How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Florida: License Requirements and Guide

In Florida, the licensing process is similar to other states. There are certain steps a person looking forward to becoming an electrician must follow. This might seem long and difficult in the beginning but it would eventually pay off with consistency and hard work.

There is an estimation that the job growth for Florida’s electrician field would increase by 12.4% till the year 2028. So, there is no better time than now to earn your electrician license in the land of sunshine and palm trees.

In Florida, there are four main types of licenses. They are Certified Electrician (EC), Registered Electrician (ER) Certified Electrical Specialty Contractor (ES), and Registered Electrical Specialty Contractor (ET).

Certified electricians are able to work anywhere they please in Florida while registered electricians can only work in the local municipalities or counties where they have their license.

In this article, we cover the steps to be taken to become a licensed electrician in Florida. So let’s get started!

Step 1 – Gain the Experience to Become a Journeyman

You will have to start your career in the electrical trade by acquiring the training and experience you need to meet the requirements for your journeyman certification. The requirements for almost all the cities and counties in Florida is four to five years of documented experience which is equivalent to 8,000 hours. There is also a compulsory 144 hours of classroom-based education each year.

However, there is an exception in the state of Florida. Miami-Dade County is that exception. With just three years of documented experience in electrical work, you can get your journeyman certificate.

In Florida, the completion of your technical training and the process of acquiring the experience needed to become a journeyman in Florida can be achieved in three ways. You can go for whichever suits you best.

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You can decide to enroll in a technical college electrical trade program or go through a union apprenticeship program or enroll in a non-union apprenticeship program.

If you decide to go through a technical school, it will be possible for you to complete an electrical technician career diploma program. You could even earn an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology or electrical trade certificate that will meet the classroom training hour requirements for a journeyman electrician in all of Florida.

In many technical school programs in Florida, you would get an internship that would present the opportunity to work at job sites with a locally licensed electrical contracting company. With this opportunity, you could be on your way to getting full-time employment if there are entry-level openings for trainees after your technical program ends.

Another advantage of going through a technical school would be you becoming a preferable candidate for available entry-level positions.

If you decide to go through a union or non-union apprenticeship, you should know that both are authorized through the State Department of Education. An apprenticeship program that has been authorized consists of four years of job experience which is an equivalent of 8,000 hours and a minimum of 144 hours of classroom instruction for each year you are enrolled in the apprenticeship program, for a total of 576 hours. The Department of Education permits sponsors of apprenticeship to set their own curriculum as long as none of the programs results in incompetency in the electrical trade.

If it is a union apprenticeship you are going for, then you will have to meet the following requirements:

  • You must not be less than eighteen years of age.
  • You must have gotten your high school diploma.
  • You must provide a valid means of identification.
  • You must be physically fit to perform the requirements of the trade.
  • You must be capable of transporting yourself to the venue for lectures and job sites.
  • You must have passed an aptitude test on general knowledge.
  • You must complete an oral interview process.
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If you would prefer a non-unionized apprenticeship, then there are also associations that would facilitate the process for you. Some of these associations in Florida are:

  • Independent Electrical Contractors Florida West Coast Chapter
  • ABC-Florida Gulf Coast Chapter (Tampa)
  • ABC-Florida East Coast Chapter (Coconut Creek)
  • Florida Electrical Apprenticeship and Training
  • Florida Electrical Apprenticeship Association

Step 2 – Sit for the Examination to Become a Licensed Journeyman

The requirements for earning a license as a journeyman in Florida are quite different in each jurisdiction.

In the City of Jacksonville, the Construction Trades Qualifying Board is in charge of issuing certificates for tradesmen.

Before a person can be called a journeyman craftsman in the city of Jacksonville, such a person must have been examined by the Board and found to have the right skills, knowledge, and experience that would be required to work in a particular trade or craft. Such a person must also have a current Board-issued journeyman craftsman certificate. This allows an electrical journeyman to work as an electrician without any form of supervision while employed by an electrical contractor.

Before you can get the journeyman certificate in Jacksonville, you will have to present proof you indeed worked for four years as an electrical apprentice and also had at least a 75% on the journeyman exam.

Step 3 – Consider to Become a Master Electrician License

You do not have to stop at your journeyman license. You can take a step further and acquire your master electrician license. As a master electrician, you are authorized to receive permits to work on residential buildings.  Not just that, journeymen look up to you because they are aware of the wealth of experience at your disposal.

Before you can become a master electrician in the city of Jacksonville, you must have been examined by the Board and found to have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience required to plan, layout, supervise and do the work associated with a particular trade or craft. You must also have a current Board-issued master craftsman certificate. This means that with a master electrician license, you can work without supervision under the employment of another and even as your own boss as long as you have the proper contracting credentials.

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Before you are handed the master electrician certificate in Jacksonville, you will need to present proof that you have worked for four years as an electrical journeyman and had at least 75% on the master electrician exam.

Step 4 – Consider to Become a Licensed Independent Electrical Contractor

You do not have to stop at your master electrician license. There is still room to become a master electrician. With this license, you will be able to hire journeymen and master electricians. You would also get big jobs and be able to offer services to the public.

In Florida, there are two types of contractor licenses: The Registered Contractor and Certified Contractor. A Registered Contractor can only work in certain jurisdictions, whereas Certified Contractors can work anywhere in the state.

The requirements for becoming a registered contractor varies for each county. So, you might want to confirm the requirements for your county.

However, becoming a certified contractor in Florida demands you meet the following requirements:

  • You must possess at least four years of experience in your trade
  • You must have passed the certified contractor licensing exam
  • You must be able to present proof of general liability and property damage insurance within 30 days of receiving your license

License Renewal in Florida

  • Independent Electrical Contractor License: This license has to be renewed every year. You also have to keep up with continuing education requirements.
  • Master Electrician License: This license has to be renewed every two years.
  • Journeyman Electrician License: This license has to be renewed every two years.

License Reciprocity in Florida

The state of Florida does not have electrical reciprocity agreements with any other state.

Final Words

The journey to becoming an electrician in Florida might seem tedious and long but it would eventually pay off. All you need is hard work and consistency.

References

  • Electrical School How to Become an Electrician in Florida
  • asktheElectricalGuy How to Become an Electrician in Florida (2016-2021)
  • ElectricianSchoolEdu.org How to Become an Electrician in Florida
  • NCCER Craft Licensing Map
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