Best Places for Electricians UK 2020

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are over 275,000 electrical and electronic trades jobs in the United Kingdom. But electricians are in constant shortage in the UK. In fact, The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership reported in a recent labour market report on the electrotechnical industry that between 12,500 and 15,000 more skilled electricians will be needed over the next five years to cope with expected growth in the field.

If you work in the electrical or electronic trades, where are the best opportunities for you to live and work? We ranked UK regions to determine the best areas for electricians based on average salaries, job availability and the cost of living in different areas. Here's what we found.

Best Places in Great Britain for Electrical and Electronic Trades

Infographic showing the best regions in Great Britain for Electricians

Study Highlights

Highest Pay: The region with the highest pay is London, where electrical and electric trades workers earn an average of £37,400 a year. The area with the lowest pay is Wales, with average pay of £31,994.

Best Pay vs. Cost of Living: Scotland is the most affordable, offering electricians the highest pay once you take into account the cost of living in an area and a pay to cost of living ratio of 1.44. The South East is the least affordable region for electricians to live with a pay to cost of living ratio of 1.09.

Jobs Availability: Yorkshire and the Humber has the most robust jobs market for electrical and electric trades, with 11.1 jobs per 1,000 economically active people. London has the worst job opportunities, with only 4.7 jobs per 1,000 people.

Note: The Office for National Statistics did not report jobs or pay data for electricians in the South West due to lack of data points. As a result we were unable to include the South West in our analysis.

Best and Worst Regions for Electrical and Electric TradesBestWorst
OverallYorkshire and the HumberLondon
Average Annual PayLondonWales
AffordabilityScotlandSouth East
Jobs AvailabilityYorkshire and the HumberLondon

1. Yorkshire and the Humber

Yorkshire and the Humber ranked as the best region in Great Britain for electrical and electronic trades. Workers in Yorkshire and the Humber earn an average of £33,475 per year. While this is only the 7th highest pay out of the 10 regions in our study, the relatively low cost of living in Yorkshire and the Humber means that a worker's pay stretches further there. For example, the Pay/Cost of Living metric in Yorkshire and the Humber was 1.24—which is 8% higher than the UK average of 1.14.

Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest jobs density metric (11.1 electrician trades jobs per 1,000 economically active people), which means workers should have a relatively easy time finding a good job. In fact, Yorkshire and the Humber hosts 37% more electrical and electric trades jobs on a per-capita basis of the working population than the UK average, which is 8.1 jobs per 1,000 people.

2. Scotland

Scotland ranked as the second best region for electrical and electronic trades workers in Great Britain. Electrical and electronic trades workers in Scotland £36,823 a year on average, second only to London. A relatively low cost of living (the typical household spends 14% less on living expenses in Scotland than the UK average) means that the area's Pay to Cost of Living metric 1.44—the highest in Great Britain.

With 25,000 electrical and electric jobs for 2,778,668 economically active people either working or seeking work, there are 9.0 electrician jobs for every 1,000 economically active people—11% more than the UK average.

With 21% more new build houses completed in 2019 than the previous year, according to government data, Scotland is clearly one of the best regions for electrical and electric tradespeople to call home.

3. West Midlands

The West Midlands is the third best region for electrical and electric trades, providing a solid concentration of jobs and good pay considering the cost of living. In 2019 there were 27,000 electrical and electric trades jobs in the West Midlands, contributing to a jobs density ratio of 9.2, the second highest in Great Britain.

Electrical and electric tradespeople earn an average of £33,779 per year in the West Midlands, which is 1% less than the UK average. However the cost of living is 15% less than the UK average which means a worker's pay stretches further for expenses like food and housing. As a result the region's pay/cost of living ration is 1.34.

Top Regions for Electrical and Electric Trades Jobs

Below we list the data on top regions for electricians in Great Britain. Across both metrics, higher numbers are more desirable.

Overall RankRegionAverage Annual Electrician PayNumber of Electrician Trades JobsAverage Annual Household SpendingJobs Density MetricPay/Cost of Living Metric
1Yorkshire and The Humber£33,47530,000£27,08711.11.24
2Scotland£36,82325,000£25,5949.01.44
3West Midlands£33,77927,000£25,1949.21.34
4North East£33,12410,000£23,7907.91.39
5East£35,16129,000£29,6359.01.19
6North West£33,08730,000£26,0628.21.27
7Wales£31,99412,000£24,4617.81.31
8East Midlands£34,33420,000£27,7528.11.24
9South East£34,11036,000£34,1907.51.00
10London£37,40023,000£34,2324.71.09
United Kingdom£34,045275,000£29,7758.11.14
Infographic showing the best regions in Great Britain for Electricians

If you're new to the trade, be sure you learn about the best types of electricians insurance, and what coverage you'll really need.

Methodology

NimbleFins' study assessed three key factors to determine the best places in Great Britain for electricians to pursue their careers.

1. Electrical and electronic trades job density per region

Regions with a higher concentration of electrician trades jobs relative to the working population are more desirable because there should theoretically be less competition for each job; regions with a higher jobs density rank higher in our study.

In 2019, there were 275,000 electrical and electric trades jobs in the United Kingdom according to the Office for National Statistics. Given there were 34,071,000 economically active people in the United Kingdom last year, this yields a jobs density metric for electricians of 8.1 in the UK—this means there are 8.1 electrical and electronic trades jobs for every 1,000 working people in the UK.

We calculated this metric by dividing the number of electrician jobs by the working population (275,000 divided by 34,071,000, then multiplying by 1,000 so the result is "jobs per thousand people"). The jobs density per region ranges from 4.7 in London to 11.1 in Yorkshire and The Humber.

2. Pay/Cost of living index per region

In determining the best places for electricians to live and work, it's also important to understand how easily a worker can afford essentials like housing, transportation, food and entertainment. The ability to afford household bills plays a large role in a person's quality of life. To reflect the cost of living in different regions, we adjusted electrician salaries in this study by the average household spending per region so that regions with a lower cost of living rank higher. The Pay/Cost of Living metric reflects the average worker gross pay divided by the average household expenditure.

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