New Jersey Electrical License: How to Become a Licensed Electrician in New Jersey
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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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Electrical Contractor Licensing Requirements for New Jersey
Is a license required for electricians in New Jersey? Yes.
To perform electrical work in the state of New Jersey, you must hold an electrical contractor license, a journeyman electrician license, or work under a licensed electrician.
Steps to Get an Electrician License in New Jersey
Hold some form of U.S. identification and be at least 18 years of age
Possess a high school diploma or GED
Become an apprentice electrician to gain work experience and classroom instruction
Apply to be a journeyman electrician
Seek an electrical contractor license and pass the electrical contractor exam
GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: To become an apprentice electrician, you must complete lab-based classroom training and gain experience in the electrical field under the supervision of a qualified journeyman electrician. Apprentices do not require licensing in the state of New Jersey. A majority of aspiring apprentices attain experience through trade schools, or through union or non-union apprenticeship programs.
APPLY TO BE A JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN: To apply for your journeyman electrician license, you need 8,000 hours of documented experience, with at least 4,000 hours accomplished within five years prior to applying. You must also fulfill a minimum of 576 hours of classroom training.
Applicants mail a completed Application for a Certificate of Registration to Practice as a Qualified Journeyman Electrician to:
New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors 124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor P.O. Box 45006 Newark, NJ 07101
The initial cost to apply for a journeyman license is $40. Licenses must be renewed every three years and cost $160. To comply, you must file and mail the renewal form to the licensing board. In addition, you must complete 10 hours of continuing education units each year.
APPLY FOR ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR LICENSE: To apply for an electrical contractor license, you must be over 21 years of age, pass an exam, and provide evidence of at least five years of experience working in the electrical field.
Aspiring electrical contractors gain this experience in one of the following ways:
Earn a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, plus two years of field work.
Complete a four-year apprenticeship program, with one year of hands-on experience.
Obtain a journeyman electrician license, along with one year of additional on-the-job experience.
Application for the exam costs $100 and is non-refundable. Licensees must renew every three years, pay $150, and show proof of at least 34 hours of continued education. Mail both renewal forms and exam applications to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
TAKE ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR LICENSING EXAM: You must achieve 70% or higher to pass the electrical contractor licensing exam, which is administered through PSI. Examinees are permitted to use the most current version of the National Electrical Code (NEC). The examination consists of 150 questions and covers the following topics:
General Electrical Knowledge
Grounding and Bonding
Equipment for General Use
Conductors and Cables
Motors and Controls
Low Voltage and Communications Circuits
Raceways and Enclosures
Services, Feeders, and Branch Circuits
Special Equipment and Conditions
For more details, check the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors' Electrical Contractor Licensure Examination Bulletin.
Types of Electrical Licensure in New Jersey
What are the different types of electrician licensing in New Jersey?
There are two different types of electrical licenses in New Jersey: an electrical journeyman license and an electrical contractor license. You can apply for either license with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors.
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Contractor in New Jersey
There are many benefits you’ll see from getting a New Jersey electrician license:
Most importantly, it is required by law in New Jersey to be licensed as either a journeyman electrician or electrical contractor to legally perform electrical work.
There is a high demand for licensed electricians in New Jersey. The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development predicts an 18.5% increase of jobs in the electrical trade through 2024.
A trade license provides proof of your experience and skill.
Only licensed electricians can: work independently as an electrical contractor, operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance and bonding, pull electrical permits, pass inspections, and bid on public and government projects.
Obtaining a license protects your company and your customers.
An electrician license gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential as an electrician.
How Much Does It Cost to Get an Electrical Contractors License in New Jersey?
It can cost up to $20,000 to attend an electrical trade school or vocational school in New Jersey. Costs vary, depending on the school and program. Additional electrical exam application fees and licensing fees also apply.
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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in New Jersey?
Obtaining an electrician license in New Jersey takes a minimum of four years, or 8,000 hours of hands-on work experience, combined with at least 576 hours of classroom work.
New Jersey Electrician Programs and Schools
There are several community colleges, trade schools, and educational programs to get the training you need to become an electrical professional in New Jersey. You have options all over the state, including big cities like Newark, Trenton, and Jersey City, and smaller communities like Hackensack, Union, or Scotch Plains.
Some trade schools include:
Bergen County Technical Schools (Hackensack): Offers certificate program in electrical technology. Tuition costs about $11,700 per year, while study materials cost roughly $373.
Hohokus School of Trade & Technical Services (Paterson): Offers certificate-level electrician apprenticeship. Tuition costs about $17,560, while study materials cost about $600.
Lincoln Tech (Union): Offers certificate program in electrical/electronics. Tuition costs about $21,900, while study materials cost about $1,425.
Ocean County Vocational Technical School (Brick): Offers certificate-level electrical trades program. Tuition costs about $6,550 per year, while study materials may cost roughly $300.
Pennco Tech (Blackwood): Offers certificate-level electrician program. Tuition costs $16,527 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,170.
Union County Vocational Technical School (Scotch Plains): Offers certificate-level electrical program. Tuition costs about $5,500 per year, while books and supplies cost about $440.
Electrician Apprenticeship Programs
Union-based apprenticeships require membership in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Through the Electrical Training Alliance program, apprenticeships are managed by the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). The New Jersey Joint Apprentice Training Committee (NJJATC) provides union apprenticeships at the following JATC offices throughout the state:
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (BEEC) grants electrician licenses.
Does My New Jersey Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
No. New Jersey does not participate in any reciprocity agreements with other states.
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: