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Arizona Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Arizona

category-iconElectrical, AZ

Table of Contents
  1. Licensing Requirements for Electricians in Arizona

  2. Steps to Get an Electrician License in Arizona 

  3. How to Get an Electrician License in Arizona

  4. Types of Electrical Contractor Licensure in Arizona 

  5. Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Arizona 

  6. How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in Arizona? 

  7. How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Arizona? 

  8. Arizona Electrical Contractor Training Programs and Schools

  9. Arizona Electrician Licensing Exam Details

  10. Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Arizona?

  11. Does My Arizona Electrical License Work in Any Other State?

Being an electrician isn’t just a job, it’s a solid career path. Electrical contractors enjoy a wide range of employment opportunities and earn a respectable income. There’s also job security—customers will always need skilled trades in the construction industry to install and service their homes and businesses. 

The process of becoming an electrician takes time, but you get paid while you learn and gain experience!

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Licensing Requirements for Electricians in Arizona

Is it required to be a licensed contractor to operate as an electrician in Arizona? Yes.

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: Residential (R-11), Commercial (C-11), or Electrical (K-11). 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. 

Steps to Get an Electrician License in Arizona 

  1. Must be at least 18 years old, with a high school diploma or GED. 

  2. Obtain 8,000 hours of hands-on training and 900 hours of classroom work. 

  3. Gain post-apprenticeship experience. 

  4. Apply for licensing through the state registrar. 

  5. Take the business management and trade exams. 

How to Get an Electrician License in Arizona

OBTAIN NECESSARY TRAINING: In order to apply for an Arizona electrician license, you must have 8,000 hours of hands-on training and 900 hours of classroom work. You can accomplish this by enrolling in a technical school and a union/non-union apprenticeship.  

GAIN POST-APPRENTICESHIP EXPERIENCE: Arizona does not have statewide requirements after completion of an apprenticeship. However, it is recommended you earn journeyman certification through a national program, even though the state of Arizona does not license journeyman specifically. Some specialty areas to gain additional years of experience may include commercial contractor and industrial installation, photovoltaics, and solar power or HVAC electric. 

APPLY FOR CONTRACTOR LICENSING EXAM: The Arizona Registrar of Contractors issues contractors licenses, with three options for electricians. Those options are Residential (R-11), Commercial (C-11), or Electrical—a combination of residential and electric (K-11). You must register to take two exams before you can obtain a license: a business management exam and trade exam. 

TAKE LICENSING CONTRACTOR EXAM: The business management exam contains 80 questions that must be completed within 180 minutes. A passing score is 70%. The trade exam contains 110 questions that must be completed within 240 minutes. A passing score is 70%.

OBTAIN YOUR ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: After passing your exams, you must pay licensing fees to get your electrician license through the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. The cost for a residential license is $720, while a commercial license is $580. Licenses must be renewed every two years. The state of Arizona does not require continuing education for electricians, although some specific counties might. 

PROOF OF COMMERCIAL CONTRACTOR INSURANCE: Electricians in Arizona must hold electrical contractors’ insurance, which includes liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. Other insurance options to include for added protection include Errors and Omissions insurance, which protects against negligent claims filed against you or those that suggest you failed to perform a promised service. Commercial property insurance can protect your business building and its contents.  

Types of Electrical Contractor Licensure in Arizona 

There are three different types of electrician licensing in Arizona: 

Residential (R-11): A residential electrician licensee can install and repair electrical systems in residential properties only. 

Commercial (C-11): The Arizona Registrar of Contractors states C-11 electricians can perform “installation, alteration, and repair of any wiring, related electrical material and equipment used in the generating, transmitting, or utilization of electrical energy less than 600 volts, including all overhead electrical wiring on public right-of-ways for signs and street decorations, and all underground electrical distribution systems of less than 600 volts serving private properties” as well as “installation, alteration, and repair on other than public right-of-ways of all outside, overhead, and underground electrical construction, and all wiring in or on any building of less than 600 volts.” 

Electrical (K-11): K-11 electricians can do both residential electric work and commercial electric work associated with R-11 and C-11 licenses. 

Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Arizona 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job opportunities for electricians in Arizona to grow 49% by 2024. 

The average licensed electrician in Arizona makes about $47,180 per year. The top 10% of highly skilled electricians average $71,120 per year. 

There are many benefits you’ll see from pursuing Arizona electrician licensing: 

  • Most importantly, it is required by law in Arizona to be licensed through the state to legally perform electrical work. 

  • An electrical contractor license is proof of your experience and skill.

  • Only licensed electricians can: operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance, pull building permits and pass inspections, bid on public and government projects.

  • A trade license protects your company and customers.

  • An electrical contractor license gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.

  • It also increases your earning potential.

How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in Arizona? 

The cost of an electrician license in Arizona varies based on the level of licensing. 

Applicants for the Residential (R-11) and Commercial (C-11) electrical licenses can participate in the National Association of State Licensing Agency Electrical Examination Program. Through that program, the cost to take the business management and trade exams totals $116. 

A Residential (R-11) electrician licensing fee is $720. 

A Commercial (C-11) electrician licensing fee is $580. 

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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Arizona? 

It takes about four to five years to become a licensed electrician in Arizona. Most apprenticeship programs require 8,000 on-the-job training and around 900 hours of classroom instruction.

Arizona Electrical Contractor Training Programs and Schools

There are many programs to get the training you need to become an electrical contractor professional in Arizona, and they are located all over the state, in major cities and smaller communities.

Arizona has two union-based joint apprenticeship and training programs (JATC): Tucson Electrical JATC and the Phoenix Electrical JATC. These programs are a partnership between local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union (IBEW) and the Arizona Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Alliance. 

Non-union programs include the Independent Electrical Contractors of Southern Arizona, the Independent Electrical Contractors of Arizona, and the Arizona Builders Alliance

Tuition at most Arizona electrical schools costs $2,100 per year for in-state students. Study materials average another $1,000-$1,500 per year. 

Some electrical schools in Arizona:

Pima Community College Electrician – Certificate Program, Electrician – Associate Program 4905C East Broadway Blvd. Tucson, Arizona 85709-1275 520-206-4500

GateWay Community College Electronics Technician – Certificate Program, Electricity – Associate Program 108 N. 40th Street Phoenix, Arizona 85034 602-392-5000

Chandler-Gilbert Community College Electrical Technology – Certificate Program 2626 E. Pecos Road Chandler, Arizona 85225-2499 480-732-7000

Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary. Most programs, however, require you to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED, a valid birth certificate, official and sealed copies of school transcripts, reliable transportation, and passing grades in math courses, such as Algebra. 

On-the-Job Experience: While on the job, you will gain an understanding of electrical standards through years of experience, as well as math and scientific principles. Electricians need keen eyesight and good hand-eye coordination, as well as proper time management skills. They also have to possess good customer service skills, work independently, exhibit good physical endurance and use logical problem-solving techniques. Electricians also learn how to read blueprints, circuit diagrams, and other technical documents.

Arizona Electrician Licensing Exam Details

In Arizona, to obtain either a residential electrician license or a commercial electrician license, you must pass both the business management and trade exams. If you fail the exams three times in a row, you may need to wait 180 days before retesting. 

Business Management Exam: Contains 80 questions that must be completed within 180 minutes. A passing score is 70%. Some open-book reference materials may be used during the exam, such as the National Fire Alarm Code-2016, the National Electric Code-2017, and some chapters of the Code of Federal Regulations. For a specific list of materials permitted, visit PSI Online Store

Topics covered on the exam include:

  • General electric knowledge

  • Service feeders and branch circuits

  • Grounding and bonding

  • Conductors and cables

  • Raceways and boxes

  • Special occupancies and equipment

  • Electrical devices

  • Motors

  • Low voltage

  • Lighting

  • Fire detection and alarm systems

  • Safety

  • Overcurrent protection

  • Photovoltaics 

Trade Exam: Contains 110 questions that must be completed within 240 minutes. A passing score is 70%. Some reference materials may be used during the open-book exam, such as the National Fire Alarm Code-2016, the National Electrical Code (NEC)-2017, and some chapters of the Code of Federal Regulations. For a specific list of material permitted, visit PSI Online Store

Topics covered on the electrician exam include: 

  • General electrical knowledge 

  • Service feeders and branch circuits 

  • Grounding and bonding 

  • Conductors and cables 

  • Raceways and boxes 

  • Special occupancies and equipment 

  • Electrical devices 

  • Motors 

  • Low voltage 

  • Lighting 

  • Fire detection and alarm systems 

  • Safety 

  • Overcurrent protection 

  • Photovoltaics

Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Arizona?

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors. 

Does My Arizona Electrical License Work in Any Other State?

No. Arizona does not have a formal reciprocity agreement with any other state. Incoming licensing applicants can, however, fill out a waiver request form for the trade portion of the licensing exam. 

For R-11 and C-11 applicants, the Arizona state registrar does hold reciprocity agreements with the California State Contractor’s Board, the Nevada State License Board, and the Utah State License Board. Arizona does not accept licenses issued by other states. 

National Electrician Certifications

While optional, national certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency in certain aspects of the electrical trade to potential employers and clients, which often translates into more job opportunities and higher pay. 

These include the Independent Electrical Contractors Certified Professional Electrician (CPE) distinction, certification through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), among dozens of additional electrician certifications available.

Resources

You can stay up to date on all electrician industry news several ways:

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