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When it comes to problems with electrical wires, circuits, outlets or fixtures, it’s best to hire a professional. Because electrical systems are complex, you’ll want to find the best candidate to solve your issue. To help you hire an electrician, we’ve teamed up with ZipRecruiter, one of the largest and best job sites for employers and employees alike. Keep reading and discover what steps you’ll need to take, as well as some valuable tips to consider.
What is an electrician?
Electricians are highly trained and specialized professionals who deal with electrical systems in homes, buildings, industrial complexes and other facilities. Depending on their skill level and qualifications, electricians can deal with a wide variety of electrical items, including:
- Electrical panels
- Circuit breakers
- Lighting systems
- Security systems
- Power grids
- Household appliances
- Transmission lines
- Street lights
- Traffic management systems
Becoming a high-level electrician takes thousands of hours of schooling and training. Electricians must pass exams, gain certifications and licenses and work under high-level electricians before taking on more complicated tasks.
What do electricians do?
Depending on their experience and qualifications, electricians can help with jobs that require a high level of understanding of electrical components. You may hire an electrician to install, inspect or maintain electrical systems in a house or a large complex structure.
Some tasks that electricians may need to do include:
- Troubleshoot electrical problems
- Install fixtures and outlets
- Update wiring
- Design electrical systems
- Read and understand blueprints
- Replace circuit breakers
- Comply with safety protocols
- Ensure electrical systems comply with building codes
How to hire an electrician
Electrical issues can be hazardous. If you encounter an electrical problem, it is best to hire a professional. Failing to correct an electrical problem can have severe consequences, including:
- Power outages
While it’s essential to get a qualified electrician to fix your issue, you also need to put in some work to find the best one who fits your budget.
Determine which certification level your new hire should have
One of the most important factors to consider before hiring an electrician is the level of skill needed to complete the job. Electricians are divided into three categories: apprentice, journeyman and master electrician. The skill level and cost of each will vary depending on their experience.
To progress from an apprentice to a master electrician takes years of work and thousands of hours of training.
Electricians who are just starting out will need to gain experience with an electrician apprenticeship after graduating high school or getting a GED. Aspiring electricians will work under licensed electricians for anywhere from three to six years for on-the-job training and attend classes to further their education.
To move up to a journeyman role, apprentices must pass a journeyman test. A journeyman test is based on information from the National Electrical Code. Once the apprentice meets all requirements, the apprentice will become a journeyman and can work on projects without direct supervision.
Journeyman electricians have completed an apprenticeship but have not completed all the requirements to become master electricians. Journeyman can work independently as residential, industrial and commercial electricians on jobs that include working with wires, outlets, control systems and fixtures.
Although journeyman electricians can work independently, they will still work under a master electrician. To become a master electrician, a journeyman electrician must gain a few years of experience as a journeyman and pass an exam. Journeyman electricians will also need to attend classes that are run by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Electrical Contractors Association.
Once a journeyman meets all the local requirements to level up, they become a Certified Master Electrician. This is the highest professional level attainable for electricians. Master electricians can not only design electrical projects and pull permits, but they also train and oversee journeyman and apprentice electricians.
Master electricians can start their own companies or work as subcontractors by getting a contractor’s license. To do this, they’ll need to purchase multiple types of insurance coverage.
Decide whether you need a full-time or contract electrician
Depending on the amount of work needed, you’ll have to decide whether it's enough for a full-time job or contract work. If you’ve got a short-term project, like repairs, upgrades or troubleshooting, you’ll often only need a contract electrician.
If you expect a project to run for a long time, you should consider hiring a full-time electrician. These projects can range from maintaining a large shopping center to wiring new buildings or complexes. Because these types of projects will typically involve maintaining, upgrading and repairing the electrical wiring, having a full-time electrician on call is best.
Write an electrician job description
Writing an electrician job description is one way to find great candidates. There are a few things you should include when you write a job description for your electrical project, including:
- Introduction: First, introduce yourself or your company in a positive light. List some reasons why this is an enticing position. Try to stand out to attract the most qualified candidates.
- The job: Explain the project and its required responsibilities.
- Minimum requirements: Ensure you’ve clearly outlined what qualifications the candidate needs for the job. Not including the minimum requirements, such as licenses and technical skills, may result in candidates applying who cannot perform the tasks needed.
- Working conditions: Here, you can include the estimated timeline and schedule as well as other conditions of the job, such as whether the work will take place indoors or outdoors, in a small space, high in the air, or even if the electrician must stand, sit, kneel or bend for long periods. You may also want to list your preferred price.
To help get started, try using an electrician job description template.
Post an electrician job opening
Once you’ve finished writing the job description, you’ll need to post the job opening online on sites like ZipRecruiter, a Santa Monica-based company whose stated mission is to provide a quicker and simpler way of connecting employers with job seekers. A quick online search can show you some of the best job posting sites for employers where you can attract attention to your project.
After posting your job description, wait and see who applies. If you’re not attracting the applicants you want, tweak your original description and repost your opening. You can also try posting the job opening on more boards and sites to increase your pool of potential electricians.
In addition to posting a job opening, consider making a career page. You can use online resources to create a better career page that will help you attract top electrician candidates.
Interview the top applicants
You shouldn’t choose an electrician based only on their response to your job posting. You’ll want to speak with them in person or on the phone to ask a few interview questions and get a sense that this person is right for the job. In the interview, be sure to express your expectations clearly, so the candidate knows what kind of job they are getting into.
Hire a qualified electrician
When you’ve interviewed candidates and have decided on one, there are a few more things to check before offering them the job. Make sure the candidate meets all of your local and state requirements for the job and possesses all necessary licenses and certifications. Many states require electricians to keep up with ever-changing safety protocols and building codes by attending courses and specialized training programs.
Once you’ve chosen a qualified candidate to be your electrician, reach out to them and make an offer. After you and the electrician work out and agree on the terms, sign a contract and get started.
Where to find electricians for hire
You can try using several channels to find electricians that may be suitable for your project. Many electricians are available through online job search sites, such as ZipRecruiter. You can search websites listing candidates or try posting your job position to attract interest.
Reaching out to friends and family members is another common method. With a positive referral, you can contact the candidate and see if they have electrical experience with the type of job you have available. If the recommended electrician isn’t a good fit for the job, they may be able to suggest another electrician.
Some other resources that may help you to find a suitable electrician include:
- Electrical supply stores
- Home builders associations
Interview questions to ask an electrician before hiring them
Before hiring an electrician, you'll want to ask a few questions to make sure they are a good fit for the job. Some questions you should consider asking include:
- How much experience do you have with this type of project? Even if the job you need done is straightforward, it's a good idea to ask your potential electrician about the amount of experience that they have. You can follow up with a behavioral interview question about specific examples of previous work on similar projects.
- What is the estimated cost? If you're hiring a contract electrician, getting an accurate estimate will prepare you for the project's cost. An estimate will allow you to compare the prices with quotes from other electricians and help you find the best deal. Make sure to ask follow-up questions if it isn't clear how the electrician came up with the price.
- Are you insured? Making sure that a contracted electrician has liability insurance is vital. If they make a mistake that results in damage or expansion of the electrical problem, you will want that electrician's insurance to cover the costs. When an electrician causes a problem and doesn't have insurance, you must use your insurance to cover the costs, which may increase your future premiums.
Tips for hiring an electrician
You should find and consider multiple electricians before choosing one to carry out your tasks. Don’t be afraid to pay for a consultation with more than one candidate to understand their credentials, qualifications and experience. Look for reviews online and contact previous customers to ensure you’re getting the best candidate.
It’s also important to carefully consider your overall budget and what your job entails. Making sure that your expectations and prices are reasonable will save you and the electrician time when discussing the project details.
Many resources are available online to help you find suitable candidates, including guides on the best background check sites and best recruiting software. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can also improve your recruitment process. It’s a good idea to understand the best practices for using an ATS before getting started. Using all of the resources available to you will help you find the right electrician for the job.
How much does it cost to hire an electrician?
The cost of hiring an electrician will vary greatly depending on multiple factors, including the level of electrician needed for the job and the complexity of the project.
The hourly fee of an electrician is usually in the range of $40 to $150, but some master electricians can charge over $500 per hour. In most cases, the electrician can give you an estimate, but you should expect to pay the hourly rate if the estimate requires the electrician to visit and perform an inspection to diagnose the problem.
How much do electricians make?
What is a journeyman electrician?
Summary of Money’s how to hire electricians
Hiring the right electrician is vital for any project, whether you need a commercial, industrial or residential electrician. By determining which certification level your electrician should have, deciding if you need a full-time or contract electrician and posting a job opening online, you will be able to find a number of suitable candidates for your project.
If you’ve already hired an excellent electrician or other high-level workers, you may be interested in learning more about how to retain employees.