How to Find the Best Electrician

Audrey Bruno
Written by Audrey Bruno
Updated September 30, 2021
Electrician fixing a light bulb
Estradaanton - stock.adobe.com

Use these tips to find the right licensed electrician for your home improvement project

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

There are many different kinds of electricians, and not all of them are equally equipped to handle certain types of jobs. Some simply don’t have as much experience, while others specialize in specific operations like installation. Luckily, there are a few questions you can ask during your search for a qualified electrician to be sure you’re securing a professional that’s most qualified to handle your project. Use this guide to find the best pro for the needs of your home.

1. Plan Your Project to Find the Best Type of Electrician

Nail the details down of your project before reaching out to professionals to ensure you’re getting the right person for the job. These are some of the different types of electricians

Residential Electricians

These are your garden-variety electricians and they can take care of everything from home electrical system upgrades to circuit breaker repairs. If you need an electrical repair in your house, this is generally the right type of professional to recruit.  

Commercial Electricians

These electricians perform the same type of work as residential electricians but on a larger scale and for commercial environments. You won’t need to hire one of these pros for anything in your residence, but you may need to reach out to one if you own or manage a business. 

Installation Electricians

If you’re looking to install a brand new electrical system into your home, narrow your hunt to installation electricians only. They’re more qualified than other electricians to set up new wiring as well as lighting, heating, and security systems. 

2. Ask About Their Qualifications and Experience

Always check your electrician’s qualifications and verify their license before making a final selection. You can usually find this information by perusing an electrician’s website or asking them directly. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for, ask for their name, the company’s name, and their license number, and use that information to confirm their qualifications with the labor department in your state.

There are three types of electricians based on certification level:

  • Apprentice electrician: These electricians are not technically licensed and should always be working under supervision.

  • Journeyman electrician: This is the status that most licensed electricians have and it enables them to work without supervision.

  • Master electrician: This is the highest level of certification and most electricians (especially if they're relatively young) won’t have it because it requires a minimum of 4,000 hours work. Master electricians often own electrical contractors, which are licensed organizations that supervise a staff of electricians on many different kinds of jobs.

3. Find Out Who’s Going to Be Doing the Work

Electrician checking electrical box
LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS - stock.adobe.com

If you’re hiring an electrician through an electrical contractor rather than working with someone independent, be sure to ask who will be assigned to your project. If you’ve contacted a company that relies on subcontractors, they may not be properly covered by insurance. 

4. Request Recommendations and Look for Reviews

Relying on word of mouth is one of the most fool-proof ways to ensure you’re getting the most qualified electrician for your project. Ask contractors and other home improvement professionals that you’ve worked with in the past who they’d recommend. And use online review aggregates to get an unbiased assessment. 

5. Find Out If They Offer a Warranty

Guarantee your new improvement will be covered in case of damages or faulty installation by finding out if an electrician has a warranty. Some plans offer to replace or repair projects for as long as five years after completion. But others can last as little as just one year.

6. ...and If They Carry Insurance

It’s not required by the state that electricians carry insurance, but you (and your home) will be better protected if you hire one that does. That way, no party has to worry about unexpected costs if a damage occurs during the project. 

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.