If you think all local electricians are the same, consider the risks you take hiring just anybody: miscalculated estimates, unnecessary work being performed, or just too much time being spent on the job. You want a great electrician who knows exactly how to do the task needed, and someone who will communicate well and leave you perfectly satisfied with the work.
If you’re vetting local electricians for your next repair or home improvement project, consider these differences between an average electrician and an outstanding one.
Quality of education & appropriate licensing
Better local electricians tend to come with a pedigree. Ask your local electricians about where they went to school and confirm that they graduated from their electrician school. You can conduct some simple online research to verify the qualify and accreditation of the schools mentioned, and judge whether one of your potential electricians likely had a better education.
You should also ask local electricians about their licensing and certification, particularly if there is a credential offered for the specific type of job you need done. Ask about general licensing like the C-10 contractor’s license from the state of California, and inquire about any other credentials your prospective electrician have that can boost your confidence in their work.
Level of experience – journeyman or master electrician?
Another difference between an average local electrician and great one will be their experience level—both quantity and quality. First, ask if they are a journeyman or a master electrician. A journeyman has less than two years of experience and may not have encountered a very wide variety of issues yet.
Don’t be afraid to ask about specific experience if you’re dealing with local electricians with decades of experience. Even old-timers may have specialized in one area most of their careers, so not all their experience is necessarily applicable to the work at hand.
If applicable, ask your potential electricians if they have a portfolio of work or if they can name specific jobs they have done similar to yours. This helps you glean whether their experience is a good match for your jobs while also giving you an idea of their quality of work.
Ringing endorsements and happy references
Local electricians are essentially self-employed workers who rely on word-of-mouth and good references for a lot of their income. Great electricians work hard to satisfy all their customers in order to build a strong reputation and perpetually find new customers. A good place to look for reviews is on sites like Yelp! and Angie’s List.
Ask your local electricians for references and follow up on more than one of them, at least. In addition to asking about the quality of work, you should also ask old customers about how well the electrician communicates, sticks to a budget, and cleans up after themselves. Many electricians perform competent electrical work, but you want to know that you’ll be getting excellent customer service and professionalism throughout the job.