Your budget is a primary concern when working on a home renovation project. Consequently, many people look for quick fixes to small problems, including small electrical issues. Unfortunately, this can lead to hiring a handyman who isn’t truly qualified to work on electrical systems. You may also be tempted to complete small repairs on your own.
Though installing a new lighting fixture or switch may not seem like a big deal, even these seemingly small projects can cause major problems within your electrical system. Below, we look at Georgia's electrical contractor licensing requirements and why it is always better to hire a professional when completing any kind of electrical work on your home.
Electrician Licensing Requirements in Georgia
In Georgia, electrical contractors must be licensed through the Georgia State Board of Electrical Contractors. In fact, it Is illegal for an electrician to perform services unless they hold an active license. Under the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia, there are two types of electrical contractor licenses: Class I and Class II.
Class I (Electrical Contractor – Restricted) electricians are restricted to performing electrical work involving “single-phase electrical installations which do not exceed 200 amperes at the service drop or the service lateral,” while Class II (Electrical Contractor – Unrestricted) electricians have no restrictions placed on the type of electrical work they may complete.
Electrical contractor licensing requirements in Georgia:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have a minimum of four years of experience in the electrical field, with Class II applicants documenting their experience with installations exceeding single-phase, 200 amperes systems
- Submit a completed application
- Have a score of 70% on the necessary exam
- Submit three references from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s character and experience (a minimum of one reference must come from a licensed electrical contractor)
Applicants must also pay the application fee and have their application signed and notarized.
Make Safety a Priority When Working on Electrical Projects
Safety is the number one reason always to hire a licensed electrical contractor. Electrical systems are complicated, and the risks of fire or injury are significant, even with small projects. Improperly installed lighting, damaged outlets, and malfunctioning switches can cause an electrical fire or shock. When you work with an experienced electrical contractor licensed in Georgia (like Lightning Bug Electric), you know that the work will be done correctly, safely, and up to code.
The benefits of working with a licensed electrical contractor include:
- Work will be completed by an electrician who knows the Georgia Electrical Code and the National Electrical Code
- Work will be completed correctly and to your desired specifications
- Any problems will be resolved professionally and effectively
- Installations and repairs will be done right the first time, avoiding future costs associated with having to have work re-done or corrected
At Lightning Bug Electric, we know that you want your project completed economically and quickly. The surest way to achieve long-term results is to work with a professional electrician who is appropriately licensed.
Why You Should Avoid Doing DIY Electrical Work
Though you may find many tutorials on the internet, when working on your electrical system, you are always better safe than sorry. Tutorials and internet guides do not speak directly to your exact electrical system, nor does it account for any unknown issues that may be going on with your system. Just as you should avoid hiring someone who isn’t appropriately licensed, we discourage homeowners from doing DIY electrical work. The risks are simply too great.
What to Look for When Hiring an Electrician
When hiring an electrician, we recommend searching first for electrical contractors who are appropriately licensed in Georgia. Licensing is crucial, but it doesn’t always mean that the electrician you’re calling has the resources or capacity to handle your specific needs. Therefore, you should also confirm that the electrician you’re calling offers your needed services.
Once you’ve narrowed your list to licensed electricians who can handle the job, we recommend you look for someone who is established in your community. By working with a local electrical contractor, you not only ensure that you are within the electrician’s service area, but you will also be able to go back to them easily should you have questions down the road.
For example, say you live in the Atlanta area, and you need a home theater installed. You hire Lightning Bug Electric. Not only are we conveniently located in Marietta, but for the past 25 years, our core service area has been the Atlanta Metro area. Now, suppose we’ve installed your home theater, and a year later, you want to upgrade the sound system in your home theater but aren’t sure how to integrate it into your existing home theater setup. As well-established electricians with a long history in the area, you can be sure that we will still be here, ready to help you.
Need help with an electrical project? Give us a call or send us a message online. Our team is standing by to help you today.