Setting Hourly Rates for Field Service Technicians

4 min read

Introduction

Average field service hourly rates vary by location and type of work for countless reasons, which creates a headache when setting hourly pay rates. An hour of audio-visual work may have an average pay of $100 in New York City. However, that same job could have an average pay of $50 in Minneapolis. It is important to balance fair pay rates with your budget and preferred quality-outcomes. Many service companies are surprised to find how much labor rates vary by metro area based on population density, cost of living, the availability of skilled labor, and other compounding factors.

So, how can you accurately price work for any location or skillset? Field Nation is here to help. With more than ten years of data regarding pay for different work types and locations, Field Nation can provide you with an accurate average wage for any project, anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. Specifically, Field Nation has average rates by location and work type, our data includes the low-end rate, average rate, and high-end rate based on historical data. 

Low-Voltage Technician Hourly Rates

For example, let’s take a look at low-end, average, and high-end low-voltage hourly rates for low-voltage technicians across metro areas in the U.S. between 1/31/2018 through 12/13/2019.

Type of Work Location Percentiles
25% 50% 75%
Low-Voltage Kapaa, HI $65.00 $75.00 $95.00
Fairbanks, AK $65.00 $75.00 $75.00
Midland, TX $45.00 $60.00 $75.00
Cincinnati, OH $35.00 $45.00 $55.00
Lexington, KY $38.50 $40.00 $55.00

As you can see, the average pay for this type of work varies significantly across locations. In more remote locations, such as Kapaa, HI, and Fairbanks, AK the average pay is much higher. This is likely because there is less supply in these remote locations. In turn, more populated cities such as Lexington, KY, and Cincinnati, OH have much lower average rates. Most service companies assume there is a negative correlation between population and average pay rate. Although this data would seem to support this assertion, it’s not always true.

AV Technician Hourly Rates for Contract Workers

Let’s look at another example. This time, the pay averages are tied to AV technician hourly rates on Field Nation from 1/29/2018 through 12/13/2019.

Type of Work Location Percentiles
25% 50% 75%
AV Salt Lake City, UT $52.50 $75.00 $75.00
Philadelphia, PA $50.00 $65.00 $85.00
Charlotte, NC $45.00 $60.00 $65.00
New Orleans, LA $35.00 $45.00 $55.00
Dallas, TX $40.00 $45.00 $55.00

In this example, even though most metros have relatively substantial populations, hourly prices vary significantly. This showcases the value of having data on low-end, average, and high-end prices because sometimes averages are unpredictable. If you were to simply assume that more populated cities always have lower labor rates, you would not optimize your budget. That might be true for some types of work or certain locations, but how are you supposed to know when that theory is valid without access to accurate data? 

Computer Networking Technician Hourly Rates 

Let’s look at one last use case. This time, imagine you are trying to price networking jobs across the U.S from 1/29/2018 through 12/13/2019.

Type of Work Location Percentiles
25% 50% 75%
Networking Key West, FL $55.00 $85.00 $90.00
Stevens Point, WI $40.00 $70.00 $90.00
Oklahoma City, OK $45.00 $50.00 $55.00
Las Vegas, NV $40.00 $45.00 $50.00
Las Cruces, NM $35.00 $40.00 $50.00

 

In this example, you can see that in some cities, there is a significant price difference between many of the low-end vs. high-end averages. For example, a low-end price in Stevens Point, WI is $40.00, while the high-end price is $90.00- a $50.00 difference. Once again, you can also see that it isn’t always easy to predict the pricing differences across locations. Therefore, to accurately predict pricing, you need to rely on data instead of intuition. 

It’s important to keep quality outcomes in mind when selecting an hourly rate for contract technicians. Paying $35 an hour for a networking technician in Key West, Florida likely won’t get you many, if any, quality candidates for a work order.

Conclusion 

As the above data shows, pricing is unpredictable. You may never know why average pay in one city is higher than another, so it is impossible to rely on intuition. Instead, you need real-time data from the field. The pricing suggestions in Field Nation are determined by historical averages over the past 60 days. Prices change by area and type of work depending on the quality of technicians, willingness of buyers to pay for talent, and the number of technicians available. By automating the process of determining pay across locations and work types, dispatchers save time, money, and stress. 

Want to find out this pay for Seattle, Chicago, and Dallas? Or, want to find out the average pay for a different type of work, such as point-of-sale or telecom services? Sign-up on Field Nation and answer these questions when you create a work order on the platform. Get started today. 

 

The data presented above is from all work orders on Field Nation with an hourly pay rate matching the type of work, metro areas, and dates listed above. All metro areas used as examples have a minimum of 10 work orders matching the above descriptors. Please note that this data is for 1099 contract workers, and recommended hourly wages for W2 employees are likely different.