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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to figure out what to bill my apprentice out for. He's very new to electrical but extremely competent. Obviously I want to make as much money as possible off of him, but don't want customers questioning how much they are paying for an apprentice to be on a job. Thoughts?
 

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Can't sign em..forget em
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What CS just said^^^...to my knowledge none of my
previous employers ever lowered their rate based on
this???

Speaking for myself , on the rare occasion that I have
help , I don't either , but I'm always on the jobs I
contract so the customer naturally directs q's at me.
 

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You have to understand that two people are going to produce about as much work as three people working on their own.
Plus you have all of the overhead of running two other trucks.
That's my theory based on my own numbers.

With that said.
I'll use Simple rounded numbers.
Figure out what you need to make on a journeyman per hour to make money.
Let's say Mike costs you $50 per hour, you charge $100 per hour for Mike.
That $100 nets you $25 per hour.

You add John to work with Mike.
John costs you $25 per hour.

Together they cost you $75 per hour and do twice the work.
What to do about that?

You need too charge for that efficiency or you are working too cheap to make money off of Mike.

If you just charged $50 per hour for John, you are working him and not getting any return and all of the liability.

Therefore,
You need to cover Johns cost, that $50 and then make what you were netting on Mike.
I would charge $100 for Mike, $75 for John.
Two man crew $175.

These are theoretical numbers. Some one could make a very good argument for both $187.50 and $200.

It can't be less than $175.

Understand that you will need to make more than $25 per hour off of Mike, maybe $100 per hour but remember, I was using simple numbers.

Roast Me!
 

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what if you needed 5 sparks SP?

~CS~
The crew structure would be 3-2 or possible 2-3 depending on the work.

I always bill my rate separate than my crew rate or journeyman rate.
It would look like
John at "M rate" of $135
Crew #1, 2 man rate @ $157
Crew#2, 2 man rate @$ 157

Me costs me about $60 per hour
Crew of two costs me about $80 per hour

That's a lot of money to churn in a 8 hour day to clear $1750 or so but that, what I pay myself and good material mark up, get that for a solid month and clear a good 40 grand
 

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Arsholeprentice
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You bill as much as you can get.....

I recently moved my business and at the moment do not have any employees, but have had a number of apprentices over the last several years. We FR everything, so it isn't such and issue. The price is just presented as a total and given to them, take it or leave it.

The last shop I worked for billed out the apprentices at 1/2 rate, I always thought that was a rip off to the shop, not the HO/BO. If I was billing hourly, I would do as Cow, cut a little off of the top, after all.... apprentices cost you a ton of money for at least a year, probably two.
 

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You bill as much as you can get.....

I recently moved my business and at the moment do not have any employees, but have had a number of apprentices over the last several years. We FR everything, so it isn't such and issue. The price is just presented as a total and given to them, take it or leave it.

The last shop I worked for billed out the apprentices at 1/2 rate, I always thought that was a rip off to the shop, not the HO/BO. If I was billing hourly, I would do as Cow, cut a little off of the top, after all.... apprentices cost you a ton of money for at least a year, probably two.
I want to disagree about the apprentice comment.
I believe those entry level positions can be a great advantage to your bottom line.
 

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Arsholeprentice
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I want to disagree about the apprentice comment.
I believe those entry level positions can be a great advantage to your bottom line.
Depends on the size of the company and type of work being performed.

As a service company, it's a loss for a while. Too many different types of jobs being performed for a guy to ever get in a groove.

I started in NC residential, took about 4-6 weeks to get going. When I transitioned to NC commercial in the Union, took about 4-6 weeks as well, but I already had a years worth of electrical work under my belt.

NC allows guys to learn at a much faster rate, allows the Jman to utilize their low labor rate to maximize the output, etc... Service.... In my experience, it is a loss for a while, but it is worth it because if you put the time in, you end up with a damn good service guy.
 

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IMHO rank green apprentices should never be inducted into Service Work.

1) It's absolutely necessary for Service troopers to know how New Construction techniques threw the wire into the building. The more they know along this line, the more efficient they are in doping out what went wrong, how to extend circuits, just about everything.

2) A rank, green apprentice gets over-loaded with information// styles// methods -- and actually loses track of what goes with what. This damages his morale. It may lead to his lead-man chewing him out too often -- demoralizing him to the point of quitting our trade.

3) Repetition leads to muscle memory -- as in how to property make-up branch conductors -- in a highly professional manner. Apprentices need this skill. End users// customers may not know diddly about field wiring, but they sure can spot unprofessional make-up. It looks exactly how they, themselves, can perform it.

"Why are they paying big bucks to have a pro install wiring that looks the same as if they, themselves, roped it in" ? That's the question that runs through their minds.

One thing about the IBEW's craft skill minimums: no civilian can look at such work and say... "Yeah, I could do that."

Instead, they think, "The Terminator performed that work."
 

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Arsholeprentice
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IMHO rank green apprentices should never be inducted into Service Work.

1) It's absolutely necessary for Service troopers to know how New Construction techniques threw the wire into the building. The more they know along this line, the more efficient they are in doping out what went wrong, how to extend circuits, just about everything.

2) A rank, green apprentice gets over-loaded with information// styles// methods -- and actually loses track of what goes with what. This damages his morale. It may lead to his lead-man chewing him out too often -- demoralizing him to the point of quitting our trade.

3) Repetition leads to muscle memory -- as in how to property make-up branch conductors -- in a highly professional manner. Apprentices need this skill. End users// customers may not know diddly about field wiring, but they sure can spot unprofessional make-up. It looks exactly how they, themselves, can perform it.

"Why are they paying big bucks to have a pro install wiring that looks the same as if they, themselves, roped it in" ? That's the question that runs through their minds.

One thing about the IBEW's craft skill minimums: no civilian can look at such work and say... "Yeah, I could do that."

Instead, they think, "The Terminator performed that work."
When we all live in a world were we don't have a shortage of qualified personnel, then I will agree with you.

Until then...

I have, as others have and continue to do, voiced my complaints/concerns about the fact that we have work, but now skilled labor to do the work.

Well, I simply choose to quit complaining about that fact and realize that if you want skilled labor, if you want a specific thing, then you need to make it.

I would much rather have an apprentice that has 1-2 years experience before he is thrown into service, but ideal conditions only live in fairly land and fairly land doesn't fill your rank and file with well qualified and smart guys.

Going out, sucking it up, and building a business and crew does...

IBEW or OPEN... all are feeling the pain now and will continue to do so for years and years to come.
 

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I'm not sure how you are working these apprentices but, we work like Dr and Nurse on service. You make it sound like you just cut these guys lose and let them work on their own.
I would say in about 3 years you can start letting them have some rope and rat hole them somewhere doing repetive tasks.
I need someone with me on every single job. At my age, I could wonder off or fall down and break my hip or something.
If it's some BS estimate I'll go myself. if I think there is a good chance of getting it, I'll take an apprentice with me to assemble the job. we would then write out the installation procedure together and produce a material list from it together.
This trains them to plan and be able to do the work with another journeyman if I get tied up.
 

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animal lover /rat bastard
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lots of good responses.

I'm just going to add that sometimes you are contractually obligated to bill apprentices as a specific rate.

We did a bunch of prevailing wage jobs, and on some of them we were required to bill apprentices at a base rate plus percentage of the 4 years apprenticeship (years completed/4).

On other jobs, anyone who picked up a pair of kleins or a screwdriver was supposed to be paid at the journeyman rate, so they were billed as such.

On other projects we subbed from DOT GC's, we had a negotiated billing rate for apprentice/jman/master.

I think that billing apprentices as jmen is a good practice though.
 

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I do my “per hour” rate based on one Jman and one apprentice and bill that out. If they go on a job that is a “one man job” then I am covered for the training portion of that job. If I just send a Jman, then I am covered because I suspect that the apprentice is doing something else on another job or in the shop or it is simply used to cover off the times when the apprentice is working but not generating any income.

Cheers
John
 
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