Maryland Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Maryland
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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 12,200 work in Maryland. The national number is predicted to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031 adding more than 50,000 to the ranks of this skilled workforce. That growth rate is expected to be higher in Maryland — projected at 15%, 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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License Requirements for Electricians in Maryland
Is a state license required to be an electrician in Maryland? Yes.
Maryland requires a license to perform electrical work. In fact, Maryland recently changed it's licensing requirements for electricians. Previously, the state only issued Master electrician licenses at the state level, but with the passage of the Maryland Electricians Act, the state now licenses apprentices, journeymen, and master electricians at the state level. Only low-voltage restricted licenses may now be issued at the county level.
Steps to Get an Electrician License in Maryland
Enter an apprenticeship or entry-level job in the field and get you apprentice license.
Gain necessary work experience and classroom training.
Become a licensed journeyman electrician.
Gain additional work experience.
Obtain a master electrician license.
Secure master electrician insurance.
How to Become an Electrician in Maryland
GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: One way to gain necessary work experience is through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships are available through the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program (MATP).
Most apprenticeship programs require 2,000 hours of hands-on work experience, as well as classroom training. Electrical apprentices are generally at least 18 years old, have a high-school diploma or GED with high scores in math and English, can pass a drug test, are physically fit, and have reliable transportation. Once you have an apprenticeship sponsor, you can register as an apprentice with the Maryland Department of Labor, obtain an apprentice license from the Maryland State Board of Electricians, and file an apprenticeship agreement.
BECOME A LICENSED JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN: If you complete a MATP approved apprenticeship, you can apply for a journeyman license without examination. If, however, you do not complete an approved apprenticeship, you will need to pass the statewide journeyman electrician licensing examination to get your license after providing proof of four years of experience working under a licensed master electrician.
OBTAIN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: Having a master electrician’s license issued by the state of Maryland will allow you to obtain local county work permits. You can use your master electrician license either as a company or as an individual, not both. If you choose to run your own company, you're responsible for acquiring all necessary electrical work permits for work performed by the company.
To be eligible for a master electrician license, you need seven years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed master electrician and pass the necessary exam. After passing the master electrician exam and paying the $190 licensing fee, you must submit an online application to obtain your license. As long as you're a U.S. citizen and meet all of the licensing requirements, you should have no issue gaining approval.
However, if you have previous criminal convictions, you must submit copies of court dockets related to your incarceration, parole, restitution, etc. The licensing board will review your convictions and ultimately decide whether to approve or deny your application.
Master electrician licenses require renewal every two years at a cost of $25. Maryland requires 10 hours of continuing education every two years to be able to renew your license and five hours must be completed in a classroom. There is a list of CE providers for electricians on the state website.
GET MASTER ELECTRICIAN INSURANCE: Self-employed master electricians in Maryland don’t need a contractor’s license. However, you do have to maintain insurance requirements, including a minimum of $300,000 in general liability insurance, and a minimum of $100,000 in property damage insurance. If you hire licensed electricians, you also need workers' compensation insurance. Property damage insurance requirements vary by county, so check with the local labor department before you begin a project to ensure you have adequate coverage.
Types of Electrical Licenses in Maryland
There are three types of electrician licenses at the state level in Maryland.
Apprentice Electrician — $10 application fee
Journeyman Electrician — $15 application fee
Master Electrician — $20 application fee
Some individual counties also still offer low voltage restricted licenses.
Anne Arundel County Only
Restricted License: Requires seven years of total electrical experience, with a minimum of three years working as an electrical apprentice or journeyman under the supervision of a master electrician or have worked under the direction and supervision of a licensed Restricted or Master Limited Electrician for not less than one year immediately preceding the date of application. The license requires an $85 licensing application fee.
Baltimore County Only
Restricted License: According to the Baltimore County Government website, a restricted electrician license allows applicants to “install, maintain, and repair low-voltage equipment and wiring operating at 50 volts or less.” The license requires a $130 application fee.
Boston County Only
Restricted License: Can perform electrical work on 50 volts or less. You must provide proof of three years of electrical trade work experience, with two years supervised by a licensed electrician.
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Maryland
Pursuing a Maryland electrician license offers several benefits:
Most important, Maryland law requires a state license 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 provides 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.
A license protects your company and customers.
Licensure gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential.
What Is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in Maryland?
The annual mean wage for electricians in Maryland is $62,620 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 $19.33 per hour in Maryland and $6,000 overtime per year.
Journeyman Electrician: The average salary for a journeyman electrician is $27.73 per hour in Maryland and $9,438 overtime per year.
Master Electrician: The average salary for a master electrician is $31.82 per hour in Maryland.
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 Maryland?
Tuition and fees at some Maryland electrical technician programs can cost about $18,659 per year, with supplemental learning materials costing an additional $2,114. The statewide license application fees are $10 for apprentices, $15 for journeymen, and $20 for master electricians. Obtaining your statewide master electrician license after passing the exam costs $190. License renewals are $10 for apprentices, $15 for journeymen, and $25 for masters.
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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Maryland?
Maryland requires apprentices to gain at least four years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed master electrician before applying for a journeyman license and seven years of experience before applying for a master electrician license.
Maryland Electrician Training Programs and Schools
Maryland is home to several community colleges, trade schools, and technical and vocational schools offering the training you need to become an electrical professional. They're located all over the state, including big cities and smaller communities.
Training at most technical schools covers the following topics:
Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC)
Commercial and Industrial Wiring
Tools, Equipment, and Instruments
Low Voltage Wiring, Maintenance, and Repair
Cable Installation/Splicing Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
Some Maryland electrical schools include:
College of Southern Maryland in Hughesville: Offers two associate degree programs: electric power technician and electrical wiring technician.
Montgomery College in Rockville: Offers a certificate program in electrical wiring fundamentals.
Lincoln College of Technology in Columbia: Offers an electrical certificate program.
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'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 good customer service skills, independence, good physical endurance, and logical problem-solving techniques. Electricians also learn how to read blueprints, circuit diagrams, and other technical documents.
Maryland Electrician Licensing Exam Details
PSI Examination Services provides Master and Journeyperson electrician examination services for the Board of Electricians. PSI has testing centers located in Baltimore, College Park, Hagerstown, Lanham, and Salisbury. You can find out about testing dates by contacting PSI. PSI will send a Qualification Information Handbook with an application for examination. The examination fee is $65.00.
PSI Exams administers the statewide master electrician exam. You can contact PSI by calling 800-733-9267 or register through the PSI website. Exam preparation materials and candidate information bulletins are available. The master test contains 90 questions that must be answered within four hours and the Journeyperson test contains 70 questions that must be answered within three and a half hours. In Maryland, you must receive at least a 70% score to pass.
The exam covers the following topics:
Theory Including Ohm’s Law
Wiring and Protection
NEC Article 100
NEC Article 110
NEC Articles 200-210
NEC Articles 215-225
NEC Article 230
NEC Article 240
NEC Article 250-285
Wiring Methods and Materials
NEC Article 300
NEC Article 310-14
NEC Article 320-330
NEC Article 332-356
NEC Article 358-374
NEC Article 376-398
Equipment for General Use
NEC Article 400-411
NEC Article 422-27
NEC Article 430-50
NEC Article 455-90
NEC Article 500-25
NEC Article 530-47
NEC Article 550-90
NEC Article 600-75
NEC Article 680-95
Special Communications and Calculations
NEC Article 700-08
NEC Article 720-30
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Maryland?
The Maryland State Board of Electricians, through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, issues statewide apprentice, journeyperson, and master electrician licenses. Other types of restricted electrical licenses are available at the local level.
Does My Maryland Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes. Maryland has reciprocity agreements with Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, and Delaware.
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: