How do I hire an electrician?

How to not get shocked when you have electrical trouble.
You may need an electrician only once in a blue moon, but you should be prepared to choose the right person for the job when the time comes.

Find an electrician near you in our listings of local professionals. Then follow these tips for choosing the electrician that's right for your job.

  • Know exactly what you want

    When you speak with an electrician, be as detailed as possible about what you need. Your choice depends on the nature of your problem or project. You may not want to use the same electrician for a minor repair as you would for a complex remodeling job.

  • Make sure your electrician is licensed

    Always make sure your electrician holds a valid license. For example, in Georgia there are three types of licenses for this profession: Class I, Class II, and Low Voltage Contractor.

    Knowing which license an electrician has will tell you what kind of work each is certified to do and the minimum amount of experience required for the license.

    The Professional Licensing Board Division of the Georgia secretary of state's office offers free licensing verification. (Check with your local state for a comparable website). You'll need at least a first and last name to verify the status of any electrician's license.

  • Ask about the electrician's experience

    When you speak with electricians, be sure to ask them how long they have been in business. Though someone new to the field may be very competent, it's always a good idea to find out how much hands-on experience an electrician has.

  • Check the electrician's references

    Get customer references from the electrician. No amount of guessing compares to first-hand accounts from former customers.

  • Confirm insurance

    An electrician should provide you with a certificate of insurance before work begins and before you make a payment. On this point, do not offer to negotiate; you take on too much risk when you do business with an electrician who cannot provide proof of insurance.

  • Get at least three estimates

    Get more than one estimate for your project. The cost of electrical jobs, especially remodeling, can fluctuate greatly among different businesses. A good rule of thumb is to get at least three different estimates for the work you need.

  • Ask for a walk-through of your job

    Whether the electrician is adding a few outlets to the bedroom or rewiring your entire home, you should know exactly what you're paying for and what you can expect when the job is done.

    Especially in the case of repairs, make sure you understand the cause of the problem and how it will be permanently solved.

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