If you have been studying electrical work in the home for a while, or maybe you have worked around electricity all of your life, you may assume that it is perfectly fine to do this kind of work for others without a license. After all, the important thing is you know what you are doing. Unfortunately, this train of thought could not be more wrong; you should never do electrical work for others if you have not been licensed by the state where you live. Here is a look at why working on electrical components without a contractor's license could be a really bad thing to do.
In some states, it is illegal to do electrical work without a license.
States can differ on how they treat contractors and their specialties. Many states have severe penalties if you are caught doing electrical work for profit without being properly licensed. This means if you do get caught, you could be facing hefty fines and major damages to your reputation that would prevent you from obtaining a license down the road if you do decide to get one. Doing work on property you own is usually fine, but even this can have certain ramifications.
You could be sued for damages if something happens to the home.
Most of the time, homeowner's insurance will pick up the tab if there is an electrical malfunction in the house and damages occur. However, if you do work without a license and then something happens inside a property because of it, the insurance company could balk on covering the expense if they determine you did the work as an unlicensed contractor. This means that the homeowner or the homeowner's insurer could come after you to pay for the damages to your property.
Getting injured is a real possibility if you have not been properly trained.
Obtaining an electrical contractor's license in most places requires that you are specifically educated about certain processes associated with electrical work. No matter how much knowledge you gain on your own, it doesn't compare to the education you would receive in a formal setting. Therefore, getting hurt by doing something wrong is always something to be considered. Electrical shocks can be enough to cause great damage to your body, and every precaution should be taken, even if it means you have to pay for or receive formal education to get a license. You can get an electrical contractor license extension if you are working on your training but still need a little more time to complete it.