Becoming an Electrical Contractor

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Electrical contractors are companies or individual electricians that perform maintenance, service, and installation services in industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. Making the switch from being an electrician to an electrical contractor is a great leap as it means you want to test the murky waters of being an entrepreneur. 

How Electrical Contractors Work

The responsibility of the electrical contractor is to install, design, and ensure the proper maintenance of electrical and communication systems within a residential, industrial, or commercial property. The electrical contractor could be a big contracting company or startup with few workers. 

The job of electrical contractors is divided into different lines, and they are as follows:

  • Integrated Building Systems (IBS)/Voice Data Video (VDV): This type of work is focused on the installation, maintenance, and repair of low-voltage appliances. This concentrates on the integration of systems such as Backup Power, Climate control, Security systems, Fiber optics, Wireless networks, Energy-efficient lighting, and Telecommunications. 
  • Outside/Line Contracting: It entails handling high-voltage power transmission and distribution lines. Electrical contractors in this sector concentrate on high-voltage lines, power plants, and substations. 
  • Inside Contracting: Contractors in this sector are experts in wiring homes, and commercial buildings, and work on cabling design, installation, and maintenance of indoor electrical projects. 
  • Large and Small Scale Projects Electrical Contractors: These contractors work on several projects ranging from expansive commercial construction projects to repair works in residential homes. 
  • Commercial and Industrial Project Contractors: In this sector, electrical contractors are focused on delivering electrical services in factories, assembly plants, hospitals, office buildings, schools, etc. 

These experts are responsible for the design and installation of electrical systems, switchgear, wiring, panels, switches, and lighting fixtures. 

Electrical contractors can also deliver maintenance services for owners of commercial and residential properties. They usually charge a fee for their services, and in most cases, they have an agreement to offer regular maintenance services for residential and commercial properties. 

Installation of Gadgets in Residential Properties:

It is becoming imperative to install gadgets in one’s space to curb the menace of insecurity. The role of electrical contractors is very crucial as they are professionals who can assist with the installation of electrical, entertainment, security, and communication systems. 

Electrical Insurance Costs

In most cases, electrician insurance combines professional liability, worker’s compensation, and general liability and fees up to a million dollars. However, this insurance type usually costs about $100 per month for most electrical contracting brands. 

You need to understand that several factors such as states where the service is rendered, claims filed against your business, the number of workers in your company, and years of experience can determine the monthly cost of the electrical contractors’ insurance you will pay. Though several factors go into the final price, you can easily find out more about electrician insurance online based on your criteria. 

How do you become an Electrical Contractor, Individual, or Business?

Before you can obtain an electrical contractor’s license, you need to have a master electrician’s license. However, there are variations in the requirements for obtaining the license to be an electrical contractor. 

If you want to become an electrical contractor, you need to adhere strictly to the guidelines of the state and follow the rules and regulations laid out by the appropriate authorities. However, if you want to become a master electrician, you need to follow these steps: 

Complete an Electrical Apprenticeship Program

You need to complete at least 500 to 1,000 classroom hours and gain at least 8,000 and 10,000 hours of monitored experience through an apprenticeship program. 

Ensure You Meet State Requirements

You will need to render your service in a state. It is important to meet the requirements laid by the authorities for professionals in your industry. However, most states require you to meet certain criteria, such as passing a written examination based on the National Electrical Code, local electrical codes, and electrical theory, and meet a minimum of practical training hours and understanding the theoretical aspect of your tasks. 

Apply for a Master Electrician License

Most electricians need to practice under the license for at least 4,000 hours before they can be considered eligible for applying for the master electrician license. The license of the master electrician gives you the right to design electrical systems, pull permits, monitor other electricians and electrical projects, and apply for the license of an independent electrical contractor. 

How to Apply for an Electrical Contractor’s License

An electrical contractor license is a business license, and a master electrician license is provided by a professional body that guides the activities of the electricians in the industry. You need to possess a master electrician before you can be issued a contractor’s license. 

For instance, Texas requires you to apply for an electrical contractor license if you have a licensed master electrician in your company. On the other hand, the state of Colorado will issue a contractor license if you are a licensed master electrician and own or co-own the company. 

What are the Requirements?

To be issued a contractor license, you need to be eligible, and this entails passing an examination and meeting other criteria such as showing proof of on-hand experience of at least five years in electrical construction and installation. 

For instance, Florida gives electrical licenses to certified electrical contractors once they can prove that they possess a current occupational license and pass the licensing examinations conducted by the state authority. 

Liability Insurance

Most states require electrical contractors to have a business permit and have the necessary liability insurance for their business. In Texas, electrical contractors must have at least 

  • Minimum $300,000 per occurrence
  • Minimum $600,000 aggregate
  • Minimum $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations. 

Renewal of License

In most cases, licenses are meant to be renewed every two years. You are also required to continuously update your knowledge by attending training and improving yourself, and prove that you have worked for a certain number of hours. 

Certified and registered contractors must have completed at least 14 hours of continued education approved by the board within those two years in Florida. You need to ensure that 7 of these hours must be on technical subjects, one hour on workplace safety, one hour in an advanced course, one hour on workers’ compensation, and one hour on business practices. 

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