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Licensed Electrician in San Jose, CA

How To Hire a Good Electrician in San Jose

When looking to retain the services of an electrician in San Jose, it is important to make sure that you only hire electricians that adhere to the National Electrical Code and the California Electric Code in the completion of their work. Violations of these standards may not only leave you with civil and financial penalties, you may also become a victim of home electrical fire. There are estimated to be over 51,000 household electrical fires and 500 electrical fire-related deaths in the United States every year. Therefore, when in search of a qualified electrician in the city, ask the following questions to ensure your electrician is the best hand for the job:

  • Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of San Jose?
  • How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Electricians in the City of San Jose?
  • Do You Comply with the City of San Jose Building Code for Electrical Works?
  • Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of San Jose Code?
  • What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
  • Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of San Jose?
  • Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of San Jose?

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician in the City of San Jose

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of San Jose?

    Electricians in San Jose must be licensed by the California Contractors State Licensing Board (CSLB) before engaging in any work worth more than $500 within the city. Failing to obtain a license before engaging in work above the monetary limit could result in misdemeanor charges, which carry penalties of up to $5000 in fines or 6 months in jail. Note that these penalties do not include separate administrative fines that could range from $200 to $15,000. Likewise, while there are no specific penalties for residents of San Jose that hire unlicensed electricians, working with one can result in breaches of the city's electrical code, which in turn can lead to city-imposed penalties and additional expenses for rectifying these code violations.

    The CSLB issues an electrical contractor license to qualified individuals classified as a C-10 Electrical Contractor License. Before an electrician can obtain the C-10 license, such an individual must be at least 18 years old, must have worked as an electrical trainee and amassed 720 hours of supplemental and related teaching as well as 8, 000 hours of on-the-job experience. After satisfying the requirements above, the interested applicant will need to sit for and pass an examination before the license can be issued. Applications for the license can be made by completing and mailing an Application for an Original Contractor's License or filling an online form, which upon completion is to be printed and sent to the Department at

    • Contractors State License Board
    • P.O. Box 26000
    • Sacramento, CA 95826

    You can verify the validity of an electrician's license by visiting the Check License portal maintained by the CSLB. For general licensing inquiries, you can contact the CSLB at (800) 321-2752.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Electricians in the City of San Jose?

    The hourly rate charged by electricians in San Jose depends on a number of factors. These factors include the type of job or project in question, the cost of materials and permits for the job, your specific location within the city, and the expertise of the electrician you intend to hire. For a clear understanding of the estimated cost of your required electrical service, it is advisable that you get more than two estimates concerning the particular job you want to do before deciding on the electrician to hire.

    An electrician in the City of San Jose earns $86,550 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in San Jose and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with those of electricians in California as well as other major cities in the United States:

    San Jose Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $41.61
    California Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $36.49
    New York City Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $40.48
    Phoenix Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $23.86
    Philadelphia Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $36.95
    Washington D.C. Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $31.72
    Seattle Electricians Hourly Mean Wage
    $32.67

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Do You Comply with the City of San Jose Building Code for Electrical Works?

    In compliance with the San Jose Ordinance 30326, the City of San Jose has adopted and applied the 2019 California Electrical Code to all electrical work performed within the city. This Code provides the minimum applicable standards for electrical work within the city and is enacted and applied to ensure that the public health, general safety, and welfare of the city's residents are safeguarded. The code stipulates procedures for the wiring and installation of electrical equipment and systems, equipment and material specifications and use, as well as specifications for all other types of electrical work that are carried out within San Jose. It is essential that you only hire electricians that are conversant with the city's Electrical Code and also diligently apply it when performing their duties. One way to ensure that your chosen electrician adheres to the Electrical Code is to hire only properly licensed electricians. You can contact the San Jose Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement at (408) 535-3555 for any queries related to the Electrical Code and its provisions.

  4. Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of San Jose Code?

    Electrical work carried out in San Jose typically requires an electrical permit, unless the work in question is a minor repair, simple replacement, or simply cosmetic. Examples of these types of electrical work that do not require permits include:

    • The repair of appliances without altering the original approval and listing of the appliance.
    • The replacement of electrical outlets, circuit breakers, and fuses.
    • The replacement of electrical switches in already installed boxes.

    For other electrical works that require permits, these permits must be obtained from the San Jose Department of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement. Persons that can apply for an electrical permit include the property owner, a licensed contractor, or an authorized agent of either of these parties. Applications for permits can be made to the department online using its SJpermits portal. Alternatively, a permit may be obtained by either scheduling an in-person appointment by calling (408) 535-3555, or by scheduling a virtual appointment. Note that most electrical work that requires a permit must be inspected at the completion of the project to ensure that the work done complies with the city's code. If you have any questions relating to permits or inspections, you can call the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement at (408) 535-7641 or visit the San Jose Development Services Permit Center at

    • Development Services Permit Center
    • 200 East Santa Clara Street Tower
    • 1st Floor
    • San Jose, CA 95113
  5. What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?

    Electricians in San Jose offer various electrical services, which are typically dependent on their level of expertise, area of specialization, and other related factors. Some of the types of services offered include the installation, fitting, maintenance, and repair of electrical fixtures, fittings, and all other forms of electrical systems and appliances in industrial, residential, and commercial buildings. Other electrical services that are also available in the City of San Jose include consultations, inspections, and the remodeling or rewiring of homes. When you want to hire an electrician, it is imperative that you find out the electrician's area of specialization to ensure that this individual can properly handle and resolve the problem that you have. After determining what services you require and the suitability of the electrician towards providing these services, it is also a good idea to have an idea of the estimated costs of similar services.

    Listed below are cost estimates for common electrical services provided by master and special electricians in San Jose:

    Cost of Electrical for Remodel or Addition
    $114.80 - $127.72
    Cost of Electrical Fixture Installation
    $186.55 - $212.38
    Cost of Upgrade Electrical Panel or Wiring
    $2,611.70 - $3,444
    Cost of EV Home Charging Station Installation
    $1,465.13 - $1,518.95
    Cost of Residential Electrical Contractors
    $121.98 - $133.45
    Cost of Commercial Electrical Contractors
    $93.28 - $113.37
  6. Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of San Jose?

    Sometimes, you might require the services of a skilled electrician to help you deal with an unexpected electrical fault or address a seemingly minor electrical problem that has the potential to result in a bigger problem if not addressed properly and quickly. Some examples of situations that could require emergency attention include:

    • Naked or exposed wiring
    • Power outages, particularly in situations where only your home is affected
    • Electrically charged home appliances and electrocuting outlets.

    When faced with an electrical emergency at home, it is essential that you make sure that you secure the services of an adequately skilled electrician that is capable of handling your particular problem. Make sure you find out the specialization of the electrician before you hire them and confirm that the electrician has the requisite state-isued license to work within the city. You should also consider the proximity of the electrician you intend to hire and select one that is familiar with your location and can get to you in good time if required. You can find licensed and qualified electricians within San Jose using reputable third-party sites like Better Business Bureau or Yelp to find an electrician near you.

  7. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of San Jose?

    The City of San Jose does not mandate electricians to havegeneral liability insurance cover before carrying out work within the city. However, considering that there were about 166 fatal electrical injuries in 2019, it is advisable that you only hire an electrician with adequate insurance cover. Hiring an electrician that is properly insured is a good way to protect yourself from any liability that might arise in relation to unforeseen workplace-related accidents. If you hire an uninsured electrician, you could find yourself responsible for medical bills if an injury is sustained while doing work on your property or you may have to pay more money for any damages that are done to your property. Before you hire an electrician, make sure you ask for a copy of the electrician's insurance certificate and verify that it is valid by contacting the insurance cover provider.

    Note that even though general liabilitty insurance cover is not compulsory for San Jose electricians, the State of California requires that all contractors, including electricians, maintain a bond with a $15,000 value as well as worker's compensation insurance if they have employees.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Electrician in the City of San Jose

While trying to find a capable electrician near you, It is important to be on the lookout for scammers and take proper steps to ensure that you do not fall victim to a contractor scam. A study conducted in 2020 found that home improvement-related complaints were one of the top ten consumer complaints made to local and state agencies in the United States. Due to the hugely important role that electricians play in home improvement and construction-related matters, as well as the constant need for qualified electricians, it is common for con artists to pose as genuine electricians and attempt to defraud homeowners. There are some common techniques that these scammers adopt and they include:

  • Unsolicited Offers to Carry Out Inspections or Repairs: oftentimes, the scammers would turn up at your doorstep uninvited and claim to have been doing work in your neighborhood or just passing by. The individual might then offer to carry out a free inspection or claim to have noticed some defects which can be repaired at a cut-price sum. In situations where you succumb, immediate payment will be required after which the contractor disappears without a trace.
  • Illegal Payments: a dodgy electrician might require that you make a large payment before the commencement of the job or even require full payment before commencement. You should note that under Section 7159 of the California Business Professions Code, it is illegal for any contractor to demand advance payment that is more than 10% of the cost of a job or $1000, whichever is less. IN some situations, these fraudulent individuals might take payment for a job and use inferior materials or intentionally perform a shoddy job for a repeat call.

Due to the diverse tactics employed by scammers, you need to make sure that you carry out a thorough vetting process before deciding on the electrician to hire. Here are some basic steps to take:

  • Always ensure you only hire licensed and insured electricians. You can verify the license of an electrician through the CSLB's Check License portal.
  • Get recommendations from trusted sources like friends and neighbors. You may also use reputable third-party sites like the Better Business Bureau to find good electricians near you.
  • Get references from the electrician and verify these references
  • Insist on a contract before entering into an agreement with an electrician
  • Avoid making large payments or paying the entire sum before the conclusion of the job. After completion, verify that a good job has been done before making final payment.
  • Obtain bids from multiple sources before deciding on the one to go with.

You can report contractor scams to the California Contractors State Licensing Board online or by completing and sending a construction complaint form to

  • Sacramento Intake Mediation Center
  • P.O. Box 269116
  • Sacramento, CA 95826-9116

Alternatively, you can file a complaint with the San Jose Police Department by calling (408) 277-8900 or completing an online incident report.