Having a qualified electrician perform a home inspection is one of the smartest decisions you can make for your home, not to mention the safety of your family.
Whether you’re building new, buying an older home, working on renovations or additions, or it’s just been a while since a professional has given your house a once-over, home inspections are virtually guaranteed to save you from costly repair bills—and perhaps even a tragic fire—later on down the road.
Types of Electricians
There are generally three classifications of electrician—apprentice, journeyman, and master. Each consecutive level requires an increasing number of years of experience and the successful completion of various written exams.
Pennsylvania, for instance, doesn’t have any statewide licensing requirements as other states do—the requirements depend on your city. For instance, journeyman electricians in Allentown require four years of experience and successful passage of the journeyman exam to receive their journeyman electrician license. Whereas Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offer electrical contractor licenses, which require certification from an electrical wiring school, two years of experience and successful completion of a trade exam.
The main distinction between master and journeyman electricians is that masters are authorized to design entire electrical systems—ideal if you’re building a new home or working on an addition. For all other types of home inspections, journeyman electricians can conduct them with the same level of expertise.
How to Choose an Electrician
As with most things, a little bit of homework goes a long way. Ask to see their license and proof of insurance, and make sure both are current. If they give you the run-around about these two vital documents, you have your answer—find someone else.
Online reviews can also help you decide, provided they’re authentic. But old-school is often still the best way to go—word-of-mouth remains one of the most effective ways to find what you need. Talk to an electrician’s previous customers and ask them about their experience. If they’re happy with the work and had a good rapport, your search may be over. And when in doubt, get a referral from someone you trust. With a little digging and a few good questions, finding the best electrician for your home inspection won’t take you long at all.