I'm new here so I'm not really sure how many inspectors we have in our midst but, I'll ask anyway. Are there any inspectors here that make a point of carding (checking licenses) on every or almost every inspection they perform? I only ask this because I have noticed a decline in this over the last few years and frankly, having more than a few years left in this trade, it scares me. The only people that have the authority to protect our trade are the inpectors and lately it seems like none of them are even trying. atleast in the areas I've been working. I've been licensed for 13 years, first in Fla. later in Mich. and I've been carded twice in my whole career. Who's making sure that the people performing the work are actually "qualified"? When I lived in Fl. there were laws on the books that promised up to $2500.00 and up to 90 days in jail for performing electrical work for hire without a license and in Michigan, the laws are the same. I've looked them up and I'm sure I could find them again in less than half an hour. I'm not trying to offend any inspectors that might read this, I just want to know why the local authorities having jurisdiction, might not be motivated to check the qualifications of those whose work is being inspected. Maybe, if the existing laws were to start being enforced, the money generated by the fines imposed could ease the burden on a few tax payers and the idea that there is a possibility of jail time might prevent the neighborhood handyman from hanging ceiling fans from the original 1940 fixture hickey and running 18/2 lampcord down to the speed control. Just a thought...
In Florida I am not sure what "card" I would be looking for. The license number on the permit is for the licensed EC that pulled it (who is not likely to actually be there). There may be a sub permit application for another licensee but unless you saw a different name on the truck outside how would I know who was doing the job? The 5 counties around me don't have a journeyman's card so any employee of the listed EC is an "electrician" if he says he is.
Things may have changed from when I was in Florida but, ten years ago, a "card" would have been a journeymans license. The electrical contractor would need a master in order to pull the permit, but, anyone doing work under that permit would need to have a journeymans license, or be working under the direct supervision of a licensed journeyman. I was in Broward county and things may be different where you are but, I remember having to study my ass off twice in order to pass that 6 hour long block exam offered in the Plantation High School cafeteria. When I was there, the local Ft. Laud. inspectors didn't seem to bother with checking licenses because the county, not the city, would get the money from the fines and why should the city put forth man hours with nothing in return? Here in Michigan, the state has taken over the testing and licensing of journeyman instead of the local municipalities, and there are laws on the books that would punish those working in the trade without a license just as if we were lawyers, doctors, beauticians etc. In michigan, and as I recall in Broward county Fl. when I lived there, we were required by law to have our journeymans license on us at all times when working in the field. I still have my framed journeymans license from when I lived down there. If I wouldn't run the risk of waking my new son at 2:00am by getting it out of his closet, I'd take another look at it. I was sure it was a Florida state license but, I've been wrong before. It's possible it was only a county issued thing. I'll take a look tomorrow.
It was definitely a local card as in city or county. I worked from Pinellas/Hillsborough counties south to Lee county from 75 to 89 and the only area I knew that we needed cards was in areas of Pinellas county.
I still know people working in these areas and one of the biggest gripes is the lack of licensing requirements.
One of the biggest motivations I had to relocate was that I was trying to compete against so-called electricians that were working out of their carports without a license, insurance, or any other overhead that comes with a legitimate business and none of the local authorities seemed at all interested in trying to solve this problem.
Here in Mich. we are starting to see the same problem. The local inspectors don't seem to be going after the "handymen" that know just enough about electrical to create a dangerous situation. If the local authorities were to start enforcing the laws that are already on the books, I'm sure the cities would see a huge surge in money generated by permit fees, not to mention fines.
In my state, the duties of checking licenses is with the state department, not the inspectors. We ask for an electrical contractors license at plan submittal, and if the job looks really bad I will ask for a license in the feild.
Lamplighter, Welcome to this board. I have been here for many years and I show up every now and then. I too am an AHJ and as the others said, when I do plan review (here in northern NJ) the EC lic. is on the permit. The EC has to sign the permit and seal it and if I get out to the job and the work doesn't look like an EC did it, I might even call the EC to make sure that someone else is not using his lic. #. I also check when I am out on the job and see work the the Homeowner did and if it looks too perfect, I might ask him if he did the work or if a Lic. EC did it. If there was a EC, again I would ask for a change of contractor on the permits.
Maybe I'm missing something here but you guys keep talking about the electrical contractor and not the electricians in the field. I've seen many electrical contractors that will send a kid out into the field on his own service truck with less than two years experience, no journeymans license, and no direct supervision in the job site. In Michigan I know this is illegal as well as in Broward county Fl. as recently as 1997. Are Journeymans licenses a thing of the past now? If so, why even bother with the code update classes?
Now to add to John's post here in NJ. I started to work for an EC back in 1975 and wrked for him for 8 years. took the test ( since I had more than 5 years experience) and passed giving me the EC # 7257 ( I had an A also but not now.) The A meant I changed my lic. but now I gave up my bus. permit and I am no longer allowed to practice. (Since I am an AHJ) My Inspector's Lic. #6597. When I was in my own business, I was responsible for every man I had working for me. I was non union so non of my guys had Journey man cards. However some of my former employees also had contractors lic. if fact 3 of my men had there contractors lic. while working for me. Now they are all back on their own again.