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#190729 - 12/02/09 08:19 AM Credentials
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
The recent fuss over uninvited guests at the White House has me wondering: How do you approach the topic of credentials?

Let me illustrate this with three real persons:

I recently encountered person "A", who assured me he was both a master electrician and electrical engineer. He also had never heard of 'impedance.'

Person "B" spent a career in the US Navy, first as an electricians' mate, then as an engineering officer. Upon his retirement, the AHJ would not let him test for a journeymans' license because he had not gone through a recognized apprenticeship program.

Person "C" did got through the apprenticeship program, graduated, got top grades, has all the papers to prove this ... but for some unknown reason the program omitted his name from their web-site list of graduates. Kind of makes him look like a liar, doesn't it?

As much as we might like the idea of letting a man prove himself in the field, the simple fact is that one guy can do your reputation -and bottom line- a lot of harm in a very short time. Think of the bad attitudes you may have had after encountering one 'bad apple' cop, taxi driver, or clerk.

Your thoughts?

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#190730 - 12/02/09 09:59 AM Re: Credentials [Re: renosteinke]
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9025
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I suppose that is why some states issue licenses. That becomes a public record for all to see.
Greg Fretwell

#190731 - 12/02/09 10:06 AM Re: Credentials [Re: renosteinke]
ghost307 Offline

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 883
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
I would ask to see their credentials. If they have them, most people are proud of their achievements and are more than happy to show that their expertise is recognized by some licensing agency or other.
If they balk, I'd get more than a little suspicious.

I find that a quick verbal quiz gives me a good idea what level of experience/education is involved.

#190739 - 12/02/09 04:47 PM Re: Credentials [Re: ghost307]
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6792
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
On some occasions I have requested to see an EC's wallet card, which is supposed to be carried by all lic. EC's here.

As an AHJ., I have a state issued wallet card (License), and must wear a Twp issued photo ID, both in the field and in the office. All licensed professionals here are issued wallet ID's, Architects, EE's; PE's, etc. The state also issues a Journeyman Electrician Card, which I have not personally seen. Perhaps one of the 'Jersey Guys' here has?

PA also issued wallet cards for Commonwealth licensed AHJ's.

#190741 - 12/02/09 05:12 PM Re: Credentials [Re: HotLine1]
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9025
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
The state gave me a picture ID too, with a badge clip, but that was mostly for working in prisons. I did wear it whenever I was working. I had my license wallet card on the same clip.
Greg Fretwell

#190749 - 12/02/09 09:01 PM Re: Credentials [Re: gfretwell]
leland Offline

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
Originally Posted By: gfretwell
I suppose that is why some states issue licenses. That becomes a public record for all to see.

Perfect. Nothing more needs to be said.

#190833 - 12/07/09 03:31 PM Re: Credentials [Re: leland]
Tesla Offline

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
In the advertising game every creative whiz maintains a 'portfolio' of his work.

For us this would be a wise idea, especially now that pictures can be shared over the internet on the cheap. (MobilMe, etc.)

Before and after snaps, of course...

Other trades display their repair tools: e.g. lathes, mills, welders, portable gen-sets...

For us it would be wise some fine day to photograph your own arsenal of repair. In this respect USED tools look better than brand-new.

Your slogan might be: 'Have skill; can do it.

If high-end detail work is your craft then photograph tight shots of your handiwork.

I find that gee-whiz electronic/ power tools impress even hardened GC's.

If you have a trade-worthy service truck/van it, too, should be in your photo-portfolio.

Other items worth presenting would be licenses, insurance coverage -- etc.

In sum: build a presentation package.

Work up a printed 'standard of quality' for materials... Stuff like minimum wire sizes, THWN-2/THHN/MTW insulation, UL/CSA listed materials, spare EMT runs, if any....

If you are so fortunate include customer plaudits. These should always be framed and posted around client reception areas or cataloged for truck-side presentation.

It is also wise to photograph operations underway so as to show the level of cleanliness sustained around finished spaces.


So the next time a prospect asks if you are 'certifiable' you can say, "Yes, for the money I don't make, I must be."


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