Electrical Contractor?

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emahler

Senior Member
a few threads on his forum beg the question.....what qualifies someone as an Electrical Contractor vs. a Self-Employed Electrician?
 

satcom

Senior Member
emahler said:
a few threads on his forum beg the question.....what qualifies someone as an Electrical Contractor vs. a Self-Employed Electrician?
Excellant question, fasten you seat belts!
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
emahler said:
a few threads on his forum beg the question.....what qualifies someone as an Electrical Contractor vs. a Self-Employed Electrician?
EC: Licensed, bonded, insured. Pays all taxes. Keeps books. Usually hires a bookkeeper, as well as a tax preparer and business lawyer. Able to legally enter into contracts. Has experience, ability, and proper tools to do a job quickly and effeciently. Is viewed by the general public as a business. Has a federal tax ID number. Pays wages & bennies if any employees. Usually has a physical address.

S-EE: Usually not licensed. Works 'under the radar'. Does not pay all taxes, gets paid in cash. Works out of rusty '84 Ford Aerostar with two ladders, three extension cords and a drill. In short, a hack.

But that's just me. Who would hire a 'Self-Employed Electrician'?
 

bikeindy

Senior Member
Location
Indianapolis IN
480 has a good definition I might leave out the hack part. A hack is a hack. I might add that I am an EC now started out as a SEE with a fulltime job that let me get started.
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
emahler said:
a few threads on his forum beg the question.....what qualifies someone as an Electrical Contractor vs. a Self-Employed Electrician?

I assume were talking residential here right?

To me it doesn't have much to do with the sidejobber/hack vs. EC debate, but more to do with the rates, image, and professionalism of the company.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Here in NJ you can hold an Electrical Contractors License and not be an electrical contractor. In order to become an EC you need to also hold a Business Permit issued by the state. They requires you to do many things such as being bonded, insured, etc.
 

wirebender

Senior Member
In Texas it requires a separate license. You don't have to be an electrician to be an electrical contractor.

73.40. Insurance Requirements. (Effective March 1, 2004, 29 TexReg 1653; amended effective October 20, 2005, 30 TexReg 6730; amended effective December 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 8477)

(a) Electrical contractors, electrical sign contractors, and residential appliance installation contractors are required to maintain at least the minimum general liability insurance coverages at all times to satisfy proof of financial responsibility.

(1) The insurance must: be at least $300,000 per occurrence (combined for property damage and bodily injury);

(2) be at least $600,000 aggregate (total amount the policy will pay for property damage and bodily injury coverage); and

(3) be at least $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operations.

(b) A license applicant or licensee shall file with the Department a completed certificate of insurance or other evidence satisfactory to the Department when applying for initial and renewal licenses and upon request of the Department.

(c) Proof of the required general liability and workers’ compensation insurance can be submitted on an industry standard certificate of insurance form with a 30 day cancellation notice. Workers’ compensation coverage may be established by a certificate of authority to self insure, or an applicant may state that it has elected not to obtain workers’ compensation coverage.

(d) A licensed contractor shall furnish the name of the insurance carrier, policy number, name, address, and telephone number of the insurance agent with whom the contracting company is insured to any customer who requests it.

(e) Insurance must be obtained from an admitted company or an eligible surplus lines carrier, as defined in the Texas Insurance Code, Chapter 981, or other insurance companies that are rated by A.M. Best Company as B+ or higher.

73.51. Electrical Contractors’ Responsibilities. (Effective July 13, 2004, 29 TexReg 6637; amended effective March 1, 2005, 30 TexReg 1073; amended effective December 1, 2007, 32 TexReg 8477)

(a) A licensed electrical contractor shall display its name and license number on both sides of each vehicle owned or operated by the business and used in the conduct of electrical work. Lettering shall be of a contrasting color and at least two inches in height. The license number shall be preceded by the letters “TECL”.

(b) All of a contractor’s non-exempt electrical work shall be performed by licensed individuals. A contractor is responsible for compliance with applicable codes for all such electrical work performed on its behalf.

(c) The electrical contractor’s name, address, phone number, and license number shall appear on all proposals, invoices, and written contracts proposed by the contractor. The following information: “Regulated by The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P. O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711, 1-800-803-9202, 512-463-6599; website: www.license.state.tx.us/complaints” shall be listed on invoices and written contracts.

(d) A licensed electrical contractor shall maintain employee records and records of all work performed on its behalf for a period of four years after completion of the work, and shall make those records available to the Department at the contractor’s place of business during normal business hours for inspection and copying.

(e) A licensed electrical contractor and its designated master electrician are responsible for supervision of all licensees performing work on behalf of the contractor to assure compliance with applicable statutes and rules and in particular, standards of conduct set out in these rules.
 

Rewire

Senior Member
I consider myself a contractor who employs electricians. I guess for me the transition from a self employed electrician to an electrical contractor was when I hired my first employee.I realized that it would be difficult to get my next job while I was working on the one I just landed. I knew that to build my business and take it to the level I wanted would require a mental change on my part I had to become an Electrical contractor. My tools do not get much use I have not put them up entirely but my time is devoted to landing the work and then passing it on to the mechanics.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
As to what Tony said, the same is here in CA.

You do not even have to be able to read and write to be an electrician, so you just have your wife take the test and then you would work for her.
 

bikeindy

Senior Member
Location
Indianapolis IN
cowboyjwc said:
As to what Tony said, the same is here in CA.

You do not even have to be able to read and write to be an electrician, so you just have your wife take the test and then you would work for her.
Excuse me I think a retraction is in order.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
Location
Iowegia
Rewire said:
I consider myself a contractor who employs electricians. I guess for me the transition from a self employed electrician to an electrical contractor was when I hired my first employee.I realized that it would be difficult to get my next job while I was working on the one I just landed. I knew that to build my business and take it to the level I wanted would require a mental change on my part I had to become an Electrical contractor. My tools do not get much use I have not put them up entirely but my time is devoted to landing the work and then passing it on to the mechanics.
Then I must be an EC. As soon as I started my business, I hired the best dog-gone electrician in the world. He does all the work exactly the way I want it, never asks me any stupid questions, and makes me money to boot! He works nights and weekends for no extra pay, and never complains.

(PS, there is no 'dark side of the moon')
 

cschmid

Senior Member
480sparky said:
EC: Licensed, bonded, insured. Pays all taxes. Keeps books. Usually hires a bookkeeper, as well as a tax preparer and business lawyer. Able to legally enter into contracts. Has experience, ability, and proper tools to do a job quickly and effeciently. Is viewed by the general public as a business. Has a federal tax ID number. Pays wages & bennies if any employees. Usually has a physical address.

S-EE: Usually not licensed. Works 'under the radar'. Does not pay all taxes, gets paid in cash. Works out of rusty '84 Ford Aerostar with two ladders, three extension cords and a drill. In short, a hack.

But that's just me. Who would hire a 'Self-Employed Electrician'?

I like the first part but the second part is wrong..it should read same as first section except he is a one man shop..

I don't classify the unlicensed in this conversation as it is about the difference between a EC and a self employed contractor..

A self employed contractor when he retires his business is gone..

A EC can build a business and sell it to someone as a single person is not the business..
 

peter d

Senior Member
Location
New England
480sparky said:
What difference should that make?
Quite a bit I'd say. How many 1 truck EC's or "self-employed electricians" do you see out wiring the new Lowes or Wal Mart in town? Or doing a shut down at the nuke plant? Or building the new high rise down town?

Point being is that residential is an easy market for the hacks and self-employed electricians to be in. Commercial and industrial...not so much. You actually have to be a real EC with real capital to do big jobs.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
from these descriptions, I am a self-employed electrician. I started out w/ 3 employees doing new residential. I'm now by myself and doing mostly service on residential and light commercial. I hold an EC license, I carry insurance, I am bonded in all the areas I work, I have a bookkeeper, I pay taxes, I have a business license in all the areas I work, I buy permits. I plan on having employees again, but I'm at least 8/mo away from hiring again. I have no problem calling myself a self-employed electrician. I also have billboards and print ads, and company uniforms. I may not be big-time, but I look like it. :D
 
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brian john

Senior Member
Location
Leesburg, VA
I work with a few speciality one man shows, all licensed, bonded and insured.

These guys are excellent at what they do, work when there is work sometimes months on end other times work is spotty.

Often I sub work to them when I am too busy to handle a job or just see a better use of my time.

It is possible to do the one man thing, two of these guys team up regularly helping each other.
 

emahler

Senior Member
brant's example is a good definition of an Electrical Contractor....whether a one man shop, or a 100 man shop...

being an EC or a SEE is all about your state of mind...

EC's are professional and operate as a business....

self employed electricians still think like an employee.

EC's know their numbers and have a plan....they figure out how to earn the revenue they need to live the life they want....

SEE's live the life their income allows them to...

a big part of the difference is the thought pattern of the guy....
 
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