Reasons to Use a Licensed Electrician
When times are tough and the household budget is stretched thin, cheap is often the name of the game. The temptation to take the lowest bid when electrical work needs to be done, usually bid by an unlicensed electrician, can be very strong. And while it can be strong, it can also be a huge mistake, one that could cost way more than what a licensed electrician would have charged the first time.
Arizona Licensing Requirements
To be licensed in Arizona, an aspiring electrician must have at least four years’ experience as a “journeyman” or higher. A journeyman is a skilled and trained laborer working under a licensed contractor (in this case, an electrician). They have to prove that they’ve done work on at least eight projects, in a variety of ways. Then, once they’ve got their business entity formed and tax information ready, they have to pass an exam. The exam covers an array of questions that will guarantee anyone who passes will be proficient in the field. They have to take this test again every two years, to make sure they’re staying up to date on the new technology and regulations.
Unlicensed electricians have no one to answer to, no tests to take, and no accountability. Licensed electricians know what they’re doing. They have pride in their work and a reputation to maintain. They’ve studied, taken the time to learn what they need to do. In addition, they’re a member of the Registrar of Contractors.
The Registrar is a statewide database of licensed contractors, including electricians that homeowners can pull from to find the best contractors that suit their needs. Losing their spot on the Registrar would be blight on their career, potentially ruining it.
Hiring an unlicensed contractor leaves a homeowner open to liability in some surprising ways.
While licensed electricians may charge higher rates, the extra money goes towards things that will ultimately benefit the homeowner. Namely, insurance.
Licensed electricians have liability insurance, which means if something happens on the job and someone is injured, or property is damaged, they have insurance to cover it. They’re also likely to have unemployment insurance, which if they are injured, would mean they wouldn’t be going after the homeowner to cover lost wages.
Unlicensed electricians will most often be without this insurance, which leaves the homeowner at risk if there are any problems. If an unskilled electrician is injured on the job, the fault will be with the homeowner who may be found liable if there is a lawsuit.
In addition, using an unlicensed electrician may also render a home insurance policy void, leaving the homeowner out on their own in the event of an electrical disaster. In addition to safety, the risk of fire, liability, and a null homeowner’s insurance policy are three valid reasons why many homeowners prefer to have their work done by a licensed contractor.