How can I know if a tradesperson is qualified to do their job?

qualified tradespersonOne of the most important aspects of hiring an outside contractor – whether it’s a quick, easy, one day task or a project spanning several months or years – is knowing that they’ve got the right qualifications for the job. This rings especially true for the trades, where the right knowledge and skills are critical to ensuring every step of the project is done correctly.

There are many factors to look for when trying to figure out whether or not a tradesperson is truly qualified to do their job. Some of what you’ll want to look for includes official documentation, such as certifications; another important factor is references, photos and information about previous jobs.

You’ll also, of course, want to use your own discretion. Since you’re hiring a contractor to do a job for you, much like you’d hire an employee to do a job for you, a formal, well-laid out interview process will help you determine whether or not you’re looking at the right individual or team for the job.

Certifications for trades workers in Ontario

Certifications for trades workersCurrently, there exist 22 trades that require mandatory certification in Ontario. These range from construction to automotive to hair styling, all of which have different processes and educational courses, and training programs.
The following areas related to the commercial construction industry require certification:

  • Electrician – Construction and Maintenance
  • Electrician – Domestic and Rural
  • Hoisting Engineer – Mobile Crane Operator 1
  • Hoisting Engineer – Mobile Crane Operator 2
  • Plumber
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic
  • Sheet Metal Worker
  • Steamfitter
    • Source:

      What certification you’ll want to look for will, of course, depend on what kind of contractor you need for the job. If you’re looking for a specific type of tradesperson in an area of construction that doesn’t require certification, you should still get a very detailed idea of their education, training, and background.

      References and photos of previous jobs

      previous jobsAnother important aspect of hiring a tradesperson is getting a good idea of what kind of projects they’ve worked on in the past. You should ask for at least three references, as well as specific information on each project: what were the requirements? How did they approach the job? How long did it take? Were there any problems or obstacles along the way? How were they faced and overcome?

      If possible, you should also ask to see photos from past jobs. This can give you a good idea of the quality of their work and whether or not they can meet the standards you’re looking for on your project.

      Interviewing a tradesperson

      Putting aside certifications and what kind of work they’ve done in the past, it’s also a good idea to sit down with a potential contractor for a formal interview. Make the interview as detailed and specific as possible, as this will allow you to learn more than just their qualifications, education, and how their past employers felt about their work. It will help you learn about their level of professionalism and whether or not they’re someone with which you’d like to enter a long-term partnership.

      Hiring a tradesperson can be a long and tedious process, but taking the right steps is worth it if you want a quality job from a trustworthy contractor. Have more questions about whether or not you can know if a tradesperson is qualified to do their job? Contact us today and let us know.

      Building Supply Contractor photo credit to Wonderlane
      Plumber photo credit to University of the Fraser Valley
      Steamfitter photo credit to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers