This may seem like a confusing question since these two concepts seem very similar. However, the major differences are simple. Certification refers to an elite status, as approved by a society of technicians. Certification is not required, but is recommended so as to emphasize a tradesman’s credibility. Certification schools create courses around the minimum requirements for certifications. On the contrary, licensing is ordered by the state, whether locally or state-wide, and has its own unique requirements before a person is authorized to work as a contractor (as a company) or as a master or residential electrician.
So here’s a challenging question: when faced with the decision, should you work your way towards meeting state requirements or towards certification? Here’s one advantage of electrician certification. You can actually take this honor outside of state lines and still advertise yourself as a certified authority. The entire idea behind certification is that a third party, impartial entity is endorsing your skills, experience and knowledge.
You don’t have to be a state-licensed electrician, not if you’re working under the supervision of a contractor. The certification status can also be misleading if someone has only accumulated certified inspector status, and not actually trained for residential or master electrician work. A so called certified inspector might be totally clueless about certain types of electrical systems in certain public places. This could be a significant health risk and financial risk!
On the other hand, some certified master electricians have years of experience—far beyond that of state requirements. The safest strategy is obviously to go for both licensing and certification and preferably in master electrical inspection and electrical work—if you can afford the time and financial investment. Furthermore, know that households and particularly commercial companies will be scrutinizing your credentials and your work experience and type of certification for that matter.
Remember, when people are looking to hire an electrician they want someone with proven experience and with in-depth knowledge—someone that not only understands the technical aspects of electricity, repair and installation, but also someone that can troubleshoot and find solutions where there are problems. The certification license and official state licensing grant is merely representative of the knowledge a person has already gained.
Interested in going back to school to learn electrician work? Then start by looking up online courses that offer convenient solutions to fulltime work requirements. You could be making real money in no time!