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Licensed Electrician in New York City, NY

How to Hire a Good Electrician in New York City

Attempts to install or repair your electrical fixtures on your own may be hazardous to your health. About 400 electrocutions are recorded annually from DIY electrical repairs. Therefore, it will be wise to hire a qualified electrician in the city to complete any electrical works in your home. An electrician in New York City charges about $40 per hour.

When in need of a qualified electrician in New York City, you should consider professionals that work in strict compliance with both the National Electrical Code and the local New York City Electrical Code. Also, these top professionals will readily provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:

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

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician in the City of New York

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

    Individuals that wish to provide electrical services to residents of New York City are required to obtain either a master electrician license or a special electrician license from the city's Department of Buildings (DOB). Master electricians are authorized to perform any type of electrical work in any part of the city while special electricians can only work in specified buildings or parts of the city. As stipulated by Section 27-3071 of the NYC Electrical Code, performing electrical work in New York City without an appropriate license is considered unlawful. Individuals found guilty of this offense can face a combination of criminal and civil penalties ranging from between $4,800 and $25,000 in fines to imprisonment for no longer than a year.

    Interested parties that wish to obtain either a master or special electrician's license must have certain qualifications, which include:

    • They must be at least 21 years old and be able to read and write the English Language
    • they must have no less than seven and a half years of experience or an equivalent that is acceptable by the DOB, which must have been obtained within a period of 10 years before applying for the electrician license. This experience must include at least 10,500 hours, or an acceptable equivalent, of experience in installing, altering, and repairing electric light, heat, and power wiring and appliances. Note that this experience must be obtained under the direct supervision of a DOB-licensed master or special electrician or an individual with comparable and acceptable qualifications for applicants with experience obtained outside New York City

    Applicants that meet these qualifying criteria will be required to pass written and practical licensing examinations, as well as a background investigation, before being issued with the requested electrical license. Queries related to New York City electrical licensing can be directed to the DOB's Licensing and Exams Unit at (212) 393-2259. You can also confirm the licensing status of any electrician in New York City that you intend to hire via the DOB's online license search portal.

    Finally, it is important to note that individuals that provide home improvement and repair services in New York City are generally required to obtain a Home Improvement Contractor license from the city's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP). As such, if your reason for hiring an electrician is to provide residential electrical services, it is advisable to contact the DCWP via phone numbers 311 or (212) 639-9675 to find out if your intended electrician possesses this license. You can also utilize the DCWP's license search webpage to verify this.

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

    The cost of hiring an electrician in New York City is affected by factors like your location within the city, the nature of the job that the electrician is expected to perform, and the electrician's reputation and level of expertise. Nonetheless, before hiring any electrician in NYC, it is a good idea to get estimates from different electricians near you and compare these estimates. Doing this gives you an idea of the average rate that electricians in your vicinity charge for the intended job, and also helps you select an electrician best suited to your financial situation.

    An electrician in New York City earns $84,190 annually. Provided below is the annual mean wage of electricians in New York City and a comparison of these electricians' mean hourly wages with that of electricians in other parts of New York State as well as other major cities in the United States:

    New York City Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $40.48
    New York State Electricians Mean Hourly Wage
    $39.11
    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 New York Building Code for Electrical Works?

    It is essential to make sure that any electrician you hire in New York City is familiar with the intricacies of the city's electrical code. The New York City Electrical Code was enacted to protect the life and property of New Yorkers from the dangers associated with the use of electrical energy. To achieve this goal, the electrical code provides a set of rules that regulate the installation, alteration, and repair of wiring and appliances for electrical light, heat, power, communication, signaling, data or alarm transmission, and any other electrical systems in New York City. Some requirements of this code include the mandatory licensing of any individuals that wish to perform electrical work in New York City and the issuance of permits for these electrical works. Violations of any provisions of the New York City Electrical Code can result in penalties and enforcement actions that include the payment of fines and possible jail time. You can direct queries related to the NYC Electrical Code to the DOB's Customer Service Unit at (212) 393-2550.

  4. Will You Get the Electrical Permit as Required by the City of New York Code?

    Per the requirements of the New York City Electrical Code, an electrical permit is typically needed before the commencement of any electrical work in the city. Ensuring that all the required permits for your project are duly obtained is very important. This is because both homeowners and electrical contractors can be held liable for any electrical work carried out without the requisite permit in New York City.

    The Electrical Unit of the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) is responsible for issuing electrical permits and permit applications must be made online via its DOB NOW: Build portal. Note that you may have to retain the services of a state-licensed professional engineer or registered architect to file construction plans and applications with the DOB before submitting permit applications. After these filed plans have been reviewed and approved, then you can continue the permit application process and pay any required application fees.

    Permit applications made to the DOB are generally grouped into New Building permit applications and Alteration permit applications, with the latter being further sub-grouped into Types 1, 2, or 3 alteration permits applications based on the level of alteration expected to occur. You can utilize the electrical filing resources provided by the DOB to get assistance on utilizing the DOB Now: Build Portal to apply for permits. Once you have successfully obtained your electrical permit, you will be required to schedule electrical system inspections with the DOB at various stages of your projects and also once it is completed. Inspection scheduling can also be done online, and you can contact the DOB via phone number (212) 566-5000 to direct queries related to the permitting and electrical system inspection process for your specific project. Queries can also be made by contacting your local DOB borough office in person between 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays at the following locations:

    • Bronx Borough Office
    • 1932 Arthur Avenue
    • 5th Floor
    • Bronx, NY 10457
    • Phone: (718) 960-4720
    • Brooklyn Borough Office
    • 210 Joralemon Street
    • 8th Floor
    • Brooklyn, NY 11201
    • Phone: (718) 802-3723
    • Manhattan Borough Office
    • 280 Broadway
    • 3rd Floor
    • New York, NY 10007
    • Phone: (212) 323-7287
    • Queens Borough Office
    • 120-55 Queens Boulevard
    • Kew Gardens, NY 11424
    • Phone: (718) 286-8350
    • Staten Island Borough Office
    • Borough Hall
    • 10 Richmond Terrace
    • 2nd Floor
    • Staten Island, NY 10301
    • Phone: (718) 420-5418
  5. What Kind of Electrical Services Do You Offer?

    Master and special electricians in New York City offer several types of electrical services to interested parties. These services include general electric repair work, electrical violation removals, service equipment upgrades, new construction and home renovation electrical system installations, and outlet and lighting installations. Similarly, some of these electricians specialize in specific areas of electrical work, such as residential, commercial, or industrial electrical system installations and repairs. As such, you should always find out the types of electrical services that any electrician you intend to hire offers and make sure that these services are in line with the specific electrical matter that you need to be handled. Once you do this, it is also a good idea to confirm how much these services would cost you. Listed below are cost estimates for common electrical services provided by master and special electricians in New York City:

    Electrical fixture installation for 120v outlet
    $190 - $220
    Electrical fixture installation for 240v outlet
    $225 - $350
    Electrical fixture installation for mid-grade light switch
    $225 - $350
    Electrical panel/wiring installation for new 100 amp panel
    $450 - $650
    Electrical panel/wiring upgrade to 150 amps
    $315 - $425
    Electrical panel/wiring upgrade to 200 amps
    $2,500 - $3,300
    Electrical panel/wiring upgrade to 400 amps
    $1,200 - $3,000
    EV home charging station installation for 240 volts level 2 charger
    $1,450 - $1,550
    Residential electrical work
    $100 - $130 per hour, plus parts and materials
    Commercial electrical work
    $120 - $140 per hour, plus parts and materials
    Electrical work for home remodeling or addition
    $115 - $140 per hour, plus parts and materials.
  6. Do You Offer Emergency Electrical Services in the City of New York?

    In certain situations, you may require the services of a skilled electrician to forestall potential electrical-related dangers or limit the amount of damage already caused by these situations. Some circumstances that require emergency electrical services include:

    • The presence of exposed wires in your home or other property
    • You observe electrical sparks or flames
    • There is an electric power outage that affects only your home
    • Water has come in contact with your electric outlets and wires

    When you find yourself in need of emergency electrical services, it is always in your best interest to hire an electrician that is not only nearby but is also licensed and experienced enough to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. You can find qualified electricians in New York through online member directories provided by reputable trade associations like the National Electrical Contractors Association as well as through third-party review websites like Better Business Bureau. However, note that it is your responsibility to confirm the licensing status of electricians that you contact through these directories.

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

    In 2018 alone, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 73 fatal occupational injuries in New York City. The city's construction industry recorded the highest number of fatalities during this period, with specialty trade contractors, including electricians, accounting for 45% of the injuries recorded in this industry. Consequently, licensed master and special electricians in New York City are mandatorily required to maintain active and current insurance policies, and it is your responsibility to ensure that any electrician you hire complies with this requirement.

    Hiring an electrician that is not properly insured exposes you to financial, as well as possible legal, liabilities if an on-the-job accident occurs during your project. While the specific insurance requirements for electricians typically depend on the scope of the project at hand, Section 101-08 of the Rules of the City of New York stipulates that all licensed professionals in the city are required to have minimum general liability coverage of $1 million per occurrence. You can get information on the specific insurance requirements for electricians that wish to work on your project by contacting the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) at (212) 566-5000. You can also utilize the DOB's online Project Specific General Liability Insurance Tool to estimate the general liability insurance requirements for your project.

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

In 2019, the New York State Attorney General's Office announced that construction and home repair-related scams were amongst the top ten consumer complaints made by New Yorkers. Considering that home and property owners in the New York metropolitan area are estimated to spend more than $1 billion every year on home improvement activities, it is not surprising that fraudulent contractors try to deceptively obtain money from unsuspecting New Yorkers. These fraudulent contractors utilize several methods and techniques, ranging from requesting upfront payment for a job and then absconding without performing the job at all or doing a haphazard job, to pressuring homeowners to carry out unneeded electrical repairs.

Therefore, before hiring any electrician in the city, it is necessary to protect yourself from possible contractor-related scams by taking the following actions:

  • Have a clear idea of the electrical work that you need to be done
  • Get quotes from multiple electricians
  • Always request references from intended electricians and contact these references. You can also utilize websites like Better Business Bureau, Google Review, and Yelp to look up reviews on these electricians
  • Confirm that the electrician you decide to hire has been duly licensed. It is also a good idea to take a step further by researching this electrician's disciplinary history, if any
  • Request proof of insurance from the electrician
  • Find out the permit and inspection requirements for your project and make sure that your hired electrician complies with them
  • Never pay the full cost of the project upfront and request a written contract for the job

You can report contractor scams or make other electrician-related complaints to the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection by calling 311 or by completing and mailing two copies of a consumer complaint form to

  • NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
  • Consumer Services Division
  • 42 Broadway
  • 9th Floor
  • New York, NY 10004

In situations where filing a complaint with the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection does not lead to an outcome that you consider satisfactory, you can take further steps by pursuing legal action against the electrician at an appropriate New York City Court. However, it is advisable to get proper legal advice before doing this. You can get referrals to qualified lawyers near you by contacting the New York City Bar's Legal Referral Service online or by calling (212) 626-7373.