What To Look For When Hiring An Electrician

What To Look For When Hiring An Electrician

From outlet repair and replacement to whole home rewiring, electricians have an amazing skill set. Knowing which one to hire for your project can seem tricky, but when you know what questions to ask and what qualifications to look for, you’re armed with the knowledge to pick someone great! Hiring an electrician to find what best for you can be done with a few simple tips.

When Should You Hire An Electrician?

DIY electrical work is a bad idea and is often the leading cause of preventable fires. Hiring an electrician ensures code compliance and safety as they have expertise and knowledge. 

Electrical work in a home or business should only be done by a licensed, insured, and bonded electrician. This means that an electrician has the required skills and training, and you’re protected if they don’t fulfill the contract’s obligations or are hurt while working in your home. 

electrician touching a wire and holding a lit lightbulb

Before You Hire an Electrician

Before you start looking, establish your budget for the project or repairs. This allows you to look for a professional in the proper price range right from the start, saving time or avoiding insulting by trying to negotiate established pricing. 

Also, know the type of specialization your project falls under. Electricians will often specialize in certain areas, and you want someone with experience with your project type. As skilled professionals, electricians are trained to handle many electrical jobs, including:

  • Troubleshooting electrical problems
  • Updating or replacing wiring
  • Servicing electrical panels
  • Replacing circuit breakers 
  • Indoor and outdoor lighting
  • Installing or repairing outlets, fixtures, and switches
  • Grounding a system 
  • New construction 
  • Remodeling projects 

When you know your project type, you can hire a local electrician with enough experience in that area to get the best results. 

Levels of Electrical Expertise

Electricians are classified by experience and hours of on-the-job training completed. They must also pass a test. Knowing which you want to hire tells you their skill level, letting you determine if pricing is fair. 

  • Apprentice: This is the first step toward becoming a licensed electrician. Apprentices must work under a journeyman or master electrician during their on-the-job training.
  • Journeyman: Certified to work on commercial, industrial, and specialty electrical projects. Has spent at least 8,000 hours studying under a journeyman electrician before receiving this classification. 
  • Master Electrician: Need an additional 4,000 hours of experience as a journeyman. Most states also require passing a comprehensive exam to achieve this level.
person fixing an outlet

Finding the Right Professional 

Doing your research is essential. You want someone with the proper knowledge to complete your project correctly and get value for the money you’re spending. Finding the right professional may take some effort, but it will be worth it. 

Ask For Recommendations

Always ask friends or relatives if they have any recommendations about electricians. These people will most likely give you truthful and uncensored information about any electrician they have hired. Also, these are people who generally have your best interests in mind. 

Additionally, if you get a recommendation, you can check out the work the electrician did for them and see how it looks.

Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring

There are several essential questions to ask an electrician before hiring them to work on any project for you. These questions help gather information about the quality of work and a professional’s qualifications to ensure your electrical service is done correctly. Questions to ask include:

  • What services do you specialize in? Make sure the electrician has experience with the task you need them for.
  • Are you licensed and insured? All independent electricians should have a license on file with the state they are in, as well as liability and workman’s compensation insurance.
  • How long have you been in business? The longer a company has been in business, the more likely they do quality work that lasts for a reasonable price.
  • Is your work warrantied? Electricians who guarantee their work for a certain length of time are confident in their skills and don’t often mess up, making them a smart choice.
  • What level of electrician are you? You want to make sure you get a journeyman or master-level electrician.
  • Can you tell me your rates or provide a cost estimate? Depending on the size of the job, you might be asked to pay on an hourly basis or get a flat rate price. Either way, you should know the costs that you will be expected to pay.
  • Can I please have references I can contact about your work? Getting references from a non-biased party will help you get an accurate picture of the quality of the electrician’s work. You can also often find honest reviews online to help inform you.
  • What is the projected timeline for completion? Knowing how long a project will take helps you prepare to have someone in your home working for that length of time. 

Asking the right questions gives you the complete picture of the electrician you’re hiring. You should let the person’s character inform your decision as much as the costs, allowing you to hire an electrician who will best meet your needs. 

Enlightened Decisions Make Everyone Happier

As with many things, a good choice makes you feel good, especially when investing money into a project or repair. Remember what questions you want to ask and the type of electrician you seek. Pair this with a budget and an electrician specification, and you should be able to pick someone great for your electrical job.

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