10 Best Electricians in Chesapeake, VA 2023 - Porch (2023)

Frequently asked questions about electricians

What is an electrician & what does an electrician do in Chesapeake, VA?

An electrician repairs, designs, installs, and maintains electrical systems. There are different types of electricians to choose from, like those who specialize in residential electrical or those who work outdoors. Residential electricians work inside the home to solve wiring problems or do installs. Electricians who work outdoors focus more on the construction of buildings and the systems needed for those projects. Quality electricians tend to be critical thinkers.

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Electrical contractors are responsible for planning electrical systems in new buildings, including outlets, lighting fixtures, and ventilation. They install wiring, lighting, and electrical systems according to the municipal code. This also includes installing hangers and brackets to support electrical systems. They read and interpret blueprints and circuit diagrams. They perform maintenance and inspections of these systems. Electricians also repair or upgrade faulty systems, including removing the faults.

Electricians need to go through a trades program specializing in the field. It takes over 2,000 hours, or four years, of hands-on experience in most states before an electrician is licensed and able to work independently. This number can increase for journeymen electricians or if the electrician wants to work on commercial projects. Some states require these tradesmen to pass an exam or receive certification. Beyond acquiring a license, electricians also need to have insurance. This protects the electrician’s equipment, tools and vehicles, and also insures them if something goes wrong.

How to find a local electrician in Chesapeake, VA?

When you think, “I don’t know any electricians near me,” don’t worry — Porch has you covered. All you need to provide is your ZIP code, contact details, and a description of the project involved, and Porch will match you with a qualified professional. They vet the contractors for you, so you can spend your time where it’s needed most.When you search for an electrician, it’s important to know what the job costs on average before contacting someone. From there, a simple Google search will give you the necessary information, but be sure to read reviews on the contractor before hiring anyone. You can sort reviews by the most recent first and see what people have been saying. A great contractor will have a high number of reviews, and maintain an average of 4.5 stars. Always ask the electrician about their licenses, how they bill, their estimated turnaround time, and whether they specialize in a specific type of job.Before you bring on a profession, check your appliances on other outlets to rule out faulty machines, and double-check that the breakers are on. The most common reasons to hire electricians are flickering lighting or faulty light switches (or if either of the two buzzes when activated). The circuit breaker could have an arc fault or trip whenever a specific appliance runs. Some circuit breakers are outdated, or the wires weren’t designed for the amount of power running through them. Hiring an electrical contractor is a great idea if you have an abnormally high electric bill or want more outlets in the home. A contractor will help you plan the best places for new outlets in the most efficient way possible.

Electrician hourly rate: how much does an electrician cost in Chesapeake, VA?

An electrician generally costs between $60 to $100 per hour. The cost of an electrician will depend greatly upon the job, where you live, and what type of professional you hire. Higher costs of living and greater licensing fees also drive the price up. All that said, electrical work can be dangerous. A professional knows how to do the job safely, and they’re up to date on rules and regulations. There are several instances where an electrician may be needed. Common jobs are creating new outlets or light switches, installing phone lines and basic light fixtures, upgrading breakers and electrical circuits, fixing the wiring, installing a home generator, or even automating the home.

On average, a new light switch costs $125, and basic light fixtures cost between $80 to $200. Outlet installations can range from $200 to $750, while breakers and electrical panel installations range from $100 to $1,500. Adding a new phone line costs roughly $700, and recessed lighting costs roughly $800. Upgrading your electrical circuit can cost between $1,300 to $3,000, and installing new wiring can be anywhere from $1,200 to $18,000. Automating your home could cost between $5,000 to $9,000 while installing a generator costs around $2,000 to $10,000.

Some of these prices vary so wildly because no two homes are alike. An outlet that requires running wires through various rooms will cost more than a house where the wiring is simple and accessible. Old homes are harder to work with, and their electrical systems can be outdated. When you get a quote from a professional, be sure to ask him the reasons for the pricing. Materials cost more depending on where you live, which affects prices.

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How to wire a switched outlet in Chesapeake, VA?

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A switched outlet is a power outlet turned on or off via a switch. A variation of this is a half-hot outlet, or a duplex outlet, where the top plug is always ready to provide electricity, whereas the bottom plug doesn’t provide electricity unless you flip a switch. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet can’t accomplish half-hot — it must be fully active or only run via a switch.

Before you do anything, turn the power off. If you’re modifying an existing outlet that’s more than a few years old, you might want to replace the outlet. Your outlet needs to match the amperage of your breaker. If your breaker puts out 20 amps, your outlet needs to be capable of handling exactly that. To prep the switch outlet, you’ll need to take the faceplate off and break the tab connecting the two brass screw-plates. Don’t break the one connecting the two silver screws.

In a nutshell, your hot and neutral wires (black and white, respectively) will both go to the switch. You’ll run a 14-3 wire from the box to the switch. You’ll need to pigtail the hotline and cap them with a marrette. Connect the pigtail and the remaining black wire to the outlet. Connect the neutral wire to the silver terminal on the other side. Each line has a copper line, which needs to be grounded to the grounding screw. Electrical work needs to be done correctly to work safely. If you’re uncertain about what you are doing, we highly recommend hiring an electrician. Electricity can cause a lot of damage if done incorrectly, and what seems like a simple task is often best left to professionals.

How much does it cost to install an electrical outlet in Chesapeake, VA?

Outlet installations can cost, on average, $300. This price can be lower or significantly higher, depending on the job, location, and special features you need. Most of this cost goes to labor and ensures the job is done safely. A GFCI outlet will cost more to install, as materials are more expensive and more labor is involved.

Most outlets are generally cheap in terms of materials. A standard 120V outlet can be purchased for $4.00 on average. 2-Prong, 3-Prong, and higher voltage outlets (220V, 240V, 250V) range between $5.00 to $20.00 on the high end. A GFCI outlet, on average, is close to $20. Floor and smart outlets are more versatile, costing an average of $40.

If you want your electrician to replace the outlets, you expect a charge of around $55 per hour — but a skilled local electrician could replace as many as twelve outlets in a single hour. Installing new outlets takes up to two hours, depending on the location. Remember that you’ll also pay for the materials and wiring for new outlets, so these jobs cost roughly $150 to $225 per installation.

Many factors alter your costs. If your existing wiring is up to code and already in place, this will lower your costs. On the flip side, your costs will increase if your outlet is in a difficult location or needs more wiring, your costs will increase. If you need outlets to run large appliances, such as a dryer, or installing GFCI outlets, you’ll have a higher cost due to the expensive materials and the job’s complexity. Electricity is hazardous, and a professional is licensed and insured for the job. Beyond simply switching plate covers, it’s a good idea to hire an electrician.

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Can you do electrical work without a license in Chesapeake, VA?

The easy answer is yes, you can do some basic residential electrical work without a license. This answer varies state by state, so double-check regulations where you live. You can replace outlets, light switches, and even light fixtures. Regular switches are easy to replace with dimmer switches, and light fixtures are simple enough to replace with a ceiling fan. Other simple repairs include replacing a fuse or breaker inside an electrical panel. You can replace bathroom fans, hardwired smoke detectors, and appliances or install low-voltage outdoor lighting on your own.

Remember to cut the power before doing any electrical work. Most of these jobs require basic tools. For simple replacements, you can wire the new outlets or switches just as the old ones were. If you’re upgrading them, be certain to read and follow the directions. Replacing fuses and smoke detectors are quick and easy jobs, but replacing a breaker in your electrical panel is more complicated. Be cautious if you need to do this, as it’s often a sign of something wrong in the electrical system. It may be more efficient and effective in the long run to bring in a professional if there are underlying problems.

Not all residential electrical jobs can be done unlicensed. You’ll need a license if you want to upgrade or relocate your panel or upgrade to a 200 amp service. This is also true if you’re adding a new breaker or circuit or running new wiring for an outlet or switch. If you need to add a subpanel, you’ll also need to be licensed. For most electrical work, it’s imperative to stick with a professional if you’re uncomfortable or don’t understand the work. Electricity is dangerous, and you want to prioritize your health, your family’s health, and your home’s safety. Your local electricians will ensure the job is done correctly, which is worth every penny for the peace of mind.

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How do I choose a good electrical contractor? ›

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Electrical Contractor for your Business.
  1. Verify the License and Insurance.
  2. Check out Customer Reviews & Feedback.
  3. Look out for recommendations & suggestions from your network.
  4. Compare Quotation & Pricing based on your RFP.
Apr 25, 2022

What are 3 things electricians do? ›

Install and maintain wiring, control, and lighting systems. Inspect electrical components, such as transformers and circuit breakers. Identify electrical problems using a variety of testing devices. Repair or replace wiring, equipment, or fixtures using handtools and power tools.

What questions to ask when hiring an electrician? ›

5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring an Electrician
  • Are you licensed? – Be sure to choose an electrician who is appropriately licensed, as licenses are required in most states. ...
  • Do you offer a warranty? ...
  • Are you insured? ...
  • Can you provide references? ...
  • What does your estimate include?
Oct 14, 2022

What is the best type of electrician? ›

Master Electrician is the highest level of electrical certification, with requirements varying from state to state. The main standard for most states is around 4,000 hours of electric work as a Journeyman, followed by a licensing exam to display in-depth knowledge of the National Electrical Code.

What to know before choosing a contractor? ›

Hiring a Contractor Checklist and Tips
  • Get Multiple Estimates. ...
  • Hire Local, Licensed Contractors Whenever Possible. ...
  • Check Their Past Work. ...
  • Take Your Time Making a Sound Decision. ...
  • Check Their Insurance and Bonding. ...
  • Get Everything in Writing. ...
  • Understand Your Right to Cancel. ...
  • Don't Pay Up-Front.

What is the top pay for a journeyman electrician? ›

How much does an Electrician Journeyman make in California? The average Electrician Journeyman salary in California is $74,000 as of February 27, 2023, but the range typically falls between $64,800 and $83,800.

How much is the highest paid electrician? ›

How Much Does an Electrician Make? Electricians made a median salary of $60,040 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $77,350 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $46,900.

Where do electricians make the most money? ›

Highest-Paid Electricians By State
RankState90th Percentile
46 more rows
Aug 2, 2022

What are the 4 types of electricians? ›

There are four specialty areas to choose from when pursuing a career as an electrician. These titles include outside linemen, inside wiremen, installer technician and residential wiremen.

What is the average age of an electrician? ›

The average age of a JIB electrician currently stands at 41, which in itself is no problem at all, it's the number of employees over the age of 61 which raises concerns.

What is the #1 safety rule electricians must follow? ›

Safety Rule #1: Limit workplace access to electrical hazards. Depending on where you work, there may be industrial equipment packed with enormous voltage. Access to electrical components should be by qualified personnel ONLY.

Should I negotiate with electrician? ›

Negotiate with comparisons

It is assumed that you've verified that they are experts and experienced because everyone will say that they are. The best way to negotiate is to ask the electrician to lower their labor costs by around 10% and not charge you for replacement parts. Rather offer to buy the parts yourself.

What are the most important safety concern for an electrician? ›

The main hazards of working with electricity are: electric shock and burns from contact with live parts. injury from exposure to arcing, fire from faulty electrical equipment or installations.

What states are best for electricians? ›

Here Are the Best States for Electricians In 2023:
  1. Alaska. Total Electrician Jobs: ...
  2. North Dakota. Total Electrician Jobs: ...
  3. Oregon. Total Electrician Jobs: ...
  4. Vermont. Total Electrician Jobs: ...
  5. Montana. Total Electrician Jobs: ...
  6. Connecticut. Total Electrician Jobs: ...
  7. Washington. Total Electrician Jobs: ...
  8. Hawaii. Total Electrician Jobs:
Apr 6, 2021

Can you make 6 figures as an electrician? ›

As the world ultimately depends on electricity to function correctly. Aside from just that, a good electrician can earn six figures. However, this entire process will undoubtedly need a lot of dedication and hard work as a journeyman.

What is the difference between electrician and electrical technician? ›

The primary difference between an electrician and an electrical technician is that an electrician specializes in electricity, while an electrical technician is more general. A licensed and qualified electrical technician can perform office or field work to maintain and repair electrical systems.

What is the first thing you check when a contractor arrives? ›

When the contractor arrives, the first thing you will want to do is make sure the name on the contractor's license matches his or her driver license or other photo ID. Now it's time to discuss your project. After interviewing a few licensed contractors and selecting a favorite, it's time to check references.

What are the best questions to ask contractors? ›

5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor
  • Would You Please Itemize Your Bid? ...
  • Is Your Bid an Estimate or a Fixed Price? ...
  • How Long Have You Been Doing Business in This Town? ...
  • Who Are Your Main Suppliers? ...
  • I'd Like to Meet the Job Foreman — Can You Take Me to a Project He's Running.

What are the most important problems that you see with being a contractor? ›

One of the primary problems that many contractors face, especially when times are good, is a lack of capacity. You just don't have enough time, or enough staff, to complete every job available. With a limited workforce, a company can only do so much work.

What state pays journeyman electricians the most? ›

Alaska is the best state for jobs for journeyman electricians, and Arkansas is the worst. The most common pay in Alaska is $80,815, while the median pay in Arkansas is $39,391.
1. Alaska.
Total Journeyman Electrician Jobs:52
Average Annual Salary:$80,815
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$68,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$95,000
1 more row
Apr 6, 2021

What do most apprentice electricians make? ›

$31,824 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $43,086 is the 75th percentile.

How much does a city power electrician make? ›

ZAR 406,359. The estimated total pay for a Electrician at City Power is ZAR 406,359 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is ZAR 396,359 per year.

What trade makes the most money? ›

The Highest-Paid Trade Jobs
  • Construction Managers. ...
  • Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers. ...
  • Radiation Therapists. ...
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists. ...
  • Dental Hygienists. ...
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians. ...
  • Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians. ...
  • Boilermakers.

What is highest paying job in USA? ›

Highest-Paying Careers
RankOccupation2021 Median Wages
Employment column two Annual
1Obstetricians and Gynecologists$208,000+
1Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric$208,000+
1Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons$208,000+
7 more rows

How much do self employed electricians make? ›

You can expect to make between £19,000 and £22,000 according to Skills training group.

Where do most electricians live? ›

Top 20 Best Cities for Electricians
1Decatur, IL500
2St. Joseph, MO-KS440
3Kennewick-Richland, WA670
4Saginaw, MI650
16 more rows

Why do electricians charge so much money? ›

Electricians are in the top five highest paid non-degree professions. For years, society has funneled high school students towards college. With fewer people entering the skilled trades, it has become increasing difficult for businesses to hire qualified workers. Lack of skilled labor has led to high wages.

How do I know if my electrician is qualified? ›

Asking your electrician about their qualifications is the first and easiest step in determining whether they are suitable for the job. A good electrician with the correct qualifications will have no issue in sharing these details with you so be sure to ask this before committing to using their services.

What are three important qualities that electricians need? ›

“Electricians need to have the following qualities: strong mathematical knowledge, physical dexterity, safety first minded, and usage of hand and power tools.”

Are electricians happy with their job? ›

In general, most electricians reported being happy with their salary levels and their work environments but reported that they were not very fulfilled by their work and did not feel that their job is meaningful. Many electricians also reported that they did not feel their skills were being used adequately.

Is 40 too old to become an electrician? ›

While some electricians start their training immediately after high school graduation, others (like you) look to this field as a second or even third career later in life. No limit exists to learning. This means you can learn the trade as an 18-year-old or a 48-year-old.

Is it hard being an electrician? ›

Electrical work is hard and can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. This is why it's so important to have extensive training and experience working under a licensed contractor before you can be licensed to work on your own.

What makes a good contractor? ›

They are trustworthy – A good contractor must be trustworthy in every aspect of their work – your home is a major asset and you shouldn't trust its care to just anyone. While it's sometimes tough to know who to trust, use your best judgement to determine if your contractor has the integrity your home deserves.

What makes a good electrical company? ›

Reputable commercial electrical contractors have business skills that they have developed over years of working on different large-scale commercial projects. They have the general knowledge of business practices such as strategic planning, inventory tracking, and invoicing.

What is the biggest financial risk as an electrical contractor? ›

Insurance Needs for Electrical Contractors
  • Injury—One of the most common risks an electrical contractor faces is injury. ...
  • Property damage—Damage to a client's property can occur both during a project and after its completion. ...
  • Equipment breakdown and theft—Equipment can break down unexpectedly, resulting in work delays.

Will electricians give free quotes? ›

Do electricians do free estimates? Yes, they do. Whether you're looking for new electrical work or wiring repair, the electrician should offer you a free estimate.

Do people respect electricians? ›

It's a Well-Respected Profession

Many people consider electricians to be at the top of the construction and trade field. It's widely understood how much skill and expert knowledge an electrician needs to do their job correctly.

What are good questions to ask a contractor? ›

15 Questions to Ask A General Contractor Before Hiring
  • Are you licensed for this type of work? ...
  • Which types of insurance do you carry? ...
  • How many building permits have you obtained in my area over the last two years? ...
  • Can you provide a list of references? ...
  • What is an expected timeline for this project?
Mar 5, 2020

What percentage should a contractor get? ›

Average General Contractor Rates

General contractors charge at about 10 to 20 percent of the total construction project cost. For even larger projects, you might pay closer to the 25 percent mark for professional construction services.

What do the best contractors have in common? ›

The 10 traits successful contractors have in common
  1. Servant leadership. ...
  2. Positive work environment. ...
  3. Attracting and retaining the best people. ...
  4. Strategic business planning. ...
  5. Effective business development practices. ...
  6. Diversified and profitable mix of work. ...
  7. Operational strength. ...
  8. Proper capitalization.
Apr 4, 2019


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