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Can a Handyman Change a Light Fixture in Canada?

In Canada, the question of whether an Odd Job like changing a light fixture is not straightforward. Changing a light fixture might seem like a simple task, but it involves dealing with electrical systems, which can be hazardous if not handled properly. The rules and regulations around who can perform electrical work vary from province to province.

Understanding the Regulations

Each province in Canada has its own regulations for electrical work. In general, most provinces require a licensed electrician to perform most types of electrical work. However, some provinces may allow homeowners or unlicensed individuals to perform simple electrical tasks, such as an Odd Job like changing a light fixture, under certain conditions.

For example, in Ontario, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) states that homeowners can perform some simple electrical work on their own homes without a license. However, they must still follow the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and may need to get a permit and inspection for the Odd Job work. Changing a light fixture falls into this category, where homeowners may be allowed to do an Odd Job like this themselves.

On the other hand, in British Columbia, only licensed electricians or individuals working under the supervision of a licensed electrician can perform electrical work. There are no exceptions for simple tasks like changing a light fixture.

Handyman vs. Licensed Electrician

The distinction between a handyman and a licensed electrician is crucial when considering electrical work. A licensed electrician has completed formal training, passed an examination, and met other requirements set by the provincial regulatory body. This training equips them with the knowledge and skills to handle electrical work safely and effectively.

An Odd Job handyman, on the other hand, is a generalist who may have a broad range of skills but may not have the specific training required for electrical work. Even if an Odd Job handyman has experience with electrical work, they may not have the credentials required by the province to perform such tasks legally.

What to Consider

If you are considering hiring a handyman for an Odd Job like changing a light fixture, consider the following:

Check the regulations in your province: Understand the electrical work regulations in your province, as these will dictate whether a handyman can legally perform the Odd Job.

Verify the handyman’s credentials: If your province allows non-licensed individuals to perform simple electrical work, ask the handyman about their experience and any relevant training.

Safety: Changing a light fixture involves working with electricity, which can be dangerous. Ensure that the person performing the Odd Job understands the safety precautions necessary.

Permits and inspections: In some provinces, even simple electrical work may require a permit and inspection. Ensure that the work is done according to code and that all necessary permits are obtained.


In conclusion, whether a handyman can perform an Odd Job like changing a light fixture in Canada depends on the specific regulations in the province where you live. In some provinces, it may be permissible for a handyman or homeowner to perform an Odd Job like changing a light fixture. In other provinces, this task may be restricted to licensed electricians. When considering hiring a handyman for this Odd Job, ensure you understand the regulations in your province, check the handyman’s credentials, and prioritize safety.


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