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Can I Do My Own Electrical Work in South Carolina? Benefits of Hiring a Professional

One of the most asked questions by residents of South Carolina is; can I do my own electrical work in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is yes. You are not required to have a license to do your own electrical, plumbing, building, or mechanical work. However, you must follow the South Carolina state law concerning building permits and establishing residency in the home where you are doing the work.

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Can I Do My Own Electrical Work in South Carolina? The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Instead

Now that you know there is no law prohibiting you from doing your electrical work, let’s find out why it would be beneficial to hire a qualified electrician instead of doing the job yourself.


Licensed electricians have undergone several years of training and experience in offering commercial and residential electrical services.  They can handle any task and may create electrical systems specifically for your requirements.

To assist you in choosing the finest option, a qualified electrician can inform you about the newest and most cutting-edge electrical systems available. You can depend on these experts for any new electrical installations or upgrades.

Insurance Protection

Accidents can happen when the electrician is working on your residential project, though they are uncommon. 

Fortunately, professional electricians are insured so that you won’t be responsible for accidents. Any harm done to your home while the electrical contractor is working is covered by their insurance. That might not be the case if you work with an unauthorized electrical contractor or attempt to complete the task independently because you risk damaging the entire home.

Ensure Safety

Licensed electrical contractors abide by safety standards and laws to ensure your safety and foster a feeling of well-being in your new home. They offer top-quality electrical work while abiding by state, local, and federal electrical codes to prevent mistakes that could be dangerous. 

Additionally, these professionals assist you in obtaining all necessary permissions for properly finishing your electrical job.

Surety Bond

The majority of certified electricians offer some sort of guarantee that they will complete your job flawlessly. 

These professionals set up surety bonds so that you will receive reimbursement if they don’t finish the project or perform poorly. You have nothing to lose by doing this because you will either have a job done flawlessly or be compensated for all the problems caused.

Enhanced Efficiency

Another advantage of hiring a trained electrician is improving your home’s energy efficiency. This is so because qualified electricians maximize your power consumption by installing and configuring innovative electrical systems, making it easy to consume less power and enjoy all the benefits of electricity.


You must purchase all the supplies and tools required to complete your electrical outlet installations. By doing that, you run the danger of purchasing defective products or bad equipment. Some tools are also costly, considering you will use them once or twice at most.

Professional electricians can advise you on the supplies and parts to purchase in bulk to reduce costs when working with them. These professionals can handle all challenging electrical installations and repairs at reasonable prices, depending on the nature of the project.

How to Become an Electrician in South Carolina

Gain the Required Experience: In South Carolina, you need two years (or 4,000 hours) of work experience under a master electrician or a certified journeyman electrician to get a journeyman certification.  If not, you must finish a two-year associate degree program at a technical college and accumulate 2,000 hours of work experience supervised by a licensed master or journeyman electrician.

You can accumulate the requisite amount of experience hours through an apprenticeship program. Local IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and Electrical Training Alliance chapters offer union apprenticeships. The Carolinas Electrical Training Institute also provides information on apprenticeships. Companies like Watson Electrical also offer non-union apprenticeship programs.

Become a Journeyman Electrician: The Municipal Association of South Carolina handles journeyman electricians’ certification. Once you’ve accrued the required work experience, you can apply to sit for the journeyman exam. Your journeyman certification must be renewed annually after completing the test.

Obtain Master Electrician Certification: The Municipal Association of South Carolina is also in charge of certifying master electricians. You can apply and sit for the master electrician exam after four years of experience as a licensed journeyman electrician. After the exams, you must renew the master electrician certification every two years.

Become an Electrical Contractor: There are two types of electrical contractor licenses in South Carolina. These are the mechanical and residential electrical contractor licenses. Residential electrical contractors should work on residential properties, whereas mechanical electrical contractors should work on business properties.

You must pass a technical exam as well as a business and law exam and submit the required application to get a mechanical license. You could be required to submit a financial statement depending on the value of the jobs you plan to bid on. Additionally, mechanical contractors must keep up their surety bonds.  

Some towns and counties have additional contractor license requirements, so confirm with your local municipal association for more information. Every two years, mechanical licenses need to be renewed.

Residential buildings with three stories or less and no more than 16 apartments can be worked on by residential contractors. Some counties and cities may have additional contractor license requirements, so ensure to confirm with your local licensing board or municipal association for more information.  Every two years, residential licenses need to be renewed.

Types of Electrical licensure in South Carolina

Various certificates and licenses are available for electricians in South Carolina.

Journeyman Electrical Certificate: One requires 4,000 hours of electrical trade work experience to get this certificate. You can also obtain the certificate with 2000 hours of electrical trade work experience and a two-year associate degree from an accredited trade school.

Master Electrical Certificate: To acquire this certificate, you need four years of experience as a registered journeyman electrician.  A master electrician may work on the electrical system and has an understanding of rules and the National Electrical Code.

Mechanical Electrical Contractor License: This license requires one to pass a technical exam, a law, and a business exam and provide proof of two years of relevant work experience within the previous five years. A mechanical electrical contractor is required to work on commercial properties.

Residential Electrical Contractor License: To obtain this license, candidates must pass a technical, business and legal exam and provide proof of a year’s worth of relevant work experience.