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.
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.
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.