Oregon Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Oregon
Table of Contents
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!
» Want to grow your electrical business? Click here to get a demo.
Electrical License Requirements for Oregon
Is a state license required to be an electrician in Oregon? Yes.
The Oregon Building Codes Division Office (BCD) issues non-contracting electrical licenses, while the Oregon Construction Contractors Board issues contracting electrical licenses. The state of Oregon is unique in that it issues several types of specialty and limited electrical licenses, each of which require their own levels of experience and classroom training.
Steps to Get Electrician Certification in Oregon
Gain the necessary experience to become a journeyman electrician or limited electrician.
Become a general journeyman electrician or limited electrician.
Obtain a supervising electrician license.
Consider becoming an independent electrical contractor.
GAIN THE NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: You can become a licensed journeyman electrician in the state of Oregon by completing one of the following options:
Complete an approved internship program. The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries maintains a list of apprenticeship programs.
Complete 8,000 hours of work experience, along with 576 hours of classroom training or technical training. Experience hours must include:
1,000 to 3,000 hours in residential settings
1,000 to 3,000 hours in commercial settings
1,000 to 3,000 hours in industrial settings
Accumulate 16,000 hours of electrical installation experience outside the state of Oregon. Experience hours must include:
2,000 to 6,000 hours in residential settings
2,000 to 6,000 hours in commercial settings
2,000 to 6,000 hours in industrial settings
BECOME A GENERAL JOURNEYMAN OR LIMITED ELECTRICIAN: Once you meet the necessary experience requirements and pass the necessary exam, you are eligible to apply for your general journeyman electrician license or limited electrician license. You must include an electrical experience verification form with the application. A checklist is available to assist with the application process.
Limited electricians can only work within the scope of their specialty areas, while general journeyman electricians can work in all areas under the supervision of a licensed electrical contractor or supervising electrician.
Limited and general journeyman electrician licenses must be renewed every three years and require continuing education credits.
OBTAIN A SUPERVISING ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: After working as a general journeyman electrician for four years, you are eligible to become a supervising electrician. Supervising electricians oversee the work of general journeyman electricians. Supervising electricians also pull city permits for electrical projects.
After submitting the necessary application and supporting documents, you can take the supervising electrician exam. Once you pass the exam and obtain your license, it must be renewed every three years. Continuing education credits are required for license renewal.
CONSIDER BECOMING AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: Electrical contractors own and operate their own businesses and can hire other licensed employees to work for them.
Electrical contractor licenses are issued by the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB). The CCB publishes a guide that outlines the necessary requirements and forms required to obtain an electrical contractor license. A chart of license endorsements is also available.
To obtain a CCB license, you must be at least 18 years old, complete no fewer than 16 hours of training on law and business practices, and pass the necessary exam. Potential electrical contractors must also provide the CCB with surety bonds and proof of general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Business names must be registered with the Oregon Secretary of State.
Oregon offers several electrical contractor licenses, including those for residential contractors, commercial contractors, and dual contractors. Electrical contractor licenses must be renewed every two years.
Types of Electrical Licensure in Oregon
Oregon offers many different types of electrical licenses, including specialty and limited options. The different types of licensure, and the required fees to obtain those licenses, include:
General Supervising Electrician (S): $100
Limited Maintenance Electrician (LME): $100
General Journeyman (J): $100
Limited Residential Electrician (LR): $100
Limited Supervising Electrician (PS): $100
Limited Journeyman Sign Electrician (SIG): $50
Limited Journeyman Manufacturing Plant (PJ): $100
Limited Journeyman Stage Electrician (ST): $50
Limited Energy Technician Class A (LEA): $50
Limited Building Maintenance Electrician (BME): $50
Limited Energy Technician Class B (LEB): $50
Limited Renewable Energy Technician (LRT): $50
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Oregon
The State of Oregon Employment Department expects the number of available electrician jobs to increase 16% through 2024. The average electrician in Oregon earns $37.86 per hour, or $78,748.80 per year.
There are many benefits you’ll see from pursuing an Oregon electrician license:
Most importantly, it is required by law in Oregon to be licensed through the state 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 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.
Securing a license protects your company and customers.
An electrician license gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.
It also increases your earning potential.
How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in Oregon?
Tuition at many Oregon community colleges costs $4,000 to $5,000 per year. Licensees must also pay fees to obtain their license after passing the necessary exam. Licensure fees vary by license type, but usually cost between $50 and $100.
The #1 newsletter for the trades.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Oregon?
Earning a general journeyman electrician license requires 8,000 hours (four years) of full-time work experience, in addition to 576 hours of classroom instruction.
However, the State of Oregon also offers many types of specialty and limited electrician licenses. The time needed to obtain those varies.
You must maintain a general journeyman electrician license for at least four years before you are eligible to obtain a higher-level electrician license, like that of a supervising electrician.
Oregon Electrician Training Programs and Schools
There are many community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools to get the training you need to become an electrical professional in Oregon. They are located all over the state, including in bigger cities and smaller communities.
Some Oregon electrical schools include:
Portland Community College in Portland offers both a certificate program and an associate degree program in electrical and computer engineering.
Lane Community College in Eugene offers both electrician certificate and associate degree programs.
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary. Most programs, however, require you to be 18 years old, possess 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 to have 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.
Oregon Electrician Certification Exam Details
Once your application is approved, the Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) will mail a letter of authorization with exam instructions. Oregon offers testing locations throughout the state, and you'll receive your exam results in the mail within two weeks of taking the exam. You must score at least 75% to pass.
Licensing exams are open book and applicants can use a variety of resource materials, including the National Electrical Code (NEC). Exam prep materials, study guides, and practice tests are available.
The journeyman electrician exam contains 52 questions you must answer within three hours. Test topics include:
Administrative Rules and Laws
National Electrical Code (NEC)
The master electrician exam, also known as the supervising electrician exam, contains 64 questions you must answer within four hours. Test topics are the same as the journeyman exam.
The CCB electrical contractor exam contains 80 multiple-choice questions on business practices and law. The test is administered by PSI Services. Study guides are available, although the exam is open book. A passing score is at least 70%.
According to the CCB, the test is based on the Oregon version of the NASCLA Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management.
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Oregon?
The Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) issues non-contracting licenses, while the Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) issues contracting licenses.
Does My Oregon Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes! Oregon offers general journeyman electrician reciprocity agreements with the states of Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Oregon maintains general supervising electrician reciprocity agreements with Arkansas and Utah.
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: