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Can You Tell If An Electrician is Licensed, Certified or Insured?

by Antonio Chau on December 19, 2016

Choosing a certified, insured and licensed electrician for your electrical work is essential to ensuring the successful resolution of your electrical issues, and the safety of your home or business. But how do you accurately determine if your electrician is licensed, insured, certified or trained? Understanding how to access this information to help build a picture of your electrical contractor’s reliability and skills is a crucial step to choosing the right electrician. Here we examine why it’s important to choose an electrical contractor that is licensed, bonded and insured, and how you can find out for yourself the status of your electrician.

The Importance of Choosing A Licensed, Insured and Bonded Electrician

importance of choosing a licensed electricianWhile many home and business owners have heard that choosing a licensed and insured contractor is important, you may be unsure as to why this is important. In general, licensing, insurance and bonding protect you and your rights as a customer of that contractor. Proper licensing for an electrical contractor indicates that they have undergone adequate training and have the experience to completely fill their professional role. A licensed electrician has fulfilled the criteria to obtain professional insurance to work in their field, and licensing can also indicate that a contractor has paid a bond covering their work.

A bond is an amount paid by a contractor that allows them to receive licensing in some professional fields. This bond can be accessed by the customer to cover costs for damage if the contractor leaves without finishing the job properly. This offers an extra level of insurance to customers of bonded electrical contractors.

Insurance is taken by contractors to cover all the work they perform while on your property. This means that even if an accident does happen, you and your contractor will be covered.

Does Training and Certification Matter?

You wouldn’t visit a does training and certification matter?doctor who hadn’t been properly trained, so why take a risk with an untrained electrician? Reputable electrical contractors have not only fulfilled the minimum training and experience required for licensing, but they also strive to maintain a high level of professional knowledge and performance throughout their careers. These electricians will undertake ongoing training to further refine and hone their extra skills.

Other professional qualifications and certifications such as Diamond Certification are an assurance of an even higher level of quality. Electricians with further certifications may have met even more stringent performance and customer service guidelines, so you know you are receiving the highest quality electrical service.

Finding A Quality Electrician

finding a quality electricianIf you want to hire a high quality electrical contractor for your next electrical project, a certification service such as Diamond Certified can provide an ideal resource. These certification providers have databases of qualifying contractors in each category and field of practice, so you can choose the right electrical contractor for your needs.

You can also conduct a simple online search to find an electrical contractor near you, by searching ‘electrical contractor in Walnut Creek’ or ‘best electrician in Oakland’ for example. You can also use a directory, check online reviews, or gain referrals by word of mouth through family or friends to find a contractor, as long as you undertake some additional steps to ensure contractor quality and standards.

Checking Their Website

checking an electricians websiteA great place to start is by checking an electrical contractor’s website. This should list their qualifications and certifications, their training and credentials, as well as provide information about their electrical services, past projects and reviews. An electrical contractors’ website can also provide contact information so you can get in touch to ask more specific questions.

Verify License and Certificates of Insurance

can you tell if you've hired a licensed electrician?It’s extremely important to verify an electrician’s license and insurance before they start work in your home. Even if you have seen nothing but great reviews for a contractor or even received a personal recommendation from someone you know who hired that contractor, it’s essential to take the extra step and review the credentials for yourself. There are just too many horror stories about electrical projects going wrong with unlicensed and uninsured electricians, even when these contractors came personally recommended.

One of the easiest ways to check the validity of an electrical contractor’s license and insurance is to ask for it. Properly qualified electricians will happily provide the evidence to assure you of their accreditation and insurance.

If this is not possible, a local state licensing board may be able to provide information on a contractor’s license, and whether they are bonded. Other resources such as the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List can provide further information. Because there is such a large number and variety of insurance providers, it will be difficult to find out if your contractor is insured without asking them. A reputable contractor should have no issue producing a valid insurance certificate upon request.

See Reviews And Ask For References

electrical contractor reviewsAnother helpful way to find out more about your electricians services and performance is to check online reviews. These can be helpful, but may not always offer an honest or transparent perspective. One of the reasons Diamond Certification is so useful is that it offers objective and varied reviews from a number of different clients, to obtain a more unbiased and clear indication of past client satisfaction.

If possible, ask your electrical contractor for references from past clients if you’re planning to undertake a more extensive project with them. This offers you a more specific and personal account of your contractors performance on projects that are similar to yours.

Ask Your Contractor About Training

Great contractors don’t just stop at basic training. High quality electrical contractors invest in ongoing training to further hone and perfect their expert skills. Ask your electrician or check their website to understand more about their approach to training.

Choosing a high quality electrician for your next electrical project isn’t hard when you know how to check their credentials in terms of being licensed, insured, bonded, and trained. Use these tips to help identify the best qualified electrician, and the right contractor for the job.