Maine Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Maine
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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 729,600 electricians nationwide and 2,960 work in Maine. The national number is predicted to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030.
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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License Requirements for Electricians in Maine
Is a state license required to be an electrician in Maine? Yes.
All electrical work performed in Maine requires a license. Electrical licensure is conducted through the Electrician’s Examining Board, which is a division of the State of Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.
To get a jump-start on your career, Maine offers an elective pre-apprenticeship program for juniors and seniors in high school. Electrical work hours performed during the pre-apprenticeship program count toward actual apprentice electrician requirements.
Apprenticeship programs must be licensed in Maine, and the Maine Department of Labor’s Career Center regulates them. Once you enroll in an apprenticeship program, you will receive help registering for required classroom training and could be eligible for tuition reimbursement.
Necessary application forms and information for Maine electricians are available on the office of professional and financial regulation’s website.
Steps to Get Electrician Licensing in Maine
Apply for an apprentice electrician license.
Gain hands-on work experience and classroom training.
Become a licensed journeyman electrician.
Earn a master electrician license.
Consider starting your own electrical business.
How to Become an Electrician in Maine
BECOME A LICENSED APPRENTICE ELECTRICIAN: You must apply for and receive an apprentice electrician license to begin your electrical work training. Apprenticeships are conducted under the supervision of a master electrician, a licensed journeyman electrician, or a licensed limited electrician.
Most apprenticeship programs require you to be at least 16 years old, possess a high school diploma or GED, be physically fit, pass a criminal history background check, and be legally eligible for employment in the U.S. Applying for an apprenticeship license costs $96 and the license must be renewed every two years. Renewal costs $50.
GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: Before you are eligible to take the journeyman electrician exam, you must meet one of the following requirements:
Log 8,000 hours (four years of experience) as an apprentice or helper electrician, as well as 576 hours of approved course work from the Electrician’s Examining Board.
Graduate from an approved/accredited applied technology high school two-year electrical program, log 8,000 hours of electrical installations, and complete a 45-hour course on the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Graduate from an approved/accredited community college electrical program, or vocational electrical program through the Department of Corrections, log 4,000 hours of electrical installations, and complete a 45-hour course on the National Electrical Code (NEC). Those following these guidelines must take the journeyman licensure exam within a year of graduating.
Applicants with electrical training through military experience should email the Electrician’s Examining Board at email@example.com to receive applicable credits before taking the journeyman exam.
BECOME A LICENSED JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN: Once you've met the necessary requirements, you must apply to take the journeyman electrician exam. You must pay a $25 application fee and provide a copy of your diploma transcript. Once you receive approval to take the exam, you will receive a letter from the state of Maine with additional instructions. Approval to take the journeyman exam remains valid for two years. The fee to take the journeyman exam is $75.
Once you pass the journeyman exam, you must pay a $171 licensing fee and complete an application to receive your license. A journeyman license requires renewal every two years. Renewal costs $150. Every three years, journeyman electricians must complete 15 hours of continuing education on the current National Electrical Code (NEC).
EARN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: Maine licensing requirements state you must work at least 4,000 hours as a licensed journeyman electrician before you're eligible to become a master electrician. There is a $25 application fee to register for the master electrician exam, as well as a $75 testing fee.
Once you pass the master electrician exam, you must pay a $171 licensing fee and complete an application to receive your license. Master electrician licenses require renewal every two years. Renewal costs $150. Every three years, master electricians must complete 15 hours of continuing education on the current National Electrical Code (NEC).
START AN ELECTRICAL BUSINESS: If you want to start your own electrical business and be the sole proprietor, you'll need to register the business name with the Maine Department of the Secretary of State. You'll fill out the appropriate paperwork within your local jurisdiction, which includes obtaining any necessary permits, licenses, and employer identification numbers.
Electrical contractors who hire other licensed electricians must register with the state of Maine as a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). This requires proper use of sales tax, income tax withholding, and business licensure.
Types of Electrician Licenses in Maine
Apprentice: A licensed electrical apprentice works under the supervision of a master electrician, a licensed journeyman electrician, or a licensed limited electrician until the apprentice accumulates the required amount of hands-on work hours and classroom credits needed to take the journeyman electrician exam.
Helper Electrician: A helper electrician can install various electrical components under the supervision of a limited electrician, journeyman electrician, or master electrician.
Journeyman Electrician: A journeyman electrician can install, maintain, and repair electrical and communication systems after completing the required 8,000 hours of hands-on work experience and 576 hours of classroom training. Journeyman electricians can supervise apprentice electricians and helper electricians.
Limited Electrician: A limited electrician performs specialty work on gas dispersal, water pumps, refrigeration, outdoor signs, etc. Limited electricians have at least 135 hours of electrical classroom training and 2,000 hours of work in a specialty area.
Master Electrician: A master electrician has worked as a licensed journeyman for at least 4,000 hours and is eligible to install wires and other electrical apparatus, including conduits and fixtures. A master electrician does not have to work for an electrical company, as they are eligible to go into business for themselves.
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Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Maine
There are many benefits to pursuing a Maine electrician license:
Most important, it is required by law 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 advantage in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential.
What Is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in Maine?
The annual mean wage for electricians in Maine is $58,120 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 $20.17 per hour in Maine and $6,000 overtime per year.
Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $24.48 per hour in Maine and $8,125 overtime per year.
Master Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $36.10 per hour in Maine and $10,000 overtime per year.
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 Maine?
The average cost of tuition for in-state students at most public colleges and trade schools in Maine is $3,700 per year, plus books and study materials, which cost about $1,400 annually. There are also application fees, exam fees, and licensing fees that must be paid along the path to various electrician licenses.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Maine?
Becoming a licensed journeyman electrician in Maine requires about 8,000 hours (four years) of electrical work experience, as well as 576 hours of classroom training. Then, you must work for 4,000 hours (two years) before you are eligible to become a licensed master electrician.
Maine Electrician Training Programs and Schools
There are many community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools for licensees to get the experience they need. These schools are located all over the state, including big cities and smaller communities.
Southern Maine Community College offers an electrical engineering technology program with certifications in:
Basic Electricity I
Controls I and II
Basic Electronics I
Electrical Blueprint Reading
National Electrical Code
College Algebra & Trigonometry
Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, Maine, offers an electrical line-worker technology certification program, as well as an electrical technology associate degree program.
Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle, Maine, offers both a certificate program and an associate degree program in electrical construction and maintenance.
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'll 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.
Maine Electrician License Exam Details
Electrician licensure exams in Maine are administered by Prometric.
The journeyman exam is taken online at testing locations in Portland and Bangor. The test contains 80 multiple-choice questions you must answer within three hours. A passing score is at least 70% and applicants may use the National Electrical Code (NEC) for reference.
Topics on the exam include:
General Electrical Knowledge
Wiring and Protection
Wiring Methods and Materials
Equipment for General Use
The master electrician exam is also taken online at various testing centers. It covers the same material as the journeyman exam, and applicants also use the same reference material. The master electrician exam is 100 multiple-choice questions you must answer within four hours. A passing score is at least 70%.
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Maine?
The Electricians’ Examining Board, a division of the State of Maine Professional and Financial Regulation, issues electrical licenses.
Does My Maine Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes. Maine has reciprocity agreements with New Hampshire, Vermont, and Oregon.
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: