Are you looking to try your craft as an electrician in the buckeye state of Ohio? Well, you’re on the right page!
From job security, competitive pay to being your own boss, being an electrician has a lot to offer particularly if you’re looking to start your own small business.
While you may be raring to go, there are a few things you need to consider first. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you become an electrical contractor, whether it be in Toledo or Cincinnati.
Step 1: Consider a Technical College
From being electrocuted to electrical fire risks, being an electrician can be a dangerous profession. Getting the proper education through the right channels is highly recommended to ensure the safety to you and your clients.
While you can become a successful journeyman and independently teach yourself, you may lack structure to your education or miss critical information along the way.
Technical colleges are specifically designed to provide you with a comprehensive program that’ll let you develop both your practical and theoretical skills in a safe environment. Getting started on your own can be intimidating. Technical colleges can fast-track your road to employment through providing you with network opportunities and lay the foundations for a long career as an electrician.
Step 2: Advance to an Apprenticeship Program
An apprenticeship program is the logical next step for an aspiring electrician in Ohio that has advanced form technical college. Starting an apprenticeship will place you at the ground floor of an actual electrical company filled with a faculty of fellow electricians who has connections in Ohio circles.
They usually last three to five years and give you valuable on-site education and significant preparation for getting your Commercial Contractor license (see step 3).
Visit the Apprentice Ohio website and submit an application to begin your apprenticeship journey.
Step 3: Get Licensed
They’ve made it simple for construction industry contractors to get licensed in Ohio. The state has standardized licensing for most trades, with aspiring electricians only requiring their Commercial Contractor license to practice their profession.
To obtain a Commercial Contractor license in order to become an electrician you need to:
- be at least 18 years old
- be a US citizen or a legal resident alien (with proof)
- have been an electrician for at least five years prior to the application date
- have never been convicted of a serious offense
- carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability coverage
To satisfy the ‘five years’ experience’ clause you must prove you have electrical work experience in the state of Ohio or another qualifying state.
You will also have to take an exam that includes topics such as service, transformers & equipment, wiring methods & installation, cabinets, panel boards, switchboards boxes, and conduit bodies, conductors, control devices, motors and generators and the utilization equipment and devices.
While the list may seem daunting at first, there’s no need to worry! You would’ve completed much of the criteria during the first two steps. Be sure to study up and you’ll be the brightest spark in the room!
Step 4. Start your electrician business
Firstly, you will need to pass your exam if you want to become an electrical contractor, employ junior electricians and apprentices, and run your own electrician business in the state of Ohio. Once you’ve done that, you can get to the fun stuff.
Start by choosing your business structure for your new venture. Many electrician businesses will choose to start as a sole proprietor. A sole proprand it doesn’t provide personal asset protection. Basically, it allows you to take home 100% of the profits but you will also be 100% personally responsible for any problems you may encounter.
The main alternative is structuring your business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which protects your personal assets
Once you’ve decided on your business structure you can then begin to look at more exciting things such as your business’ name, speciality and marketing strategy.
Step 5: Get your Electrical Contractor Insurance Sorted
Protecting your electrician business with electrician’s insurance in Ohio
An essential form of insurance for electricians in Ohio is General Liability insurance. This electrical liability insurance can protect your business against lawsuits from outside parties resulting from bodily injury or property damage. It’s sometimes called Commercial General Liability (CGL) or “slip and fall coverage”.
In these instances, your policy will cover your legal expenses as well as your cost to replace or remedy the situation up to the limits of liability.
Another similar type of coverage for electricians is Professional Liability insurance. This type of policy protects your business against claims of negligence, mistake and misrepresentations. Professional Liability claims are typically made by clients who allege that your services, products, or employees caused them some form of financial damage. You may also see these policies sold as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance.
Don’t let an accident or mistake short circuit your business. Consider insurance to shield it against liability claims and other unexpected events. In just 10 minutes you can get multiple competitive quotes from leading insurers for your electrical company insurance. Elect your preferred policy and get coverage instantly for your electrician insurance in Ohio, so the only thing you need to worry about is adding a bit of spark to your client’s day.