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Licensing Guides

Rhode Island Electrical License: How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Rhode Island

category-iconElectrical, RI

Table of Contents
  1. Licensing Requirements for Electricians in Rhode Island

  2. Steps to Get an Electrician License in Rhode Island

  3. Types of Electrical Licensure in Rhode Island

  4. Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Contractor in Rhode Island

  5. How Much Does It Cost to Get an Electrician License in Rhode Island?

  6. How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Rhode Island?

  7. Rhode Island Electrician Training Programs and Schools

  8. Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Rhode Island?

  9. Does My Rhode Island Electrical License Work in Any Other State?

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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Licensing Requirements for Electricians in Rhode Island

Is a license required for electricians in Rhode Island? Yes. 

The state of Rhode Island requires a license to perform electrical work. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Division of Professional Regulations Unit is responsible for issuing electrician licenses. Electricians must comply with local building codes and follow the National Electric Code (NEC).

Steps to Get an Electrician License in Rhode Island

  1. Gain the necessary work experience and classroom training to earn your journeyman electrician license

  2. Become a journeyman electrician

  3. Obtain an independent electrical contractor's license

GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: To be eligible for the Rhode Island journeyman electrician exam, you need to complete 8,000 hours (four years) of on-the-job experience as well as 576 hours of classroom training. You can obtain the required experience and training at a technical school or through an apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed electrician.

The state of Rhode Island offers both union and non-union apprenticeship programs. The Department of Labor and Training Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety’s Rhode Island Apprenticeship Program provides resources for electrical apprentices.

In Rhode Island, local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union chapters partner with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to offer apprenticeships jointly through local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) offices.

Trade associations like the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc (ABC) and Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) provide non-union apprenticeships, including the ABC affiliate program available in Pawtucket.

Most technical schools and apprenticeship programs require you to be 18 years old, possess a high school diploma or GED, hold a valid driver’s license, and pass an aptitude test. 

BECOME JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN: After gaining the 8,000 hours (four years) of on-the-job experience as well as 576 hours of classroom training, you become eligible for the journeyman electrician exam, administered by the State of Rhode Island. The exam covers general trade knowledge, electrical systems, and the National Electrical Code book.

After passing the exam and paying a $78 license fee, you can obtain your journeyman electrician's license by submitting a licensing application.

Send the completed application form to:

  • Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Professional Regulation Unit 1511 Pontiac Avenue PO Box 20247 Cranston, RI 02920-0943

Rhode Island journeyman electrician licensees must pay $78 to renew their licenses and complete 15 hours of continuing education every two years.

OBTAIN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR'S LICENSE: Being an independent electrical contractor in Rhode Island means you can offer your services to the public, hire electricians, and run your own business. After completing the required six years of work experience, with at least two years serving as a licensed journeyman electrician, you become eligible for the electrical contractor exam, administered by The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Division of Professional Regulations Unit. After passing the test, there is a $240 fee to receive your electrician's license. 

Rhode Island electrical contractor licensees must pay $240 to renew their licenses and complete 15 hours of continuing education every two years.

Types of Electrical Licensure in Rhode Island

Rhode Island offers two classifications of electrician licenses: journeyperson electrician and electrical contractor. The state does not provide a master electrician license. Rhode Island also offers specialty electrical licenses based on training and experience. 

Rhode Island electrician licensing types include:

  • Electrical Contractor

  • Corporation Electrical Contractor

  • Journeyperson Electrician 

  • Limited Electrician/Manufacturers 

  • Limited Electrician/Non-Manufacturers 

  • Limited Maintenance Journeyperson 

  • Burner Contractor 

  • Corporation Oil Burner Contractor 

  • Burner Person License 

  • Fire Alarm Contractor 

  • Corporation Fire Alarm Contractor

  • Fire Alarm Installer

  • Electrical Sign Contractor

  • Sign Installer CF Corporation 

  • Sign Contractor Lightning Protection

  • Contractor LPC Lightning Protection

  • Installer LPI

Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Contractor in Rhode Island

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Rhode Island electricians made an average of $57,740 in 2019, with experienced electricians earning up to $82,640 annually.

There are many benefits you’ll see from pursuing a Rhode Island electrician license:

  • Most importantly, Rhode Island requires a state license to legally perform electrical work.

  • 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.

  • A license protects your company and customers.

  • Licensure 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 Electrician License in Rhode Island?

Overall cost may vary depending on your choice of preliminary electrical education. Journeyman licenses cost $78 and require a renewal fee of $78 every two years. Electrical contractor licenses cost $240 and corporate contractor licenses cost $200. Both require renewal every two years at the same rate. 

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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Rhode Island? 

Obtaining an electrician license in Rhode Island takes a minimum of four years of hands-on experience combined with at least 576 hours of classroom instruction. Electrical contractors in Rhode Island need six years of experience, with at least two years serving as a licensed journeyman electrician.

Rhode Island Electrician Training Programs and Schools 

Many community colleges, trade schools, and technical and vocational schools offer the necessary training to become an electrical professional in Rhode Island. You can find training opportunities all over the state, including in bigger cities and smaller communities.

Rhode Island trade schools

Electrician Apprenticeship Programs

Aspiring electrical apprentices are responsible for securing employment as an apprentice on their own, but may find resources through the Rhode Island Apprenticeship Program and their partnership with Apprenticeship Rhode Island. Becoming a registered apprentice is a proven path to gaining the paid training you need to increase your skill levels and wages.

In Rhode Island, local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union chapters partner with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to offer apprenticeships jointly through local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) offices.

Trade associations like the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc (ABC) and Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) provide non-union apprenticeships. The Rhode Island Construction Training Academy also places apprentices with local non-unionized employers. 

Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Division of Professional Regulations Unit (DLT) is responsible for issuing electrician licenses.

Does My Rhode Island Electrical License Work in Any Other State?

Rhode Island does not offer reciprocity with any other states. However, you may submit an active out-of-state license with a notarized letter from your previous employer to take the place of Rhode Island's educational requirements. 

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.

Resources

You can stay up to date on all electrician industry news in several ways: