What Makes an Electrician Qualified? - PTX Electric
In this blog post, we’re going to discuss what a qualified election actually is and how you can find one.
There seems to be no universal agreement on what a “qualified electrician” should be. Or better yet, what does it take for an electrician to become qualified? Once we answer that question, let’s follow it up by acknowledging the various electrical tasks and projects that require the services of a qualified electrician.
So, before you choose a contractor to handle electrical work on your property, be sure you only talk to qualified prospects. So, what makes an electrician qualified?
A qualified electrician went to school to learn the trade. Many of these individuals have also taken the time to earn their master electrician status through professional certification. But, you can rest assured that at the very least, your contractor has a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
As far as the specific educational requirements are concerned, it varies from one state to another.
For example, in Canada, your contractor must have a certificate from the Red Seal Program, which is based on the program offered by the Electrical Training Alliance in Canada. These programs are designed to help apprentices hone their skills and develop a solid understanding of the trade.
However, in California, on the other hand, you’ll need to find a contractor who has an apprentice electrician license through the Contractors State License Board. In this state, a contractor needs to have both active apprentice and journeyman licenses.
This board is responsible for the licensure and regulation of contractors, businesspersons, and anyone who holds themselves out as a contractor.
Any reputable electrical contractor has years of experience behind them, mainly if they have been in business for over a decade. No matter where you are in the world, this is crucial information to have on hand because it’s all part of trusting your contractor.
No one wants to be on the receiving end of a sub-par electrical job. So, do your homework and make sure that you hire someone who has been doing this for years. Not to take away from newly certified electricians, but you’d instead hire someone with experience when the job naturally comes with the risk of injury, damage to property, and even death.
What’s the point of hiring someone to handle electrical work if they aren’t fully insured? Accidents are bound to happen on a job site, no matter how careful you or your contractor are.
Just remember that for your insurance provider to foot the bill in the event of an accident, any electrical projects you have done require liability insurance on the part of your contractor.
You can ask to see a certificate that clearly shows they have general liability and worker compensation insurance. This will help you feel at ease knowing that if something were to happen, you’re covered.
This also means you won’t be liable for any damage caused during the course of the work.
License and Registration
To become a licensed or registered contractor in any state, your prospect needs to prove their character and general competency as an electrician. This is necessary even if you’re only hiring them for smaller jobs around your home.
This includes proving that they can handle all phases of contracting work, from announcing their intent to start a project, submitting the required paperwork, completing the task, and filing a warranty.
Contractors are held accountable for what they do and how they carry out each job. They’re responsible for meeting specific codes and regulations based on the work they’ve undertaken, so professional registration is critical.
The more your contractor knows, the better they can help provide you with the best possible results. But to do this, they have to be adequately trained for any task they undertake.
An electrician has to understand how buildings are serviced and see what kind of service support is available.
In the case of a larger project, your contractor must show you exactly what they’ve done in the past, along with any certifications they may hold. They’ll also need to know how to properly budget and plan their time when working on your home or business for several days at a time.
Electrical Jobs That Require a Qualified Electrician
You’ll be surprised to know that some people choose to hire unlicensed and unqualified electricians. But for these jobs, don’t settle for anything less than a qualified contractor:
1. Install New Outlets and Switches
Installing a new outlet is one thing but worrying about your wiring system being compromised during the process isn’t worth it. Always hire a professional for any wiring work you need to have done in your home or business.
2. Comprehensive Check on Your Wiring System
For a comprehensive check of your electrical system, be sure to hire a qualified and properly trained electrician. The last thing you want is for your home wiring system to fail on you at some point because it wasn’t installed correctly from the start.
3. Add New Circuits to Your Walls
If you’re doing a lot of remodelling or want to add some new functionality to your space, you’ll need someone well-versed in wiring configurations. Opening walls and doing additional work is always a risky proposition when it comes to electricity.
You don’t want an unqualified electrician doing the job for you because accidents happen very quickly, resulting in much more damage than what you’re hoping to achieve with your new wall.
4. Install or Upgrade a New Electric Service Panel
You may want to install a new electric service panel, but it’s still considered a risky move without professional help. Keeping your electrical system operating properly is critical, and an improperly wired circuit can damage or destroy everything you have.
It’s a smart move to hire an electrical contractor who knows what they’re doing, but you must know how to spot the signs of someone who isn’t qualified.
If your prospect doesn’t know much about wiring and safety regulations, has no license or certifications. If they can’t give you references from previous jobs they’ve done in your area, it’s best to look elsewhere.
Don’t jeopardize the safety of you and those around you by hiring an unlicensed and unqualified electrician.