Licensed or Union Electrician?

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Old 04-25-02, 10:30 AM
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Licensed or Union Electrician?

I need to have work performed in my home by a "licensed electrician" per the relocation company which will buy my home after these repairs are done.

I've had several recommendations identifying the particular electrician as a "union" electrician. Is this the same as a "licensed" electrician? (This is New York State.)

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-25-02, 11:51 AM
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In my area, the license is by the state or municipality. The union would be the labor organization for the electricians in your area and you can expect them to follow all laws and standards as regards licensing. Someone could be a non-union electrician and still have a license. They are interested in you getting quality work done by someone, union or not that has earned their license.( Work is often required by local codes to be done by a licensed tradesmen) Remember, not everyone who calls themselves an electrician is licensed. The contractor should supply their license number at request. Many of electricians and plumbers in my area will display their numbers as part of their yellow pages ads.
 
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Old 04-25-02, 02:41 PM
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I'm both a licensed and a union electrician. If you hire union you'll be getting an electrician that has had 8000 hours of both classroom and on the job training plus passed a test. Non-union will have any where from ZERO hours to ?? He too will have passed a 100 question test of which copies are available at the public libaray. Remember it's the contractor that has to be licensed not the actual tradesman.........<with the exception of plumbers> So that Licensed non-union electrical contrator could be sending you a newly hired man with little or no experience while the union contractor can send you a newly hired man knowing he's got at least 8000 hours of training before getting his journeyman's card.

Hope this helps.......

PS does my Bias show??
 
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Old 04-25-02, 05:07 PM
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Union or non union does not matter licensing does matter. While it is true that union has a jouneyman's program it does not mean that the union journeyman elctrician will be doing the work or the guy hired in completing his first few hours of the journeyman's program if doing the work with a union journeyman signing off on the job.

Union does not mean licensed. There are many Union electricians that do not carry an electrical license recognized by the governmental body of your jurisdiction.

If you really want to know skills then ask for a confirmation that he is licensed. If you want a qualified electrician whether union or non union then ask the guy with the screw driver in his hand doing the job if he is carrying a master's license tested by block and Ass. or an Inspector's certification card from New York. If this electrician is really skilled then he can produce a nationally recognized electrical license.

Skills are there in both union and non union. Skills are not there also in union and non union. Ask for confirmation to a license holder. Local testing is not often means of measuring knowledge. National licensing is Nationally recognized. Try and find a master licensed through Block. You will find both union and non union masters out there, they both take the same licensing test if they are to be recognized by the governemental bodies.

Good Luck

Wg
 
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Old 04-25-02, 07:33 PM
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The dirty little industry secret is that 90% of the guys doing electrical work out there are not licensed and they don't have to be. Only someone at the contrator has to hold the license and the rest of the electricains work under his supervision. That's why your better off with union electricains because they have a formal training progrom in place to insure you get qualified mechanics. To my knowledge non-union shops have not organized any kind of training approaching the level of The National Electrical Contractors Association/ International Brothhood of Electrical Workers Apprentiship program.
 
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Old 04-26-02, 01:17 AM
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joeh20
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Licensed or Union Electrician?

I guess in the northern states yall have become used to the Union way or not at all. I'm in Tennessee and here being a union electrican just doesn't mean that much. A journeymans card is good if your in a closed shop situation, but we don't have that here. Tennessee is a right to work state. Most construction in this area will have one contractor with a general contractors license and most people just work under that. All work still gets inspected by the state electrical inspector. Here we have one in for the whole county. I hold a Limited License issued through the state dept. of commerce and insurance. I pull many electrical permits each year and all my work passes inspections. I know several guys that signed up for the local IBEW apprentice program six months ago and have yet to get a days work out of them . It seems like to me that the olders guys in the union here all work for one place ( a govt. test facility) and none of them are in any form of construction. I looked into the apprentice program also, they couldn't find anywhere to send you to get any expierence let alone 8000 hours. I've got well over 8000 hours my self over 20 years of running pipe and pulling wire. I've had 26 services pass this year allready. If I relied on the union experience I'd be on welfare around here. It may last up north due to your state laws there but in the south it seems a union electrican may be a thing of the past. Our state licencening board offers an electrical contractors licence test I think it $800 to take it and must be very comprehensive. I know a couple of guy that too it several years ago, and they don't do any more work than the rest of us with limited licenses, i suppose they may have a larger job $ limit but never use it.
 
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Old 04-26-02, 04:48 AM
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Thanks to all responders, especially so to Wgoodrich who concisely stated "Union does not mean licensed.", which was my question.

As for union v. non-union v. licensed v. non-licensed, you will have to argue the merits of each with my relocation company who is requiring licensed.

Again thanks to all. This is a great forum.
 
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