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South Dakota Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in South Dakota

category-iconElectrical, SD

Table of Contents
  1. License Requirements for Electricians in South Dakota

  2. Steps to Get an Electrician License in South Dakota

  3. Types of Electrical Licensure in South Dakota

  4. Benefits of Becoming a Certified Electrician in South Dakota

  5. How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in South Dakota?

  6. How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in South Dakota?

  7. South Dakota Electrician Training Programs and Schools

  8. South Dakota Electrician Certification Exam Details

  9. Who Issues Electrician Licenses in South Dakota?

  10. Does My South Dakota 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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License Requirements for Electricians in South Dakota

Is a state license required to be an electrician in South Dakota? Yes.

The state of South Dakota requires a license to perform electrical work. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation through the South Dakota Electrical Commission issues electrician licenses. Even apprentice electricians must first register with the commission and pay a $20 processing fee.

Steps to Get an Electrician License in South Dakota

  1. Gain necessary work experience

  2. Become a licensed journeyman electrician

  3. Consider earning an electrical contractor license

GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: Becoming a licensed journeyman electrician in the state of South Dakota requires 8,000 hours (four years) of electrical trade work experience, or a two-year associate of applied science degree in electrical trades plus 6,000 hours (three years) of electrical trade work experience.

A common way to gain work experience is through a union or non-union apprenticeship program. Most apprenticeships require you to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, possess a valid driver’s license, and pass an aptitude test.

Union apprenticeship programs are available through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and the Electrical Training Alliance. The Dakotas Area Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Fund offers apprenticeships in Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

Non-union apprenticeship programs are available through Independent Electrical Contractors Dakotas, which has an office in Pierre. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation also offers apprenticeships through Muth Electric, Inc. in Mitchell.

Journeyman electricians often gain experience in residential or farmstead wiring, especially if they are seeking a Class B Electrician status. They might also gain commercial or industrial wiring experience, especially if they plan to pursue an electrical contractor or electrical inspector license.  

Apprentice electricians must renew their licenses every two years until they complete an apprenticeship program.

BECOME A LICENSED JOURNEYMAN: Once you meet the necessary work experience requirements and pass the journeyman licensing exam, you can apply to obtain your journeyman electrician license. You must pay a $40 application fee, plus a $40 licensing fee. Journeyman licenses mandate renewal every two years. Renewal requires 16 hours of continuing education, eight of which must focus on the National Electrical Code (NEC).

CONSIDER EARNING AN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR LICENSE: In South Dakota, you become eligible to earn an electrical contractor license after holding a journeyman electrician license for two years. In addition to submitting an application, you must pay a $40 application fee, plus a $100 licensing fee. Electrical contractors also must submit a $10,000 bond to the electrical commission, provide proof of $100,000 public liability insurance, and proof of $300,000 bodily injury and property damage insurance. Electrical contractor licenses mandate renewal every two years. Renewal requires 16 hours of continuing education, eight of which must focus on the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Types of Electrical Licensure in South Dakota

South Dakota offers several different types of electrician licenses, including:

  • Electrical Inspector

  • Electrical Contractor

  • Inactive Electrical Contractor

  • Reciprocal Electrical Contractor

  • Class B Electrician

  • Maintenance Electrician

  • Inactive CBE

  • Journeyman

  • Inactive Journeyman

  • Reciprocal Journeyman

Benefits of Becoming a Certified Electrician in South Dakota

The South Dakota State Department of Labor and Regulation expects the number of available electrician jobs to increase 12.5% through 2024. The average electrician in South Dakota earns $27.48 per hour, or $57,158.40 per year.

There are many benefits you’ll see from pursuing South Dakota electrician certification:

  • Most importantly, South Dakota requires licensure 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 certified 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 South Dakota?

Tuition at most technical schools in South Dakota costs between $6,000 and $6,500 per year. Licensees must also pay application fees and licensing fees, which vary depending on the license type. The South Dakota Electrical Commission electrician license application lists all applicable fees.

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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in South Dakota?

Earning a journeyman electrician license requires 8,000 hours, or four years of full-time electrical trade experience. You must maintain a journeyman electrician license for two years before becoming eligible to earn an electrical contractor license.

South Dakota Electrician Training Programs and Schools

There are many community colleges, trade schools, and technical and vocational schools that offer the training you need to become a licensed electrician in South Dakota. You can find training locations across the state, including big cities and smaller communities.  

Technical schools often teach the following subjects:

  • The National Electrical Code (NEC)

  • Basic Math Computations

  • Blueprint Reading

  • Algebra with Trigonometry

  • Electrical Theory

  • OSHA Regulations and First Aid

  • Electrical Code

  • Telecom Cabling

  • Basic Telecommunications

  • Motor Controls

  • Basic Alarm Technology

  • Semiconductors

  • Logic Circuits and Programmable Controllers

  • Motor and Generator Theory

  • Fire Access & CCTV Systems

  • Power Distribution and Load Calculations

Some South Dakota electrical schools include:

Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary. 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.

South Dakota Electrician Certification Exam Details

The South Dakota Electrical Commission administers electrical exams. You must receive prior written approval before taking the journeyman licensing exam or the electrical contractor licensing exam. To obtain written approval, submit your application, along with supporting documentation, such as experience verification forms, to:

  • South Dakota Electrical Commission: 308 S. Pierre St., Pierre, SD, 57501

Both the journeyman and the electrical contractor exams require a passing score of at least 70%. The exams cover the following topics:

  • General Knowledge

  • The National Electrical Code (NEC)

  • Services and Service

  • Feeders

  • Branch Circuits

  • Wiring Methods and Materials

  • Equipment and Devices

  • Control Devices

  • Motors and Generators and Special Occupancies

  • Equipment and Conditions

Who Issues Electrician Licenses in South Dakota?

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation issues licenses through the South Dakota Electrical Commission.

Does My South Dakota Electrical License Work in Any Other State?

Yes! South Dakota has electrician licensing reciprocity with many states including Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, 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.

Electrician Resources

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

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