Electrical work is complicated and can be dangerous. This is why you never want to attempt an electrical project and instead should leave it to the professionals. In Toronto, it is legally required that homeowners only hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) to do electrical work in their homes. While you may “know a guy” who says they can do the work for you, don’t put your home or life at risk. Always hire a properly trained and licensed electrician to do any electrical work in your home. Follow our suggestions to ensure you know how to safely hire an electrician in Toronto.
Proper Training and Licensing
Safely doing electrical work requires years of schooling, proper training and obtaining the right licensing. This ensures all the work is done to code and protects your home and household. As a resident of Ontario and a homeowner in Toronto, it is your responsibility to only hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) who is permitted by law to do electrical work. The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) issues such licenses to electricians who have successfully completed their training. In some cases, you may hire an apprentice so long as they are employed by a licensed electrical contractor. Be sure to confirm your electrician has the proper licensing before hiring.
Types of Electricians
The first step in becoming a licensed electrician in Toronto is completing an electrical apprenticeship. This is usually a four to five year-long program where an apprentice will learn technical skills and job training. After completing the apprenticeship, a final exam must be passed before they can become a journeyperson. Once this status is achieved, an electrician will need to obtain their license from the ESA and can choose to write an Interprovincial Exam to allow them to work across Canada.
One thing to keep in mind is that an electrician will charge based on their level of experience. Depending on their experience, there are three types of electricians:
An apprentice is still in school and learning everything about becoming an electrician. They may work alongside a more experienced electrician to help them gain practical skills. As they do not have the proper certifications yet, they are often supervised by a journeyperson or master electrician. They can still be hired to carry out small electrical jobs as long as under the supervision of a more experienced and licensed electrician.
A journeyperson has completed their apprenticeship, obtained their certifications and knows how to handle more complex electrical projects. A journeyperson can either work on their own or be employed by another electrical contractor.
A master electrician has completed the required education and training, has all the necessary certifications and can handle complex electrical projects. If you need to have your entire home rewired, your best option is a master electrician. While they will be more expensive to hire, you can trust they are the expert in their field and will do an impeccable job.
Tips for Hiring an Electrician
Before you agree to hire an electrician, it is essential that you ask for proof of proper licensing. Failing to do so can put you and your home at risk. While a handyman may be able to install a dimmer switch, they are not legally allowed to do so. Remember that in Toronto, it is your legal responsibility as a homeowner to only hire an ESA certified electrician. When speaking with a potential electrician, ask to see proof of their ESA license number. This number should also be displayed on their company website and invoices. You can visit the ESA website to confirm.
Another way to confirm licensing is to look for a Verified Badge on a company’s HomeStars profile. This badge means they have passed our rigorous screening process which includes a criminal and credit check and confirmation of proper licensing. While on their profile, be sure to look at their Star Score and reviews from previous customers. Both of these tools will give you more insight into the company and if they’re the right fit for you.
As a homeowner in Toronto, it is your responsibility to only hire a licensed electrician. Do not put yourself or your home at risk by attempting to do your own electrical work or hire someone who isn’t licensed. Instead, take the time to browse profiles on HomeStars, look out for a Verified Badge and be sure to ask about licensing before you hire.