In order to work as an electrician in most states, you will need to get your electrical license. Here’s how to become a licensed electrician:
Step 1: Join an apprenticeship and get experience.
If you are just getting started, join an apprenticeship program and get formal training. You can find one through your state board, local community college, vocational school, union, or an industry-sponsored organization. Or, if you are thinking about enlisting in the armed forces, they provide paid training for service people who choose electrical work as a career path. Either way, you will need to earn classroom time as well as time in the field before you are able to complete your program. While you work as an apprentice you will be learning the trade and earning some money.
Step 2: What does my state require?
States have different requirements for getting licensed and you will have to know what your state requires. Some state requirements include passing an electrical exam, earning a minimum amount of work hours, and documenting all training and education that you have received in the electrical field.
Here are links to the electrical board websites for the states that have the most licensed electricians:
|State||Electrical Board Website|
|Texas||Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation|
|Oregon||Oregon Building Codes Division|
|Michigan||Michigan Department of Energy, Labor& Economic Growth Electrical Division|
|California||California Department of Industrial Relations|
|Minnesota||Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry|
|Washington||Washington Department of Labor and Industries|
For more information about additional states, visit our state electrical license exam information page.
Step 3: Prepare for the exam.
You will need to prepare for the code-based electrical exam. JADE Learning provides online electrical exam prep that you can complete any time from any device. The exam prep has over 600 practice questions and also includes two, timed practice exams. A breakdown report shows where your understanding of the National Electrical Code is strong and where you need more practice. The electrician’s exam is not easy, and you will need to spend many hours studying and practicing for the exam. You will need to be familiar with the National Electrical Code, calculations, and if your state has state-specific rules, you will need to learn those as well. Here are some test-taking tips that will help you as you study.
Step 4: Ace the exam.
Once you have applied to take the electrician’s test, go to your assigned testing location with the proper credentials (like multiple forms of identification), test confirmation documents, exam fees, and any other requested materials that the testing facility needs you to bring. The exam will test your knowledge on topics such as: Math and Theory, Requirements for Electrical Installations, Single Family Calculations, Multifamily Calculations, Feeders, Branch Circuits, and Equipment for General Use. Passing score varies by state, but you will most likely need a 70% or 75% in order to pass. After you ace the exam and the state sends you your electrical license, you are ready to begin working as a licensed electrician.
Ready to start preparing for the electrical exam? Sign up for JADE Learning’s Electrical Exam Prep.
More information about various state board requirements: electrical continuing education courses.