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

An electrician’s job is no child’s play. From making sure that the wiring of a building is properly fixed to installing and maintaining all of the electrical and power systems of homes, businesses, factories, and other businesses, an electrician’s job cannot be taken lightly.

This is why the state of Michigan requires some level of certification from those who intend to become electricians. 

Those who want to become a licensed electrician in Michigan would get their licenses from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Construction Codes. This is after they must have met all the requirements for each license. 

The different electrical licenses in Michigan are:

  • Journeyman Electrician License 
  • Master Electrician License 
  • Electrical Contractor License 

In the later section below, we cover steps in becoming a licensed electrician in Michigan; starting from gaining training and hands-on experience as an apprentice to journeyman and subsequently becoming a master’s license. Another license level is an independent electrical contractor after gaining the required experience as a master electrician license.

Step 1 – Sign up for the Classroom Training and Hands-On Experience Required to Become a licensed Journeyman Electrician in Michigan

You can choose to train from electrical training programs provided through vocational-technical schools, non-union trade organizations, state agencies, etc., approved by the US Department of Labor. Whatever works for you. 

Before you can qualify as an apprentice in the state of Michigan, there are certain things required of you. They are:

  • You must have attained the age of eighteen. The only reason you’ll be permitted before the age of 18 is if you opt for a high school apprenticeship program, and you must be at least 16 years old for this.
  • You must have completed your high school education.
  • You must have lived in Michigan for a considerable period.
  • If you apply for an apprenticeship in Grand Rapids or Detroit, you have to reside in Grand Rapids or Detroit, respectively.
  • You must take a drug screening test and pass it.
  • You must possess a reliable means of transportation.
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Some of the classes you’d have to take during your apprenticeship will cover the following topics:

  • Branch circuit distribution
  • Electrical theory
  • Electrical grounding
  • Fire alarm systems
  • Industry orientation (Michigan laws and rules)
  • Material identification
  • Blueprint reading
  • Mathematics
  • Motors
  • National Electrical Code
  • Basic HVAC
  • OSHA/Safety Awareness
  • Overcurrent protection
  • Programmable controllers
  • Transformers
  • Motor controls

During your apprenticeship in Michigan, you are expected to obtain at least 576 hours of related technical instruction (RTI). This must be achieved within 144 hours each academic year. Also, you are expected to obtain 8000 hours of experience in the space of four years. This should be obtained from your work with an electrical contractor licensed with full participation in an approved and registered electrical apprentice training program.

There is, however, an exception to the way apprenticeship works in the cities of Detroit and Grand Rapids. Unlike other cities in Michigan, the electrical licensing bodies in Detroit and Grand Rapidsoperate within their jurisdictions. 

Before a person can be given a journeyman license in Detroit, such a person must have worked as an apprentice under the supervision of a journeyman or master electrician performing electrical wiring work for four years and 576 hours of classroom teaching on electrical theory and safety.

If you are getting your journeyman license in Grand Rapids and already have a degree in Electrical Engineering or even a diploma in a related field, you might just get your required number of hours of experience reduced. 

There are specific registrations you would have to do, and you’ll be required to pay some money. However, if you have some military experience and training, you may not have to pay the registration fees. 

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Once you complete your electrical apprenticeship in Michigan, you will receive a nationally recognized credential that would be instrumental to your journeyman license. Then and only then can you make plans to obtain your journeyman electrician’s license.

Step 2 – Pass the Examination that Will Qualify You as a Journeyman Electrician. 

Once you are done with your apprenticeship, the next step would be to take the examination to earn you your journeyman electrician license. The process may vary depending on where you live in Michigan, but the basic requirements are similar. 

Before you can be qualified to sit for the Michigan journeyman examination, you must:

  • Be at least 20 years old.
  • Be a resident of an area of Michigan other than the city of Grand Rapids or Detroit. This is because electrical licensing bodies in Grand Rapids and Detroit operate differently from those in other cities and counties in Michigan.
  • Complete the Application for Journeyman Examination. You must also get notarized documentation from your employers stating that you met up with the required hours of practical experience in electrical construction/maintenance of buildings.
  • Submit the completed application and all required documentation to a particular address on your application. Note that you are not required to pay any amount to the State of Michigan at this time.

You are likely to come across questions on the electrical administrative act, current electrical code rules, grounding and bonding, overcurrent protection, wiring methods and installations, boxes and cabinets, feeders, services, motors and motor controls, load calculations, special occupancies, appliances, lighting, box and raceway fill, limited power circuits, electrical theory, and general electrical trade knowledge.

Before you can be said to pass this, you must get at least 75%. Once you pass, you will get notified through the mail and asked to pay some money for your journeyman electrician license.

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Step 3 – Earn a Licensed Master Electrician in Michigan. 

If you wish to move further after working as a journeyman electrician, the next step would be to get a master electrician license.

You can only apply to take the State of Michigan Master Electrician Examination if you:

  • Are up to 22 years of age.
  • Reside in any city other than Detroit or Grand Rapids.
  • Have a minimum of 12,000 hours of experience within six years in certain aspects like maintenance of buildings, electrical construction, and wiring while being supervised by a Master Electrician
  • Ensure that your application for Master Electrician Examination gets completed.

After your application, you will receive a notification stating whether or not you are qualified to take the examination. You will also get notified of your performance after the examination.

Step 4 – Consider to Become an Independent Electrical Contractor in Michigan

You can still go a step further after becoming a licensed Master Electrician in Michigan. You can obtain the Electrical Contractor License as well.

As long as you meet the requirements, which is basically to own a Master Electrician License, you can complete the Application for Electrical Contractor Examination. If you meet up with all the requirements, you will be notified and asked to come for the examination. To pass, you must score at least 75 percent.

License Renewal in Michigan

  • The Journeyman Electrician License: This license has to be renewed annually at a fee of $40. You will be notified of the necessary materials for renewal even before the expiration date.
  • The Master Electrician License: This license has to be renewed annually at a fee of $50.
  • The Electrical Contractor License: The license renews annually at a fee of $100.

License Reciprocity in Michigan 

In Michigan, there is no reciprocity of electrical license with any other state.

Final Words

Because Grand Rapids and Detroit have individual city-level licensing bodies that administer the licensing process within their jurisdictions, the requirements for becoming an electrician in Michigan vary slightly from theirs. So, if you’re looking to becoming an electrician in any of these two cities, you would need to obtain your license through local licensing. 


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