Delaware Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Delaware
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Being an electrician isn’t just a job, it’s a solid career path. Electricians enjoy a wide range of employment opportunities and earn a respectable income. There’s also job security—customers will always need skilled trade professionals to install and service the electrical systems in their homes and businesses.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 711,200 electricians nationwide and 2,270 work in Delaware. The national number is predicted to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031. That growth rate is expected to be more than double that in Delaware — projected at 17%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website.
Many contractors nationwide are trying to find skilled tradesmen. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 2020 AGC-Autodesk Workforce Survey, 60% of firms in the U.S. had unfilled hourly craft positions like plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians. So, if you get the training you need you will have a lot of jobs to choose from when you’re ready.
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 Delaware
Is a license required to be an electrician in Delaware? Yes.
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, and then fill out a registration form as an electrical apprentice with the Delaware Board of Electrical Examiners. You must pay a $79 licensing fee, along with submitting a letter from an employer confirming your apprenticeship. Apprenticeship licenses must be renewed every two years.
Steps to Get an Electrician License in Delaware
Find an apprenticeship, and register as an electrical apprentice. You must be at least 18 years old, with a high school diploma or GED, and reliable transportation. You must also pass an aptitude test and be physically fit.
Obtain the necessary work experience needed to become a journeyperson. You must be at least at least 20 years old to take the journeyperson/journeyman electrician exam.
Apply for and take the journeyperson license exam.
Earn a master electrician license.
Consider becoming an independent licensed electrical contractor.
How to Become an Electrician in Delaware
OBTAIN THE NECESSARY WORK EXPERIENCE: To become a licensed journeyperson in the state of Delaware, you must have 8,000 hours (about four years) of work experience through an apprenticeship program or under the supervision of a licensed master electrician. The Delaware Board of Electrical Examiners does not require a certain number of classroom hours like most states. In many cases, apprenticeships allow you to pursue full-time employment. Delaware’s union apprenticeship program, or Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program (also known as a JATC), is provided by the Local 313 IBEW Union. You can find non-union apprenticeships by searching the Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake Area Chapter database.
APPLY FOR AND TAKE THE JOURNEYPERSON EXAM: To qualify for the journeyperson exam, which is administered by Prometric, you must be at least 20 years old and complete an apprenticeship, or obtain 8,000 hours of work—which equals four years of full-time experience. After submitting the exam application, you will be contacted to schedule the test and must pay the $100 exam fee. After passing the test, you will pay a $99 licensing fee. Journeyperson licenses require renewal every two years. Renewals mandate continuing education, but the number of hours needed varies depending upon when you first received your license.
EARN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: To receive a master electrician license in the state of Delaware, you must complete an application and pass the necessary exam. Before you take the exam, you're required to achieve a minimum of six years of work experience under a licensed master electrician, or four years of experience with a two-year degree in applied electrical technology. Master electrician licenses require renewal every two years and continuing education, but the number of hours needed varies depending upon when you first received your license.
CONSIDER BECOMING AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: Delaware offers two types of electrical contractor licenses: residential and non-residential. Residential contractors operate a business within the state, while non-residential contractors do not. To run an electrical business in Delaware, you will need to register with the state for one type of electrical contractor license and complete the application process.
Before receiving approval for an electrical contractor license, you must provide proof of insurance compliance, including workers' compensation and unemployment insurance.
Electrical contractor licenses require yearly renewal. The first time you renew your license, the cost will be prorated; after that, it's $75 per year.
Types of Electrician Licensure in Delaware
Delaware offers seven types of electrician licenses:
Apprentice: To begin the process of obtaining an electrician’s license in the state of Delaware, you must first find a qualified apprenticeship program and then register as an electrical apprentice with the Delaware Board of Electrical Examiners. It requires a $79 licensing fee, along with a letter from your employer confirming your apprenticeship. Apprenticeship licenses must be renewed every two years.
Journeyperson: Works under the supervision of a licensed electrician and must complete an 8,000-hour internship program approved by the state of Delaware. You must pay a $99 licensing fee to obtain a journeyperson electrician license after passing the exam.
Residential: Works on residential electrical systems without supervision. They must show 4,000 hours of experience with a residential apprenticeship program, pass an exam, and pay a $99 licensing fee.
Limited: Works under the supervision of a master electrician to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems. They must obtain three years of full-time electrical experience, pass the necessary exam, and then pay a $114 licensing fee. Limited electricians must have $300,000 of general liability insurance.
Limited Special: Works under a master electrician or limited electrician. Must have three years of full-time electrical experience and pay a $109 licensing fee, after passing the necessary exam.
Master: Works in residential, business, and industrial settings to maintain, repair, and install electrical systems. As a master electrician, you are required to hold $300,000 of general liability insurance coverage. You must pay a $187 licensing fee to obtain this license, once you pass the necessary exam.
Master Electrician Special: Works in specialty areas, including elevators, HVAC systems, pools, refrigeration, electric signs, and primary distribution centers and distribution systems. You must have six years of full-time electrical experience to qualify for this license, pass the necessary exam, and pay a $187 licensing fee. Master special electricians must provide proof of $300,000 in general liability insurance.
*If you have not completed a registered apprenticeship program and are applying for a master, limited, or specialty license, you must fill out a verification of employment form for each employer you worked under. If you can’t access these documents, you can submit a W-2 tax form, along with a letter stating why the employment verification form couldn’t be obtained. Any other forms of employment proof are subject to approval by the board office.
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Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Delaware
There are many benefits to pursuing electrician licensing in Delaware:
Most important, it is required by law in Delaware to be licensed through the state to legally perform electrical work and offer electrical services.
A trade license proves 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 license protects your company and customers.
Electrician licensing gives you a competitive advantage in the job market, and also increases your earning potential.
What Is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in Delaware?
The annual mean wage for electricians in Delaware is $55,390 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That salary, as you might expect, increases as you acquire more experience, according to Indeed.com.
Electrician Apprentice: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $20.42 per hour in Delaware and $6,000 overtime per year.
Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $28.70 per hour in Delaware and $9,438 overtime per year.
Master Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $31.53 per hour in Delaware.
Salary ranges can vary widely, depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.
What Business Owners Need to Know
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How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in Delaware?
Besides exam application and licensing/renewal fees, most electrician trade schools or community colleges cost about $10,000, though this can vary depending on the school and program selected.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Delaware?
Obtaining a journeyperson license in the state of Delaware takes about four years, or 8,000 hours of full-time experience. More time is needed to become a master electrician, an electrical contractor, or to pursue specialty areas.
Delaware Electrician Training Programs and Schools
Many community colleges, technical training programs, and vocational schools in Delaware can provide the experience you need to become a licensed electrician or acquire a certificate of completion. They are located all over the state, in major cities such as Dover and Wilmington, as well as in smaller communities.
Some popular Delaware schools to consider:
Degree Available: Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
Available Program: Electrical Trades, offers 420 hours of classroom experience.
Degrees Available: Bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and electronics engineering technology.
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary. Most programs, however, require you to be 18 years old, have a high-school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, and a passing algebra grade.
On-the-Job Experience: While on the job, you will gain an understanding of electrical standards, 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 must have good customer service skills, be capable of working independently, demonstrate good physical endurance, and use logical problem-solving techniques. Electricians also learn how to read blueprints, circuit diagrams, and other technical documents.
Delaware Electrician Licensing Exam Details
The journeyperson electrical exam features 80 questions that must be answered within three hours. The open-book exam allows applicants to use the National Electrical Code (NEC). Study guides and exam prep materials are available. You must achieve a score of at least 75% to pass.
Topics covered during the exam include:
General Electrical Knowledge
Wiring and Protection
Wiring Methods and Materials
Equipment for General Use
Like the journeyperson electrical exam, the master electrician exam covers the same topics, is also open book, and requires a passing score of at least 75%. However, the exam features 100 questions that must be answered within four hours.
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Delaware?
The Delaware Board of Electrical Examiners, Division of Professional Regulation issues most electrician licenses. However, independent electrical contractor licenses are issued by the Delaware Division of Revenue.
Does My Delaware Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Possibly. Delaware’s reciprocity agreements vary, depending on whether your out-of-state license requires you to meet substantially similar standards.
For example, the state of Delaware finds Michigan and Wyoming maintain standards similar to its own, but Arkansas, Colorado, Washington, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia DO NOT uphold substantially similar standards. All other state licenses must be examined by the Board of Electrical Examiners for consideration.
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.
You can stay up to date on all electrician industry news in several ways: