Kansas Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Kansas
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Being an electrician isn’t just a job, it’s a solid career path. Electrical contractors working in Washington, D.C., enjoy a wide range of employment opportunities and earn a respectable income. There’s also job security—local customers will always need a skilled trades person to install and service electrical systems in their homes and businesses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 711,200 electricians nationwide and 5,550 work in Kansas. The national number is predicted to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031.
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. and 68% of firms in Kansas 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 in the Kansas takes time, but you get paid while you learn and gain experience!
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License Requirements for Electricians in Kansas
Is a state license required to be an electrician in Kansas? Yes.
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 sets minimum requirements to obtain a journeyman electrical license.
Steps to Get an Electrician License in Kansas
Gain the necessary apprentice experience to earn a journeyman electrician license.
Take the journeyman exam.
Earn a master electrician license.
Consider becoming an independent electrical contractor.
How to Become an Electrician in Kansas
GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: Although electrical licenses in Kansas are issued at a local level, the Kansas state legislature established minimum criteria needed to become a journeyman electrician.
Specifically, each municipality must issue an exam based on the National Electrical Code (NEC) and potential journeyman applicants must have at least two years (4,000 hours) of electrical trade experience under the supervision of a licensed electrician, as well as 240 hours of classroom instruction.
This experience is usually obtained through an apprenticeship program and enrollment at a trade or technical school. However, licensing requirements can vary by county. The city of Wichita, for example, issues various trade certificates for specific types of electricians, including general electricians, residential electricians, elevator installers, and alarm wiring installers. The city of Topeka has a separate licensing process for low-voltage alarm installation, which does not require the same amount of experience or education as a traditional journeyman.
Union and non-union apprenticeship programs can help you obtain the necessary experience to sit for the journeyman licensing exam. Most apprenticeship programs require you to be at least 17 years old to apply, or 18 years old when you begin the program, possess a high school diploma or GED, pass an algebra class, hold a valid driver’s license, pass an aptitude test, and be physically fit.
TAKE THE JOURNEYMAN EXAM: Once you gain the required experience, along with a transcript from the technical school you attended, you must fill out a license application to take the journeyman exam. Exam requirements and fees vary by city and county, although many jurisdictions use a company called Prometric to administer the test. In most municipalities, journeyman electrician licenses must be renewed every two years. In some cases, continuing education requirements must be met before you can renew your license. For specific renewal information, contact your local department of labor.
EARN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: To meet eligibility to take the master electrician exam, most municipalities require applicants to have at least two years of experience as a licensed journeyman electrician. Licensing renewal terms vary by city and county. Some areas require yearly renewal, while others renew every two years. Some municipalities require continuing education credits before you can renew your master electrician license. For specific renewal instructions, contact your local department of labor.
OBTAIN AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR LICENSE: Acquiring an electrical contractor license means you can run your own business as a general contractor and hire other licensed electricians. Electrical contractor licensing requirements also vary by individual cities and counties.
For instance, Sedgewick County offers three licensing classes, including: Class A, Class B, and Class D. Only Class A licenses are authorized to work on commercial properties.
Besides completing an electrical contractor application, most counties require electrical contractors to carry at least $300,000 of general liability insurance, as well as workers' compensation insurance and adequate auto insurance coverage.
The Wyandotte County/Kansas City area offers two types of electrical contractor licenses: master electrical contractor and master residential electrical contractor. These licenses are issued by the Kansas City Neighborhood Resource Center. For specific electrical contractor licensing requirements in your area, contact the area building inspection department.
Types of Electrician Licensure in Kansas
Electrical licenses in Kansas are issued by local municipalities, based on requirements set forth by the state legislature. Some counties regulate specific types of electricians, such as those who install elevators and alarm systems. In most cases, electrician licensures fall under the following categories:
Journeyman Electrician: A Journeyman Electrician needs at least two years (4,000 hours) of electrical trade experience under the supervision of a licensed electrician, as well as 240 hours of classroom instruction.
Master Electrician: A Master Electrician requires more electrical trade experience than journeyman electricians, and is usually authorized to obtain work permits from city/county government agencies to perform electrical work on residential properties.
Electrical Contractor: Electrical Contractors run their own business and can hire other licensed electricians. Electrical contractors usually have their own master electrician license and many years of previous electrical trade work experience.
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Kansas
The many benefits of acquiring a Kansas electrician license include:
Most important, it is required by law in Kansas to be certified through the state to legally perform electrical work. Properly trained electricians throughout the United States are well-versed in fire prevention measures, as well as electrical distribution systems.
A trade license is proof of your experience and skill.
Only certified electricians can: operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance, pull building permits, pass inspections, and bid on public and government projects.
Having a license protects your company and customers.
A license gives you a competitive edge in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential.
What Is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in Kansas?
The annual mean wage for electricians in Kansas is $56,790 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 $19.76 per hour in Washington and $6,000 overtime per year.
Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $25.07 per hour in Washington and $9,438 overtime per year.
Master Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $40.39 per hour in Washington.
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 Kansas?
The average cost of tuition for in-state students at a Kansas community college or trade school is about $3,300 per year, plus the cost of books and other study-related materials. Licensing exam and application fees also apply, but those costs vary with licenses issued at a local level.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Kansas?
In the state of Kansas, it usually takes about two years (4,000 hours) of hands-on work experience and 240 hours of classroom instruction to obtain a journeyman electrician license. However, licensing requirements can vary by city and county. Master electricians must have two years of work experience as a licensed journeyman before they are eligible to take the master electrician exam.
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Kansas Electrician Training Programs and Schools
There are many community colleges, trade schools, technical, and vocational schools to get the training to become an electrical professional in Kansas. They are located all over the state, including smaller communities and big cities.
Kansas law states that earning an associate degree of applied science in electrical technology counts toward the required 240 hours of classroom time to obtain a journeyman electrician license. Such a degree can also count toward one of the two years of required field experience. This means trade school graduates only need one year of supervised practical experience before they are eligible to take the journeyman exam.
Four of the most popular Kansas schools offering electrical degrees are:
Washburn University Tech in Topeka
Johnson County Community College in Overland Park
Salina Area Technical College in Salina
Kansas City Community College
Topics typically taught at electrical trade schools and community colleges include:
National Electrical Code (NEC)
Residential and Commercial Wiring I
Electrical Circuits, Instruments, and Measurements
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary. Most programs, however, require you to be 18 years old, possess 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 need to have good customer service skills, be able to work independently, have good physical endurance, and use logical problem-solving techniques. Electricians also learn how to read blueprints, circuit diagrams, and other technical documents.
Kansas Electrician Licensure Exam Details
The International Code Council (ICC) provides state of Kansas contractor/trades examination information bulletins to help applicants prepare for electrical licensure exams, including the master electrician exam. Because electrical licenses in Kansas are issued by local municipalities, some bulletins are designed for specific counties, including Sedgwick County.
Generally speaking, the journeyman licensing test contains 80 questions you must answer within four hours. Most areas allow the National Electric Code to be used for reference during the test. A passing score is usually at least a 75%. Exam topics frequently include:
Services and Service Equipment
Branch Circuits and Conductors
Wiring Methods and Materials
Equipment and Devices
Motors and Generators
Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions
Most master electrician exams cover the same content as the journeyman exam. However, the master electrician exam is often 100 open-book questions you must answer within five hours. A passing score for most jurisdictions is at least 75%.
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Kansas?
Electrical licenses are issued on a local level by municipalities, although the state legislature does have a set of minimum requirements to obtain a journeyman electrical license.
Does My Kansas Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
No. Kansas electrical licenses do not have reciprocity with any other state.
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: