When it comes to becoming an electrician, the most important step is obtaining a license. Fortunately, NASCLA (National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies) offers a program for electricians to obtain the necessary credentials. NASCLA-accredited electrician licensing programs are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In order to become an electrician, you must meet the requirements set forth by your state’s licensing board. Below is a guide on how to become an electrician.
- Meet All the Requirements for Your State
In order to become an electrician, you must meet the requirements set forth by your state’s licensing board. Typically, these requirements include having a high school diploma or equivalent and completing both a written exam and an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships are typically 2-4 years and include classroom instruction and hands-on experience. You must also pass a background check and have no criminal history.
- Get the NASCLA Education and Training
It is essential that electricians have the proper education and training to become certified. The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) offers an Electrician’s Examination on two tracks–Residential and Commercial.
The Residential track is designed for those electricians who plan to work on single-family dwellings or duplexes, while the Commercial track is for those electricians who wish to work on larger projects such as multiple dwelling units, shopping malls, or large industrial buildings.
For either track, it is strongly recommended that applicants have at least four years of experience under their belt, but for the Commercial track, five years of experience is a must. In addition to education and experience requirements, certain other qualifications must be met for applicants to get their NASCLA license.
- Take and Pass the Exam
Applicants are required to pass the NASCLA Electrician’s Examination. The exam is based on the NASCLA Accredited Examination Program (AEP) and consists of four parts: General Electrical Knowledge, Installations and Calculations, Safety and Signaling Systems, and Fire Alarm Systems. Each part is a multiple-choice test with questions that are based on the National Electrical Code and other relevant codes.
The exams are offered at various locations throughout the country. Applicants should contact their local licensing board to find out where and when the exams are offered. In most states, applicants must pay an exam and registration fee before taking the exam. The exams are typically several hours long, and all applicants must pass each section to receive their licenses.
The NASCLA Exam is the only exam accepted in multiple states. Passing the exam will qualify applicants for licensure in all states that accept the NASCLA Exam, making it a cost-effective choice for those interested in working in multiple states.
Applicants who fail to pass the exams will need to retake them, although some states provide a grace period before applicants are required to take them again. Those who fail the exams will also have to pay an additional exam fee in order to retake them.
- Submit Your Application and Fees
Once applicants pass the exam, they must submit an application to their state’s licensing board. The application process will vary from state to state, but in most cases, applicants must submit proof of passing the NASCLA exam and an official application form. The fee for each license application will also vary depending on the state.
Before submitting their application, applicants should check with their state’s licensing board for an up-to-date list of requirements and fees. Once the licensing board approves the application, applicants will be issued a license number indicating they are qualified to work as an electrician.
- Maintain Your License
It is important to maintain your license after you obtain it. Every electrician must renew their license at least every two years and keep up with any necessary continuing education courses. The length and number of classes required vary from state to state, so check with your local licensing board for specific requirements. As part of the renewal, you may need to submit a certificate of completion for any courses taken and provide proof of insurance.
It’s important to ensure you keep up-to-date with the requirements, as failure could be grounds for license revocation. Additionally, some states require electricians to carry a bond with their license, which must be renewed when the license is. Finally, any changes in your contact information or business structure must be reported to the licensing board. Keeping your license up-to-date is essential for electricians, so ensure you follow all regulations and keep abreast of any changes.