How to Hire a Good Electrician in Raleigh
There are roughly 51,000 home electrical fire incidents each year across the country, resulting in over 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and damage to real estate properties valued at more than $1.3 billion. Hence, it is essential to leave installation and repair of electrical equipment to qualified professionals who complies with the National Electrical Code and the North Carolina Electrical Code. When in search of an electrician in the City of Raleigh, you should ask the following crucial questions to determine the competency of the professional:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as an Electrician in the City of Raleigh?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Electricians in the City of Raleigh?
- Do You Comply with the City of Raleigh Building Code for Electrical Works?
- Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of Raleigh Code?
- What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of Raleigh?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Electricians in the City of Raleigh?
An electrician who seeks to work and serve residents in Raleigh must first meet specific licensing requirements. These requirements include a compulsory registration with the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC). North Carolina also requires electrical contractors to register with the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors(NCLBGC) before undertaking any contracting job that has a monetary value of more than $30,000. The NCBEEC works strictly with the NCBEEC Laws and Rules to license electricians within the State. The NCBEEC issues licenses across ten categories in the state. The license types issued include:
- Limited (L) license - Limited license holders can only perform electrical contracts valued at $60,000 or less.
- Intermediate(I) license - Intermediate license holders can only engage in electrical contracting where the project is not less than $150,000.
- Unlimited(U) license - Unlimited license holders are not constrained by budget and can perform electrical works of any monetary value.
- Seven other license categories that are broadly referred to as Special Restricted Licenses. A detailed description of the work special restricted license holders can perform is contained in the Laws and Rules of the Board.
Before an electrician can be licensed in the State, an applicant must meet specific criteria, including:
- Applicants must submit a correctly filled application form to the NCBEEC.
- Applicants must pay a license fee as outlined in the laws and rules of the NCBEEC.
- Applicants must provide an authentic name, signature, and social security on the application form submitted to the NCBEEC.
- Applicants must write and pass an exam set by the board.
To write a licensing exam with the Board, an applicant must be at least 18 years old, submit the application form to the board, submit two reference forms attesting to the applicant's character, and meet any other requirements laid out by the NCBEEC. Some of the additional criteria set by the board for the different license categories include:
- Applicants seeking to obtain limited licenses must have at least two years of experience, and one of the two years must be primary experience.
- Applicants applying to obtain intermediate licenses must possess at least four years of experience, two of which must be primary experience.
- Applicants who apply to be unlimited license holders should possess at least five years of experience, and at least four of these years must be a primary experience.
Applicants seeking to be licensed as special restricted license also have specific criteria as stated in the Laws and Rules of the NCBEEC.
The Board also works independently to sanction electricians who work without licenses throughout the State. Some sanctions the Board metes out include suspensions for periods not exceeding 12 months, revocations of rights to serve, a civil penalty not exceeding $1,000, etc.
The Boards Laws and Rules allow some electrical projects to be done without a contractor license. Some of these electrical projects that you can perform without an electrical contractor license include:
- Replacing lamps and fuses,
- Installation and servicing of appliances connected by a cord to a junction box that has been permanently installed.
When you find an electrician you wish to hire, you should take steps to verify the electrician's license using the online verification portal maintained by the Board. If you have any questions about the licensing process or requirements for electricians in the State, you can contact the Board by phone at (919) 733-9042 with these inquires.
Before hiring an electrician in Raleigh, you should know that several factors generally affect the costs incurred during the electrical project. Electricians charge based on the nature of electrical work to be executed, the prices of apparatus used in the electrical work, and the expertise level of the electrician. Before you hire an electrician, you should compare estimates with different electricians. These estimates you get would help you create a financial budget and would enable you to select only electricians that can work within that budget.
An electrician in the City of Raleigh earns $45,290 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in Raleigh and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with that of electricians in other parts of the State of North Carolina as well as other major cities in the United States:Raleigh Electricians Annual Mean Wage$21.78North Carolina State Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$22.08Los Angeles Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$27.25Chicago Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$30.50Charlotte Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$22.29Phoenix Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$23.86Philadelphia Electricians Mean Hourly Wage$26.95
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Electrical Code of North Carolina is the minimum standard for the State's safe and stable design of electrical systems. The code outlines methods of construction and requirements for materials to be used during the installation, enlargement, alteration, removal, and maintenance of electrical systems in North Carolina. The code is adequately designed to ensure a reasonable level of public health, safety, and general welfare of Raleigh, North Carolina residents. Since the electrical code is relatively complex, hiring an electrician who understands it is best. If you have any inquiries about the Electrical Code, you should reach out to the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC) by phone at (919) 733-9042.
According to the North Carolina Electrical Code, you must obtain an electric permit before you can start any electrical project in Raleigh. The Raleigh Planning and Development Department(PDD) is responsible for issuing permits for all electrical works to be performed in Raleigh. Electrical permits are not required to fix water heaters or change lighting fixtures, provided that:
- There is no need to replace water heaters,
- The lighting fixture has the same electrical rating as the previous one
- A licensed electrical contractor must perform the repairs.
To obtain an electrician permit, you should email the PDD and inquire about the appropriate steps to take. Before you are issued an electrical permit, the PDD reserves the right to conduct an inspection. The PDD maintains a standard review timeline that serves as a guide for the number of business days it would take to review your permit application. You can contact the PDD by phone at (919)996-2500 with inquiries about inspection and electrical permit requirements. On the other hand, you can pay a visit to the PDD with inquiries at the office address located at:
- Raleigh Planning and Development Department(PDD)
- Planning and Zoning Division
- One Exchange Plaza
- Raleigh, NC 27601
- Suite 300
- Raleigh Planning and Development Department(PDD)
- Permits and Inspections
- One Exchange Plaza
- Raleigh, NC 27601
- Suite 400
What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?
Since the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC) issues licenses across ten categories, including Limited (L) license, Intermediate(I) license, Unlimited(U) license, and seven Special Restricted Licenses categories. You should thus confirm the classification of the electrician and the kind of work they are allowed to do with their license. Some of the categories licensed by the Board are given certain limits based on the monetary value of the electrical work to be done. Limited license holders can only work on projects with a monetary value of less than $60,000. Intermediate license holders can only work on projects worth less than $150,000, while unlimited license holders can perform work without monetary bounds. The remaining seven license categories, known as the special restricted licenses, are not bound by monetary value but by the kind of work they can do as outlined in the Law and Rules of the NCBEEC. When you confirm the kind of job that the electrician can perform and the monetary limits on the electrician you wish to hire, you should also take steps to determine how much the project you want to execute costs. Below is a list of some electrical works and estimated prices:Commercial electrical contractors per hour$95 - $114Cost of electrical remodelling$88 - $108Installation of EV charging stations$976 - $1,011Installation of electrical fixtures$116 - $195Residential contractor per hour$76 - $100Upgrade of electrical panels and wiring$1,297 - $5,100
There are certain scenarios where a professional electrician's emergency service is required to prevent further electrical damage, loss of life, or destruction of real estate property. These situations requiring the emergency services of an electrician include fallen powerlines, electrical shocks, sparks, electrical fires, etc. When trying to find a reliable electrician to handle your electrical emergency, you can use the National Electrical Contractors Association directory or a third-party service, like Better Business Bureau. Ensure that you narrow your search down to electricians closest to you and the site of the emergency. When you find an electrician, endeavor to verify the electrician's license using the license verification tool maintained by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC).
The Workers Compensation Act mandates all employers in North Carolina with three or more employees to have comprehensive worker compensation insurance. It is essential you hire an electrician with authentic insurance to avoid the financial implications of an electrician getting injured during your electrical project. According to the United States Bureau of Statistics, in 2019, North Carolina recorded 186 fatal injuries. While this number might seem like a small number, you can never predict when injuries or accidents occur. Thus it is best only to hire an insured electrician. You can reach out to the North Carolina Industrial Commission by email or toll-free line (800)688-8349 with any questions you have regarding the insurance requirements in the State.
In 2019, there were 1,215 consumer complaints related to home repair scams in North Carolina, according to Josh Stein, Attorney General of North Carolina. Electrical contractors or home improvement contractors can often be mischievous and try to scam you of your money. Thus, it is vital that you are informed of some steps you can take to avoid getting scammed by a contractor. These are some precautionary steps you can take to prevent being scammed:
- Look into the background of the electrician and ensure you verify that they are reputable and honest. Remember, referrals often serve as the best way to find an electrician.
- Collect reference letters from the former clients of the electrician.
- Use the license verification tool maintained by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors(NCBEEC) to verify the electrician's license.
- Keep a proper filing of your contract and communication with the electrical contractor.
- Verify the insurance of the electrical contractor before signing a contract.
- Never pay upfront for a job.
- You can contact the financial institution or suppliers that the electrician works with to verify that the electrician has a good reputation.
- Take note of the electrician's vehicle details, including the plate number and the vehicle color.
- Remember to visit the permanent address of the electrician. Electrical contractors with no permanent address are often scammers.
When you wish to make complaints about an electrical or home improvement contractor, you can do so by filling an online complaint form maintained by the North Carolina Department of Justice. The form is easy to fill and available in English or Spanish. Where you wish to report a fraudulent contractor, you can reach out to the Raleigh Police Department by email or phone at (919)996-3335 with such reports.
If you are not satisfied with the results of your complaints, and if the claim you seek is less than $10,000. You can further pursue justice by filing a small claims case at the Small Claims Division of the Wake County Justice Center. Contact the small claims division by phone at (919) 792-4175 with questions about how to file a small claims case or other questions you might have. Before you file your small claims case, it is also advisable you contact a lawyer for some legal advice.