Deciding the best place to pursue your career can be a difficult decision. For electricians, whose work plays a critical role in ensuring we have electricity in our lives by installing and maintaining electrical and power systems, the decision can depend on many complex factors. From job growth to average salary, there are many aspects for electricians to consider.
The work that electricians provide is intimately tied to our everyday lives. Whether it is wiring, electrical control systems, components like transformers and circuit breakers, or machines and large equipment, electricians literally help us keep the lights on. Because of this, electricians can generally work anywhere—their skills and knowledge are broadly applicable in any city. But if your work is needed in any location, how do you make the tough decision of where to settle down and build your career?
Our analysis of the best cities for electricians analyzes a number of different relevant factors to determine the 20 most attractive cities for electricians.
Best Cities for Electricians
1. Decatur, IL
Located in central Illinois, Decatur was ranked as the best place for electricians on our list. Historically, Decatur was nicknamed Soy City for its large production of soy products. The city retains its industrial heritage, as it serves as the home for large agricultural plants operated by Archer Daniels Midland and Tate & Lyle. It also hosts manufacturing facilities for Caterpillar. These plants provide many opportunities for electricians in Decatur, as the city has more than twice as many electrician jobs than the typical American city relative to the population. Electricians in Decatur earn an average salary of $62,190, which is 15% above the national average. This salary goes a long way in Decatur, as the city had the second lowest cost of living in our study.
2. St. Joseph, MO
Situated along the Missouri river, St. Joseph is a city with a population of roughly 77,000. This city was the birthplace of the hip-hop musician Eminem. It was also the westernmost place in the U.S. accessible by rail and the easternmost station of the Pony Express. Today, electricians in St. Joseph earn almost 20% above the national average wage, and the city has several large manufacturing plants. St. Joseph ranked 12th in our study for the concentration of electrician jobs and also offers a lower than average cost of living.
3. Kennewick-Richland, WA
The Tri-Cities area of Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco is situated along the Columbia River in southeast Washington State. This area experienced substantial growth in the 1940s as a U.S. government site for the research and production of nuclear materials, and later, continued to be a center for the production of nuclear energy. The Tri-Cities area is still significantly influenced by its history, as today, it hosts the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the largest cold-storage facility on earth, as well as nuclear power plants. Due to these employers, the average electrician salary in the Tri-Cities area was a whopping $82,000, which was the third highest on our list. This area has more electricians than the average city in our study and has a cost of living that is about average.
4. Saginaw, MI
Saginaw, located in Mid-Michigan, was historically an important auto manufacturing city, with a focus on auto parts. The city retains some important manufacturing facilities today in the auto and solar industries, which gives it 73% higher employment of electricians relative to population compared with the average city in our study. Electricians in Saginaw earn $59,730, which is 10% above the national average. Additionally, electricians in Saginaw benefit from the seventh lowest cost of living among cities in AdvisorSmith’s study.
5. Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS
Mississippi’s second largest city is located in the south of the state along the Gulf of Mexico. Gulfport is a popular tourist destination, with casinos along the coast as a primary draw. An important facility in Gulfport is the Naval Construction Battalion Center, which supports the U.S. Navy’s construction operations. Along with Biloxi and Pascagoula, the Gulfport area ranked #1 in our study of the density of electrician jobs. The average salary for electricians in Gulfport was $55,040, which is only slightly above the national average, but the city benefits from a lower than average cost of living.
Top 20 Best Cities for Electricians
|Rank||City||Average Salary||Jobs||Location Quotient||Cost of Living|
|2||St. Joseph, MO-KS||$64,800||440||1.86||85|
|13||Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI||$59,100||8,010||1.47||84|
|17||Pine Bluff, AR||$56,030||150||1.12||78|
|18||Lansing-East Lansing, MI||$64,730||1,050||1.10||90|
|19||Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL||$61,960||910||1.14||87|
|20||Grand Forks, ND-MN||$61,590||380||1.74||94|
Electrician Industry Outlook
As electricity grids become smart grids and move to cleaner and renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power complemented by battery storage, there will be continued demand for skilled electricians to install and maintain all of our new electrical infrastructure. The adoption of electric cars will also increase the demand for electricity in the coming decades.
As of 2017, median pay for electricians in the United States was $54,110 per year and $26.01 per hour. There were approximately 666,900 electrician jobs in 2016, and the number of jobs is projected to grow by 9% over the period from 2016 – 2026 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Methodology: How We Chose the Best Cities for Electricians
Our study into the best places for electricians identifies the most attractive cities to pursue a career as an electrician. AdvisorSmith used three primary criteria to rank cities:
1. Average salary for electricians in the city
We used the mean salary for electricians in a city as an important factor in our model. We gave more weight to cities where electricians make higher salaries in our study.
2. Cost of living in a city
Our study adjusted average salaries earned by electricians by the cost of living in each of the cities. While the average salary provides a view into the attractiveness of a location for electricians, some cities are more expensive than others to live in. We used a cost of living index such that places with a lower cost of living were ranked more highly in our study.
3. Concentration of electrician jobs
Although some cities may have high salaries for electricians and a low cost of living, they might not have many jobs for electricians. It’s hard to live in a city if you can’t find a job in your field. We used the location quotient, which measures the number of electrician jobs in a city as a proportion of all the jobs in the city. Cities with a higher concentration of electrician jobs received a higher ranking in our study.
 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
 Sperling’s Best Places Cost of Living Index
 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics