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An Explanation of Different Types of Electricians & How to Find One

Electricians are skilled professionals who specialize in installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical systems. While all electricians share some basic skills and knowledge, residential, commercial, and industrial electricians have different areas of expertise and work in different environments.

 Here is a brief overview of the differences between these types of electricians:

Residential Electricians:
Residential electricians specialize in working on electrical systems in homes and apartments. They are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical systems that power lighting, appliances, and other electrical devices in residential properties. Some common tasks for residential electricians include installing new outlets, fixtures, rewiring homes, and troubleshooting electrical problems in residential properties.
Commercial Electricians:
Commercial electricians work on electrical systems in commercial buildings, such as office buildings, retail stores, and restaurants. They are responsible for installing and maintaining complex electrical systems that power lighting, HVAC systems, and security systems in commercial properties. Some common tasks for commercial electricians include installing systems from the ground up, electrical panels, upgrading electrical systems, parking lot lighting, and ensuring compliance with local codes and regulations.
Industrial Electricians:
Industrial electricians work in factories and other industrial settings. They are responsible for installing and maintaining large-scale electrical systems that power motors, generators, and control systems in industrial properties. Some common tasks for industrial electricians include installing and maintaining heavy-duty electrical equipment, troubleshooting complex electrical problems, and ensuring compliance with safety regulations in industrial settings.

      Homeowners should look for licensed residential electricians when they need electrical work done in their homes, while businesses and industries should seek out commercial or industrial electricians with the appropriate skills and experience for their specific needs.

      How to find one

      A great way to find the specific electrical contracting company that you need is to visit your state's registrar of contractors.  They typically publish a current list of licensed companies and/or individuals that have met all of the state's licensing requirements.  It is not always clear what type of electricians they are from their name, but now you are equipped with the knowledge to know that there are differences. 

      Regulatory bodies for licensed contractors by state (2023):

      1. Alabama - Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors
      2. Alaska - Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
      3. Arizona - Arizona Registrar of Contractors
      4. Arkansas - Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board 
      5. California - Contractors State License Board
      6. Colorado - Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Division of Professions and Occupations
      7. Connecticut - Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, Occupational and Professional Licensing Division
      8. Delaware - Delaware Division of Professional Regulation 
      9. Florida - Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
      10. Georgia - Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors
      11. Hawaii - Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Regulated Industries Complaints Office
      12. Idaho - Idaho Division of Building Safety
      13. Illinois - Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation 
      14. Indiana - Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
      15. Iowa - Iowa Division of Labor Services
      16. Kansas - Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Vehicles, Contractor Registration Unit
      17. Kentucky - Kentucky Division of Plumbing
      18. Louisiana - Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors
      19. Maine - Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
      20. Maryland - Maryland Home Improvement Commission 
      21. Massachusetts - Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure
      22. Michigan - Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
      23. Minnesota - Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
      24. Mississippi - Mississippi State Board of Contractors
      25. Missouri - Missouri Division of Professional Registration
      26. Montana - Montana Department of Labor and Industry
      27. Nebraska - Nebraska Department of Labor, Contractor Registration 
      28. Nevada - Nevada State Contractors Board
      29. New Hampshire - New Hampshire Board of Licensing for Contractors
      30. New Jersey - New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, State Board of Examiners of Contractors
      31. New Mexico - New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Construction Industries Division
      32. New York - New York Department of State, Division of Licensing Services
      33. North Carolina - North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors
      34. North Dakota - North Dakota Secretary of State, Contractor's License Section
      35. Ohio - Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board
      36. Oklahoma - Oklahoma Construction Industries Board
      37. Oregon - Oregon Construction Contractors Board
      38. Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection
      39. Rhode Island - Rhode Island Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board
      40. South Carolina - South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Contractor's Licensing Board
      41. South Dakota - South Dakota Electrical Commission, Contractor Licensing
      42. Tennessee - Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors
      43. Texas - Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
      44. Utah - Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
      45. Vermont - Vermont Secretary of State, Office of Professional Regulation 
      46. Virginia - Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
      47. Washington - Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
      48. West Virginia - West Virginia Division of Labor, Contractor Licensing Board
      49. Wisconsin - Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
      50. Wyoming - Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety


      There are also several websites that connect consumers with licensed electricians. Here are a few options:


      HomeAdvisor is a website that connects homeowners with local service professionals, including licensed electricians. Homeowners can enter their project details and receive quotes from multiple electricians in their area.

      Angi (formerly Angie's List):

      Angi is a platform that provides verified reviews and ratings of local service providers, including licensed electricians. Homeowners can use the platform to find top-rated electricians in their area and read reviews from other customers.


      Thumbtack is a website that connects consumers with local service professionals, including licensed electricians. Homeowners can describe their project and receive quotes from electricians in their area.


      Porch is a platform that helps homeowners find and connect with local service providers, including licensed electricians. Homeowners can use the platform to search for electricians in their area and view their ratings and reviews from other customers.


      Nextdoor is a social network for neighborhoods that can be used to connect with local service providers, including licensed electricians. Homeowners can post their project details and receive recommendations from other members in their community.

        It's important to note that while these websites can help homeowners find licensed electricians, it's still prudent to do your research and ensure that any electrician you hire is properly licensed, insured, and experienced.

        We hope this helps!