Know the differences in electricians’ training levels and you’ll know for sure that you’ve hired the right talent

DENVER, CO — You wouldn’t ask a foot surgeon to do an open-heart transplant on your grandma. Translated to electrical construction terms, call an expert electrician to get the electrical repair or installation job in your home or business done properly.

If you don’t, safety and fire danger can become an issue, urges Gary Stone, founder of Allstar Electrical Services in Denver, Colorado serving all of Colorado’s Front Range.

As well, don’t call the first name in the phone book just because you think all electrical contractors are the same. Just because “AAA Super Fun Electricians” is the first ad in the phone directory, a quick marketing lesson will tell you that the Super Fun Electricians are hoping you’ll take the easy way out and call them because they are the first you’re likely to see in a phone directory. That doesn’t mean they have the right training for your electrical job.

Proper training is key to performing electrical installations and making electrical repairs, says Stone. Allstar’s crews are composed of several types of electricians, each with specific capabilities and authority. “It’s important that work be overseen and inspected by electricians with the appropriate training to recognize hazards. Electrical systems today are more complex then ever before, and the training—even at the Master Electrician level—is ongoing as they study and learn the intricacies of these new systems and electrical applications,” Stone adds.

Just like trades have been learned since medieval days, electricians operate side-by-side with the youngest of the crew, literally teaching them the ropes. The passing of time and passing of written tests are what moves a novice upward in the hierarchy of skilled electrical technicians.

At the bottom of the totem pole is the Apprentice, who typically works in an apprenticeship for four years, while schooled in electrical theory and electrical building codes. An apprenticeship requires 8,000 hours of work in the field and as an Apprentice, one is not allowed to operate unsupervised and must report directly to the Journeyman Electrician on the job site. Allstar Electrical Services is currently in the process of grooming 14 Apprentices for the Denver area.

A Journeyman Electrician is trained in all areas of electrical construction, installation and maintenance. A Journeyman can basically do the majority of electrical work, but is NOT permitted to design the electrical systems on their own. After completing one year as a Journeyman, more qualitative testing plus 2,000 hours of planning and layout means that an enterprising electrician can become a Master Electrician. To date, 10 licensed Journeyman and Residential Wireman work on Allstar Electrical Services crews.

At the top of the ladder is the Master Electrician who calls the shots and oversees all work performed by Apprentices and Journeyman. The expertise on the Master level is found in the layout, estimation and design of the electrical installations. Currently, Allstar Electrical has one Master Electrician leading the charge and overseeing all electricians on staff.

This hierarchy assures quality training of electricians who also have the choice of different fields in which they can hone their skills, i.e. Outside Lineman, Inside Wireman, VDV Installer Technician or Residential Wireman.

Outside Lineman

  • a no-brainer to understand; they work outside
  • these electrical workers operate on the massive power lines that you see next to the roads and highways, literally carrying the electricity from the power plants to everywhere that requires power.

Inside Wireman

  • dwells indoors where power, lighting, and controls are installed in commercial and industrial buildings.

Residential Wireman

  • essentially perform the same task as an Inside Wireman, but on a much smaller scale in homes, multi-unit apartments or other living quarters.

VDV Installer Technicians

  • the beloved TV and stereo gurus
  • install circuit and low voltage systems that power your favorite toys.

The disparity in levels of qualifications, license requirements and areas of expertise are worth considering before hiring any average Joe for your electrical needs. Gary Stone warns homeowners and business owners to make yours an informed decision. Ask for an electrician’s credentials. Limit your hiring to electrical contractors who are licensed to work in the jurisdiction of your project, either by city or county. Rest assured, Stone adds, that you will save money and time if you use a professional vs. someone who can’t show evidence of being licensed, bonded and insured.

Reach Allstar Electrical Service by calling 303-399-7420 or visit them on the web at

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