MSS Ortiz Electrical

How to Choose an Electrician in Durham for Your Home or Business

Choosing an electrician can seem like a daunting task. There are many things to consider, but one of the most important is your safety. You want to make sure you hire someone who will do their job safely and correctly the first time. With something this critical, you need to know how to choose an electrician in Durham that you can trust. Read on for tips on finding the right electrical contractor for your home or business.

The simplest way to find an electrician is to look in the phone book. However, many people prefer to use a more reliable way, such as getting referrals from colleagues, friends, neighbors, family, or the internet.

Qualifications for Electricians

Most people make the mistake of thinking that anyone who knows how to flip a switch is an electrician. This is simply not true. There are many types of electrical services, and some require more specialized training than others. This means that your basic electrician may not be able to complete all needed repairs or you could end up with shoddy work.

Here are the qualifications to look for before hiring an electrician:

Vocational Training

Most electricians learn their trade through a technical school or vocational program, which can range in length from 18 months to 3 years.

Relevant Experience

Electricians must have at least two years of hands-on experience, even if they have a technical degree. This is because proper training can only be received through on-the-job education.

Required Permits

A permit is required to work on any electrical job. This includes changing a light fixture or adding a new circuit. If you hire an electrician who does not have a licence, you could be jeopardizing the safety of your home and family.

Good Review Ratings

It is important to find out if previous customers had a good experience with the electrician you are considering. Ask for references and make sure they are available before hiring. While word of mouth isn't always enough, it's still an excellent way to learn about the quality of their work.

Personal Liability Insurance

Even if you hire an electrician to change a light switch, they will need to be insured. If they cause any damage to your home while working on the job, their insurance coverage will protect you from financial liability.

Workers’ Compensation

If you choose to hire an electrician through a referral, make sure they are certified. Many times, people refer electricians who are not properly licensed because they do good work for cheap. The problem with this is your family's safety can be compromised if the job is done incorrectly or you do not receive all of the safety warnings and permits.

Electrical Career Levels: The Basics

There are three different levels of electricians, each with its own set of responsibilities. If you meet with someone who is not qualified for the work, they might be able to refer you to an appropriate person.


Apprenticeship is the first level of certification. An apprentice will work under a master electrician and learn through hands-on experience. During this time the apprentice must pass the necessary exams to earn their license.


A journeyman has worked for at least four years and has passed additional exams to receive their license. This is the highest level of certification for an apprentice.


The final level of certification is a master electrician. A master electrician has ten years of experience in the field and often trains the journeymen. Most states only allow licensed master electricians to teach in vocational schools or offer private classes.

Services an Electrician Offers

Here are some of the tasks electricians perform on a daily basis:

  • Electrical safety inspections
  • Interior and exterior lighting
  • Ceiling fan installation
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Outlet installation and repair
  • Electrical wiring and rewiring
  • Inspections
  • Electrical panels
  • Spa and swimming pool electrical
  • Circuit breaker installation and repair
  • Home Audio and video wiring
  • Security systems
  • Generator installation
  • Household appliances
  • Remodelling electrical

Considerations When Hiring an Electrician

  • Decide what you need an electrician for.
  • Cross-reference the job with their level of certification.
  • Make sure to ask previous customers about their experience with the electrician.
  • Verify that they have workers' compensation insurance, liability insurance, along with valid licenses.

By following these steps, you can avoid being taken advantage of and also ensure that your property and family are kept safe.

Questions to Ask an Electrician

When it comes to home and business electrical work, hiring a professional electrician is the smartest choice in order to ensure everything is safe and code-compliant. Here are some questions to ask when considering an electrician for a job:

  • How many similar jobs have you completed in the past?
  • What is the cost estimate for this project?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • For how long has your company been in business?
  • Are you insured?
  • Will I need to be home when you are working or can someone else let you in?
  • What are the services you provide?
  • What type of permits will I need to get for your work?
  • Are you an apprentice, journeyman or master electrician? 
  • What type of insurance do you carry?
  • Do you have any references I can call?
  • Are you licensed? 

Choosing the Right Electrician

When you decide you need to hire someone for electrical work in your home or business, make sure they are licensed and bonded. This is required by law. 

It's also a good idea to ask for references from previous customers. A good electrician will gladly provide you with references, so you can feel confident about hiring them. When contacting previous customers, ask what type of work the electrician did for them and how their experience was.

Contact Us Today to Learn More About Our Electrical Services

If you're in need of a certified electrician or want more information on how to choose a certified electrician for your home or business in the Triangle Area, don’t hesitate to contact MSS-ORTIZ Electrical Services. Call us today at  (919) 382-0832.

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Contact the MSS-Ortiz Electricians in Durham, NC

Our electricians are just a quick call or email away from helping you resolve your electrical service needs. To request an appointment, call us at  (919) 382-0832 or complete the form below.
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