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#199866 - 03/12/11 08:34 PM Electrical Supply House License question  
Saskadoom  Offline
New Member
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
I suppose the best source of information would be SaskPower but....

According to the local government's Electrical Licensing Act ( the following is stated:

Contractor’s licence
15(1) No contractor’s licence is to be issued to a person unless he:
(a) has held a journeyman’s licence for a period of at least two years and is not employed by the holder of a licence, other than the holder of a supply house licence; or
(b) employs at least one individual who: (i) has held a journeyman’s licence for a period of at least two years; and
(ii) is not employed by the holder of a licence other than the applicant, unless that other holder holds a supply house licence.

Here's what the Electrical Supply House License Application looks like:

And finally, after all that information, if a journeyman electrician is employed full-time by a local employer but wishes to get a contractor's license to do work outside his place of employment all he would need to do first is gain employment at an Electrical Supply House - true?

Tools for Electricians:

#199867 - 03/12/11 09:08 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
jay8  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
Vancouver, BC
I think the intent of this rule is to allow supply houses to perform electrical work as necessary to conduct their business, ie warranty repairs, etc.

The way I read it, the act doesnt exclude the supply house from meeting the other requirements needed to become a contractor such as bonding, having a journeyman performing the work, and any other worker comp fees, liability insurance etc needed to run a business.

#199868 - 03/12/11 09:26 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
Saskadoom  Offline
New Member
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
I think you misunderstood my question at the end or I misunderstand your reply so I'll try this again:

Let's say I'm employed full-time at ABC Electric, according to the act in Saskatchewan, I cannot apply for a contractor's license because I am already employed as an electrician somewhere else. The exception appears to be if I have a second place of employment that is a licensed Electrical Supply House, then I can apply for a contractor's license despite being employed at ABC Electric. Hopefully that's as clear as mud - LOL

#199870 - 03/12/11 11:37 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
twh  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 922
Regina, Sask.
You're trying to do too much with the wording of the rule. I don't think that gaining secondary employment with a supply house relieves you of the requirement that you do not work for a contractor. You would have a great argument if your contractor-employer also held a supply house license. Maybe you can get him to apply for one.

#199871 - 03/13/11 01:35 AM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
Saskadoom  Offline
New Member
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
Okay then, let's say I'm still employed as a full-time electrician at ABC Electric but we put this twist on the scenario....

Keep in mind the information required for the "Electrical Supply House license" (link to form is above in post #1):

- first I apply for an electrical supply house license using the company name from the company that I created called "Joe's Electric"
- I get the license for an electric supply house
- now, using the company name "Joe's Electric" I apply for a full contractor's license

You don't have to be a licensed journeyman electrician to apply for a contractor's license. All you need is to hire a journeyman who has at least 2 years experience and is not currently employed by a licensed contractor/employer. Except I don't hire a journeyman because the owner of Joe's Electric, myself, is a licensed journeyman. If I own the company that applies for the contractor's license then I don't need to submit my name as an employee too (I believe). Therefore, technically I am not an employee of Joe's Electric but I am a qualified and licensed journeyman electrician. I should be free to preform the work under my company name which is a "electrical supply house" with a "contractor's license" - maybe?

The only reason I'm trying to figure this out is because of the possibility of being employed by a contractor/employer who wishes to limit your work to their jobs only. Is it wrong to try to escape this kind of restricted work environment?

Last edited by Saskadoom; 03/13/11 01:40 AM.

#199885 - 03/13/11 06:05 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
twh  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 922
Regina, Sask.
They have a wording problem with the rule, but you would need to go to court and even then you might lose. No one is going to say that you win on a technicality, except maybe a judge.

What you want isn't wrong - it just isn't legal. Some, like you, might argue that it's right. The problem that will arise is if you work on a job and there is a permit issue, the inspector can't tell whose issue it is.

You can get your employer to contract to you so you aren't an employee, but you lose UIC, Comp, holidays, Labour Standards Act, etc.

Maybe, find an old guy who is retired and hire him to get the license.

I'm not sure that it's worth the trouble to do electrical work on the side. People who hire part-time contractors usually want to save money and think a case of beer is payment enough; and, they don't tell you that until the job is done.

#199890 - 03/13/11 09:21 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
Saskadoom  Offline
New Member
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
I don't see how it would be "illegal".

If I were doing work on the side it would not be as an employee of "Joe's Electric", and I would be submitting my ticket # on the permit to do the work so there would be no problem discerning whose issue it is.

I realize that this is looking for a loophole but the idea of being limited to working for one company and then not being able to, for example, wire my in-law's cabin at the lake after hours because I can't get permission to do so from my boss seems ridiculous.

#199891 - 03/13/11 09:30 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
Tesla  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
Sacramento, CA
Our craft needs new entrants like it needs a radiation leak.

Wage rates are terrible and getting worse.

If the established outfits with all of their start-up expenses out of the way can't make a go of it; what can a new guy achieve?

Unless you can point to some special patron that's going to prop you up you stand to bleed money.

Out my way the universal policy for employees competing with the boss is termination and black-balling.

I've seen guys try and launch their own shop by calling in sick when work was secured -- and then picking up his tools when he had no jobs. Yeah, he got cut real soon.

With all of the old guys bailing out it should be possible for you to buy one out. Established accounts are worth real money -- but most retiring electricians end up letting them go up for grabs.


#199893 - 03/13/11 09:52 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: Saskadoom]  
twh  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 922
Regina, Sask.
You can't do what you propose because you can't get a license. You can't get a license because it isn't legal. Go ahead and apply, but you already know what the result will be. That's why you're testing your arguments, here. I'm saying, you have a point, but it's weak.

As to my example, If you were on a job as an employee and your employer didn't take out a permit, who would get the k form? You would both be working without a permit, as opposed to just your employer. You can argue my example, if you wish, but without the license, the point is moot.

You're right. It sucks to be an employee. It probably sucks even more to inspect your work and to have to argue every word of an electrical code that is more poorly drafted than the statute you quote. Life sucks. Work around it.

The only part of the cabin that you can't "help" your in-law wire with a home owner's permit is the service. Get him to hire your employer and you can do the service under your employer's permit and give your wages back to your in-law.

Let's look at the amount of money someone around S'toon has if they can buy property at the lake and build a cabin. I'll bet they can afford $2k for a service.

#199899 - 03/13/11 11:24 PM Re: Electrical Supply House License question [Re: twh]  
Saskadoom  Offline
New Member
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 5
In all honesty, I have no problem being an employee and life is good. My work environment is great and I respect my boss. I'm not looking for extra work or money either. Don't really have the time or need the money.

I just don't like the fact that if I'm qualified to do the work for someone that I can't unless I make special arrangements. With my place of work getting a permit through them to, for example, change out a friend's panel is not something that could happen even if they wanted to - it's not the type of work we do.

Thanks for all the responses. Food for thought.

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