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Electrician Certification: How to Get an Electrician License (State-by-State)

Academy / Electrician License

Gaining your electrician license is the first step in a prosperous career as an electrician. There is a strong need for electricians. By the year 2027, the market is expected to achieve a 6% annual growth rate.

The steady increase in demand means a higher earning potential for licensed electricians. This is probably why master electricians gain an average salary of $69,385. By continuing to grow in your career and climb up the ranks of licenses, you can continue to increase your earning potential as an electrician.

Ready to get your  electrician license? We’ve compiled the answers to your biggest electrical certification questions.

Make sure to bookmark this page for an easy reference on all electrician licensing questions.

What is an electrician license?

An electrician license verifies that an individual has obtained the necessary training and education to perform electrical work safely. Having a license permits an individual to repair, install, and maintain electrical systems. It also ensures you’re up to date on the National Electric Code (NEC) and best practices. 

Not every state has the same state licensing requirements for electricians. For example, Illinois doesn’t have state licensing—electrical requirements are handled at a local municipality level.

To start accruing experience and learning the electrician’s trade, in most states, you’ll need to begin as an apprentice. Apprentices work under the direct supervision of a Master Electrician (or similar), so they can perform basic electrical repairs and adjustments. 

From there, you can continue your journey as an electrician.

What are the 3 main categories of electrician?

The electrician license categories can vary by state, but generally, three main classes are available:

  • Apprentice: used by individuals at the start of their electrical career. This license permits electricians to gain experience under the supervision of a licensed master electrician.
  • Journeyman license: gained after completing an apprenticeship program. This license permits electricians to work on projects under the supervision of a licensed master electrician with minimal restrictions.
  • Master license: gained after completing years of service as a journeyman electrician. This license permits electricians to work on projects with no supervision or limitations on work.

In some states, if you’re looking to run a business, you’ll need additional certification beyond these traditional license categories, like an electrical contractor license. With an electrical contractor license, electricians can complete electrical work while also supervising employees and promoting their services.

Can you do electrical work without a license?

Electrical licenses are widely regulated in the U.S. Most states issue licenses at a state level, but some mandate from a municipality level. 

Regardless of your state’s specific licensing requirements, operating without a license in most of the U.S. can result in serious consequences.

For example, in Texas, electricians who perform work without the correct license are at risk of receiving a minimum fine of $2,000 up to potentially $5,000. This can also be penalized by jail time, depending on the level of the offense. 

It’s best to check with your state and local government to understand the specific license requirements for your area of work to avoid penalties.

How to get an electrician license (by state)

Each state has its own requirements for getting your electrical license, as well as different licensing levels. If your state doesn’t have state-wide license requirements, remember that requirements can be made locally. We’ll cover each state below so you can know what types of licenses your state offers.

Jump to your state:

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCalifornia
ColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgia
HawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouri
MontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew Jersey
New MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhio
OklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermont
VirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Alabama

To perform electrical work in Alabama, journeymen and contractors are required to be licensed. Licenses are issued by the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board.

To get a journeyman license, applicants must meet the required education and training requirements, as well as pass a trade exam. Applicants will also need to submit an affidavit with their application.

To receive an electrical contractor license, applicants must submit an application and pass a contractor exam. They’ll also need to provide proof of managerial experience with their application. 

Alaska

Alaska requires electricians to get a certificate from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in order to perform electrical work. 

To get a residential certificate, applicants must complete the required 4,500 hours of training (500 in-classroom training and 4,000 on-the-job training). Once they’ve completed the necessary training, applicants must pass a trade exam and a fitness assessment.

To gain a journeyman certificate, applicants must hold at least 8,000 hours of experience, with at least 6,000 of those hours working on commercial or industrial projects. Applicants must also pass a trade exam and fitness assessment to get their license.

Arizona

Electricians must receive their electrical contractor license in order to perform work within the state. There are no state-wide journeyman licenses; electricians must receive a contractor license in a specific electrical category.

There are three different types of electrical contractor licenses:

  • Residential (R-11): permits electricians to install and repair electrical systems in residential properties only
  • Commercial (C-11): permits electricians to install, alter, and repair electrical systems and equipment less than 600 volts. This includes overhead wiring, underground electrical distribution systems, and any wiring in or on buildings. 
  • Electrical (K-11): permits electricians to work on both residential electric work and commercial electric work permitted with an R-11 and C-11 license 

To get a contractor license in any of the categories, applicants must meet the required number of training hours (900 hours of classroom training and 8,000 of hands-on training) through an apprenticeship or trade school program.  Applicants must then pass both the trade exam and business and law exam and hold the required insurance to receive their license.

Arkansas

Those looking to perform electrical work in Arkansas must receive a license. Licenses are issued by the Arkansas Department of Labor

To get an apprentice license, applicants must register with the board and pass a drug and aptitude test. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED with a passing grade in algebra.

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must complete 800 hours of classroom training and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training. Applicants must also pass the licensing exam. 

To gain a residential journeyman license, applicants must have at least two years of experience wiring one or two-family dwellings. Applicants will also need to provide a letter of proof signed by a trade or vocational school verifying the applicant’s hours and pass a licensing exam.

To get a master license, applicants must meet the experience requirement by having either six years of experience or a degree in electrical engineering and two years of work experience. Applicants must also pass the licensing exam. 

To receive a residential master license, applicants must have at least three years of experience wiring one or two-family dwellings, with one of those years serving as a residential journeyman. Applicants must also pass the licensing exam. 

California

Electricians in California must gain their license in order to legally perform electrical work. The Department of Industrial Relations provides general electrical certifications, and the Contractors State License Board provides contractor licenses.

There are a couple of license types available:

  • Electrician trainee: Able to perform work under the supervision of a C-10 licensed electrician
  • General electrician certification:  Able to complete electrical work on residential, industrial, and commercial projects for contractors with a C-10 license
  • C-10 electrical contractor license: Able to own their own business and oversee licensed electricians as a qualifier

All applicants must start as trainees to obtain the required training experience. Applicants can then complete the Electrician Certification Program to gain a general electrician certification or can continue with further training and testing to receive their C-10 electrical contractor license.

Read our full guide to getting certified as an electrician in California.

Colorado

To become a licensed electrician in Colorado, electricians must receive their license from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

To gain a residential wireman license, applicants must hold at least two years of work experience and pass a licensing exam. 

To get a journeyman license, applicants must obtain at least four years of experience specifically in residential dwellings, commercial, and industrial work. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To receive a master license, applicants must either hold a degree in electrical engineering and have 2,000 hours of work as an apprentice or hold a degree from a trade school with 8,000 hours of work experience.

To gain an independent electrical contractor license, applicants must have gained a master license and hold the required insurance.

Connecticut

Electricians must be licensed in order to legally perform electrical work in Connecticut. Licenses are issued by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

To get a limited journeyman license, applicants must have completed an apprenticeship program or have four years of work experience. Applicants must pass a licensing exam.

To gain an unlimited journeyman license, applicants must complete a four-year apprenticeship and pass a licensing exam.

To receive a limited contractor license, applicants must have two years of work experience as a licensed journeyman or at least six years of electrical experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To gain an unlimited contractor license, applicants must have two years of work experience as an unlimited licensed journeyman or at least six years of electrical experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

Delaware

To perform electrical work in the state of Delaware, electricians will need to get a license from the state’s Board of Electrical Examiners.

To get an apprentice license, applicants must register for an apprenticeship program, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass an aptitude and physical test.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have completed at least 8,000 hours of training through an accredited apprenticeship program and pass a licensing exam.

To receive a residential license, applicants must have completed 4,000 hours with a residential-specific apprenticeship program and must also pass the licensing exam.

To get a limited license, which grants the ability to work under the supervision of a master electrician, applicants must have at least three years of full-time electrical experience as well as pass a licensing exam.

To gain a master license, applicants must have a minimum of six years of working full-time as an electrician. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam as well as hold $300,000 worth of insurance.

Florida

There are no state-wide electrical licensing requirements in Florida. Electricians are required to be licensed, but they must adhere to license regulations set by their local municipality. Check with your local jurisdiction for any electrical licensing regulations. 

Georgia

Those interested in working as an electrician in Georgia must get a license through the Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board, Division of Electrical Contractors. Georgia doesn’t offer a journeyman license, so once an individual has finished their apprenticeship program, they can start work as an electrician without supervision or continue and get their contractor license.

There are two contractor license classifications:

  • Class 1: works on systems with a voltage less than 200 amperes
  • Class 2: works on systems with voltages over 200 amperes

To receive a contractor license of either classification, applicants must have at least four years of experience working as an electrician. Applicants must also provide three letters of reference and pass the licensing exam.

Hawaii

Electricians in Hawaii must gain their license in order to work within the state. Licenses are provided by the Hawaii Board of Electricians and Plumbers.

To receive a journeyman specialty license, applicants must have completed at least 6,000 hours of industrial work experience and 120 hours of classroom training through an accredited course.

To receive a journeyman industrial license, applicants must have completed at least 8,000 hours of industrial work experience as well as 200 hours of classroom training through an accredited course.

To get a journeyman license, applicants must have at least 10,000 hours of experience in residential and commercial wiring as well as 240 hours of classroom training through an accredited course.

To receive a supervising specialty license, applicants must have at least two years of experience working as a licensed journeyman specialty electrician.

To receive a supervising industrial license, applicants must have at least three years of experience working as a licensed journeyman industrial electrician.

To gain a supervising electrician license, applicants must have at least four years of experience working as a licensed journeyman electrician.  

Idaho

Electricians in Idaho must gain their license from the Idaho Division of Building Safety in order to perform electrical work within the state. 

To get an apprentice license, applicants must enroll in an accredited apprenticeship program and have a high school diploma or GED.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have completed at least 6,000 hours of training as well as pass a licensing exam.

To receive a master license, applicants must have worked as a licensed journeyman for at least four years. Applicants will also need to pass a licensing exam.

To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must have a master license, pass a contractor licensing exam, and obtain at least $300,000 worth of insurance.

Illinois

Those looking to work as an electrician in Illinois must be licensed, but Illinois doesn’t offer a state-wide license. Instead, licenses are provided through local cities within the state. Some cities, like Buffalo Grove, offer a license that is widely accepted by other municipalities across the state. Electricians must check with their local jurisdiction on the requirements to receive a license. 

Read our full guide to getting certified as an electrician in the state of Illinois.

Indiana

Indiana doesn’t have a state-wide regulation for electrical licenses; instead, licenses are issued through municipalities throughout the state. Licensing requirements vary with each city, so electricians should double-check with their local governing body for the process to receive a license.

Iowa

To work as an electrician in Iowa, applicants must hold an electrical license. Licenses are issued by the Iowa Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshall Division.

To receive an apprentice license, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, enroll in an apprenticeship program, and register with the US Department of Labor.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must show proof of completing an apprenticeship program and have at least four years of experience. Applicants will also need to pass a licensing exam.

To get a master license, applicants must work as a licensed journeyman for one year and pass a licensing exam. 

Kansas

Electricians in Kansas must receive their licenses to legally perform electrical work. Municipalities issue licenses, but the state still has state-wide regulations in place for the requirements to gain a license. 

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have at least two years of experience under the supervision of a licensed electrician as well as 240 hours of classroom training. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To receive a master license, applicants must have worked as a licensed journeyman for at least two years and pass a licensing exam. 

To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must pass a contractor licensing exam and obtain at least $300,000 worth of insurance.

Kentucky

To perform electrical work in Kentucky, electricians must gain their license. Licenses are issued by the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have at least four years of electrical experience and a notarized waiver verifying the experience. Applicants must also have 570 hours of classroom training and pass a licensing exam.

To receive a master license, applicants must have worked as a licensed journeyman for at least two years and pass a licensing exam. 

To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must pass a Business and Law exam and obtain at least $500,000 worth of insurance.

Louisiana

Louisiana does not offer a state-wide license for a journeyman or master level license. These licenses are issued locally, and electricians must check their local jurisdiction for license requirements. Louisiana does offer a state-wide electrical contractor license issued by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

To gain an electrical contractor license, applicants must have a business net worth of at least $10,000 over the past 12 months. Applicants must also pass a trade exam as well as a Business and Law exam.

Maine

Those looking to perform electrical work in Maine must be licensed. Licenses are provided by the state’s Electricians Examining Board.

To get an apprentice license, applicants must enroll in an apprenticeship program and hold a high school diploma or GED.

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must have at least four years of electrical experience as an apprentice or on-the-job experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To gain a master license, applicants must have worked at least 4,000 hours as a licensed journeyman and pass a licensing exam. 

Maryland

Electricians must be licensed to perform electrical work in the state of Maryland. The state only offers one license, a master license. Licenses are issued  by the Maryland State Board of Master Electricians. Other license levels are granted through municipalities within the state. 

To get a master license, applicants must have at least seven years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed master electrician and must pass a licensing exam.

Massachusetts

To legally work as an electrician in Massachusetts, electricians must gain their license. Licenses are provided by the Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Electricians.

To get a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of electrical work experience and 600 hours of coursework. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To gain a master license, applicants must have worked for at least one year as a licensed journeyman and have 150 hours of classroom training. Applicants will also need to pass a licensing exam. 

To get a systems technician license, applicants must have at least 6,000 hours of experience installing security systems and fire alarms and pass a licensing exam.

To receive a systems contractor license, applicants must have at least 8,000 hours of experience installing security systems and fire alarms and pass a licensing exam.

Read our full guide to getting certified as an electrician in Massachusetts.

Michigan

Electricians in Michigan must be licensed in order to perform electrical work. State-wide licenses are issued by the electrical division of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Despite having a state-wide license, electricians within the Detroit and Grand Rapids area must get their license through the local jurisdiction.

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of electrical work experience and 576 hours of classroom training. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To gain a master license, applicants must have worked for at least two years as a licensed journeyman and have completed 12,000 hours of electrical work over the past six years. Applicants will also need to pass a licensing exam. 

To receive an electrical contractor license, applicants must have their master license and pass a contractor licensing exam.

Minnesota

For the most part, all electricians are required to have a license to perform electrical work in Minnesota. There is some electrical work that can be done unlicensed, but only under specific regulations. State-wide licenses are issued by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

To gain a Class A journeyman license, applicants must provide proof of successfully completing an apprenticeship program and have at least 48 months of full-time electrical work experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To get a Class B master license, applicants must have at least 60 months of experience and have held their journeyman’s license for at least a year. Applicants also need to pass a licensing exam.

To receive a Class B installer license, applicants must have at least 12 months of full-time work experience planning, laying, or installing electrical work. 

Mississippi

A license is required to perform electrical work in Mississippi. License levels such as a journeyman or master electrician are issued locally. Electrical contractor licenses are issued by the state through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors.
To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must have either an electrical degree from a four-year college with one year of work under a licensed master electrician or four years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed master electrician.

Missouri

Electricians must be licensed in order to work in Missouri. License levels such as a journeyman or master electrician are issued through local municipalities, but the state offers an electrical contractor license. Contractor licenses are issued by the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, Office of Statewide Electrical Contractors.

To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must hold a locally-issued license for at least six of the last eight years. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam and obtain at least $500,000 in liability insurance.

Montana

A license is required to perform any electrical work in Montana. Licenses are provided by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry through the Montana State Electrical Board.

To gain a residential license, applicants must complete an apprenticeship program with 4,000 hours of electrical work experience and 500 hours of classroom training. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must complete an apprenticeship program with 8,000 hours of electrical work experience and 500 hours of classroom training. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To get a master license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of work as a licensed journeyman, with 20%-50% of those hours performed on residential projects. Applicants will also need to pass a licensing exam. 

A limited electrical contractor license allows electricians to work on residential projects. To get this license, applicants must hold a journeyman license and pass a licensing exam. 

An  unlimited electrical contractor license allows electricians to work on both residential and commercial work. To receive this license applicants must hold a master electrician license and pass a licensing exam. 

Nebraska

Electricians must gain their license in order to work in Nebraska. Licenses are issued by the Nebraska Electrical Division

To gain a residential journeyman license, applicants must have at least three years of work experience in the electrical trade and pass a licensing exam.

To get a journeyman license, applicants must have at least four years of work experience in the electrical trade and pass a licensing exam.

To receive an electrical contractor license, applicants must have either five years of experience in the electrical trade or an electrical degree from a four-year college and at least one year of experience as a journeyman. Applicants will also need to pass a licensing exam.

Nevada

Electricians in Nevada must have a license to perform electrical work. However, Nevada doesn’t offer a state-wide license. Instead, licenses are provided through local cities within the state. Electricians must check with their local jurisdiction on the requirements to receive a license. 

New Hampshire

To perform electrical work within the state of New Hampshire, electricians must be licensed. Licenses are provided by the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification Electricians’ Board.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of electrical work experience and must pass a licensing exam.

To get a master license, applicants must have 2,000 hours of work as a licensed journeyman and will need to pass a licensing exam.

To get a high/medium voltage license, applicants must submit an application to the board showing the successful completion of an electrical training program with at least 14 hours of electrical code changes and one hour of New Hampshire deficiencies.

New Jersey

Electricians must be licensed to perform electrical work within New Jersey. Licenses are issued by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs – Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of documented electrical work experience, with at least half of those hours completed within the last five years. Applicants must also have 576 hours of classroom training as well as pass a licensing exam.

To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must have at least five years of work experience and will need to pass a licensing exam.

New Mexico

To work as an electrician in New Mexico, electricians must gain their license from the New Mexico Construction Industries Division, Regulation & Licensing Department.

There are multiple classifications within the journeyman license. To gain a journeyman license, applicants must either have two or four years of electrical work experience and pass a licensing exam.

Journeyman license classifications that require two years of electrical work experience: 

  • ER-1 Residential
  • ES-1J Electrical Signs/Outline Lighting 
  • ES-2J Cathodic Protection and Lightning Protection 
  • ES-3J Sound and Intercommunication and Electrical Alarm Systems 
  • ES-7J Telephone Communication Lines

Journeyman license classifications that require four years of electrical work experience:

  • EE-98J Electrical (includes all ESJ Specialties)
  • EL-1J Electrical Distribution Systems, including transmission lines

The electrical contractor license also has multiple classifications. To gain an electrical contractor license, applicants must either have two or four years of electrical work experience, pass a contractor licensing exam, and provide proof of financial responsibility.

Electrical contractor license classifications that require two years of electrical work experience: 

  • ES-1 Electrical Signs and Outline Lighting 
  • ES-2 Cathodic Protection and Lightning Protection 
  • ES-3 Sound and Intercommunication and Electrical Alarm Systems 
  • ER-1 Residential
  • ES-7 Telephone Communication Lines

Electrical contractor license classifications that require four years of electrical work experience:

  • EE-98 Electrical (includes all ESJ Specialties)
  • EL-1 Electrical Distribution Systems, including transmission lines

New York

There are no state-wide electrical licensing requirements in New York. Licensing requirements vary based on municipalities. For example, a license is required in New York City, but in other cities in rural upstate New York, electricians aren’t required to be licensed. Check with your local jurisdiction for any electrical licensing regulations. 

North Carolina

To perform electrical work in North Carolina, electricians must be licensed. Local jurisdictions offer license levels such as journeyman or master electrician. The state only offers a contractor license, but they have a few different classifications available. Contractor licenses are issued by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors.

To get a limited electrical contractor license, applicants must have at least four years of work experience and pass a licensing exam. Electricians with these licenses can only work on projects under 600 volts or $50,000.

To receive an intermediate electrical contractor license, applicants must have at least six years of experience and pass a licensing exam. This license has no voltage limitations, but license holders can only work on electrical contracting projects under $130,000.

To gain an unlimited electrical contractor license, applicants must have at least five years of work experience, along with two electrician experience vouchers. This license doesn’t have any restrictions on project voltage or cost.

North Dakota

All electrical work performed in North Dakota must be by a licensed electrician, and licenses are issued by the North Dakota State Electrical Board.

To get a Class B electrician license, applicants must have 3,000 hours of residential electrical work on one or two family dwellings under the supervision of a master or Class B electrician.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of work under the supervision of a licensed contracting master or master or record electrician and pass a licensing exam.

There are a few classifications available within a power-limited license:

  • Contracting Power-Limited Electrician: permits electricians to complete electrical work as well as run their own electrical business.
  • Power-Limited Electrician of Record: only permitted to work on property owned or leased by the organization.
  • Non-Contracting Power-Limited Electrician: only allowed to complete electrical work under the supervision of a contracting master, master of record, contracting power-limited electrician, or a power-limited electrician of record.

To receive a power-limited electrician license of any classification, applicants must complete 6,000 hours of work as a registered power-limited apprentice.

There are a few different classifications of master licenses:

  • Contracting Master Electrician: permits electricians to complete electrical work as well as run their own electrical business.
  • Master of Record Electrician: permits electricians to complete work only on property owned or leased by the organization.
  • Non-Contracting Master Electrician: permits an electrician to complete electrical work under the supervision of a contracting master or master of record electrician.

To receive a master license of any classification, applicants must have 2,000 hours of work as a licensed journeyman and will need to pass a licensing exam.

Ohio

To perform electrical work on commercial projects or contracts, electricians must be licensed by the state of Ohio. The state only offers a contractor electrical license as most municipalities don’t require a license to complete general electrical work. 

Hamilton and Middleton are the only two cities requiring a license for general journeyman work. All other towns allow electricians to work unlicensed as long as they’re working under the supervision of a licensed contractor. Contractor licenses are issued by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board. 

To gain an electrical contractor license, applicants must have at least five years of work experience under a licensed electrician and pass a licensing exam.

Oklahoma

To perform electrical work in Oklahoma, electricians must be licensed. Licenses are provided by the Oklahoma Construction and Industries Board.

To gain a residential journeyman license, applicants must have 4,000 hours of work and pass a licensing exam.

To get an unlimited journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of work, with at least half of the hours working on industrial projects. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To receive a residential electrical contractor license, applicants must have 12,000 hours of work experience under the employment of an electrical contractor. 4,000 of those hours must be on commercial/industrial work, another 4,000 of those hours must be completed at an apprentice level, and the other 4,000 must be completed at a journeyman level. Applicants must also pass a trade and Business and Law exam.

To get an unlimited electrical contractor license, applicants must have 12,000 hours of work experience. Six thousand of those hours must be on commercial/industrial work, and at least 4,000 of those hours must be under the supervision of a licensed electrical contractor. Applicants must also pass a trade and Business and Law exam.

All contractors must carry a $5,000 corporate surety bond, including seals, original signatures, and a power of attorney.

Oregon

Electricians must be licensed in order to perform electrical work in Oregon. Non-contract licenses are provided by the Oregon Building Codes Division Office, whereas contractor licenses are issued through the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.

Oregon offers a variety of journeyman license classifications. General journeymen can work on any type of electrical project where Limited electricians are only permitted to work within their specific area. The journeyman license types are as follows:

  • General Journeyman (J)
  • Limited Journeyman Sign Electrician (SIG)
  • Limited Journeyman Manufacturing Plant (PJ)
  • Limited Journeyman Stage Electrician (ST)

To gain a journeyman license of any classification, applicants must pass a licensing exam and fulfill the experience requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Complete a board-approved apprenticeship program
  • Complete 8,000 hours of work experience and 576 hours of classroom training
  • Complete 16,000 hours of electrical work outside the state of Oregon

To get a supervising electrician license, applicants must have at least four years of work experience as a licensed journeyman and pass a licensing exam.
To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must complete a pre-license training course and pass a licensing exam. Applicants must also obtain the required bonds and insurance.

Pennsylvania

There are no state-wide electrical licensing regulations in Pennsylvania. License regulations are set by the local jurisdiction of each municipality within the state. Check with your local governing body for any electrical licensing regulations. 

Rhode Island

Electricians are required to be licensed to legally perform electrical work in Rhode Island. Licenses are provided by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Division of Professional Regulations Unit.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must complete a four-year apprenticeship program and pass the licensing exam.

To get an electrical contractor license, applicants must work for two years as a licensed journeyman and pass the licensing exam.

South Carolina

To perform electrical work in South Carolina, applicants must have an electrician license. The Municipal Association of South Carolina issues journeyman and master licenses, while the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation issues contractor licenses. 

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have two years of electrical work experience under the supervision of a licensed journeyman or master electrician and pass a licensing exam. Applicants can also fulfill the work experience requirement by completing a two-year associate degree program through a trade school. 

To receive a master license, applicants must work for four years as a licensed journeyman and pass the licensing exam.

South Carolina offers two master license classifications; mechanical and residential. To get an electrical contractor license of either classification, applicants must work for two years as a licensed journeyman, pass the licensing exam, and submit a financial statement. Mechanical contractors must also obtain the required bonds and insurance.

South Dakota

South Dakota requires all electricians to be licensed in order to perform electrical work. Licenses are issued by the South Dakota Electrical Commission.

To get an apprentice license, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and enroll in an apprenticeship program.

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of work experience as an apprentice and pass a licensing exam.

To gain an electrical contractor license, applicants must have at least 2,000 hours of work as a licensed journeyman, pass a contractor exam, and make a $10,000 deposit with the South Dakota Electrical Commission.

Tennessee

Tennessee does not offer a state-wide license for a journeyman or master level license. These licenses are issued at the local level, and electricians must check their local jurisdiction for license requirements. Tennessee offers a state-wide electrical contractor license and a limited electrician license for cities that don’t offer any local licensing. Licenses are issued by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

To get a limited electrical license, applicants must have at least two years of work experience through an apprenticeship and pass a licensing exam. This license is only valid in areas of Tennessee that don’t already have licensing regulations. 

To gain an electrical contractor license, applicants must have a local license and pass a trade and Business and Law exam. Applicants must also provide a financial statement and obtain the necessary insurance.

Texas

Electricians in Texas must be licensed to perform electrical work within the state. Licenses are issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

To get an apprenticeship license, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and enroll in an apprenticeship program. 

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must complete 8,000 hours of work experience under the supervision of a licensed master electrician and pass a licensing exam.

To gain a master license, applicants must have held their journeyman license for at least two years and accumulated 4,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed master electrician. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

Read the full guide to getting certified as an electrician in Texas.

Utah

To perform electrical work in Utah, electricians must get their licenses. Licenses are provided by the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

To get a residential journeyman license, applicants must meet the required experience hours by either:

  • completing two years of a trade school program and have 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience  
  • completing 8,000 hours of on-the-job work experience 

Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must complete an apprenticeship program and have 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience or 16,000 hours of on-the-job work experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To get a residential master license, applicants must have 4,000 hours of work as a licensed residential journeyman and pass a licensing exam.

To gain a master license, applicants must pass a licensing exam and obtain the required experience through one of the following:

  • Complete four years of work as a licensed journeyman
  • Graduate from a two-year trade school program and work as a licensed journeyman for two years
  • Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from an EAC/ABET accredited school and work as a licensed journeyman for at least one year.

Vermont

Electricians must receive their licenses in order to legally perform work in Vermont. Licenses are provided by the Vermont Electrical Board.

To get a specialist license, applicants must have 4,000 hours of electrical work or complete an accredited training program and 2,000 hours of work experience.

To receive a journeyman license, applicants must either complete the Vermont electrical apprenticeship program or have at least 12,000 hours of work experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.
To gain a master license, applicants must work as a licensed journeyman for two years or have at least 16,000 of work experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

Virginia

To work as an electrician in Virginia, applicants must hold a license from the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must complete a two-year trade school program, have two years of on-the-job training, and pass a licensing exam.

To get a master license, applicants must work as a licensed journeyman for at least one year or provide proof of 10 years of experience if they don’t have a journeyman license. Applicants must also take a licensing exam.

Washington

Electricians will need to obtain a license in order to work in Washington. Licenses are issued by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience as well as 96 hours of classroom training. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To get a master license or electrical administrator license, applicants must work as a licensed journeyman for four years and take a licensing exam.

To gain an electrical contractor license, applicants must have a master electrician or electrical administrator license and submit proof of $4,000 in an electrical contractor’s surety bond.

West Virginia

To perform electrical work in West Virginia, applicants must gain their license. Licenses are provided by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

To get an apprenticeship license, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and pass an apprenticeship exam.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must either show proof of completion of an apprenticeship program, have 8,000 hours of above-ground electrical work experience, or complete 1,080 hours of a vocational course. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To get a specialty electrical license, applicants must complete 4,000 hours of electrical work in one of the following categories; HVAC, electric sign, single-family dwelling, elevator, or low voltage. 

To receive a master license, applicants must have 10,000 hours of above-ground electrical work in residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, electricians must receive their license to perform any electrical work. Licenses are provided by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

To gain a journeyman license, applicants must have 8,000 hours of experience and 576 hours of classroom training from an apprenticeship program or complete a two-year trade school program and have two years of on-the-job experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To receive a master license, applicants must have either one year of work experience as a licensed journeyman, a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, or 10,000 hours of electrical work experience for those without a journeyman license. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

Wyoming

Electricians must receive their license to perform any electrical work in Wyoming. Licenses are issued by the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety.

To get a journeyman license, applicants must either show proof of completion of an apprenticeship program or have 8,000 hours of work experience. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

To receive a master license, applicants must have 16,000 hours of electrical work experience, with at least 4,000 hours working as a licensed journeyman. Applicants must also pass a licensing exam.

How long does it take to become a licensed electrician?

The time it takes to become a licensed electrician varies based on the state and local requirements. Apprenticeship programs usually take four years to complete. Generally electricians can expect to get their journeyman license in 4-5 years. Check with your state or local jurisdiction for the specific requirements needed to gain a license.

How much does it cost to get an electrician license?

The cost to gain your electrician license can drastically differ depending on where you’re working as an electrician and the state or local-level requirements to qualify for the certification.

Here’s a breakdown of how much it costs to get an electrician license:

  • For states that require formal education (in-class training or certificates): expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $15,000.
  • For states that require an associate’s degree: between $3,000 and $12,000
  • For states that require you to complete an apprenticeship program: between $0 to $4,000.
  • Your yearly electrician license fee is between $15 and $75. The cost of the examination to gain your license can range from $30-$75.

Make sure to check your local city or municipality to see what is required to get your electrician license and how much you should expect to pay for it.

Does an electrician license increase your earning potential?

Yes, gaining your electrical license increases your earning potential. By obtaining your license, you’re able to take on larger projects and ultimately gain more money. The national average for electricians is $53,136 per year. However, that average increases as you gain experience and raise your license level. Journeymen tend to gain 62% more than apprentice electricians, and master electricians, on average, gain 19% more than journeyman electricians.

For a full breakdown of the earning potential of an electrician license, check out our Essential Electrician Salary Guide. With geographical salary averages, experience gaining breakdowns, and license level salaries, it has everything you need to start your electrician career on the right foot.

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