If you are looking to hire an electrician, then there are a few things that you should know before you make your final decision:
Verify that they are licensed. No matter what state you currently live in, all electricians are required to have a license to work in the electrical field. That being said, each state will have their own license that they will issue, so you should never accept a license from out of state.
Know what kind of electrician they are – there are two types of electricians: master electricians and journeymen. A master electrician has passed the state electrical test and he will have at least two years of experience working in the electrical field. A journeyman is also licensed to work in the state, but he might not have passed the standardized state test yet and may not have as much experience. Some states will require that a journeyman electrician can only work on a home under the direction and supervision of a master electrician. If you are looking to save money by hiring a journeyman instead of a master electrician, make sure that you check the laws in your state first to see what the regulations are for journeymen and master electricians. The concern is not that the work will not be just as high quality when you hire a journeyman, but when an inspector comes to evaluate the work that was done by your electrician and make sure that it is up to code, they need to be able to provide the proper documentation before the inspector will even begin to look at the work done.
Ask about specializations – Some electricians prefer to specialize in particular types of electrical work. Some work solely as a commercial electrician and do not like to work on residential buildings. Others might have a preference towards new builds only, and still others prefer to work on revitalization projects or home renovation projects. Look at the past work that an electrician has done to see if your project falls into the same category. You want to hire someone that has specific experience in the type of project that you will be asking them to work on.
Check with others for referrals and ask the electrician for references – Word of mouth referrals can be a great way to find a good electrician. Ask friends and neighbors that have had electrical work done if they were happy with their electrical contractor and if they would hire them again. Communication is key when you are working on a big project with that requires an electrician. When your architect or contractor is creating plans for a remodel or new build, an electrician needs to understand where they are going to be installing outlets and light fixtures, and what size and kind of fixture is going to be in that place so that they can make sure that they are doing the right work. They also need to be good at coordinating their work and schedule with the rest of the contractors so that they are not delaying the work that other people are waiting to do.