There are some projects that you can save a few dollars by safely doing yourself. When it comes to projects you never want to attempt to DIY, electrical projects are at the top of the list. Not only can they be dangerous to both you and your home, but in Hamilton is it your legal responsibility to only hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC). Read on to learn why it’s so important and how to safely hire an electrician in Hamilton.
Proper Training and Licensing
Attempting to complete a project you don’t fully understand is never a good idea. Especially when it’s with a powerful and unpredictable source of energy like electricity. This is why it’s important to hire a professional electrician who has successfully completed all the necessary schooling and has the proper licensing. To obtain this, an electrician must go through four to five years of school in addition to gaining practical work experience. Once this is completed, they are able to apply for their license issued by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). Only licensed electricians are legally allowed to perform residential work on homes in Ontario, including Hamilton. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to make sure any electrician you hire is properly licensed.
Types of Electricians
There are three types of electricians for hire in Hamilton. While a licensed electrician can perform any job, they can also oversee unlicensed electrician’s work. This means that so long as a licensed electrician is overseeing the project, you can hire an electrician who is still in school, usually at a discounted rate. Keep in mind that each type of electrician comes with their own level of skills and experience. Typically, more experienced electricians charge more for their work.
As the name suggests, an apprentice is still in school learning how to be an electrician. In Ontario, this schooling will last for about four to five years and will mix classroom learning with job-site training. Legally an apprentice can be hired for a small electrical project, so long as they are overseen by a more experienced and licensed electrician. Hiring an apprentice for a small job is a good way to keep your costs down.
A journeyperson has successfully completed their apprenticeship, passed the required exams, and is now a fully licensed electrical contractor. This is an exciting time in their career as they are able to tackle larger and more complex projects. They can choose to be self-employed or work for a larger company. While their rates vary more, a journeyperson is typically more expensive than an apprentice but less expensive than a master electrician.
A master is the most experienced, knowledgeable, and therefore most expensive electrician you can hire. Their years of experience mean that there is no electrical project they can’t handle. Master electricians often oversee journeypersons and apprentices to help them and share their knowledge. If you have any complex projects, be sure to hire a master electrician. While it will be more expensive, it’s worth your peace of mind knowing it will be done right the first time.
Tips for Hiring an Electrician
It is up to you to ask any potential electricians about their licensing. A reputable company will have no issues providing you with this number. You can confirm its validity on the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) website. This number should also be displayed on the company website and other materials such as invoices. If a company is unwilling to provide proof, do not hire them. This means that they are either unlicensed or do not have a valid one. Either way, they are not legally allowed to perform electrical work on your home, so do not hire them. Be sure to ask each and every electrician you are considering to hire about their proper licensing.
Another way to check for proper licensing is to look for a Verified Badge on an electrician’s HomeStars profile. When you see this badge, you can rest assured that the company has passed HomeStars’ rigorous background checks. This includes both a criminal and credit check, as well as confirming proper licensing. Look for a Verified badge on profiles whether you’re browsing a list of electricians in Hamilton or checking out the companies HomeStars has matched you with. You also want to look at a company’s Star Score and reviews to confirm if this is the right company for you. Both of these tools will provide more insight into how the company works and treats their customers.
Electricity can be dangerous to work with, especially if you’re untrained and don’t know what you’re doing. Do not let just anyone complete an electrical project in your home. Instead, be sure to ask for proper licensing and to look for a Verified badge on company profiles. Do not try to save a couple dollars by hiring an unlicensed worker. Only a licensed electrical contractor can safely do electrical work in Hamilton so be sure to hire one.