Electricians are still in high demand in British Columbia and the industry has many new opportunities to take advantage of including, renewable energy, keeping up to date with modern electrical codes, and other new technologies such as electric vehicle charging stations, etc. You want to ensure you have all the points covered off for how to get your electrical contractor license in BC, and you’ve come to the right place.
Complete All Electrical Related Education
First things first, you’re going to need to complete your Red Seal Certification which includes, but is not limited to a 4 year program of accredited electrical courses and 6,000 work hours. Not to mention the Red Seal exam that will require completion at the end of your electrical education program. There are lots of schools in BC to choose from, but we have heard great things from clients and around the community about the British Columbia Institute of Technology. BCIT (www.bcit.ca) has an excellent track record and enables students with employment opportunities along with the skills you need to exceed in not only the elctrical business, but other modern and evolving trades as well. You’re on your way with our guide for how to get your electrical contractor license in BC.
Apply for your Electrical Contractor's License
Now would be a good time to review the electrical licenses requirement on the Technical Safety BC website (https://www.technicalsafetybc.ca/electrical-licences). British Columbia Safety Authority outlines the following:
- Complete Electrical Contractor License Application Form 1028
- Ensure that you name a Field Safety Representative (FSR) on this application
- Provide an original surety bond in the amount of $10,000 bearing the principal’s signature and insurer’s signature and seal along with the application
- Pay the relevent fee and submit to any Technical Safety BC office
A couple of things we think it’s important to bring your attention to here. First is the requirement of a Field Safety Representative (sometimes called Master Electrician or simply, FSR) to be named on the application. Ideally this would be yourself since you are the one looking to get your license; however, there are some ways around this if you have an employee eligible for the FSR title. Most likely you will want to be the named FSR on your license and with 1 year of work experience from the date of your Red Seal Exam completion, you are able to do so. We’d also like to bring point “3” above to your attention and will go into detail with respect to the required surety bond in the next section of how to get your electrical contractor license in BC.
Get your Electrical Contractor Bond
What is an Electrical Contractor Bond anyways? Matter of fact, what’s a bond? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. A bond is a three party guarantee document designed to protect an Obligee, in this case, the BC Safety Authority. Enough of the wordy explanation – what you need to know is it is a document required for how to get your electrical contractor license in BC (and it is somewhat used as a barrier to entry for a license). Luckily, Bond Connect (formerly, Netsurance) offers instant online approval and purchase for Electrical Contractor Bonds. Follow the apply now link below for more details and to complete the short application.
Complete and Submit your License Application
At this point you’re ready to submit all of the required documents to the Safety Authority for approval. You can check out the office locations across BC where you can submit your application here. At this point in time (October 25, 2018), the BC Safety Authority is still collecting documentation in hard copy form (along with the original of the bond copy), but this may changes in the future as our world continues to develop electronically.
Don't forget about Electricians Insurance
Something that may be overlooked when starting a new business is acquiring adequate insurance. This is an important part of maintaining a successful business. There are various situations where insurance will protect your electrical business from both property and liability claims. Tools and equipment can be expensive and it’s good to have them covered, but liability claims can be even more costly and not only damage your business, but you personally as well. Netsurance offers an insurance package specifically for electricians. Head over to our Electrician Insurance page for more information.
You've got your license and are ready for business!
You’re all set with your license an ready to get some jobs! So, how do you start getting some business? With visual media being present throughout the modern persons day in so many forms, there’s no shortage of options for getting your name and services out there. We recommend creating all social media accounts and sharing any completed work you’ve done through – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more, are all good opportunities for exposure. Try to think of creative and applicable hash tags to include that may play into the kind of business you are looking for (for example, electronic vehicle charging installs, etc.). When the time comes, it can also be useful to start a website and blog of your own to get exposure in search engines and on the web in general – look forward to more on this from us in the future!