Nowadays many of today’s homeowners have adopted the DIY (do it yourself) concept for home improvements and repairs. This makes perfect sense when it comes to home projects. When it comes to basic electrical projects, whether they involve replacing a light switch or installing a circuit breaker, the smartest DIYers invariably call on a certified electrician to oversee the project. Electrical contractors can charge quite a bit when they’re paid a retainer and are hired for a specific period of time. But when the job is taken over by an inexperienced do-it-yourselfer, the expense quickly adds up.
Before embarking on any home improvement project, you should be aware of the local building code. This information will be listed in either a special section of the building code or a section specifying general home improvement or electrical projects. In addition to having this information readily available, ask your contractor if he or she is a licensed contractor and if so, what kind of professional liability insurance he or she carries. A reputable contractor will have this kind of insurance.
The actual process of getting these electrical licenses, however, varies from state to state. Some states only require that you pass a simple written exam, while others require live training with current and/or certified apprentices. Many states, however, do both. If your state doesn’t require licensing then it’s likely that your prospective electricians have not received any training on the state required courses. This is where online courses can come in handy. They are an excellent way for homeowners and other property owners to get their hands on the training that they need, no matter where they live.
If your local or state licensing board requires you to obtain your license through the NICEIC (National Electrician’s Association) or the NNSA (National Security Electrical Contractors Association), it is best to contact them to see if the licensing exam requirements have changed. The NNSA and NICEIC work closely with the state licensing boards to make sure that everyone is kept up to date on the latest safety and protection standards. The National Fire Protection Association also offers a very strenuous National Certification Exam for electricians that is offered twice annually. This certification is good for two years, depending on the state where you live. Because this exam is so demanding, it is only recommended for someone who already has a significant amount of experience in the electrical field.
Once licensed, an individual can look forward to working as an apprentice for two years. After that he or she can apply for a journeyman license, which is the final step before gaining full certification. All three stages are awarded at the same time, making the process very streamlined and effective. The result is an exciting and rewarding career in electrical work.