There is an important distinction between an electrician and an electrical contractor.

An electrician is a person who has completed a 4 year apprenticeship, training alongside qualified tradespeople and regularly attending TAFE classes.  In order to become qualified, an apprentice must pass all their TAFE subjects and also the final exam, which is called the Capstone Test.

Once the apprenticeship is completed, the apprentice applies to the local regulator for an electrical practitioners licence.

When the license is granted the tradesperson is authorised to carry out electrical work in accordance with the AS/NZ3000 wiring rules.

Even though they are fully qualified and licenced there is one important restriction for a qualified tradesperson.

A tradesperson is not allowed to carry out electrical work on their own behalf, and charge clients for that work.  In order to conduct an electrical business the practitioner must obtain an electrical contractors license.

Gaining a contractors license requires further study, passing more exams and other requirements such as insurance cover and reporting obligations.

So your average tradesperson cannot set up in business for themselves.  They can only work for a licensed electrical contractor, unless they go through the process of obtaining a contractors license themselves.

Electrical contractors are required to submit paperwork to TasNetworks and the Electrical Inspectors for all but minor electrical works.  This results in their work being regularly inspected to ensure they are complying with the wiring rules and safety regulations.

Back-yarders who work without a contractors license do not advise the regulators of the work they do and subsequently that work is never inspected to make sure it has been done safely and correctly.

Back-yarders also won’t have the required insurance cover which means you could be left holding the bag if something goes wrong.  How do you think your insurance company would react if your home was damaged or destroyed as a result of unlicensed electrical work?

Always use a licensed electrical contractor for any electrical work, no matter how small, to ensure the safety of your family and your  property.


Mance Electrical, your licensed and experienced Electrical Contractor in Launceston, since 1920.

Phone us on 6331 4711.

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