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

Before anyone becomes great at anything, some steps must have been taken to ensure its possibility. 

Whether it is to become a doctor, engineer, electrician, you name it; some preparation levels are compulsory. 

This is no different in the state of Minnesota. Anyone looking to become an electrician must be ready to go through some critical steps as you do not just become an electrician overnight. 

In the state of Minnesota, there are nine license options available:

  • Class A Master 
  • Master Elevator Constructor
  • Elevator Constructor
  • Class A Journeyman 
  • Maintenance Electrician 
  • Class A Installer 
  • Lineman 
  • Class B Installer
  • Electrical Contractor 
  • Power Limited Technician 

It is impossible to wake up one morning and become an electrician in Minnesota simply because you desire to become one. No! There are specific steps you must pass through. In the later section below, we cover the requirements of how to become a licensed electrician in Minnesota.

Step 1 – Gain the Training and Hand-On Experience

Like earlier mentioned, there are different recognized licenses in the state of Minnesota. Each requires different experiences. However, this guide will focus on Journeyman Class Electrician Licensing because it is the common primary licensing option and the one in tune with reciprocity agreements in neighboring states.

Getting a Journeyman Electrician license through the Minnesota Department of L&I – Board of Electricity can be accomplished in one of two ways:

  • You must complete a two-year, post-high school electrical course (associate, certificate, or diploma). This need to be approved by the Board of Electricity and you must gain 36 months (7,000 hours) of experience of performing supervised electrical wiring work; OR
  • You must obtain 48 months (8,000 hours) of experience performing supervised electrical wiring work

Suppose you decide to attend a technical college. In that case, you will be provided with a unique opportunity of gaining hands-on training and learning the fundamentals of electrical theory. After this, you can move into the job market to get entry-level technician employment or begin an apprenticeship. 

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Another benefit you will derive from attending a technical school would be the significant reduction in the amount of time it takes to qualify for a journeyman license. This way, you get to earn a wage commensurate with your skill level and train a full year earlier than you ordinarily would through other means.

You also get to enjoy assistance from your program’s career counseling center. They will help you transition to full-time employment with a local electrical contracting company interested in hiring new graduates for entry-level and apprentice positions.

These technical schools are all over the state of Minnesota. They are in the cities of Minneapolis, Duluth, St. Cloud, Anoka, Bemidji, Hibbing, Rosemount, Cass Lake, Canby, Moorhead, Wadena, Jackson, St. Paul, Willmar, and Albert Lea. In addition, the Minnesota Board of Electricity also approves programs located in Mitchell, Wahpeton, South Dakota, Calmar, North Dakota, Iowa; and Sheldon, Iowa. You only need to opt for the city closest to you or your most preferred option. 

If you opt for an apprenticeship, there are many you can choose from. In Minnesota, you can find lists of apprenticeships in the state by region at the Minnesota Career Pathways website.

During your apprenticeship, you must complete 144 hours of classroom instruction along the on-the job practical experience every year.

Some of the courses that would most likely be included in your training are:

  • Instrumentation 
  • Code Calculations
  • Electrical Grounding 
  • Cable Splicing 
  • Basic Welding 
  • National Electrical Code
  • Electrical Safety Work Practices 
  • OSHA/ Construction Safety 

Some of the requirements for applying for an electrical apprentice in Minnesota are:

  • You must have a minimum of 17 years old of age
  • Having completed a high school diploma or have started working towards getting a GED.
  • You must be physically fit to perform electrical works.
  • You must have a means of transportation. 

Before you begin the apprenticeship program, there’s a need for a written contract between you and your employer detailing what’s expected of each of you. This written contract shall need to be registered with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Apprenticeship Unit.

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In Minnesota, an electrical apprentice usually gets paid half of what a journeyman electrician makes.

Step 2 – Pass the Examination to Become a Licensed Journeyman Electrician in Minnesota 

Once you are done with your training and hands-on experience, you can now plan to sit for the Journeyman Electrician Exam in order to become a licensed journeyman electrician in Minnesota.

The application involves a check or money order for $50 payable to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, as well as a copy of your apprenticeship Certificate of Completion and Journey Worker Card. In addition, you must also attach the original transcripts from electrical education programs together with the application. You are also required to submit your Work Experience Verification Form completed by you and your employer. The form must state and verify the number of practical hours of experience you have completed.

After submitting your application, you should get a notification from the Construction Codes and Licensing Division on whether you are qualified to take the Journeyman Electrician Exam. If you are, you will be directed to schedule it online. Exams are offered in St. Paul, Duluth, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Owatonna, and Granite Falls.

The exam will test your knowledge of:

  • General electrical concepts
  • Wiring and protection
  • National Electrical Code (2014 version)
  • Wiring methods and materials
  • Equipment for general use
  • Special occupancies
  • Special conditions
  • Tables
  • Applied electrical theory, systems, and equipment

The results usually get released two weeks after the exam. If you passed, you’d receive your results with directions on obtaining your journeyman electrician license. 

Step 3 – Apply for a Master Electrician License in Minnesota

Before you qualify to take the examination to become a licensed master electrician in Minnesota, you must have gained one year of experience working under your Journeyman Electrician license.

You’ll have to pay a check or money order of $50 to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.

Your result will be sent by email with instructions on getting your Master Electrician License.

Step 4 – Consider Becoming an Electrical Contractor in Minnesota

You do not have to stop at your Master Electrician License. You can become an electrical contractor in Minnesota. 

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However, before you can seek an Electrical Contractor License, there are certain things you need to do like:

  • You need to choose a business structure. You can discuss at length with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for information on starting a business in Minnesota.
  • You need to register your business entity in Minnesota through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office.
  • Obtaining your State Tax ID number and Federal Employer Identification Number. This can be done by contacting the agencies at the phone numbers listed on your application
  • You need to complete the Electrical Contractor Business License Application together with a fee of $168 payable to the Department of Labor and Industry.
  • You must provide your Unemployment Insurance Number if you have employees.
  • You need to complete the Electrical Contractor Surety Bond section of the application, which requires you to carry a $25,000 surety bond.
  • Complete the Certificate of Insurance Covering General Liability as well as Property Damage section of the application. 
  • You also need to complete the Certificate of Compliance–Minnesota Workers Compensation Law.
  • Last but not least, you need to make sure to complete the Certificate of Responsible Individual-Master Electrician section. This will require you to state that you have at least one Master Electrician licensed and responsible for all work of the business.

License Renewal in Minnesota

The Journeyman Electrician License: This license is required to be renewed every two years, and this can be done online. Maintenance of this license involves completing 16 hours of continuing education credit, with four mandatorily being on the National Electrical Code. 

The Master Electrician License: This license is renewed every two years. Its maintenance also involves completing 16 hours of continuing education credit, with four mandatorily being on the National Electrical Code.

Electrician License Reciprocity in Minnesota 

Minnesota recognizes reciprocity at the journeyman level in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming

On the other hand, the following states are recognized at the master electrician level:

  • Iowa
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska

Final Words 

Becoming a licensed electrician in Minnesota requires not just the deal and desire; it also requires patience, lots of it actually, especially if you’re looking to get to the peak of your career.

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