In this guide from Same Day Pros, learn how to find an electrician who can help you from minor repairs to large installation projects.
With so many options out there today, it can help to learn the basics of what an electrician does and what they are responsible for, allowing you to call for a more accurate quote based on your needs.
What Does an Electrician Do?
An electrician is a specialized tradesperson that is skilled in electrical wiring or related installation work.
Depending on their level of experience and training, as well as their degree of specialization, they may have different responsibilities.
Typically, electricians are called in to work on any project that requires wiring, whether it is an individual unit, wiring in a building or aircraft, or even connecting a building to public electrical systems so that it can begin receiving electricity.
The wide range of jobs that require an electrician’s help is astonishing and requires that the worker has enough foundational experience to either understand the problem or diagnose and problem-solve it well enough to come up with a safe and code-compliant solution.
Throughout the electrician’s professional experience, they must always stay abreast of new updates to codes and regulations for different building types as well, as these can change with new technology an innovation.
For example, knob-and-tube wiring may have been a common method of providing electricity throughout a home built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, but it has since been outdated, and to comply with new standards this wiring must be replaced to more updated and safe methods. An electrician must know that when inspecting a home’s wiring if it was built between this period.
Home Electrician Qualifications
For an electrician to begin working on projects, they must first complete four years of on-the-job specialized training under a mentor, or with an apprenticeship program. Like other trade careers’ training, this is an intense learning experience that pits the electrician against increasingly complex problems and requires creative, out-of-the-box thinking to get through the program successfully.
Each state has different standards for what an electrician needs to be able to safely operate within the state.
These standards are often similar but may include a certain number of work hours to ensure the electrician has adequate experience in the field. It may require the electrician to have completed a certain number of years in a technical school program or qualified apprenticeship program, as well. (1) Electricians may also be required to pass a written exam and watch training videos before they are allowed to receive their journeyman licensure.
Most states also require electricians to continue education throughout their careers to stay up to date on building codes and safety protocols.
At each level of expertise, an electrician must be able to showcase that they have the required skills by passing an exam, have completed the standard criteria necessary, and may need to document a certain number of hours worked under the previous license.
An apprentice electrician has not yet earned their license and must shadow a more experienced electrician, while a journeyman is able to complete projects on their own.
A master electrician, which is the highest generalized license available, can head projects, pull city permits where necessary, and mentor apprentice electricians.
Beyond this level of expertise, electricians may then choose to specialize in certain types of work.
Do All Electricians Work on Both Residential and Commercial Projects?
No, electricians may work with residential wiring, but they may not provide services to commercial properties unless they have the specialization and certifications to do so.
The reason for this is that commercial wiring commonly has higher voltages and requires more extensive work to repair, replace, or install any wiring in these buildings. Commercial wiring is also often wired differently, requiring a specialized expertise to provide adequate electricity flow and voltage checks.
With a stronger need for compliance when dealing with high voltage lines, each state determines the qualifications and certifications an electrician must have before they can work on commercial projects.
Residential buildings do not have such standards because, while electricians are still held to a high standard to ensure safety, residential buildings do not have as complex wiring systems or require high-voltage lines.
The difference between a residential and commercial electrician’s experience is specialization, not necessarily quality. It is always important to do you due diligence when choosing an electrician, no matter the project type.
For example, an electrician can be smart and good at his job, but unable to provide quality services due to company policy or work conditions. Vetting the company’s pricing and work policies is just as important as the individual electrician’s skill.
Working With an Electrician
When you hire an electrician, it’s important to understand that it’s a two-way street. Treating the electrician with respect and consideration will make them more likely to treat you with respect and consideration, regardless of their customer service ratings.
It is always a collaboration between the homeowner and electrician when it comes to working on a project, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn about the ins and outs of what is happening in the walls or ceiling of your own home.
If you don’t understand something, your electrician won’t chastise you for it; they’ve gone through years of specialized training when you haven’t.
Asking questions and providing all the information you can about the issue or experience you’ve had can also give the electrician clues about what’s happening with the wiring system, far before they ever open the fuse box or knock out a wall, as well, helping them diagnose any issues faster.
What is a Fair Price for an Electrician?
Electricians are highly skilled laborers with a level of expertise that must be constantly honed through licensure renewal and education. They must be able to make a living while taking that amount of training, and their expertise, into account with every job.
This level of skill and care in their field is worth paying for because quality work means fewer repairs and safety hazards down the line, especially when working with wiring installation or replacement.
While the price for an electrician may fluctuate depending on where you live and the type of project you are hiring them for, it is not uncommon for an electrician’s hourly rate to range anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour.
The average small wiring repair can cost anywhere from $100 to $500, with the national average cost for small repairs – like replacing burnt out electrical outlets or light fixtures – ranging in the $300s per job.
Still, every company will be different in how it operates and prices jobs, so it is important to quotes and compare the prices you receive against the work that will be done. This is the only way to truly estimate how much you can expect to spend for the full project, no matter the level of complexity.
Do Electricians Give Free Quotes?
Many electricians will provide free quotes based on your project details. This quote may be provided over the phone but should also be available in writing. (2) It is important to note that this quote is an estimate of services rendered based on how the project is presented to them.
For example, if there is underlying problems that prevent the work from being done until further repairs are made, or if the electrical system is different than what was originally thought, the electrician may have more work on their hands than expected and will need to adjust the initial quote to reflect the new workload.
be sure to get multiple bids, and when you do, compare what is priced.
Comparing quotes is an important part of your due diligence when hiring an electrician. You should always compare quotes from at least a few different companies to see who is within your budget for the services rendered. Whenever possible, request an itemized quote with all potential fees attached.
This will provide you with a better understanding of what you will pay for the electrician’s services and how the company prices their services. Different policies regarding their customer service or quality of work may also factor into the pricing, allowing you to choose the type of service that best suits your needs.
How to Find an Electrician
Whether you need an electrician for a simple re-wiring project, or if you’re doing renovations and need new wiring installed or replaced, it’s important to choose quality work that you don’t have to second-guess.
Learning how to find an electrician sounds complicated and frustrating, but with a little help, the process can become free from stress and anxiety.
You already have enough on your plate; why add contractor uncertainty to the mix? You need someone who is insured, licensed, and ready to work on your project.
By using Same Day Pros, all you have to do is select the type of service you need and your location. We’ll do the rest of the work, finding electricians near you who are available and ready to discuss your project details.
We’ll narrow down the list so you can do your due diligence and choose an electrician that fits your needs best. Whether you are looking for a contractor that give you the best value, or someone you can rely on time and time again, we’ve found them all.
Want to learn more? Browse electricians in your area using Same Day Pros today and see how we can help make the contractor search a stress-free experience.
How Do I Hire the Best Electrician
Learning how to find an electrician that best suits your needs can be difficult at first, but the same principles apply to any contractor you hire.
First, you should always check that the electrician is certified and licensed to ensure that they have the proper training as required by the state. If the individual electrician works with a larger company, the company will be able to provide this as a standard of employment.
Never hire an electrician or company that does not carry at least basic insurance; not only is this illegal to skimp on in some states, but it is important for your peace of mind when dealing with any contractor, as a lack of insurance can prevent you from having any kind of recourse if something goes wrong while the contractor is in your home.
Checking the reviews will help you determine the electrician’s quality of work and customer service standards. You should always ensure that the electrician meets the standards necessary for your project
Lastly, communication is key. The electrician or company should work with you to communicate any problems clearly. While this is not foolproof, the attempt to communicate in a clear and transparent way is important, and will speak volumes about the company’s general practices when handling quotes and service requests.
Quick Checklist for Comparing and Choosing Electricians
Choosing an electrician doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, with a little help, it’s easier than ever to choose the right electrician for the job, especially if you just moved to the area and might not have access to word of mouth referrals.
Below is a quick checklist for comparing and choosing an electrician using Same Day Pros’ quick professional search network for your area.
- Search for electricians near your area
- Select a few companies that fit your criteria
- Get quotes from each company
- Compare these quotes and the specific services provided
- Choose the company who best suits your needs
Same Day Pros makes it easy to find a professional electrician that is certified and can work with you to get the job done right the first time around.
If you haven’t tried our free search tool yet, you’re doing things the hard way. We’re here to help make the process as frustration-free as possible.
- Forbes.com, How to Hire an Electrician: Checklist and Tips, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/home-improvement/how-to-hire-an-electrician/
- NYTimes.com, Avoiding the Misery of Remodeling by Choosing the Right Contractor, https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/18/your-money/18shortcuts.html