North Dakota Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in North Dakota
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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 North Dakota
Is a state license required to be an electrician in North Dakota? Yes.
All electrical work performed in the state of North Dakota requires a license. The North Dakota State Electrical Board (NDSEB) is responsible for issuing electrician licenses.
Steps to Get Electrician License in North Dakota
Complete the required work experience and classroom training.
Take the journeyman electrician exam and become a licensed journeyman.
Become a master electrician.
Consider becoming an electrical contractor.
GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: Becoming a licensed journeyman electrician requires 8,000 hours (about four years of experience), or 6,000 hours of job-related experience plus the completion of a two-year electrical school program. In some cases, the NDSEB also counts other work experience, like construction work, toward your overall requirements. Apprenticeship programs, both union and non-union, are available to help individuals meet these experience requirements. One union-based apprenticeship program is the Dakotas Area Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Fund, which offers placements in several cities, including Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, and Williston. Non-union apprenticeship programs are available through the Independent Electrical Contractors of the Dakotas.
Apprentice electricians need to register with the NDSEB within six weeks of finding an apprenticeship program under the supervision of a licensed electrician.
BECOME A LICENSED JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN: After meeting the required hours of experience, you can apply to take the journeyman exam and obtain your electrician license. You must pay separate fees to take the exam and obtain your license. Journeyman electrician licenses require annual renewal, including eight hours of continuing education classes, four of which must focus on the National Electrical Code (NEC). The renewal fee for a journeyman electrician license is $40.
EARN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: After working as a licensed journeyman electrician for one year (2,000 hours) under the supervision of a contracting master electrician or master of record, you become eligible to earn a master electrician license.
Once you pass the master electrician exam and pay $50 to receive your license, you must renew your license each year. Renewal requires eight hours of continuing education classes, four hours of which must cover the National Electrical Code (NEC).
BECOME AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: In order to be an electrical contractor in the state of North Dakota, you must hold a valid master electrician license or power-limited electrician license. Electrical contractors must also comply with the North Dakota Secretary of State business requirements, which include registering your business, paying a $50 licensing fee, and submitting appropriate paperwork. You also need to file an electrical contracting application with the NDSEB. Electrical contracting licenses require annual renewal. Renewal requires eight hours of continuing education classes, four hours of which must cover the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Types of Electrical Licensure in North Dakota
There are several different types of electrical licenses in North Dakota. According to the NDSEB, they include:
Class B Electrician: Requires 3,000 hours of experience in farmstead or residential wiring in one-family or two-family dwellings, and under the supervision of a master or class B electrician. Commercial wiring experience will not apply toward a class B license. However, completing an approved, two-year electrical school program will count for 1,000 hours of training.
Journeyman Electrician: A journeyman electrician shall have eight thousand hours of experience. A journeyman electrician must register as an apprentice electrician and complete 8,000 hours of experience in no less than three years. Training must be under the supervision of a licensed contracting master or master of record electrician.
Master Electrician: A master electrician needs at least 2,000 hours of experience working as a licensed journeyman electrician and under the supervision of a contracting master electrician or master of record electrician.
There are three classifications of master electricians:
Contracting Master Electrician: A contracting master electrician must adhere to all laws and rules of the North Dakota wiring standards and demonstrate proof of liability insurance.
Master of Record Electrician: A master of record electrician must adhere to all laws and rules of the North Dakota wiring standards for the partnership, company, corporation, limited liability company, or association and demonstrate proof of liability insurance. The master of record electrician can only work on property owned or leased by the organization.
Non-Contracting Master Electrician: A non-contracting master electrician must adhere to all laws and rules of the North Dakota wiring standards. Electrical work needs to be under the supervision of a contracting master or master of record electrician.
Independent Electrical Contractor: Independent electrical contractors must meet the same criteria as those who hold a contracting master electrician license. They must maintain the required insurance, fill out the appropriate application, and submit the required documentation.
Power-Limited Electrician: A power-limited electrician must register as a power-limited apprentice electrician and complete 6,000 hours of experience under the supervision of a contracting master, master of record, contracting power-limited, or a power-limited electrician of record. The apprentice must gain the necessary experience in no less than 2.5 years.
There are three classifications of power-limited electricians:
Contracting Power-Limited Electrician: A contracting power-limited electrician must adhere to all laws and rules of the North Dakota wiring standards and demonstrate proof of liability insurance.
Power-Limited Electrician of Record: A power-limited electrician of record must adhere to all laws and rules of the North Dakota wiring standards for the partnership, company, corporation, limited liability company, or association and demonstrate proof of liability insurance showing the power-limited electrician of record holds coverage by the organization. The power-limited electrician of record can only work on property owned or leased by the organization.
Non-Contracting Power-Limited Electrician: A non-contracting power-limited electrician must adhere to all laws and rules of the North Dakota wiring standards. Power-limited electrical work requires the supervision of a contracting master, master of record, contracting power-limited electrician or a power-limited electrician of record.
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in North Dakota
The average North Dakota electrician earns $32.18 per hour, or $66,934.40 per year. There are many benefits you’ll see from becoming a licensed electrician in North Dakota:
Most importantly, North Dakota requires a 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 licensed electrical contractors can: operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance, pull building permits, and pass inspections, 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 North Dakota?
Annual tuition at North Dakota colleges can range from $3,910 at Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates to $8,483 at North Dakota State College of Science. Tuition costs largely depend on the desired school and program. Potential electricians must pay licensing fees, as well as any required exam application fees.
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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in North Dakota?
You can earn a journeyman electrician license after obtaining 8,000 hours of electrical trade work experience, or 6,000 hours plus the completion of a two-year program at an electrical school. Either way, the process takes about four years. Earning a master electrician license or an electrical contractor license requires more time, usually around 10,000 hours of experience, or five years.
North Dakota Electrician Training Programs and Schools
North Dakota is home to several community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools offering the required training to become an electrical professional. You can find training opportunities across the state, including bigger cities and smaller communities.
Some North Dakota colleges offering electrical-related programs include:
Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates offers an electrical certificate program.
North Dakota State College of Science in Fargo offers three different two-year associate degree programs including electrical construction, electrical master technician, and industrial electrical.
Bismarck State College offers a two-year associate degree program in electric power technology.
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary by license type or classification. 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 will 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, 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.
North Dakota Electrician Certification Exam Details
You must apply to take the journeyman electrician exam and submit an employment verification form, along with a certificate of completion from your apprenticeship. You must also pay the $25 exam fee and score at least 70% on the exam.
Exam topics include fundamental electricity, laws, rules, wiring standards of North Dakota and the current National Electrical Code (NEC). The journeyman exam includes two portions: an open-book and a closed-book portion. You have 1 hour to complete the closed-book portion and 3.5 hours to complete the open-book portion. The testing center will provide code books, calculators, and pencils.
You must also apply to take the master electrician exam and pay a $50 exam fee. Master electrician exam topics are similar to the journeyman exam. The master electrician exam also contains two portions (open-book and closed-book) and includes the same time limits as the journeyman exam. You need to score at least 70% to earn your master electrician license.
Applying to take the Class B electrician exam costs $40 and follows the same process as the journeyman exam. You must score at least 70% to pass.
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in North Dakota?
The North Dakota State Electrical Board (NDSEB).
Does My North Dakota Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes! North Dakota has master electrician reciprocity with Minnesota and South Dakota, and journeyman electrician reciprocity with Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Utah, and Wyoming.
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: