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Licensed Electrician in Boston, MA

How to Hire a Good Electrician in Boston

When faced with an electrical problem be cautious to hire a qualified electrician. Note, that about one-third of household structure fires in the US are due to malfunctioning electrical distribution equipment such as plugs and switches which must be fixed appropriately. When in search of an electrician in Boston, ensure the professional is licensed, insured, and has firm understanding of the Massachusetts electrical code. You should also ask the following questions to confirm that you are contracting the best hand for the job:

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

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician in the City of Boston

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

    The first step to take in determining that your electrician is the right fit for the job is confirming that this electrician is duly licensed. The City of Boston utilizes the National Electric Code, and according to the code, it is illegal for any individual to engage in any form of electrical work without a master electrician license, and individuals that violate this law can face city-imposed administrative penalties. Licensing of qualified electricians in the City of Boston is handled at the state level by the Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Electricians. This board issues several types of electrical licenses, which include Journeyman license, Master Electrician license, Systems Technician license, and Systems Contractor license. The specific requirements for obtaining each of these licenses vary slightly. For example, an applicant may only apply for a Journeyman Electrician license after obtaining the following requirements:

    • The applicant must have obtained a high school diploma
    • The applicant must have completed 600 hours of the Journeyman curriculum from an approved educational program
    • The applicant must have attained at least four years of work experience with a minimum of 8000 hours in these years.
    • The applicant must have a clean Criminal Offenders Record Information

    Likewise, Master Electrician license requirements are as follows:

    • The applicant must have completed one year as a Journeyman electrician
    • The applicant must have completed 150 hours of the Master electrician curriculum from an approved trade institution
    • The applicant must have a clean Criminal Offenders Record Information
    • The applicant must write and pass a state-administered trade exam

    Note that System Technician and System Contractor electrician license applicants also need to meet similar requirements, but the hours of experience vary. For further inquiries concerning the requirements for obtaining an electrician's license in the City of Boston, you can contact the Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Electricians at:

    • Board of State Examiners of Electricians1000 Washington Street
    • Suite 710 Boston, MA 02118
    • Phone: (617) 727-9931

    You can also use the search for a license tool provided by the Board of State Examiners of Electricians to authenticate an electricians' license in the City of Boston. It is advisable that you do this before hiring any electrician in the city.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared with Electricians in the City of Boston?

    As a project owner, it is essential to ask for price estimates from at least three electricians before commencing your project. This will help you determine the average range that can be charged for your specific electrical work. Electricians in the City of Boston may charge at an hourly or daily rate and their rates are defined by the cost of materials, nature of the job, cost of labor, and miscellaneous expenses.

    An electrician in the City of Boston earns $61,550 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in Boston and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with that of electricians in Massachusetts State as well as other major cities in the United States:

    Boston Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $29.59
    Massachusetts Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $29.59
    Los Angeles Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $37.25
    Chicago Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $40.50
    Houston Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $25.57
    Phoenix Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $23.86
    Philadelphia Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $36.95

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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

    The National Electric Code, which has been adopted by the City of Boston, is a set of regulations and processes created to control the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems across the city. The code establishes the minimum standard for all the electrical works in the city. This electrical code was created to ensure the safety of life and property in the city and the Boston Inspectional Services Department is tasked with ensuring strict compliance with its provisions and requirements. It is important that you not only hire a licensed electrician but also ensure that the electrician is familiar with the provisions of the city's electrical code. Hiring an electrician that is familiar with the code ensures that your project will be carried out according to the required standards, thereby freeing you from penalties that come with code violations. Similarly, it is equally advisable for every project owner to also be conversant with the code, as this will help spot any foul play from a mile away. For more information on the Electrical Code and its requirements, you can contact the Boston Inspectional Services Department at:

    • 1010 Massachusetts Avenue5th Floor
    • Boston, MA 02118
    • Phone: (617) 635-5300
    • Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
  4. Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of Boston Code?

    Before the maintenance, alteration, or installation of any electrical system in the City of Boston is done, a permit is required. The majority of the electrical works that go on in the City of Boston require a permit, you can contact the Boston Inspectional Services Department at (617) 635-5300 to find out what electrical activities are permit exempted. The Boston Inspectional Services Department is responsible for the issuing of permits in the city, and it issues two types of permits for electrical work, namely short-form permits and long-form permits. The short-form permit is issued for minor projects that do not change a building's use and exit, living space, and fire protection, while the long-form permit is issued for new construction, structural repairs, and renovations or for increasing capacity to the building. Electrical permits can be obtained online, however, registration is required for the utilization of this online portal. Permit applications are typically made by electrical contractors, and these parties are required to upload several documents when submitting permit applications online. These documents include:

    • A nominal fee letter
    • A copy of the agreement letter between the project owner and the contractor
    • Workers' compensation certificate
    • A description of the project and the address
    • A site plan

    Alternatively, permit applications can also be made in person by bringing the required documents to the Inspectional Services office located at:

    • Building Division
    • Counter 11010 Massachusetts Avenue,
    • 5th Floor
    • Boston, MA 02118

    If the application and the documents provided comply with the city's standard, a permit will be printed for the project. Note that you may need to schedule an inspection after the project has commenced. These inspections are typically carried out to ensure the provisions of the electrical code as they relate to your project are strictly adhered to. The Office of Public Safety and Inspections (OPSI) is charged with the task of project inspections in the City of Boston, and you can call this office at (617) 727-3200 to schedule an inspection or to make further inspection-related inquiries.

  5. What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?

    Before engaging the services of an electrician, it is essential to find out if the electrician is qualified and experienced enough to undertake your particular task. Electricians in the City of Boston offer various services like the repair, maintenance, and installation of electrical systems and their areas of expertise may differ. For instance, a Journeyman electrician might be able to carry out a simple repair on a fan, but unable to install an electrical outlet. Note that several other factors come into play when Boston electricians provide quotes for their services, such as the extent of the damage that the electrical problem may have caused, the cost of materials for the job, and permit fees.

    Listed below are some common cost estimates for electrical services in the City of Boston:

    Repairing or replacing an outlet
    $133 - $296
    Grounding an outlet
    $20 - $50
    Installing a new switch
    $140 - $165
    Installing a 220
    volt outlet- $250 - $300
    Replacing a circuit breaker
    $100 - $160
    Rewiring a house
    $2700 - $3800
    Installation of an electric switch
    $80 - $120
    Electrical outlet installation
    $200 - $275
    Fan installation or repair
    $300 - $500
    Installation of a smart home automation system
    $4,000 - $12,000
  6. Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of Boston?

    Considering that property damage, injury, and even death can occur from a simple electrical problem, every electrical issue should be treated as an emergency. These electrical issues include a noisy circuit breaker, power outage, exposed live wires, and flickering bulbs. In the occurrence of an electrical emergency, it is important to hire the services of an electrician that is duly licensed, experienced, and familiar with the city's code in order to avoid further damage and code violations. You can find qualified and experienced electricians using third-party websites like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, or Google Review. Note that, after making use of third-party websites, you should always confirm that the electrician has been duly licensed by the Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Electricians by using its search for license tool or by contacting this board at (617) 727-9931.

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

    In 2019 alone, 86 fatal occupational injuries were recorded across the State of Massachusetts. Therefore, as a project owner, you must do your due diligence by ensuring your electrician possesses valid insurance coverage before commencing work on your project. Electrical contractors in the City of Boston are mandated to obtain workers' compensation insurance coverage from the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. This department is charged with the task of overseeing the Massachusetts workers' compensation system and the department maintains a list of contractors that have active workers' compensation. You can verify your electrician's coverage via this department's database or by calling (617) 727-4900. You can also contact this department for further inquiries at:

    • Lafayette City Center
    • 2 Avenue de Lafayette
    • Boston, MA 02111-1750

    In addition to this workers' compensation insurance, you should also ensure that your electrician has a general liability insurance plan that is enough to cover the costs of any work-related injuries or other unforeseen events that may occur during your project. You can request proof of the electrician's insurance in the form of an insurance certificate, and authenticate it with the relevant issuing organization.

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

In 2021, home improvement and construction scams were one of the top 10 scams reported across the country. Before employing the services of an electrician to handle your electrical project, it is important to confirm the authenticity of the electrician, to avoid being scammed. There are several signs of an unethical electrician and they include:

  • The electrician requests and insists on full payment before completion of the job
  • The electrician cannot provide valid credentials
  • The electrician has no valid insurance coverage
  • The electrician requests a cash-only deal
  • The electrician provides ridiculously cheap quotes for the job
  • The electrician uses a fake or invalid license
  • The electrician wants to use second-rate, cheap, or left-over materials for the job

There are several steps that you can take to avoid falling for an electrical scam in the City of Boston, such as:

  • Never agreeing to an oral contract
  • Using third-party websites like Better Business Bureau to locate qualified and experienced electricians near you
  • Requesting quotes from three to four electricians and comparing these quotes
  • Never agreeing to make full payment before the completion of the job
  • Getting referrals to good electricians near you from friends and family
  • Confirming that the electrician has been duly licensed by the Massachusetts Department Board of State Examiners of Electricians by calling at (617) 727-9931. You can also utilize the search for license tool provided by the Massachusetts Department Board of State Examiners to do this

If you've been scammed by an electrician, you can file a complaint with the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL) using the division's ePLACE portal. Note that you would have to register on the portal and follow the instructions given to enable you to submit this complaint. Alternatively, you can download and fill the DOL's complaint form, and then mail the completed form to:

  • 1000 Washington Street
  • Suite 710
  • Boston, MA 02118

Further complaint-related inquiries can be directed to the DOL at (617) 701-8600.

Lastly, if you suspect that you have been approached by an unscrupulous electrician or if you have fallen victim to such a scam, you can contact the Boston Police Department via phone number (617) 343-4633 or in person at:

  • 1 Schroeder Plaza
  • Boston, MA 02120