Q: What do we do about a prevailing wage if the SOC we typically use isn’t listed on the project?
A: I’m getting a lot of that lately. Simple answer – call NSCA and we can send you in the right direction, but check with your state’s Deptartment of Labor to find out where your work might be classified. We’ve seen some states classify this work under Furniture & Fixture Equipment, for example. You might also request the DOL to do a wage survey in the area to properly classify the work. Typically, our work has fallen under 49.2022 (electrical – but also where electricians fall); 27-4011 (audio-video); and 49-2098 (security and fire alarm installers).
I’m also getting reports that certain states are erroneously listing our defined scope of work under the wrong SOC and it’s tied to licensure. For example, if the state only has a license for electricians, it’s under that SOC. Or, in California, we’ve seen low-voltage work classified under the C-10 (electrical license) prevailing wage rather than C-7 (our stuff). Not sure what that’s all about.
In regards to the wage surveys, when our SOC doesn’t correspond to the scope of work, it’s because the DOL hasn’t done a survey in your area recently. Or, if they have, it was ignored by the systems contractors/integrators. They need more than one company doing these or, I think, they get left off the reports. Texas just recently received notice that they would be conducting wage surveys; it is incredibly important to participate in these surveys.
This continues to be a major problem for integrators and, in many cases, creativity will help you out. NSCA is here to help you find solutions and establish contacts with the appropriate state and federal offices. Give us as much time as you can before the job is bid and give yourself enough time to send an RFI back to the contract management or procurement entity. — CW