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Certified Electrician vs Licensed Electrician: What Are the Differences?

Electrical issues can be tricky, so you need the right person to handle them. There are several different types of electricians, but the two you’ll most often see are certified electricians and licensed electricians.

Certified electricians and licensed electricians are both skilled professionals. However, there are distinct differences between the two.

To avoid confusion, we’ll look at the differences between certified electrician vs licensed electrician. That way, you can make the right choice for your project.

Certification Process vs Licensing Requirements

Certification means that an individual has more training. Such training is specialized in a certain skill set for electrical work. A certified electrician has completed a training or certification program provided by a:

  • trade school
  • vocational school
  • specific organization

This training may include classroom instruction and hands-on experience. On the other hand, licensed electricians must meet specific educational and practical requirements to attain a license.

A licensed Electrician in North Sydney has met specific state or local licensing requirements. This often includes completing a formal apprenticeship program and accumulating a set number of work hours. It also means passing a rigorous licensing exam.

The preferred choice for employers and other entities is typically a licensed electrician. This is because a license indicates a more thorough grounding in the fundamentals of the electrical trade.

The licensing process is more rigorous. It often involves tests and a longer period of apprenticeship. The certification process is usually quicker and more informal.

Skill Level

Certified electricians have acquired a certain level of knowledge and skills related to electrical work. Certified electricians must demonstrate higher standards in:

  • logic
  • industry knowledge
  • technical know-how

These are more advanced than those demonstrated by licensed electricians. These higher skill level standards often require additional training and experience, including:

  • hands-on skills
  • safety protocols
  • problem-solving techniques

Licensed electricians have a higher level of expertise and experience compared to certified electricians. They are authorized to perform a wide range of electrical work. This then includes complex installations and repairs.

Scope of Work

Certified electricians may have limitations on the types of electrical work they can perform. They may not be authorized to undertake complex electrical installations or work on certain high-voltage systems. The scope of work for a certified electrician is typically limited to basic electrical repairs, such as:

  • replacing outlets
  • switches
  • wiring a new home

A licensed electrician, on the other hand, is someone who has been granted permission by a state regulatory agency to do all electrical work necessary. For a licensed electrician, all types of electrical work, including complex upgrades and repairs can be performed. The results are also expected to meet local electrical safety codes.

Career Opportunities

The present and future for a certified electrician and a licensed electrician are two fields that are currently in demand. Certified electricians are more involved in day-to-day operations such as working on:

  • electrical wiring
  • inspecting and installing new systems
  • managing complex projects

They can also be involved in maintenance of existing electrical systems and troubleshooting malfunctions. Licensed electricians go through more extensive training. They can work on larger and more technical projects. This includes engineering and safety compliance.

The present and future of both these fields can be predicted by the growing demand for renewable energy. It also goes together with the ever-increasing number of businesses and homes that rely on electrical systems.

Both of these fields will continue to grow and evolve as technology advances. The need for qualified electricians in both areas will continue to increase in the coming years.

Continuing Education

The continuing education requirements for an electrician depend on whether they are certified or have an electrician license. For a certified electrician, continuing education is voluntary but beneficial. It may also be required by employers. Generally, it includes coursework or workshops on topics such as:

  • electronic systems
  • circuit diagnosis
  • safety codes
  • schematic wiring

For a licensed electrician, continuing education is mandatory. Depending on the state, electricians may be required to obtain anywhere from 12-32 hours of approved continuing education credits over a two or three-year period.

In many cases, the approved courses must cover the state’s National Electrical Code. It also covers other relevant laws and regulations.

Electricians need to stay up-to-date on the latest technological advances. This helps them to remain competitive in the industry.

Pay Grade

Generally speaking, certified electricians make less than licensed electricians. Licensed electricians typically have a higher degree of experience. They have more complicated tasks to perform. Thus, they receive a higher pay grade.

Certified electricians, on the other hand, typically perform more general electrical tasks. They make less than their licensed counterparts.

Licensed electricians have a greater amount of expertise. They are more likely to receive job assignments that require more specialized skills. With higher pay grades comes more responsibility. Should any mishap occur on the job, the licensed electrician is held more responsible than a certified electrician.

Required Tools and Equipment

A certified electrician and a licensed electrician require different tools and equipment when performing electrical work. A certified electrician typically has a broad knowledge of electrical systems and tools. They are required to use the following tools and equipment:

  • screwdrivers
  • wire strippers
  • voltage testers
  • conduit benders
  • drill bits
  • nut drivers
  • wire cutters
  • electrical clamps

A licensed electrician must adhere to pre-approved process standards set by the local governing body. They must use only approved tools and equipment while completing the job. These tools can include but are not limited to:

  • multimeters
  • flex shafts
  • conduit reamers
  • switch boxes
  • air compressors
  • connectors

Both certified and licensed electricians must also have proper safety gear, such as protective clothing, gloves, and face masks. Regardless of the credentials of the electricians, it’s always important to make sure that they are using the right tools and protective equipment for the job.

Know the Differences Between a Certified Electrician Vs Licensed Electrician

The differences between a certified electrician vs licensed electrician are minimal. But it can be critical for homeowners and contractors. Certified electricians typically need less training and specialize in specific areas.

Licensed electricians need more extensive training and can work across all areas of electrical work. Homeowners should research their options carefully.

For more articles besides hiring an electrician, visit our blog. We have more!

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