Electricians And Electrical Contractors: What's The Difference?

Electricians And Electrical Contractors: What's The Difference?


An 'electrician' or an 'electrical contractor': which is the correct one to employ? Can one complete more work than the other?

These questions, plus many more, are very relevant queries to make and not many people would be able to answer them. This is why we have put together a little bit of information to let everyone know what the difference is between an electrician and an electrical contractor.

What’s the difference between an electrician and an electrical contractor?


An electrician is a licenced tradesperson that is authorised under the Australian Standards to conduct electrical services. They must however work for an electrical contractor or an electrical company – an electrician is not permitted to carry out electrical work for themselves and then charge clients for that work.

Electrical Contractor

In comparison, an electrical contractor is an electrician that has undergone additional training and exams and has obtained an electrical contractors licence. An electrical contractor can work for themselves and charge a client once jobs are complete, as well as have electricians work from them.

Electrical Contractors are Also Electricians

Electrical contractors are also electricians. However, they undergo additional training to obtain a contractor’s license. They should hold appropriate insurances that can protect employees, homeowners, business proprietors from any insurance liabilities. Electrical jobs done under electrical contractors are submitted to the state’s Electrical Inspector. This results in their works being inspected on a regular basis to guarantee that they comply with safety regulations. Electrical contractors absolutely know the rules in this field. Residential and commercial electrical projects vary in so many ways. It is important that these jobs are performed to specific code requirements to avoid risks of injury, fire, and death aside from the risks of fines and penalties.

The significant distinction between these two careers lies simply in the fact that licensed electricians are not allowed to perform work for the general public except if they are employed by electrical contractors. In layman’s term, electricians are employed by electrical contractors to do electrical jobs. Reversely, electrical contractors are licensed to hire electricians to cater to the needs of the clients' electrical jobs. Electricians and electrical contractors both hold licenses however only electrical contractors hold the required insurances to safely operate a business. Electricians are not allowed to set up a personal business without gaining a contractor’s license. They can only work for a licensed electrical contractor.

Electricians that accept electrical jobs without direction from electrical contractors are commonly referred to as back-yarders. Their jobs are never inspected by the regulators and are not ensured to be safely and properly done. These back-yarders also do not have the required insurance that can cover liabilities. This means that if something goes wrong, you could be left hanging. Insurance companies will have difficulty settling damages done by unlicensed electricians.

Should you hire an electrician or an electrical contractor?

As an electrician can not work on their own by behalf by law, ensure that you are either employing an electrical contractor who works on behalf of themselves or engages an electrical company that has electricians working for them. If you are unsure, ask to see a tradespersons licence and ensure that, if they are working for themselves, it resembles the above. They complete the same works, however, one can only work for someone else, whereas the other can work on their own behalf.

As an electrical contractor, Allyn White Electrical does all kinds of industrial and commercial electrical installations and repairs as well as home electrical services and emergency electrical repairs. We are a small family-owned and run business with over 40+ years’ experience so please call us on 0416235641. We are here to help.

source: captaincookelectrical.com.au, dseelectrical.com.au


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