Louisiana Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Louisiana
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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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 711,200 electricians nationwide and 9,920 work in Louisiana. The national number is predicted to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031. In Louisiana, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website, the projected growth rate is more than twice that at 15%.
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 55% of firms in Louisiana 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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License Requirements for Electricians in Louisiana
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.
Steps to Get an Electrician License in Louisiana
Become an electrical trainee and gain hands-on work experience and classroom training.
Take the journeyman or maintenance electrician exam.
Earn a master electrician license.
Become a licensed electrical contractor.
How to Become an Electrician in Louisiana
BECOME AN ELECTRICAL TRAINEE: Licensing requirements in Louisiana vary by jurisdiction, but in most cases, electrical trainees are required to register with their local municipality and have five years of work experience before they become eligible to take a journeyman or maintenance electrician licensing exam.
This experience is obtained through a union-based apprenticeship program, enrollment at a technical school, or as a direct-hire trainee. Licensed contractors who own electrical contracting companies employ direct-hire trainees.
Union-based Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs) are offered through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
TAKE JOURNEYMAN OR MAINTENANCE ELECTRICIAN EXAM: In New Orleans, for example, you must have five years of electrical work experience, including four years in an apprenticeship program, and four years of working as a licensed electrical trainee, before you can take a journeyman or maintenance electrician licensing exam. After submitting an exam application and passing the test, both journeyman and maintenance electricians are required to renew their licenses annually.
EARN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: In most jurisdictions, master electricians must have five years of previous work experience as journeyman electricians. In New Orleans, after that requirement is met, applicants can apply to earn a Class A Master Electrical License. A Class A Master Electrical License in New Orleans also serves as an electrical contractor license, and makes you eligible to become an independent electrical contractor.
Potential applicants must fill out an electrical contractor application, provide two passport-sized photos, maintain a physical business location for inspection purposes, hold general liability insurance up to $500,000, maintain workers' compensation insurance, carry a valid driver’s license, and pay the necessary application and licensing fees. Master electrician licenses must be renewed annually.
BECOME A LICENSED ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: Louisiana offers two types of electrical contractor licenses—residential and commercial. Obtaining a commercial contractor license means you can work on commercial projects valued at more than $10,000. A residential contractor license means you can work on residential jobs valued at more than $7,500.
Residential contractors in Louisiana must maintain $100,000 of general liability insurance. Residential and commercial licenses require applicants to provide financial statements proving at least a $10,000 net worth. Contractors must also designate a qualifying party for documentation purposes. Electrical contractors also must pass the business and law trade exams.
First-time electrical contractors must renew their licenses after one year, but then every one to three years afterward. Electrical contractors are required to complete six hours of continuing education each year.
Types of Electrician Licenses in Louisiana
Journeyman: Works under the supervision of an electrical contractor to install, maintain, or repair electrical systems, usually within residential properties.
Maintenance Electrician: Works only on existing electrical systems. This license is valid only in a maintenance capacity when the electrician is employed by a business.
Master Electrician: Has at least five years of previous work experience as a journeyman. Master electricians can install, maintain, and repair electrical systems up to 49 volts. In some Louisiana parishes, master electricians are the equivalent of electrical contractors.
Electrical Contractor: Are eligible to work on both residential and commercial properties. They own and operate their own businesses and hire other licensed electricians to work for them. Electrical contractors have project management experience and have passed the Louisiana Business and Law Trade Exam.
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Louisiana
There are many benefits to pursuing a Louisiana electrician license:
Most important, it is required by law in Louisiana to be licensed 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 licensed 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 advantage in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential.
What Is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in Louisiana?
The annual mean wage for electricians in Louisiana is $55,360 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 $16.68 per hour in Louisiana and $6,000 overtime per year.
Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $22.99 per hour in Louisiana and $9,438 overtime per year.
Master Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $19.78 per hour in Louisiana.
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 Louisiana?
In the Baton Rouge area, tuition at most colleges for in-state students averages $10,575 per year, plus the cost of books and other study materials. There are also fees associated with electrician licensing applications and exams. The cost of those fees varies by parish.
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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, journeyman and master electrician licenses are issued by local municipalities, or parishes. Earning a journeyman license takes about five years of hands-on work experience, combined with an apprenticeship program or enrollment at a technical school. After you gain five years of work experience as a licensed journeyman, you become eligible to begin master electrician licensure procedures.
Louisiana Electrician Training Programs and Schools
There are many community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools to get the training you need to become an electrical professional in Louisiana. They are located all over the state, including the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Topics often studied at technical schools include:
Electrical Basics and Tools
Grounding and Wiring
Wiring Protection Devices
Electrical Boxes, Receptacles, and Switches
Wiring a Residence
Commercial Wiring & Installation
Circuits & Systems
Project Layout and Planning
Thin wall Conduit Raceway Systems
Rigid Conduit Raceway Systems
Floor Duct Installation
Motor Control Center Installation
Installing, Splicing, and Terminating Wires and Cables
Cable Tray Installation
Lighting System Installation
Testing and Troubleshooting Feeders, Motors, and Branch Circuits
Fire Alarm and Security System Installation
Installing and Terminating Transformers
Welding/Exothermic Welding and Brazing, Mechanical Fastening
Service and Troubleshooting
Material Handling and Pre-Fabrication
Some popular electrician programs in Louisiana include:
Delgado Community College has campuses in Sidney Collier and Jefferson that offer three certificate programs pertaining to industrial, commercial, and residential electrical work.
Sowela Technical Community College in Lake Charles has a two-year industrial electrician associate degree program.
Central Louisiana Technical Community College has campuses in Alexandria, Many, and Natchitoches that offer technical competency certificates as an electrician helper or solar systems installer. The school also offers technical diplomas in industrial electrician and commercial wiring.
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.
Louisiana Electrician Licensure Exam Details
The International Code Council administers most licensing exams in Louisiana. Testing centers are open once each quarter, although many exams have transitioned to online-only formats.
The journeyman exam contains 80 multiple-choice questions you must answer within four hours. The open-book test allows applicants to use the National Electric Code (NEC) and Ugly’s Electrical Reference during the test. A passing score is at least 70%.
Topics covered on the exam include:
Services and Service Equipment
Branch Circuits and Conductors
Wiring Methods and Materials
Equipment and Devices
Motors and Generators
Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions
The maintenance exam contains 60 multiple-choice questions you must answer within three hours. Like the journeyman exam, it is also open-book, and the same reference materials can be used. A passing score is at least 70%.
Topics covered on the exam include:
General Knowledge and Calculations
Utilization Equipment and Devices
Motors and Controls
Wiring Methods, Materials, and Conductors
Grounding and Overcurrent Protection
Special Occupancies, Systems, and Equipment
The master electrician exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions you must answer within five hours. This exam is also open-book and uses the same reference materials as the journeyman and maintenance electrician exams. Topics covered on the exam are similar to those in the journeyman test.
The Louisiana Business and Law Trade Exam must be completed within four hours. The open-book test allows applicants to use the NASCLA Contractor’s Guide to Business, Law and Project Management.
The test covers topics including:
Contractor’s Licensing Law
Bidding and Estimating
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Louisiana?
Louisiana electrical licensing requirements, specifically those for journeyman, maintenance, and master electricians, vary by local municipality. Electrical contractor licenses, however, are issued by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
Does My Louisiana Electrician License Work in Any Other State?
Yes. Louisiana has reciprocity agreements with several other states. Electrical contractor licenses have reciprocity with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
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 several ways: