licensing bullshit + liability insurance + disability insurance. Also I am betting that a lot of them do quite a bit of work n cash.

Sure there are lots of unlicensed ones around but you have to be brave to trust one with your house especially when they could accidentally burn it down.

One thing they did tell me is if the owner drives them crazy they leave. By the time they are packing their tools they are usually begging them to come back.

The Gorn

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 06:45:24 AM »
Electrical work is easy compared to plumbing, a lot of carpentry, etc. You don't have to worry about finishes or appearance, usually, except for exposed fixtures. Safety is high as long as you don't do something dumbassed and you keep circuits switched off. Yeah, the rates for electricians boggles my mind.
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unix

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 08:11:34 AM »
These rates are only valid if you work for yourself.
If you work for someone, you will get peanuts that are similar to IT peanuts or less.
You know how it is.
And you have to do marketing, advertising, etc. My impression is that these rates are not constant or every day type rates.

The only difference is that in this field, it seems easier to enter the field than in IT.

I am going to take a wild guess that most electricians are not self-employed and work for someone. And that their rates cap at 30-35/hour - maybe more in some anomaly like NYC.

They work for a firm that issues them paychecks. But this is further complicated by the fact that the IRS considers them all independent contractors as it does auto mechanics and nurses.
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The Gorn

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 08:20:23 AM »
The only difference is that in this field, it seems easier to enter the field than in IT.

Not exactly. IT is the wild west in terms of licensing and credentials. Generally no legal requirements to have certain credentials.

Plumbers and electricians have to be licensed in most areas. It matters when there is an insurance claim that
could be related to the work they do, and also building occupancy certificates. These trades have to go through a multi year apprenticeship plus trades school.
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ilconsiglliere

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 11:29:45 AM »
I think in urban areas the electricians work for someone else like big electrical houses but here in suburbia I would say the vast majority of them are independent as most they have 1-2 trucks with their name on the side along with their license number.

In the urban areas they for sure are in the union and make good money. I know a guy who is a longshoreman's electrician - he makes almost 180K per year just taking care of the machinery.

As for the independent ones here, they are making great $$ with little to no marketing. They are in Angie's List, Home Advisor, Yelp or just plain word of mouth/friends. Not sure what the fees are for stuff like Angies List.

From what I can see with these guys they are jumping all the time from job to job. Its pretty much nonstop. My friend had a tough time even getting one to come to his house, they are that busy. From what I hear the commercial electricians make more than the residential electricians.

But in either case they are doing well. Just from casual observations at my gym - all these guys are in the gym by 4-4:30 and they have been out of work for an hour already. Many have 2 houses and a boat. They are doing great.

Credentials in IT is a giant farce and is driven by the vendors. It has no real value and they love sticking you for a new test fee when the new version of whatever it is comes out.

Now with electricians and plumbers its driven by an industry association who sets the standards and they are not beholden to the vendors. Than on top of it the state legislates the licensing. Here in the PRNJ the plumbers/electricians have a seal like a notary public and all permits have to be signed and stamped by the contractor. You want to talk barrier to entry? The town wont give you the permits unless they are signed and sealed.

Something else I have noticed - these blue collar guys are very, very down to earth. The aspie thing that we encounter in IT doesnt really exist. These are more meat and potato kind of guys, more rough around the edges but I think they enjoy life more than people in corporate. You can be friends with these guys, much more so than the corporate assholes you encounter in IT.

The Gorn

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 11:37:34 AM »
Somewhat off topic tangent  -

I just did a small plumbing project in our house.

We have a sump pump that directs infiltrating basement water into a drain outside, and the part of the yard where the drain outlet is has become a swamp.

So I created a new drain in the basement, to take the water from the sump pump and direct the flow to the opposite side of the house and the yard, in what I hope is a much drier area that can take the water better.

Figuring out the path the pipe should take; figuring out the fall of the pipe for good drainage; determining where to place the pipe hangers; busting a hole through the basement wall with a chisel and a 3 lb hammer; assembling everything; planning the connection to the sump pump itself which was completely undisturbed; all were immensely satisfying.

This was a lot bigger job than what the waterproofing company had to do. They only had to take the water about 12' away from the pump outside. I had to buy 5 10' sections of 1 1/2 inch PVC.

I wound up with three scrap pieces totaling less than 2 feet. That's it. Talk about close!

I did a far, far better job than the crap job that was done by the basement waterproofing company when they put in the original drain back in '98. Their glued joints leaked because they were in a hurry, and there is a sag in one 8' run of pipe where the water always collects.

My job is straight, professional looking, every joint was primed and glued perfectly. The water just jets out much faster now because I planned the run of pipe with many fewer 90 degree bends uphill so there should be much less resistance to the pump's pressure.

I know this kind of work would get really old if I did it 5 days a week 40+ weeks a year. But it was a lot of fun. A big change in thinking and skills required and mental gears. I can see doing something like this and staying normal.
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ilconsiglliere

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 04:11:25 AM »
Somewhat off topic tangent  -

I just did a small plumbing project in our house.

We have a sump pump that directs infiltrating basement water into a drain outside, and the part of the yard where the drain outlet is has become a swamp.

So I created a new drain in the basement, to take the water from the sump pump and direct the flow to the opposite side of the house and the yard, in what I hope is a much drier area that can take the water better.

Figuring out the path the pipe should take; figuring out the fall of the pipe for good drainage; determining where to place the pipe hangers; busting a hole through the basement wall with a chisel and a 3 lb hammer; assembling everything; planning the connection to the sump pump itself which was completely undisturbed; all were immensely satisfying.

This was a lot bigger job than what the waterproofing company had to do. They only had to take the water about 12' away from the pump outside. I had to buy 5 10' sections of 1 1/2 inch PVC.

I wound up with three scrap pieces totaling less than 2 feet. That's it. Talk about close!

I did a far, far better job than the crap job that was done by the basement waterproofing company when they put in the original drain back in '98. Their glued joints leaked because they were in a hurry, and there is a sag in one 8' run of pipe where the water always collects.

My job is straight, professional looking, every joint was primed and glued perfectly. The water just jets out much faster now because I planned the run of pipe with many fewer 90 degree bends uphill so there should be much less resistance to the pump's pressure.

I know this kind of work would get really old if I did it 5 days a week 40+ weeks a year. But it was a lot of fun. A big change in thinking and skills required and mental gears. I can see doing something like this and staying normal.

Working with your hands and building/repairing things is very gratifying. Unlike sitting behind the computer all day and playing with Facebook.

unix

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 04:53:24 AM »

that's an interesting observation



Something else I have noticed - these blue collar guys are very, very down to earth. The aspie thing that we encounter in IT doesnt really exist. These are more meat and potato kind of guys, more rough around the edges but I think they enjoy life more than people in corporate. You can be friends with these guys, much more so than the corporate assholes you encounter in IT.
Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

The Gorn

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2017, 05:13:42 AM »
Two recent projects:

My plumbing project - medium hard work and extremely satisfying.

My crashed PC drive and scrambling to recover something useful - making me into a Charles Manson at home. It's Goddamned driving me up the mother fucking WALL.

Even w/o social media, IT work is soul suckingly all consuming and you can easily splatter like a bug on a windshield and have NOTHING to show for very very hard work over a VERY long period of time. I'm surprised more IT people don't turn into mass killers.  >:(
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unix

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 05:40:10 AM »


Plus one. . .
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benali72

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2017, 07:08:14 AM »
I think we need a couple special programs to import plumbers and electricians from India. We can call them H1-P and H1-E.

Only in this way can we achieve our national goal of driving down wages and destroying labor.

And then we can start up a similar program for IT professionals.  Oh wait, we already have that!

unix

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2017, 09:35:33 AM »


I think we should have H1B Congressman. Maybe even the president. Think of all the savings. $40K versus $250K salary.
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benali72

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2017, 09:04:19 PM »

I think we should have H1B Congressman. Maybe even the president. Think of all the savings. $40K versus $250K salary.

Clever and hilarious. Thanks for a good laugh!

unix

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2017, 06:18:14 AM »
Well they are all worthless anyway, so /turns on Hillary voice/ what difference does it make?
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ilconsiglliere

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Re: Income from Licensed Plumbers/Electricians vs Being an IT Schmuck
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2017, 06:49:25 AM »


I think we should have H1B Congressman. Maybe even the president. Think of all the savings. $40K versus $250K salary.

The govmt is riddled to the core with H1Bs. Every federal and state agencies except for DoD is filled to the brim with H1Bs. Its purposely hidden from the public because if the public knew there taxes dollars was being given away to foreigners on work visas they would have a cow.

I think its time to move up the chain - H1B congressman and senators, H1B agency heads, H1B governors, why not? They have done it to everyone else.  Offshoring and outsourcing is so great, give them a taste! Trust us, you will like it!