The procedures for obtaining an electrician license can vary widely depending on location. Our state-by-state look at the requirements helps demystify the process.
Working as an electrician provides a solid career path for many contractors in the trades.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median electrician salary in the U.S. is $56,900 per year, more than $15,000 higher than the average median wage for all workers. The profession also provides real job security, with the industry projected to add 62,200 jobs by 2029, according to the BLS.
In most states, prospective electricians need only a high school diploma to start an apprentice training program or join a trade school. After completing an apprenticeship (and earning a salary while you train), most states offer a journeyman and master electrician license, and many provide specialty licenses for electricians who work on signs, repair elevators, and maintain refrigeration systems. If you want to run your own business, you typically need an electrical contractor license, which requires you to employ at least one master electrician, carry liability insurance, and provide workers’ compensation.
Regardless if you want to work as a residential electrician or pursue a more advanced career in electrical engineering, laboring as an electrician offers multiple benefits.
This helpful guide provides a state-by-state breakdown of electrician licensing requirements in all 50 states.
To perform electrical work in the state of Alabama, an electrical journeyman and electrician contractors must hold an Alabama electrical license by the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board. However, electrician apprentices and helpers do not need a license to start working, but may need to pass an aptitude test to get hired.
View the full Alabama Electrician License Requirements.
To perform electrical work in Alaska, journeyman and residential electricians must obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Then, if you want to become an independent electrical contractor running your own business, you must obtain professional licensing from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. However, before you can begin the certification and licensing process, you must register as an apprentice with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and complete 4,000 hours of experience and 1,400 hours of classroom training.
View the full Alaska Electrician License Requirements.
Arizona does not offer an official journeyman license like in most states. Instead, Arizona issues contractor licenses. Arizona has several electrical contractor licenses, depending upon the type of work the electrician does:
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors classifies a “journeyman electrician” based on proven work experience. Arizona does not require a license or permit to become an electrical apprentice.
View the full Arizona Electrician License Requirements.
Contractors wishing to perform electrical work in the state of Arkansas must have an electrician license, unless you have completed eight years or 16,000 hours of electrical construction work experience and training. Arkansas offers several different electrician licenses, each with different training requirements, including journeyman electrician, residential journeyman electrician, master electrician, residential master electrician, air conditioning electrician, and industrial maintenance electrician.
View the full Arkansas Electrician License Requirements.
To perform electrical work in the state of California, you must first register as an electrical trainee with the State of California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. After completing the necessary classroom and on-the-job training, you will be eligible to apply for a general or residential electrician license from the State of California Department of Industrial Relations. From there, you can complete additional training to obtain an electrical contractor license from the California Contractors State License Board.
View the full California Electrician License Requirements.
DORA, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, issues electrical licenses. To start, you must first register as an electrical apprentice. You can apply for and take the test required to be an electrical journeyman after completing 288 hours of classroom and lab-based training and at least 8,000 hours of on-site experience with a licensed electrician, or you earn a two-year degree from an electrical technology school and complete 6,000 hours of work experience. You might also consider earning a master electrician license, or become licensed as an independent electrical contractor.
View the full Colorado Electrician License Requirements.
Connecticut requires electricians to be licensed and also makes very specific distinctions regarding what type of systems they can work on, including fire alarms, voltage regulations, etc. Connecticut offers 10 different types of electrician licenses, which are issued by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).
View the full Connecticut Electrician License Requirements.
Delaware requires electricians to be licensed. Delaware offers several types of electrician licenses, including master, master special, limited, limited special, residential, journeyperson, and apprentice. To begin the process of obtaining an electrician’s license in the state of Delaware, you must first find a qualified apprenticeship program from the Delaware Board of Electrical Examiners.
View the full Delaware Electrician License Requirements.
Florida requires a state license to work as an electrician. However, Florida often uses the terms “certified” and “registered” when referring to electrical licensing requirements. Certified licenses allow you to work as an electrical contractor anywhere in the state, while registered licenses are limited to local jurisdictions.
Florida does not have one set of statewide electrician licensing requirements. Journeyman and master electrician certifications get issued by local municipalities through the Construction Trades Qualifying Board. Electrical contractor licenses are issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Electrical Contractors Licensing Board (ECLB).
View the full Florida Electrician License Requirements.
Electrical contractors in the state of Georgia must obtain a license issued by the Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board, Division of Electrical Contractors. Unlike most other states, Georgia doesn’t offer a journeyman licensing phase. Instead, after completion of an apprenticeship, you can legally work as a journeyman for a general contractor without supervision. Most people gain work experience as journeyman electricians before obtaining their own electrical contractor license from the state of Georgia Professional Licensing Boards.
View the full Georgia Electrician License Requirements.
All electrical work performed in the state of Hawaii requires a license issued by the Hawaii Board of Electricians and Plumbers, which is a part of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Professional & Vocational Licensing Division. Hawaii offers multiple electrician licenses, including journey worker electrician, supervising electrician, journey worker industrial electrician, supervising industrial electrician, journey worker specialty electrician, supervising specialty electrician, and maintenance electrician.
View the full Hawaii Electrician License Requirements.
The state of Idaho requires a license to perform electrical work. The Idaho Division of Building Safety (IDBS) issues electrical licenses. Before you become an electrician in Idaho, you must register with the state as an electrical apprentice. To become an electrical apprentice, you must be at least 16 years old, submit a notarized application, and pay a $15 registration fee. Idaho offers several different types of electrician licenses. The two most common are journeyman and master electrician. However, the state also offers various types of specialty licenses.
View the full Idaho Electrician License Requirements.
Unlike plumbers, licensing requirements and professional regulations for electricians in the state of Illinois vary at the local level and differ by individual city and county. Licensees typically pass a certification exam equivalent in other states to a journeyman license, and then go on to earn independent electrical contractor licenses. Illinois does not offer a state-recognized master electrician license.
View the full Illinois Electrician License Requirements.
Indiana requires a license to perform electrical work. However, unlike plumbers, there is no statewide regulatory board for electricians. Electrical licenses are issued by local municipalities, instead of at the state level. In most Indiana cities and counties, journeyman electricians or residential electricians can work on one- or two-family homes. If operating an electrical contracting business as a corporation, you must register with the Indiana Secretary of State.
View the full Indiana Electrician License Requirements.
To legally perform electrical work in Iowa, you must be licensed by the state. The Iowa Department of Public Safety, State Fire Marshal Division issues the licenses. There are 11 different electrical licenses available in Iowa. Each level of licensing requires more experience and course work, and upon completion allows you to work on a wider variety of systems, and assume responsibility for others’ work.
View the full Iowa Electrician Licensing Requirements.
Kansas requires a license for all electrical work. The types of electrical licensing in Kansas are journeyman electrician, master electrician, and electrical contractor. While electrical licenses are issued by local municipalities, the state legislature requires 4,000 hours of electrical trade experience under the supervision of a licensed electrician, as well as 240 hours of classroom instruction, to obtain a journeyman electrical license.
View the full Kansas Electrician Licensing Requirements.
Kentucky requires a license to perform electrical work. To start the process, you'll need to register as an electrical apprentice with the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the U.S. Department of Labor. Electrical licenses, including journeyman, master, and electrical contractor, are issued through the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction.
View the full Kentucky Electrician Licensing Requirements.
In most cases, a license is required to perform electrical work in Louisiana. However, according to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, you do not need a license to work on residential properties, as long as the job costs less than $50,000. For commercial and industrial jobs, as well as residential jobs exceeding $50,000, electricians must be licensed. Electrician licenses for journeyman and master electricians are issued by local municipalities or parishes. An electrical contractor's license is issued at a statewide level through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC). The LSLBC is now at 600 North Street in Baton Rouge.
View the full Louisiana Electrician Licensing Requirements.
All electrical work performed in the state of Maine requires a license. Electrical licensure is conducted through the Electrician’s Examining Board, which is a division of the State of Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. After successfully completing an apprenticeship program and gaining the necessary work experience, you can apply for the journeyman electrician license. Maine also offers a master electrician license. To run an electrical contracting business, you need to register with the Maine Department of Secretary of State.
View the full Maine Electrician Licensing Requirements.
Maryland requires a license to perform electrical work. However, the Maryland State Board of Master Electricians, through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, issues only one type of electrical license: master electrician. Maryland does offer additional electrical licensure types, but licensing requirements vary by county.
View the full Maryland Electrician Licensing Requirements.
A license is required to perform electrical work in the state of Massachusetts. Electrical licenses are issued by the Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Electricians Licensing. Massachusetts requires electrical trainees to file an apprenticeship agreement with the Massachusetts Division of Apprenticeship Standards. After successfully completing an apprenticeship program, you can apply for one of the several types of electrician licenses, often referred to by Class A, B, C, and D.
View the full Massachusetts Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), Electrical Division, issues licensing. However, the city of Detroit and the city of Grand Rapids have local governing agencies for issuing electrical licenses within those municipalities. LARA offers several types of electrical licensure, including journeyman electrician, master electrician, electrical contractor, fire alarm specialty technician, fire alarm contractor, sign specialist, and sign specialty contractor.
View the full Michigan Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry - Board of Electricity is responsible for issuing electrical licenses, including journeyman, master, and maintenance electrician, outside lineman, and class B installer. However, Minnesota also allows unlicensed individuals to perform limited electrical work. Unlicensed individuals must register with the state and adhere to specific guidelines. For example, unlicensed individuals can work only under the supervision of a licensed electrician, and they must report their annual electrical work experience to renew their registration.
View the full Minnesota Electrician Licensing Requirements.
A license is required to perform electrical work in the state of Mississippi. Most Mississippi electrician licenses, similar to journeyman electrician licenses in other states, are issued on a local level and allow you to work in a specific jurisdiction. However, the Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) issues state electrical contractor licenses.
View the full Mississippi Electrician Licensing Requirements.
Electrical work performed in the state of Missouri requires a license. However, electrician licenses in Missouri are issued at a local level by individual cities and counties. Some municipalities offer journeyman electrician licenses, while others skip that step and jump straight to issuing master electrician licenses or electrical contractor licenses. However, at the state level, the Missouri Division of Professional Registration, Office of Statewide Electrical Contractors, does offer an optional statewide electrical contractors license.
View the full Missouri Electrician Licensing Requirements.
All electrical work in the state of Montana requires a license. Electrician licenses are issued by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry through the Montana State Electrical Board. Electrical apprentices must also register with the state. Montana issues five different electrician licenses, including residential electrician, journeyman electrician, master electrician, limited electrical contractor, and unlimited electrical contractor.
View the full Montana Electrician Licensing Requirements.
Most electrical work in the state of Nebraska requires a license. The Nebraska State Electrical Division regulates license requirements and issues master electrician licenses, journeyman electrician licenses, and electrical contractor licenses. Electrical apprentices must also register with the state.
View the full Nebraska Electrician Licensing Requirements.
To perform electrical work in the state of Nevada, you must be a licensed contractor or working under a licensed electrician. Each district has its own license requirements, and those are managed differently by county and city. Electricians must comply with the conditions pertaining to the place they intend to work.
There are two different types of electrical licenses in Nevada: an electrical journeyman license and an electrical contractor license. Some jurisdictions, such as Reno, offer residential journeyman certification, which requires about 2,000 fewer hours of documented experience than a general journeyman card. Clark County (Las Vegas) provides the choice to go a step further and become certified as a master electrician, for those already certified as journeymen.
View the full Nevada Electrician Licensing Requirements.
To perform electrical work in the state of New Hampshire, you must be a licensed journeyman, master electrician, or high/medium voltage electrician. Apprentice electricians and high/medium voltage trainees also must register with the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification Electricians’ Board.
View the full New Hampshire Electrician Licensing Requirements.
To perform electrical work in the state of New Jersey, you must hold an electrical contractor license, a journeyman electrician license, or work under a licensed electrician. You can apply for either license with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors.
View the full New Jersey Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The New Mexico Construction Industries Division, Regulation & Licensing Department, grants electrician licensing, as recommended by the Electrical Bureau.
To perform electrical work in the state of New Mexico, you must be a licensed journeyman or electrical contractor. A contractor's license is mandatory to bid and contract all electrical services.
View the full New Mexico Electrician Licensing Requirements.
In the state of New York, electrical licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, as there are no statewide regulations for electricians. Some municipalities issue licenses through local licensing boards.
In New York City, for example, electrical licenses are issued by the Department of Buildings. In some parts of the state, like rural upstate New York, no license is required to perform electrical work. Some cities in the state issue traditional licenses, such as journeyman electrician and master electrician. Other municipalities, like the city of Syracuse, issue limited electrician licenses. The city of Albany issues Class A electrician licenses. Some cities also regulate residential electricians.
View the full New York Electrician Licensing Requirements.
In North Carolina, local municipalities issue journeyman electrician licenses, while the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (NCBEEC) issues electrical contractor licenses. North Carolina offers three types of electrical contracting license classifications, including limited license, intermediate license, and unlimited license.
View the full North Carolina Electrician Licensing Requirements.
All electrical work performed in the state of North Dakota requires a license. The North Dakota State Electrical Board (NDSEB) is responsible for issuing electrician licenses. There are several different types of electrical licenses in North Dakota. According to the NDSEB, they include Class B electrician, journeyman electrician, and master electrician, which has three classifications: contracting master electrician, master of record electrician, and non-contracting master electrician.
View the full North Dakota Electrician Licensing Requirements.
Ohio offers a statewide certifying qualification process to become a licensed contractor electrician after five years of experience working as an electrician employee. However, the state of Ohio mandates licensing only for electrical contractors who work on commercial projects, or commercial contractors.
The Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB), part of the Ohio Department of Commerce, issues state licenses for electrical contractors. Ohio does not require state-level electrician licenses for residential journeyman electricians or master electricians, except for the cities of Middletown and Hamilton. All other municipalities allow one to instead work under a licensed contractor electrician for five years as an electrician employee, before becoming eligible to apply for an electrician contractor license.
View the full Ohio Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Oklahoma Construction and Industries Board (CIB) issues electrician licenses. Oklahoma offers several options for electrician licensing, including registered apprentice, unlimited electrical journeyman, residential electrical journeyman, unlimited electrical contractor, residential electrical contractor, limited electrical contractor
View the full Oklahoma Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Oregon Building Codes Division Office (BCD) issues non-contracting electrical licenses, while the Oregon Construction Contractors Board issues contracting electrical licenses. The state of Oregon is unique in that it issues several types of specialty and limited electrical licenses, each of which requires its own levels of experience and classroom training.
View the full Oregon Electrician Licensing Requirements.
To legally perform electrical services in Pennsylvania, you must comply with the state's Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. The state of Pennsylvania does not offer statewide registration, certification, or state licenses for electricians. Each of the 2,562 municipalities maintains its own license requirements for electricians, plumbers, and HVAC contractors. Electricians must abide by the construction industry guidelines and building codes in the area they intend to work.
View the full Pennsylvania Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The state of Rhode Island requires a license to perform electrical work. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Division of Professional Regulations Unit is responsible for issuing electrician licenses. Electricians must comply with local building codes and follow the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Rhode Island offers two classifications of electrician licenses: journeyperson electrician and electrical contractor. The state does not provide a master electrician license. Rhode Island also offers specialty electrical licenses based on training and experience.
View the full Rhode Island Electrician Licensing Requirements.
South Carolina has specific laws pertaining to electrician licensing and regulation. The Municipal Association of South Carolina issues voluntary journeyman and master electrician certifications. These certifications are essential if you plan to obtain an electrical contractor license.
The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation issues electrical contractor licenses. The State of South Carolina offers two different license types for electrical contractors: mechanical and residential.
View the full South Carolina Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The state of South Dakota requires a license to perform electrical work. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation through the South Dakota Electrical Commission issues electrician licenses. South Dakota offers multiple types of electrician licenses, click here to view the full list, as well as licensing requirements.
View the full South Dakota Electrician Licensing Requirements.
In the state of Tennessee, electrical licenses are issued at both a local level and state level. Local licenses, like those of journeyman and master electricians, are issued by individual cities or counties. Electrical contractor licenses are issued on a statewide level by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance through the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.
For cities and counties with no local license regulations, a state-issued Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license is accepted by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
View the full Tennessee Electrician Licensing Requirements.
With the exception of certain allowed exemptions, Texas requires a license for anyone who performs electrical work. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is responsible for issuing electrician licenses. Texas offers multiple types of electrician licenses, each requiring different levels of experience.
View the full Texas Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) is responsible for issuing electrician licenses. The state of Utah offers five classifications of electrical licensing, including apprentice electrician, journeyman electrician, residential journeyman electrician, master electrician, and residential master electrician. The state of Utah does not offer an electrical contractor license.
View the full Utah Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Vermont Electrical Board, a subsidy of the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety, is responsible for issuing electrical licenses in the state of Vermont. Apprentice electricians need to register with the Vermont Department of Labor. The state of Vermont offers three types of electrician licenses, including specialist electrician, journeyman electrician, and master electrician.
View the full Vermont Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR), through the Virginia Board for Contractors, issues electrical licenses. Apprentice electricians must register with the Virginia Department of Labor. The state of Virginia offers two types of electrical licenses: journeyman and master electrician.
View the full Virginia Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (WDLI) is responsible for issuing electrician licenses. Electrician license types include electrical apprentice, journeyman electrician, master electrician, electrical administrator, electrical contractor, and specialty electrician contractor.
View the full Washington Electrician Licensing Requirements.
There are specific licensure requirements to become a licensed electrical contractor in the state of West Virginia. The Electrical Contractor license is required for any electric work over $1,000.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal issues licenses for:apprentice electrician, journeyman electrician, master electrician, and specialty electrician (HVAC, electric sign, single-family dwelling, elevator, and low voltage). For contractor licenses, you must schedule an exam with Prov and fill out a contractor license affidavit.
View the full West Virginia Electrician Licensing Requirements.
Only licensed or registered electricians may repair, maintain, or install electrical wiring in the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). A registered electrician or registered Electrical Apprentice must work under the supervision of a licensed journeyman electrician or licensed master electrician.
Each municipality holds its own contractor licensing requirements, which is managed differently by each county and city. Electricians must comply with the local conditions pertaining to the place they intend to work.
View the full Wisconsin Electrician Licensing Requirements.
The Electrical Board of the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety is responsible for issuing electrician licenses. The state of Wyoming offers multiple license types, including apprentice electrician, journeyman electrician, master electrician, electrical contractor, and a low voltage electrician license.
View the full Wyoming Electrician Licensing Requirements.