Your project is ready to go, and you’ve found the perfect person to do the work, but you have no idea if they’re licensed. Insured? First, it’s important to remember you are hiring someone to work for you. Treat it like a business interaction. It can be easy to get intimidated by working with professionals, especially when you don’t know much about the industry you’re working with. However, it’s still important to ask questions and make informed decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask the electrician how long they have been in business? When did they get their license?
Check Out Their Business Website
Most established businesses have a quality website with content that will cover the question. Some post their license number on their site, while others choose to keep that between them and their customers. They may, however, talk about the type of licensing and any special certifications and reassure you that they are indeed licensed and insured. Don’t take the website as your only source of confirmation, just a preliminary check.
Ask For the Numbers.
Nope, not that kind of number. You want the electrician’s license number. You can ask any electrician for their ECRA/ESA license number. It should be there if you’ve worked with them already, even just for an estimate. It can also often be found on the electrician’s work vehicle. They’ll often list the number below their business logo or phone number.
In the future, don’t take their word for it. Verify that. Check the license number before you agree to any work. Provenances may have diverse ways of checking the license. Ontario has a website where you can look up the company name and confirm that they are licensed.
Don’t Get Scammed
You can watch out for red flags to help ensure that you work with a licensed and legitimate contractor.
First, if they ask you to take out any permits in your name rather than theirs, that can be a significant red flag.
Next up, avoid cash-only policies. Most licensed bonded and certified electricians won’t have a cash-only policy. On the rare occasion that they do, they will provide you with their license number, receipts, and paperwork for any work they do. If someone is trying to get you to pay them in an untraceable manner, like cash with no receipts, you can almost always be sure something isn’t quite right.
Once you’ve verified that the company you are working for is licensed, bonded, and insured, the next step is to ensure that they are high quality and well-trusted.
Before the internet, you had to depend on word of mouth or mailing campaigns controlled by the company. Sure, they used quotes from their customers, but they could have, and some did make false statements.
Online reviews make it easier to find a qualified, licensed, bonded electrician for all your home needs. Check out different review sites, not just what is on the electrician’s websites. Go to known sources, and word of mouth is still an excellent way to check up on the company you are working with, so ask around in your social circle as well.
Experience and References
Don’t discount the amount of experience they have in the industry. The more experience they have, the more likely they are to be appropriately licensed and bonded. Like most other service industry companies, electricians depend on their reputation. If they don’t do an excellent job, it eventually gets around, and they cannot get new work.
Professional electricians will be happy to share their experiences with new clients. You can also ask for direct references. Most companies will have jobs they have done or people they have worked with regularly that can back up the quality of their work.
Professionalism is another way to determine someone’s experience in the industry. An electrician working with people for a while will have a professional attitude, and their office will be run like a proper business.
For example, consider how they answer the phone and set up appointments. Does it seem like any other service business? Or do they seem like they aren’t organized?
Do you have trouble reaching them? Many things can factor into how long a business takes to get back to you, and electricians are often extremely busy. But if you’re struggling with reaching them and they aren’t answering your questions when you call? If there is anything that seems suspiciously unprofessional, go back over the list and see if there are any other red flags you should be paying attention to.
What It Takes to Be a Licensed Electrician
Becoming a licensed bonded and insured electrician is like any highly trained professional position; it takes a lot of work. So, it’s unsurprising that some people would rather skip that and con their way into jobs. But working with someone who isn’t actually properly trained and licensed can put your home or business at risk. There is a reason this is a challenging profession to get into. The riggers these professionals are put through ensure that your projects are done correctly and safely.
Licensed and Insured Electricians You Can Count On
If you are cautious and go through all the possible red flags, you’ll end up with an electrician you can count on. Be it for your electrical repair project or a commercial endeavor. Primarily, remember that it’s okay to ask questions. Ask for their license number and references. All these things will help protect you and your property.