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 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. However, the Maryland State Board of Master Electricians, through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, only issues one type of electrical license: master electrician. Maryland does offer additional electrical licensure types, but licensing requirements vary by county.
Steps to Get an Electrician License in Maryland
Gain necessary work experience and classroom training
Become a licensed electrician in your local jurisdiction
Obtain a master electrician license
Secure master electrician insurance
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 and file an apprenticeship agreement.
BECOME A LOCALLY LICENSED ELECTRICIAN: In Maryland, individual cities and counties issue local licenses. You should contact your area board of electrical examiners for specific licensing requirements. Some potential licensees choose to skip this local step and continue to work toward achieving their master electrician license, issued by the state of Maryland.
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 and work performed by the company.
To be eligible for a master electrician license, you need seven years of work experience under the supervision of an already-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 doesn’t require continuing education.
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 worker’s 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 Licensure in Maryland
Maryland offers only master electrician licenses at the statewide level. Specific Maryland counties offer additional electrician licenses at the local level, though licensing requirements are typically not as stringent as a journeyman electrician in other states.
Anne Arundel County Only
Anne Arundel County charges a $75 licensing application fee for each license type.
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. Additionally, you can earn your restricted license by completing one year of work under the supervision of a master limited electrician.
Master Limited License: Performs on-site industrial plant work only. You must have at least two years of experience under the supervision of a master limited or master general electrician.
Master General License: In Anne Arundel County, master general license applicants must demonstrate a total of seven years of experience, with three years of continuous work experience preceding the date of the application working as a journeyman or helper under the direction and supervision of a master electrician.
Baltimore County Only
Master General: According to the Baltimore County Government website, a master general electrician can “install, repair, or erect any kind of electrical wiring, conduits, machinery, appliances, motors, fixtures, signs, electrically operated heating equipment, elevators, or any other electrical apparatus or device in or about any premises in Baltimore County.” The license requires a $160 application fee.
Restricted 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
Limited License: Can perform work on residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems. You must provide proof of five years of electrical trade work experience, with two years supervised by a licensed electrician.
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.
Montgomery County Only
Journeyman: In Montgomery County, the Department of Permitting Services issues journeyman electrician licenses. Earning a journeyman license in this county requires at least four years of supervised electrical trade experience.
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Maryland
The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation expects the number of jobs for licensed electricians to increase 12% through 2024. The average Maryland electrician earns $26.67 per hour, or $55,473 per year.
Pursuing a Maryland electrician license offers several benefits:
Most importantly, 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.
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. Licensing and examination application fees vary at the local level. The statewide master electrician exam has a $65 application fee. Obtaining your statewide master electrician license after passing the necessary exam costs $190.
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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Maryland?
In some Maryland counties, you can earn the equivalent of a journeyman electrician license in about four years. However, to earn your master electrician license at the statewide level, you must demonstrate seven years of electrical trade experience under the supervision of an already-licensed master electrician.
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
Because Maryland issues primary electrician licenses at the local level, each county offers different exams. Contact your local jurisdiction for testing details.
PSI Exams administers the statewide master electrician exam. You can contact PSI by calling 800-733-9267. The examination application costs $65. Exam preparation materials and candidate information bulletins are available. The test contains 100 questions that must be answered within four 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 Master Electricians, through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, issues statewide master electrician licenses. Other types of electrical licenses are available at the local level.
Does My Maryland Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes! Maryland’s master electrician license has reciprocity agreements with 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: