How to become an electrician or any contractor in Pennsylvania

There will be no exaggeration here, simply the truth:

1) Wake in the morning and decide that you want to be an electrician or (Insert building trade here)? NO experience necessary whatsoever. If you watched or helped someone once, you can then always say you have experience.

2) Go to your insurance agent's office for 9am sharp. Tell your agent that you need liability insurance as an electrical contractor. Pay the average of about $350-$400 for minimum liability coverage and get your binder.

3) Go directly home and log online to the Pennsylvania attorney general's site and register as a "Home Improvement Contractor". You will need your insurance binder at this point. Pay the $50 fee and input your information. Now write down that registration number they assigned you on the spot. You will need that later.

4) On your way home, stop at Staples and get business cards. Make sure you put that registration number on the card. That's required! They can actually do some right there on the spot. I would start with about 250-500 cards as that should be enough to get started.

5) Stop at Lowes or Home Depot and buy a book on house wiring. While you are there buy a few hand tools that you may need such a tester, linesman pliers, snips, screwdrivers, hex-key, etc.

6) By now it should be about lunch time. Time to go somewhere for lunch and start leaving your cards on the pin up boards and tell everyone that you do electrical work. You are official!!!!!

7) If you don't plan on doing residential work but only want to do commercial stuff then you can skip #3 as you don't even have to register with the state!!

So there you have it. You can now work in 99% of the state without a problem. After all, you are a registered contractor with the state of PA!!!! Just stay out of larger cities that had licensing requirements in place prior to the HIC registration law. You will have to take a test and prove your knowledge in those areas in order to get a license and work there. I would not worry about that because there are LOTS of other electricians that just work in the other 99% of the state and never have to worry about licensing.

I really hope that this help anyone who wakes up in the morning and decides they want to be a contractor in Pennsylvania. Good Luck!!

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