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

It is not uncommon for people to believe that certain professions are nobler than others. Ask someone what professions they consider noble, and you would be amazed at how long it will take before they mention an electrician; that’s if they even do at all.

This is funny because the work an electrician does in homes, offices, hospitals, and other buildings are immense. Every building needs some sort of electrical work for proper functioning.

In Massachusetts, like many other states, the need for electricians continues to be on the increase. Hence, deciding to become one is a brilliant choice. 

Requirements for becoming an electrician in Massachusetts

Irrespective of the position you intend to get as an electrician, there are specific requirements you must meet.

In Massachusetts, the different levels and types of license include:

  • Journeyman electrician
  • Master electrician 
  • Systems electrician 
  • Systems contractor 

Each level requires a different kind of training and experience. Failure to meet up these requirements is synonymous with missing out on becoming an electrician. 

Fulfillment of the requirements in one step will lead to another step. In the later section below, we cover how to become a licensed electrician in Massachusetts. This includes the requirements of each type of license. So let’s get started!

Step 1 – Complete both Required Number of Hours of Classroom Training and on Field to Become a Journeyman License in Massachusetts

According to the Massachusetts Board of State Examiners of Electricians, becoming a journeyman means at least 8000 hours of electrical work experience over a minimum of four years, as well as at least 600 hours of classroom training. 

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This could be achieved in two ways. You could decide to attend a technical school program and move from there into the workforce as an apprentice. The alternative would be to enter into an apprenticeship program directly. Either one will be instrumental in your journey as an electrician as long as you meet all the requirements. 

If you opt for a technical program, you can be sure that you need no prior experience. It is designed for those with no existing electrical work experience or training in electrical theory or code. At the end of the training, you’ll most likely be awarded a certificate, diploma, or Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology. 

Most of the training you’ll get here will go a long way in making you prepared in all the areas you’d function in as a journeyman. It would also make it easier to get an apprenticeship with an electrical contracting company. 

Some of the courses you’d be required to take at a technical school are Basic Safety, Basic Math, Electrical Theory, Basic Rigging, Hand Bending, Conductors, National Electric Code, Residential Electrical Wiring, Boxes and Fittings, and many others. 

If it’s a direct apprenticeship program you go for, there are no worries. The Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Training considers it their duty to ensure that all apprentices enjoy safe working conditions and are not deprived of all the training they should get, both on-the-job training and classroom education. 

However, all these can happen only if;

  • You are at least 18 years old 
  • You have a high school diploma 
  • You have passed at least one year of high school algebra. 
  • You passed the aptitude test. 
  • You passed a drug test 
  • You possess a valid Massachusetts driver’s license. 
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Step 2 – Pass the Examination to Qualify as a Journeyman Electrician License

Even after your apprenticeship or hours of classroom training plus field experience, you cannot become a licensed journeyman without passing the examination that will earn you the Journeyman Electrician (Class B) License in Massachusetts. 

With this license, you would install, maintain or repair wires, apparatus, fixtures, or other devices used for heat, light, power, security system, or fire alarm. 

Before you can sit for this examination, you must have done the following 

  • Completed at least 8000 work hours of electrical work experience over a minimum of four years; and
  • Completed at least 600 hours of classroom training. 

There are two parts to this examination which you could choose to write on the same day. The first part is a computerized exam that includes 80 questions. To pass, you must have at least 70%; that is, you must be able to answer at least 49 questions correctly. This is done within 3 hours. 

The second part involves the applied segment and includes 30 questions. You must also have at least 70% here if you intend to scale through; you must answer at least 21 questions correctly. You are expected to be done with this part within an hour. 

Step 3 – Pass the Examination to Become a Master Electrician’s License in Massachusetts 

Before you can sit for the exam that would qualify you for becoming a licensed master electrician in Massachusetts, you must have worked with your journeyman electrician license for at least one year and completed 150 hours of classroom education on the current electrical code in Massachusetts.

With a Master Electrician (Class A) License in Massachusetts, nothing stops you from going into business yourself.

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There are two parts to this examination. The first part consists of 80 questions on specific aspects like lighting, services, general knowledge, grounding and bonding, wiring methods and devices, and many more. To qualify, you must have at least 70%; that is, answer at least 56 questions correctly within 4 hours. 

The second part, on the other hand, consists of 50 questions on business and law. You need at least 70% to pass; that is, you must answer at least 35 questions correctly. 

Step 4 – Consider Becoming a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Massachusetts

As long as you have a Master Electrician License in Massachusetts, you are qualified to work as a contractor, individual, or in a firm or organization. You could also decide to employ journeymen or apprentices. 

What a journey! You might say, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

License Renewal in Massachusetts 

After you must have met all the requirements for your license, there is still a need to renew if you intend to continue your practice.

  • The Journeyman License: This has to be renewed every three years and to do this, you’ll be required to pay a sum of $78. When your renewal date draws near, you’ll receive license renewal materials from the Division of Professional Licensure. But this is if you have completed the compulsory continuing education requirements of 15 clock hours on the Massachusetts Electrical Code and 21 clock hours total.
  • Master Electrician License: This license has to be renewed every three years at a fee of $117. Before you can receive your license renewal materials from the board, you’ll have to complete 21 clock hours of continuing education every three years, including 15 hours on the current electrical code.

Electrician License Reciprocity in the State of Massachusetts 

In Massachusetts, there are reciprocal agreements for journeyman electrician with these states:

  • New Hampshire 
  • Oregon
  • Maine
  • Vermont 
  • Washington 

Final Words 

Just like it is with other professions, becoming a licensed electrician in Massachusetts is not a day’s job. It requires continuous efforts, hard work, and sacrifices. Oh yes! There’s also passion. This is what will keep you going on days when you just feel like throwing in the towel.

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