The role of an electrical contractor includes all aspects of renovation and new construction as it relates to the electrical system. This may include rewiring, modifying existing wiring, upgrading electrical systems or designing electrical systems for new buildings and construction. An electrical contractor must be aware of all regulations including local, state and federal regarding electrical installations in new and existing buildings. He or she must also be licensed in the area that they work to be able to market their services as an electrical contractor.
An electrical contractor starts a project by completing an estimate for the client. In some situations the contractor may be required to enter a bid as to the cost of the total project. The client then considers the bids and determines which contractor to use. Most contractors will hire different types of electricians from journeymen through to apprentices or labors. The electrical contractor acts as the project manager or coordinator, pulling building permits, ensuring compliance with all regulations and managing any issues that may arise.
The electrical contractor is responsible for keeping the electrical project working within the given budget and timeframe. This may mean adjusting workers hours to get things done on time or even working with various materials suppliers to try to get better rates if the estimate was too low. Many electrical contractors also work as consultants to specific types of projects to act as troubleshooters when there is a problem with an electrical system or some type of issue with installation or operation of the electrical system. Most electrical contractors are experienced master level or journeyman electricians with significant work experience in both business, financial aspects of electrical contracting, as well as running jobs.
Common work activities include:
- Appraising new or existing buildings and developing an estimate as to the cost of installing or upgrading the current electrical system.
- Researching and communicating with local utilities companies, policy makers and building inspectors regarding changes to the electrical code.
- Submitting bids or offers to complete projects. Staying in touch with various contractors and builders on major projects.
- Obtaining permits, scheduling work and establishing timelines for completion of projects.
- Troubleshooting problems with upgrades or installation if required.
- Marketing the electrical contract business including advertising.