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labor wage?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by advanced irrigation, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. advanced irrigation

    advanced irrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from tx
    Messages: 270

    what should labor per hour be? backfilling trenches, digging valve boxes, sweeping, water packing, ect.
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    $9-$13 an hour in my area.
  3. High Lakes

    High Lakes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    if you are paying $9.00 - $13.00 an hour for your labor help, what then are you charging/bidding each labor hour at to your customer ?
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    $35-$45 per man hour.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Works out to $26 for labor for me at my new gig, and I used to figure $30 for all labor when it was just me self-employed. Rule of thumb used to be that with comp, taxes and insurance labor cost you double what you sent out in payroll. Figure you have to make money on top of that and it all adds up quickly. The fly by night who is paying cash under the table, has no insurance, and doen't file taxes will beat you up on a regular basis. You don't really want his customers anyway though.
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Experienced labor will cost you more than that, but you should be able to increase the labor costs to your customers and be more productive or they really aren't that experienced. An install foreman or tech who actually knows irrigation should make closer to 15+ around here. You should be billing $40/hr minimum for that guy though. My current pricing means $36/hr for the foreman and $26 for crewmembers for irrigation work.
    And I'm not sure what it will look like, but I see a new smiley over there and I got to try it!gmc
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Uh, BIC... Smilies look like their example. dancing This one could be named "I'm a little teapot..."
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Yeah, but that's the biggest dang smilie I've ever seen, and on an ugly truck to boot.
  9. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Location in Texas is important for labor pricing.
    As is availability of willing labor.
    I pay between $8 and $12 pr hour. My cost after insurances, taxes, uniform allotment, etc equals out to $28/hr.
    On irrigation repairs with existing customers I charge and receive $40/hr.
    On repairs with new customers, I charge $60/hr.
    On installs, I average right at $38/ labor hour plus mark ups. Factor in the profit percentage and the system installs, although not our highest margin, does well.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    That's the key to the whole thing. The profit margin can vary from contractor to contractor depending on so many variables such as location, what the market will pay, access to good help, equipment costs, etc. Someone that has equipment that is still in good working order, is older yet still does the job and is paid for might be able to absorb a lower profit margin. Just way too many factors involved and it's incumbent on the contractor to know these costs.

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