electrician certificate programs

What Certifications, Licenses and Registrations Do Electricians Need?

electrician certificate programs

People depend upon electricity for a significant portion of their daily lives. From heating and cooling to lighting and appliances, people across the country rely on electricity to power their lives – and electricians make it all possible. Without qualified electricians, many of the advancements and comforts people have come to expect would not be possible. Being an electrician is an exciting career that requires hands-on work, problem-solving skills, and customer service skills. Furthermore, engineering offers the opportunity to improve the lives of people everywhere.

Electricians are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical systems in homes, businesses, and industrial buildings. They handle the wiring, transformers, and circuit breakers to create a system that is safe and runs reliably for the users. Furthermore, they must follow state and local building regulation based on the National Electric Code.

Credentials for electricians

Attending a vocational school program to receive training in circuitry, safety, and electricity is a common way to start an electrician career. The Refrigeration School’s electrician training program prepares students for the exams they need to take in order to obtain their credentials. Every state has slightly different requirements for electricians in terms of what tests are required to receive the different licenses.

Although individual states have their own requirements for who qualifies for which position, most areas require that applicants complete a certain number of hours of classroom education and on-the-job training. Supervised worked experience and classroom learning about electricity prior to taking an intensive exam are commonly seen requirements for those seeking a journeyman certification.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1, students have to take their state’s journeyman licensing exam in order to perform duties on their own. This test will ensure they understand electricity, including the National Electric code, the state electrical codes, and local electrical codes. Passing the journeyman licensing exam opens the door for qualified professionals to advance through the field. Some professionals may also wish to pursue additional certifications, such as those offered for solar installation professionals by SEI or NABCEP. These certificates can help electricians proceed if they want to focus on solar energy electricity.

Here is a breakdown of which states do and do not require licensing. The exact requirements will vary by state, so interested professionals should contact their local building commission or other licensing body.

    Alabama

      Electrical contractor

      • work experience, academics, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • work experience, academics, exam

    Alaska

      Electrical contractor

      • registration and must be/work with a licensed electrical administrator

      Electrician

      • work experience, exam

    Arizona

      Electrical contractor

      • work experience, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • licensed at local levels

    Arkansas

      Electrical contractor

      • work experience, hold a Master’s Electrician’s license, exam

      Electrician

      • exam, continuing education

    California

      Electrical contractor

      • evidence of technical knowledge and experience, exam

      Electrician

      • complete apprenticeship, certification, exam

      General electrician

      • work experience

      Residential electrician

      • work experience

    Colorado

      Electrical contractor

      • hold a Master Electrician’s license

      Master electrician

      • degree, experience, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • 4 year apprenticeship or applicable experience

      Residential wireman

      • experience

    Connecticut

      Electrical contractor

      • 2 years as a licensed journeyman, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • work experience, education, exam

    Delaware

      Master electrician general

      • work experience, schooling, exam

      Master electrician limited

      • work experience, schooling, exam

    Florida

      Local registration

      • local exam, journeymen licensed at local levels

      Certified

      • state-wide exam

    Georgia

      Contractor

      • exam, continuing education

    Hawaii

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Journey workers

      • work experience, exam

      Supervising electrician

      • 4 years as journey worker

    Idaho

      Electrical contractor

      • be journeyman for at least 2 years, exam

      Master journeyman electrician

      • be journeyman for 4 years, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • 4 years experience as apprentice in work experience and classroom, exam

    Illinois

      No statewide licensing, municipalities can license contractors

    Indiana

      No statewide licensing, municipalities can license contractors

    Iowa

      Working on developing licensing requirements, no statewide licensing of journeyman

    Kansas

      No statewide licensing, most local jurisdictions have licensing. Note: optional exam to ensure licensing in all jurisdictions.

    Kentucky

      Electrical contractor

      • experience, exam

      Master electrician

      • experience, exam

      Exam

      • experience, exam

    Louisiana

      Electrical contractor

      • experience, exam

      Alarm installers

      • license required

      Journeyman electrician

      • no statewide requirements

    Maine

      Fees and exams required for licensing in all electrician categories

    Maryland

      Master electrician

      • exam

    Massachusetts

      Master electrician

      • experience as journeyman, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • work experience or apprenticeship, exam

    Michigan

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Master electrician

      • exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • exam

    Minnesota

      Electrical contractor

      • licensed electrician with insurance

      Master electrician

      • education, experience as journeyman, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

      Installer

      • exam

    Mississippi

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • licensed at local levels

    Missouri

      No statewide licensing

    Montana

      Master electrician

      • experience, education, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

      Residential electrician

      • experience, exam

    Nebraska

      Electrical contractor

      • education, experience as journeyman, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

    Nevada

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Journeyman

      • no statewide licensing, some done in local jurisdictions

    New Hampshire

      Master electrician

      • experience as apprentice or schooling, exam

      Journeyman

      • experience as apprentice or schooling, exam

    New Jersey

      Electrical contractor

      • experience, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • no state licensing

    New Mexico

      Electrical contractor

      • experience, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

    New York

      No state licensing, some local government licensing or permits

    North Carolina

      Electrical contractors

      • exam, continuing education

      Journeyman

      • no state requirements, local municipalities with some requirements

    North Dakota

      Electrical contractor

      • experience as journeyman or Class “B” electrician

      Master electrician

      • experience as journeyman, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

      Class “B” electrician

      • experience, exam

    Ohio

      Contractor

      • experience, exam, continuing education

      Journeyman

      • no statewide licensing

    Oklahoma

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • exam

    Oregon

      General journeyman

      • apprenticeship or equivalent, exam, continuing education

      Limited journeyman electrician

      • apprenticeship or equivalent, exam

    Pennsylvania

      No statewide requirements, some in local jurisdictions

    Rhode Island

      Licenses required, contact state for requirements

    South Carolina

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Journeyman

      • licensed at local levels

    South Dakota

      Electrical contractor

      • experience

      Journeyman

      • experience, exam

      Class “B” electrician

      • experience, exam

    Tennessee

      Contractors

      • exam

      Electricians

      • exam

    Texas

      Master electrician

      • experience, have journeyman license for 2 years, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

    Utah

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Master electrician

      • experience, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

    Vermont

      Master electrician

        journeyman’s license for 2 years, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • education, experience, exam

    Virginia

      Master electrician

      • exam

      Journeyman

      • exam

    Washington

      Master electrician

      • apprenticeship or experience

      Journeyman

      • experience

    District of Columbia

      Must apply with experience to sit for exams for all classifications

    West Virginia

      Electrical contractor

      • exam

      Master electrician

      • experience, exam

      Journeyman

      • experience, exam

    Wisconsin

      Master electrician

      • exam, local municipalities determine certification

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, local municipalities determine certification

    Wyoming

      Electrical contractor

      • experience as master electrician

      Master electrician

      • experience, exam

      Journeyman electrician

      • experience, exam

Many states have reciprocal relationships with others, meaning that they will recognize licenses that have been issued by other states. For example, California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah all acknowledge each other’s licenses in good standing. Maine will reciprocally recognize New Hampshire and Vermont at certain levels.

Working as an electrician is an exciting field that offers faster-than-average projected job growth 2, the chance to work in emerging markets, and the opportunity to work in fields that directly impact people. Those interested in entering this industry should contact RSI for help in getting started.

1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/electricians.htm#tab-4
2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/electricians.htm#tab-6