Texas Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in Texas
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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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 711,200 electricians nationwide and 52,580 work in Texas. The national number is predicted to grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, adding more than 50,000 to the ranks of this skilled workforce.
Many contractors nationwide are trying to find skilled tradesmen. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 2022 AGC-Autodesk Workforce Survey, 93% of firms in the U.S. and 93% of firms in Texas had unfilled hourly craft positions like plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians. So, if you get the training you need you will have a lot of jobs to choose from when you’re ready.
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 Texas
Is a state license required to be an electrician in Texas? Yes. With the exception of certain allowed exemptions, Texas requires a license for anyone who performs electrical work. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) is responsible for issuing electrician licenses.
The state of Texas defines electrical work as:
Any labor or material used in installing, maintaining or extending an electrical wiring system and the appurtenances, apparatus or equipment used in connection with the use of electrical energy in, on, outside, or attached to a building, residence, structure, property, or premises.
Service entrance conductors, as defined by the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Steps to Get an Electrician License in Texas
Apply for an electrical apprentice license
Gain necessary hands-on work experience to become a journeyman electrician
Take the journeyman electrical licensing exam
Earn a master electrician license
Become a licensed independent electrical contractor
How to Become an Electrician in Texas
APPLY FOR ELECTRICAL APPRENTICE LICENSE: Before working as an apprentice electrician, you need to apply for your electrical apprentice license through the TDLR. The licensure requires no experience or exam requirements, but applicants will need to pay a $20 application fee. Applicants who register online and have no criminal convictions will automatically receive their electrical apprentice license.
GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: To be eligible for the Texas journeyman electrician exam, you need a minimum of 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a master electrician licensed in Texas. You must submit the Experience Verification Form including signed documentation from each supervising electrician. The TDLR may contact supervisors to verify experience.
TAKE JOURNEYMAN ELECTRICIAN EXAM: After meeting the licensing requirements, you may apply to take the journeyman electrician license exam. You will need to submit the Journeyman Electrician License Application Form along with a $30 application fee to:
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation PO Box 12157 Austin, TX, 78711-2157
After approving your application, you will receive a notification that you can register for the journeyman licensing exam with PSI exams. You can find exam locations across the state of Texas, including in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and several other cities.
Applicants must pay a $78 exam fee and have one year to pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. After passing the exam, you will receive your journeyman electrician license.
To renew licensure, journeyman electricians in Texas must pay $30 annually and complete four hours of continuing education on topics including: the National Electrical Code (NEC), Texas Electrician Law, Texas Electrician Administrative Rules, and Electrical Safety as defined by the National Protection Association (NFPA).
EARN A MASTER ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: To be eligible for the Texas master electrician exam, you need to hold a journeyman electrician license for a minimum of two years and demonstrate 12,000 hours of on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a master electrician licensed in Texas.
You must submit the Experience Verification Form including signed documentation from each supervising electrician. The TDLR may contact supervisors to verify experience.
After meeting the licensing requirements, you may apply to take the master electrician license exam. You will need to submit the Master Electrician License Application Form along with a $45 application fee to:
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation P.O. Box 12157 Austin, TX 78711-2157
After approving your application, you will receive a notification that you can register for the master electrician licensing exam with PSI.
Applicants must pay a $78 exam fee and have one year to pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. After passing the exam, you will receive your master electrician license.
To renew licensure, master electricians in Texas must pay $67.50 annually and complete four hours of continuing education on topics including: the National Electrical Code (NEC), Texas Electrician Law, Texas Electrician Administrative Rules, and Electrical Safety as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
BECOME A LICENSED INDEPENDENT ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: To obtain your electrical contractor license, you must employ a licensed master electrician.
Additionally, electrical contractors must maintain the required limits of business liability insurance, including:
Minimum $300,000 per occurrence (combined for property damage and bodily injury)
Minimum $600,000 aggregate (total amount the policy will pay for property damage and bodily injury coverage)
Minimum $300,000 aggregate for products and completed operation
You also need to offer an approved form of workers' compensation.
After meeting all licensing requirements, submit your electrical contractor application to TDLR along with a $110 application fee.
To renew licensure, Texas electrical contractors must pay $165 annually.
Types of Electrical Licensure in Texas
Apprentice, Electrical Sign
Journeyman Industrial Electrician
Journeyman Sign Electrician
Master Sign Electrician
Residential Appliance Installer
Electrical Sign Contractor
Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in Texas
There are many benefits to pursuing a Texas electrical license:
Most important, Texas law requires a state 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, 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.
What Is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in Texas?
The annual mean pay for electricians in Texas is $53,080 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. That salary, as you might expect, increases as you acquire more experience, according to Indeed.com.
Electrician Apprentice: The average pay for an electrician apprentice is $19.73 per hour in Texas and $6,000 overtime per year.
Electrician: The average pay for an electrician apprentice is $24.50 per hour in Texas and $11,250 overtime per year.
Master Electrician: The average pay for an electrician apprentice is $31.51 per hour in Texas.
Salaries can vary widely, depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.
What business owners need to know
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How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in Texas?
Many Texas electrical schools offer two-year programs. Tuition for in-state students averages $5,300 per year, plus books and related study materials. You also should expect to pay exam and licensure fees to obtain a journeyman, master electrician, or electrical contractor license.
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How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in Texas?
Training varies by license type, including:
Journeyman Electrician: Requires 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a master electrician licensed in Texas.
Master Electrician: Requires a journeyman electrician license for a minimum of two years and 12,000 hours of on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a master electrician licensed in Texas.
Texas Electrician Training Programs and Schools
Texas is home to several community colleges, trade schools, and technical and vocational schools that provide the training you need to become an electrical professional. You can find training opportunities all over the state, including in the cities of Dallas, Austin, and Tyler.
Training at most technical schools covers the following topics:
Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC)
CPR and First Aid Training
Grounding and Resistance: Theory and Testing
Some Texas electrical schools include:
Lone Star College, The Woodlands, Texas
Houston Community College, Houston, Texas
San Jacinto Community College, Houston, Texas
Altierus Career College, Houston, Texas
Program Prerequisites: Program prerequisites vary by license type. Most programs, however, require you to be at least 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'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.
Texas Electrician Licensing Exam Details
The Texas electrical journeyman exam costs $78 plus a $30 application fee. The exam is open-book, and you may reference the 2020 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC). You have 260 minutes to complete the exam and must score at least 70% to pass. Additional reference materials are available from PSI Exams, including the Candidate Information Bulletin that details how to schedule an exam, where testing sites are located and what to expect on the exam itself.
The Texas journeyman and master electrician exams costs $78 plus a $45 application fee. The exams are open-book, and you may reference the 2020 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
The journeyman exam is made up of 80 questions with a time limit of 240 minutes (4 hours).
The master exam features two sections:
Calculations—must complete in 170 minutes
Knowledge of National Electrical Code (NEC)—must complete in 150 minutes
You must score at least 70% to pass any of the exams.
Who Issues Electrician Licenses in Texas?
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) issues electrician licenses.
Does My Texas Electrical License Work in Any Other State?
Yes. Texas allows the following reciprocity agreements:
Master Electrician: Louisiana (state contractor’s license) and North Carolina (master electrician or unlimited electrical contractor).
Journeyman Electrician: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, 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: