New Mexico Electrical License: How to Become a Licensed Electrician in New Mexico
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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 New Mexico
Is a state license required to be an electrician in New Mexico? Yes.
The New Mexico Construction Industries Division, Regulation & Licensing Department, grants electrician licensing, as recommended by the Electrical Bureau.
To perform electrical work in the state of New Mexico, you must be a licensed journeyman or electrical contractor. A contractor's license is mandatory to bid and contract all electrical services.
Steps to Get an Electrician License in New Mexico
Gain the necessary work experience requirements to become a journeyman electrician
Take the journeyman electrical licensing exam
Become a journeyman electrician
Obtain an electrical contractor's license
GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: You must earn field experience under the supervision of a journeyman electrician or electrical contractor. There are three paths to gaining the necessary experience: on-the-job training, trade school, or apprenticeship.
New Mexico offers several choices for earning a journeyman electrician license, each with varying requirements.
The following journeyman electrician license classifications require two years (4,000 hours) experience or equivalent:
ES-1J Electrical Signs and Outline Lighting
ES-2J Cathodic Protection and Lightning Protection
ES-3J Sound and Intercommunication and Electrical Alarm Systems
ES-7J Telephone Communication Lines
The following journeyman electrician license classifications require four years (8,000 hours) experience or equivalent:
EE-98J Electrical (includes all ESJ Specialties)
EL-1J Electrical Distribution Systems, including transmission lines
TAKE THE JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN EXAM: After gaining the necessary work experience, you become eligible to register for the journeyman exam, administered by PSI. The test consists of two parts: Code Examination and Theory Examination. You must score at least 70% to pass. Journeyman licenses remain valid for three years and require renewal through PSI. In addition to renewal, you must complete at least 16 hours of continuing education. Here’s a list of approved courses.
OBTAIN AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS LICENSE: Electrical contractors in New Mexico need two to four years (4,000-8,000 hours) of practical experience related to the specific license classification.
The following electrical contractor license classifications require two years (4,000 hours) experience or equivalent:
ES-1 Electrical Signs/Outline Lighting
ES-2 Cathodic Protection and Lightning Protection
ES-3 Sound and Intercommunication and Electrical Alarm Systems
ES-7 Telephone Communications Systems
The following electrical contractor license classifications require four years (8,000 hours) experience or equivalent:
EE-98 Electrical (includes ER-1 and ES classifications)
EL-1 Electrical Distribution Systems, including transmission lines
After meeting the required training, you'll need proof of financial responsibility and a current New Mexico tax ID number to apply for an electrical contractor's license. You must take two exams: The Business and Law Exam and The Electrical Inspector Exam. PSI administers both of the open-book exams. You may use the most current edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and the New Mexico Electrical Code (NMAC).
You must score at least 75% on both tests in order to pass.
Refer to the Contractor Examinations Candidate Information Bulletin for more testing details.
Your electrical contractor license remains valid for one year and requires annual renewal at a cost of $50.
Types of Electrical Licensure in New Mexico
What are the different types of electrician licensing in New Mexico?
New Mexico offers two different types of electrician licenses: an electrical journeyman license and an electrical contractor license.
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed New Mexico Journeyman or New Mexico Contractor
The New Mexico Department of Workforce predicts an 11.9% increase in the number of electrician jobs available in the state of New Mexico through 2024. The annual median wage of electricians in Albuquerque is $44,240, with experienced electricians earning closer to $70,000.
There are many benefits you’ll see from pursuing a New Mexico electrician license:
Most importantly, New Mexico law requires a license to legally perform electrical work.
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.
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 New Mexico?
You can expect to pay up to $10,000 to attend a New Mexico trade school or community college. Costs may vary depending on the license type. All licenses include additional costs for testing, application fees, and bond procurement.
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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in New Mexico?
It takes two to four years to become a licensed journeyman electrician, depending on your chosen certification. An electrical contractor license requires two to four years of experience. Both licenses require continuing education and training to remain valid.
New Mexico Electrician Training Programs and Schools
New Mexico is home to several community colleges and trade schools offering the required training to become a licensed electrician.
Training at most technical schools covers the following topics:
Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC)
CPR and First Aid Training
Grounding and Resistance: Theory and Testing
Some New Mexico community colleges and trade schools include:
Central New Mexico Community College (Albuquerque)
Luan Community College (Las Vegas)
Navajo Technical University (Crownpoint)
New Mexico State University (Carlsbad)
New Mexico State University (Grants)
Northern New Mexico College (Espanola)
University of New Mexico (Gallup)
Apprenticeship programs include:
New Mexico chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (Non-union)
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary by license type. Most programs, however, require you to be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, and pass an aptitude test.
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.
New Mexico Electrician Licensing Exam Details
PSI Exams administers both the New Mexico journeyman license and electrical contractor license. You can contact PSI by calling 800-733-9267.
New Mexico electrician exam topics include:
General Knowledge and Electrical Installation Requirements
Services, Feeders and Branch Circuits
Grounding and Bonding
Conductors and Cables
Raceways and Boxes
Hazardous Locations, Special Occupancies, and special equipment
Lighting, Signs, and General-Use Equipment
Motors, Transformers, and Generators
New Mexico State Code
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in New Mexico?
The New Mexico Electrical Bureau manages and regulates electrician licensing across the state. Additionally, the Bureau oversees permitting, inspections, and amendments to the existing electrical codes for approval by the licensing department of the Construction Industries Division (CID).
Does My New Mexico Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes! New Mexico maintains reciprocity agreements for a journeyman license only with Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Electricians must have a valid journeyman electrician license or higher in a participating state. Applicants seeking reciprocity must submit an application, pay a non-refundable application fee, and provide a copy of their qualifying license.
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: