Discover your ROI with ServiceTitan: Calculate Here

Licensing Guides

Tennessee Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Tennessee

category-iconElectrical, TN

Table of Contents
  1. License Requirements for Electricians in Tennessee

  2. Steps to Get an Electrician License in Tennessee

  3. Types of Electrical Licensure in Tennessee

  4. Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Tennessee

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

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

  7. Tennessee Electrician Training Programs and Schools

  8. Tennessee Electrician Licensing Exam Details

  9. Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Tennessee?

  10. Does My Tennessee 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!

» Want to grow your electrical business? Click here to get a demo.

License Requirements for Electricians in Tennessee

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

In the state of Tennessee, electrical licenses are issued at both a local level and state level. 

Local licenses, like those of journeyman and master electricians, are issued by individual cities or counties.

Electrical contractor licenses are issued on a statewide level by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance through the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.

For cities and counties with no local license regulations, a state-issued Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) license is accepted by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. LLE licenses are issued based on the following factors:

In some municipalities, electrical codes adopted by the Division Of Fire Prevention cover electrical installations performed by an LLE.

Steps to Get an Electrician License in Tennessee

  1. Gain the necessary experience and classroom-based training.

  2. Obtain local-level licensure.

  3. Consider earning a statewide electrical contractor license.

GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: In the state of Tennessee, experience requirements vary by individual cities and counties. For specific details, contact your local licensing board. 

In many cases, you need a minimum of 8,000 hours (or four years) of work experience to be eligible to apply for your Tennessee journeyman electrician license. Most municipalities also require anywhere from 576 to 900 hours of classroom-based instruction. 

Aspiring electricians can gain hands-on work experience and classroom training through an approved apprenticeship program. Tennessee offers both union and non-union apprenticeship programs, including:

Most apprenticeship programs require you to be at least 18 years old, possess a high school diploma or GED, pass an algebra course and aptitude test, and have reliable transportation.

OBTAIN LOCAL ELECTRICIAN LICENSURE: The types of electrical licensures available in Tennessee vary by individual cities and counties. Check with your local codes office for specific licensing requirements. 

Shelby County, Tennessee, for instance, issues both journeyman and master electrician licenses through the Shelby County Electrical Code Board

Shelby County requires journeyman electricians to be at least 20 years old and have three years of experience. Master electricians must be at least 24 years old and have four years of prior experience as a journeyman electrician. Shelby County requires both journeyman and master electricians to renew their licenses each year.

BECOME A LICENSED INDEPENDENT ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: To obtain an electrical contractor license, you must pass a business and law exam and a trade exam, submit the appropriate application and supporting documentation, which includes financial statements, and proof of workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. 

The fee to obtain an electrical contractor license is $250, and licenses must be renewed every two years. Applicants who wish to establish a corporation must register with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office.

Types of Electrical Licensure in Tennessee

Tennessee offers several license classifications: 

  • Some counties issue traditional journeyman and/or master electrician licenses. 

  • The city of Knoxville issues four class-based licenses, depending on years of experience and the type of work to be performed. 

  • The Memphis/Shelby County area offers a supervising sign electrician license, in addition to journeyman and master electrician licenses.

  • A state-issued Limited Licensed Electrician license is accepted by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance for areas of the state with no licensing regulations.

  • Electrical contractor licenses are issued on a statewide level by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance through the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.

Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development predicts a 13% increase in the number of electrician jobs available in the state of Tennessee through 2024. The average electrician in Tennessee earns $21.12 per hour, or $43,929.60 per year.

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

  • Most importantly, Tennessee law requires a state or local 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 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.

  • 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 Tennessee?

Tuition at most Tennessee technical schools and community colleges costs between $4,000 and $5,000 per year for in-state students. The cost to obtain a local-level electrician license, and associated exam fees, varies by municipality. Applying for a statewide electrical contractor license costs $250.

The #1 newsletter for the trades.

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

The time it takes to obtain electrical licensure in the state of Tennessee varies, as licenses are issued at both a local and state level. The length of time involved depends upon the type of license you seek, and in what jurisdiction. 

Generally speaking, it takes about 8,000 hours, or four years, of full-time work experience to earn a journeyman electrician license or its equivalent. In some municipalities, journeyman electricians are eligible to receive their master electrician licenses after they work as a licensed journeyman for four years. 

After working as a licensed electrician for several years, you can begin the process of obtaining a statewide electrical contractor license.

Tennessee Electrician Training Programs and Schools

Tennessee offers many community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools to get the training you need to become an electrical professional. You can find training opportunities all over the state, including in the cities of Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Memphis.    

Courses taught at Tennessee technical schools cover the following topics:

  • OSHA Regulations

  • Hand Tools and Power Tools

  • Construction Drawings

  • Basic Rigging

  • Material Handling

  • Electrical Safety

  • Electrical Circuits

  • Electrical Theory

  • National Electrical Code (NEC)

  • Device Boxes

  • Raceways & Fittings

  • Conductors & Cables

  • Residential Electrical Services

  • Electrical Test Equipment

  • Alternating Current

  • Electric Lighting

  • Conduit Bending

  • Pull and Junction Boxes

  • Conduit Installations

  • Cable Tray

  • Conductor Terminations and Splices

  • Grounding and Bonding

  • Circuit Breakers and Fuses

  • Control Systems

  • Load Calculations-Branch and Feeder Circuits

  • Conductor Selection and Calculations

  • Hazardous Locations

  • Overcurrent Protection

  • Distribution Equipment

  • Transformers

  • Commercial Electrical Services

  • Motor Calculations and Motor Controls

Some Tennessee 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 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 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.

Tennessee Electrician Licensing Exam Details

Local-level licensing exams vary by city and county. In the Memphis/Shelby County area, for instance, check the candidate information bulletin to prepare for both the journeyman and master electrician exams, which are administered by Pearson VUE. The fee to take either exam is $80. 

The journeyman exam contains 80 multiple-choice questions you must answer within four hours. The master electrician exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions you must answer within five hours. Both exams are open book and cover the following topics:

  • General Knowledge

  • Services and Service Equipment

  • Feeders

  • Branch Circuits and Conductors

  • Wiring Methods and Materials

  • Equipment and Devices

  • Control Devices

  • Motors and Generators

  • Special Occupancies Equipment, and Conditions

  • Plan Reading and Analysis

The statewide electrical contractor exam is administered by PSI Exams. It contains two parts—the business and law exam and the trade exam. Check the candidate information bulletin to prepare for the tests.

The business and law exam, which is open-book, contains 50 questions you must answer within 140 minutes. A passing score is at least 73%. Exam topics include:

  • Licensing Requirements

  • Estimating and Bidding

  • Business Management 

  • Financial Management

  • Tax Laws

  • Labor Laws

  • Project Management and Lien Law

  • Contracts

  • Risk Management

  • Environmental and Safety

The electrical contractor trade exam contains 100 questions you must answer within 260 minutes. A passing score is at least 73%. Exam topics include:

  • General Knowledge and Electrical Installation Requirements

  • Building Code Requirements

  • Services, Feeders, and Branch Circuits

  • Overcurrent Protection

  • Grounding and Bonding

  • Conductors and Cables

  • Raceways and Boxes

  • Hazardous Locations, Special Occupancies, and Special Equipment

  • Low Voltage, Alarms, Signaling Systems, and Communications

  • Lighting, Signs and General Use Equipment

  • OSHA and NFPA 70E Safety 

  • Motors, Transformers, and Generators

Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, electrical licensing is issued at both a local and state level. Local government licenses, such as journeyman and master electricians, are issued by individual cities or counties. Electrical contractor licenses are issued on a statewide level by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance through the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.

Does My Tennessee Electrical License Work in Any Other State?

Yes! Tennessee maintains trade exam waiver reciprocity with the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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: