Electricians provide an invaluable service by ensuring the proper functioning of the electrical infrastructure of homes, businesses and other structures. Electricians typically focus on two areas: construction and maintenance. Many electricians learn through apprenticeship programs and classroom instruction. Starting a venture, as a self-employed electrician, requires the proper training, experience and marketing techniques.
Consider a vocational or technical program. Gaining experience prior to applying for an apprenticeship will place you ahead of the curve. Many public and private institutions offer electrician training programs that will prepare you for an apprenticeship.
Apply to an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs are typically sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECANET), the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) or the Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IECI). Contact each association to determine which local chapters provide apprenticeship programs in your area.
Complete the program. Electrician apprenticeship programs typically last about four years. Apprenticeships combine an annual 144 hours of classroom training with 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.
Apply for your license or certification. Most states require electricians to obtain a license. Many states require a special license or proof of master electrician certification. Contact your state's licensing board to determine the requirements for self-employed electricians.
Create a solid business plan. A business plan will help establish the direction of your business. Create a business plan that lays the foundation for your business and establishes your financial goals.
Obtain a surety bond. Surety bonds are provided by a third party and assure the completion of projects or payment for defaulted contracts. Becoming bonded will assure your customers they will not lose value if they hire you to perform services.
Apply for a contractor's license. Contact your state's licensing board to inquire about contractor licensing requirements. Most states require that contractors obtain a license to conduct business. Make sure your business is registered with your state prior to requesting a contractor's license and review the "handyman exemption" if one exists.
Review tax implications. Visit the Internal Revenue Service's website to research and review the tax implications for self-employment. Your earnings are subject to taxes, and you may consider consulting an accountant for details.
Market your services. A solid marketing plan will ensure valuable exposure. Create a strategic marketing plan that incorporates several methods. Utilise social networking, a personal website, flyers, direct mail and word-of-mouth marketing techniques.