Something happened in your home, and you turned to your local professional electrician for help. At least, that is what you think. Before starting in any official capacity with your electrician, ensure that he or she has the credentials necessary to be licensed and provide you with the utmost quality work possible.
A licensed electrician means the guarantee of a certain amount of training hours and apprenticeship experience. With a professional comes about five years of training as well as their apprentice program, giving them on site training to prepare them to work alone. They will also bring the knowledge of your local area’s laws, things that other people are unlikely to be informed about. Lastly, a licensed electrician has to pass an exam at the end of their training.
When checking if you have a professional electrician, first check if they are carrying insurance. This is not a guarantee that they are licensed, but all licensed electricians are required to carry insurance while others are not. Hiring a worker without the necessary insurance has the potential to put you at great financial risk if something were to go wrong. Regardless of how dangerous you think the problem is, it is best to check.
You can also check the license status of your electrician online, where they should have their qualifications and training listed. This may be as part of a bigger company or on an independent website. However, a license is the minimum qualification an electrician can obtain. Additional certifications can be awarded to any workers who continue improving at their craft in a specific field. If the online information is ambiguous, electricians can provide their certificates for you. If the electrician refuses to provide copies or proof of training, this is a major red flag and you should not trust their work.
At the end of the day, you should confirm your electrician’s lisence status before they show up at your door. Cross check their qualifications online and confirm with your local licensing department that this person is legitimate. Taking these extra steps, checking for their insurance and any additional certifications they might have, will save you the extra time and money down the line if something goes wrong. Not all independent, unlicensed electricians are inherently worse than professionals, but are certainly not worth the risk given the nature of the work.