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West Virginia Electrical License: How to Become an Electrician in West Virginia

category-iconElectrical, WV

Table of Contents
  1. License Requirements for Electricians in West Virginia

  2. Electrician Licensing Process Steps in West Virginia 

  3. How to Become an Electrician in West Virginia

  4. Types of Electrician Licenses in West Virginia

  5. Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in West Virginia

  6. What is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in West Virginia?

  7. How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in West Virginia?

  8. How Long Does It Take to Get an Electrician License in West Virginia? 

  9. West Virginia Electrician Training Programs and Schools

  10. Does West Virginia Have Reciprocity Agreements with Other States?

Being an electrician isn’t just a job; it’s a solid career path within the construction industry. West Virginia 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. Electrician jobs often come with good benefits, including worker's compensation.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 729,600 electricians nationwide and 3,400 work in West Virginia. The national number is predicted to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030. Many contractors nationwide are trying to find skilledtradesmen. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 2020 AGC-Autodesk Workforce Survey, 60% of firms in the U.S. 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 can get paid while you learn and gain experience!

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License Requirements for Electricians in West Virginia

Is a license required for electricians in West Virginia? Yes.

There are specific licensure requirements to become a licensed electrical contractor in the state of West Virginia. The Electrical Contractor license is required for any electric work over $1,000.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal, located at 1207 Quarrier St. (2nd floor) in Charleston, issues licenses for: Apprentice Electrician, Journeyman Electrician, Master Electrician, and Specialty Electrician (HVAC, electric sign, single-family dwelling, elevator, and low voltage). For contractor licenses, you must schedule an exam with Prov and fill out a contractor license affidavit. 

Electrician Licensing Process Steps in West Virginia 

  1. Gain necessary work experience or classroom-based training. Note: All work experience must consist of above-ground structural wiring.

  2. Apply and pay for your chosen exam type: Apprentice Electrician, Journeyman Electrician, or Specialty Electrician. You must score 80% or higher to pass.

  3. After 10,000 hours or five years of hands-on electrical work, consider obtaining a Master Electrician license. 

How to Become an Electrician in West Virginia

GAIN NECESSARY EXPERIENCE: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for an apprenticeship exam.

To become a Journeyman Electrician, you must meet one of these requirements:

  • Show 8,000 hours or four years of above-ground electrical work experience

  • Complete an apprenticeship approved by the United States Department of Labor

  • Complete 1,080+ hours of a vocational course approved by the West Virginia Department of Education

You must provide a certificate of completion from your apprenticeship or vocational program.  

To become a Specialty Electrician, you need two years or 4,000 hours of work experience in the specialty area: HVAC, electric sign, single-family dwelling, elevator, or low voltage. 

To become a Master Electrician, you must have 10,000 hours or five years of above-ground electrical work in a combination of residential, commercial, and industrial work. Vocational training does not count toward the work experience requirement.

APPLY FOR ELECTRICIAN LICENSE: After fulfilling the work experience requirements, candidates may apply for a state electrical license through the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Applications must include a nonrefundable exam fee of $10 for an apprentice exam and $25 for all other exam types. Acceptable payment options include check or money order. You cannot pay by credit card or cash.

The open-book exam is based on the 2017 National Electric Code, which you can purchase at any electrical supply store. You may use calculators, book tabs, keyword indexes, and Ugly's reference books, but no study guides. You will receive exam results within 15 business days.

Current exam locations include: 

  • Academy of Careers and Technology in Beckley, West Virginia

  • Beni Kedem in Charleston, West Virginia

  • United Technical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia

  • James Ramsey Technical Institute in Martinsburg, West Virginia 

West Virginia electrician exam formats include:

Apprenticeship Electrician: Exam consists of 20 multiple-choice trade knowledge questions taken from the first four chapters of the 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC).

Journeyman Electrician: Exam includes 42 multiple-choice questions and four calculations referencing power factors, voltage drops, resistance, and/or circuit requirements.

Specialty Electrician: The exam has 20-25 multiple-choice questions.

Master Electrician: Exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and six calculations, and may include intricate calculations referencing service loads, power factor, voltage drop, service size, demand load, circuit resistance, and outlet requirements. 

Types of Electrician Licenses in West Virginia

The state of West Virginia issues four types of electrician licenses:

  • Apprenticeship Electrician

  • Journeyman Electrician

  • Specialty Electrician: HVAC, Electric Sign, Single-Family Dwelling, Elevator, or Low Voltage

  • Master Electrician

Benefits of Becoming a Licensed Electrician in West Virginia

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

  • Most importantly, West Virginia law requires a license to legally perform electrical work valued higher than $1000.

  • 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 building permits, pass inspections, and bid on public or government projects.

  • A license protects your company and your customers.

  • Licensure gives you a competitive advantage in the job market.

  • It also increases your earning potential as an electrician.

What Is the Mean Wage for an Electrician in West Virginia?

The annual mean wage for electricians in West Virginia is $55,390 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 salary for an electrician apprentice is $19.03 per hour in Texas and $6,000 overtime per year.

  • Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $23.20 per hour in Texas and $8,125 overtime per year.

  • Master Electrician: The average salary for an electrician apprentice is $34.21 per hour in Texas and $10,000 overtime per year.

Salary ranges 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

Getting the most out of an electrical technician, no matter where they are in their licensing journey, takes work. ServiceTitan’s cloud-based, all-in-one electrician software gives technicians and business owners the technology they need to do the work efficiently, and the data they need to do it smartly. 

ServiceTitan features:

  • SMS communications that keep customers informed about the technician’s visit.

  • Location-specific service history, including recorded calls, accessible from the mobile app.

  • Required forms that ensure every job is done right, driving consistency.

  • The ability to build multi-option proposals with photos, on-site, in minutes.

  • Sales presentations that make conversations with customers easier and drive average ticket.

  • Mobile payment acceptance, eliminating lost checks and increasing cash flow.

To learn more, schedule a demo with a product expert today.

How Much Does It Cost for Electrician Licensing in West Virginia?

The apprentice test costs $10, and all other exams cost $25. The cost of an electrician license in West Virginia is a $50 annual fee for all license types. Licenses expire June 30 each year.

Tuition for trade schools ranges between $3,000 to $5,000 per year.

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

Becoming a licensed electrician in West Virginia requires four to five years of experience, an apprenticeship, or 1,000+ hours of vocational education, depending on the license type. 

West Virginia Electrician Training Programs and Schools

Many community colleges, trade schools, technical and vocational schools offer apprenticeship programs and the training you need to become an electrical professional in West Virginia. You can find training opportunities across the state, including in bigger cities and smaller communities.

You can find apprenticeships through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) org. IBEW partners with the National Electrical Contractors Association on an Electrical Training Alliance apprenticeship program, which is an "earn while you learn" program.

West Virginia trade schools provide another option for pursuing an education in the electrical trade. Popular options include: 

  • Carver Career and Technical Center

  • Mercer County Technical Education Center

  • Putnam Career & Technical Center

  • Virginia Western Community College

Does West Virginia Have Reciprocity Agreements with Other States?

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal recognizes the following license types from other states for reciprocity in West Virginia:

  • Virginia Master and Journeyman electrical licenses

  • Ohio Electrical Contractor's license

  • North Carolina Master Electrician license

  • Kentucky Master and Journeyman Electrical licenses

  • Maryland Master Electrician License

Submit the reciprocity license application along with a $50 fee to the West Virginia Office of the State Fire Marshal. All licenses must be in good standing with their state's contractor licensing board. 

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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