How to Find Out If an Electrician is Licensed

Why Use a Licensed Electrician?

Why would you want to learn how to find out if an electrician is licensed? When searching for an electrician, you may search for the one that charges the lowest rate. There can be many reasons why one electrical job may cost less than the other. The cheaper electrician may not be licensed or have the appropriate certifications. It is possible that they have not completed the required schooling and training.  Professional electricians are licensed and certified so they perform quality work. They also provide a warranty for their services, should anything go wrong. Licensed electricians insure the integrity of the skilled-trades workforce. For this reason, when searching for an electrician, you should limit your search to licensed and certified electricians. Learning how to find out if an electrician is licensed is a valuable skill.

Requirements of a Licensed Electrician

Schooling

A licensed electrician has completed all the necessary schooling to perform their trade. Electricians must complete 5 years of education and participate in an apprenticeship program. This means a lot for electricians, as their apprenticeship programs are the longest out of all other skilled trades. These programs typically range around 10,000 hours. During this time, they receive on-the-job training as well as knowledge about electrical systems and local laws and codes. Electrician apprentices learn about the daily tasks of their occupation as well as unique situations that may happen on the job. Valuable information is learned at this time.

To obtain a license, an electrician must demonstrate their competence at performing electrical work by passing a series of tests. This ensures a level of competency, dependability, and reliability among licensed electricians. You can rest assured that your licensed electrician will follow all building codes, focus on rules and regulations, and will be able to acquire all necessary permits.

Insurance

To be licensed, an electrician must carry insurance. Working with electricity is dangerous. Though injuries are rare when safety measures are taken, accidents can still occur. Unlicensed electricians are more likely to make mistakes that can cause injury and are less likely to carry insurance than their licensed counterparts.

Hiring an uninsured electrician may put you at financial risk if they get hurt on a job performed on your property. Claims filed against unlicensed and uninsured electricians may be denied. The only type of electrician that can fully protect you for these risks is an insured one.

Bonds

Hiring a licensed electrician also means that a bond covers you if the job is left unfinished. There have been many horror stories where an electrical job is done poorly, or for that matter, left completely unfinished. Wires may be left hanging out of the wall by the professional that was supposed to be the remedy. A licensed electrician has paid a bond to receive licensing. If a job is left unfinished, customers may cover any damages with this money. Think of bonds as additional insurance for you and your home.

State and Local Codes

Licensed electricians are the most up to date on state and local electrical codes. This is very important because codes vary from state to state. Licenses ensure that your electrician is performing work that meets the National Electrical Code and acquiring all the necessary permits for a job. This code ensures the safety of electrical wiring procedures and sets a base line for the quality of an electrician’s work. The code is updated every 3 years. It is important to stay current with the codes to avoid unnecessary risks caused by faulty electrical wiring.

When an electrician has a license, you know that the quality of their work and amount of insurance they have is up to state code. Just as you wouldn’t want an untrained doctor taking care of your medical needs, you do not want an unlicensed and uninsured electrician taking care of your home.

How to Find Out If an Electrician is Licensed

How to find out if an electrician is licensed begins by checking your electrician or electrical contractor’s website. Their website should list their qualifications, certifications, training, credentials, and licensure status. The website can also provide information about your electrician’s services, past projects, and reviews.

Even if a perusal of your electrician’s website looks promising, you should still check their licensure status. Begin by requesting evidence of licensure from your electrician. Qualified electricians will happily provide you with evidence of their licensure and insurance. You can then use the information provided by your electrician to verify the status of their license.

There are three types of information you can use to verify an electrician’s license.

  • The electrician’s full name
  • The electrical company’s name
  • The number that appears on the license

Each state has different requirements and licensing organizations. Your local licensing department can verify if an electrician is licensed to work in your community. Your state’s Department of Labor can also provide this information. You can also request proof of liability insurance from your electrician. Then verify the electrician’s license with their insurance company.

Licenses can be granted to both contractors and individuals. A licensed contractor must verify that work performed by employees meets all code requirements. If your contractor is licensed, but employees perform the work, you might want to check the licensure of the employees performing the work as well. When viewing a license, verify that the name on the license matches the name of the person presenting it to you. This can be a common mistake when learning how to find out if an electrician is licensed.

Other resources for inquiring into the licensure, qualifications, and competency of your electrician include the Better Business BureauAngie’s List, local review sites, and personal referrals. Don’t be afraid to request information from your electrician on people who can vouch for the quality of their work.

Additional Certifications

Having a license means that an electrician has met the minimum requirements to operate deemed by each state. After learning how to find out if an electrician is licensed, you may notice that certain electricians have certifications on top of their license. These certifications mean that the company has gone above and beyond the minimum requirement. They have continued their commitment to their craft and strive to find revolutionary ways to best fix any electrical problems you may have.

Certifications can cover anywhere from stored electrical safety to microwaves. When an electrician has a certificate in a certain field they have put in the time to gain even more knowledge about that subject. While they are not required, certificates can give you further assurance that your electrician is the right and best hire.

Certified electricians grow as technology grows. They have shown a commitment to keep learning about their craft and advancing in the job market. Certifications confirm that the business is learning as technology is growing.

Contractors are very proud of their certifications and usually have them listed on their websites. Ask your electrician if they hold any certifications for specific jobs. As technology gets more and more advanced by the day, certifications serve as a clear indicator that your electrician is prepared to service your specific and changing needs.

How to Spot an Unlicensed Electrician

Listen to your gut! If you have a feeling that this electrician is not reputable, do not hire them. Look for customer reviews to get a better understanding of who your are hiring and what their past work looks like. Customers give the most honest take on what a company and its employees are like. Make sure to look for consistency within the reviews. Do your research and trust your judgment. Here are some potential red flags to look for when hiring an electrician.

  • They ask you to purchase the supplies
  • They do not provide you with a receipt
  • They only accept cash payments
  • You cannot find proof of their license on the above links
  • Vagueness when discussing price of job
  • Vagueness when discussing the finish date of the project
  • Service vehicles that do not match the company that you hired

If you find yourself dealing with an unlicensed electrician report the contractor. In doing this, you are saving another customer from the financial and safety hazards that come with faulty electrical work. The organization you should report an unlicensed contractor to vary from state to state.

Licensed electricians work hard to perform their trade well. It takes years of schooling and dedication to become a licensed electrician. Do not put your property at risk by hiring an unlicensed contractor. While they may offer substantial discounts or other incentives, the risk is much greater than the reward. Licensed electricians are working to protect the integrity of the skilled trades and perform quality jobs. Learning how to find out if an electrician is licensed is important to keeping the integrity of the industry.

Advocate for Licensing

PHCEid.org is an advocate for the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical contractor to properly identify their licensed status for public awareness. Professional Contractors have the license or certification to work in homes and businesses. Without the proper certification and licensing to become a skilled trades professional, it compromises the integrity the trade industry. The contractors listed on the PHCEid.org website are licensed or certified according to the codes and laws set forth by each governing state and/or entity. Licensed Contractors work in compliance with local and state codes set forth by their governing trade industry board.  Get more information at PHCEid.org or call 844-954-2367 today!

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