Georgia Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Georgia
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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 trade professionals to install and service electrical systems in 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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License Requirements for Electricians in Georgia
Is a state license required to be an electrician in Georgia? Yes.
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 does not 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 taking the step to obtain their own electrical contractor license. The state of Georgia Professional Licensing Boards is located at 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia, 31217.
Steps to Get Electrician Certification in Georgia
Join an apprenticeship program to acquire the necessary work experience needed to sit for the journeyman license exam.
Work as a journeyman electrician.
Become a licensed independent electrical contractor.
JOIN AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM: Georgia offers several types of electrical apprenticeship programs. The IEC, or Independent Electrical Contractors, conducts one such program. Eligibility for the IEC apprenticeship program requires a high school diploma or GED, or you must be at least 16 years old and enrolled in a high school work-based training with a guidance counselor’s consent. Apprenticeships usually involve a combination of hands-on work experience and classroom instruction.
Here are some of the union-based apprenticeship programs, known as JATCs (Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees), in Georgia:
Non-union apprenticeship programs can be found through the IEC Atlanta and Georgia chapters. Apprenticeship programs usually require 8,000 hours (five years of experience) and 180 hours of classroom instruction each year, before you can work as a journeyman electrician under a licensed electrical contractor. Those who complete internships through the IEC, ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia), or IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) will earn a nationally recognized journeyman certificate, even though it is not required by the state of Georgia.
WORK AS A JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN: Some individuals prefer to work as a journeyman electrician for an independent electrical contractor before they obtain their own electrical contractor license. In many cases, this is because you must be at least 21 years old to apply for an electrical contractor license in the state of Georgia.
BECOME A LICENSED INDEPENDENT ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: Being an electrical contractor involves good project management skills and performing various administrative functions, such as ensuring your business complies with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations. The requirements to become an electrical contractor in Georgia include:
Be at least 21 years old
Complete the necessary application
Submit proof documenting four years of electrician experience
Submit three forms of references
Pass the electrical exam with at least a 70% score
Georgia electrical contractors must renew their licenses every two years and complete four hours of continuing education each year, or a total of eight hours during the two-year period. Licensing renewal costs $75.
Types of Electrical Licensure in Georgia
Georgia offers two types of electrical contractor licenses: Class I and Class II.
Class I: Involves low-voltage, single-phase electrical installations that do not exceed 200 amperes.
Class II: Applicants for this license must have experience working with and installing electrical systems that exceed 200 amperes.
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Benefits of Becoming a Certified Electrician in Georgia
The Georgia Department of Labor predicts 710 new electrician jobs will be available each year through 2022. Electricians also made Georgia’s 2022 list of “Hot Careers.” This is largely because the construction industry in Georgia grew 4.3% over a five-year period. Electricians in the state of Georgia earn an average of $21.15 per hour, or $43,992 per year.
There are many benefits you’ll see from pursuing a Georgia electrician certification:
Most importantly, it is required by law in Georgia to be certified through the state to legally perform electrical work.
A trade license proves your experience and skill.
Only certified electricians can: operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance, pull building permits, and pass inspections, bid on public and government projects.
Licensing protects your company and customers.
An electrician certification gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential.
How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Certification in Georgia?
Tuition at most in-state colleges with electrical programs or certifications costs about $2,800 per year, plus the cost of books and other materials. There are also fees associated with taking the electrical contractor exam and obtaining your license.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician Certification in Georgia?
Unlike other states, Georgia does not have a journeyman electrician licensing phase. Most people who complete an accredited apprenticeship program earn a nationally-recognized journeyman certificate in about five years, which includes 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience and 180 hours of classroom instruction each year.
Georgia Electrician Training Programs and Schools
There are many community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools located all over the state where you can get the training you need to become an electrical professional in Georgia.
Typical trade school topics include:
Advanced Electrical Theory
National Electrical Code (NEC)
Commercial and Industrial Wiring
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary. Most programs, however, require you to be 18 years old, earn a high-school diploma or GED, possess a valid driver’s license, and show 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 must demonstrate good customer service skills, work independently, maintain good physical endurance, and use logical problem-solving techniques. Electricians also learn how to read blueprints, circuit diagrams, and other technical documents.
Georgia Electrician Certification Exam Details
Georgia requires you to pass an exam to obtain an electrical contractor license. Administered through PSI, you must pay a $30 exam fee. Once you submit the appropriate paperwork and application, the licensing board will notify you within 45 days if you're approved to take the exam.
The Class I exam contains 15 pre-test questions and 155 questions total. The Class II exam contains 22 pre-test questions and 162 questions total. Both open-book exams feature multiple-choice questions. You must score at least a 70% to pass.
The exams cover topics such as:
Regulations, Laws, and Administrative Functions
Basic Electrical Circuits
Electrical Controls and Devices
DC and DC Rotating Equipment
Interior Electrical Systems
Special Equipment, Conditions, and Locations
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Georgia?
The Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board, Division of Electrical Contractors.
Does My Georgia Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes! The state of Georgia has reciprocity agreements with Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
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: