In Montana, starting a career in the electrical field is a wise decision as there are many opportunities for electricians, and statistics show that the number will increase in the coming years. Montana Department of Labor& Industry has predicted that the electricians’ job opportunities would increase by 21.4% within the ten years between 2014 and 2024.
How to Get an Electrician License in Montana?
The steps to becoming an electrician in Montana are:
- Step 1: Obtain classroom education and gain the required experience
- Step2: Sit for the examination to become a licensed journeyman electrician.
- Step 3: Obtain your master electrician license
- Step 4: Consider acquiring an electrical contractor license
Step 1 – Obtain Classroom Education and Gain the Required Experience
You can begin your electrical career in Montana by gaining the required experience and meeting up with classroom requirements through a four-year apprenticeship program. An equivalent of this apprenticeship program would either be a two-year associate’s degree in electrical engineering or a combination of an apprenticeship program and a minimum of 20,000 hours of electrical maintenance experience as well as a minimum of 8,000 hours of practical experience. Whichever you choose should be dependent on whether you intend to apply for a journeyman or residential license.
Below are some of the topics you would encounter during your apprenticeship:
- Electrical Theory
- OSHA safety
- National Electrical Code (NEC)
- Conduit bending
- Structured wiring systems
- Industrial motor controls
- Fiber optics
- Blueprint reading
- Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
In Montana, most people prefer to go through an apprenticeship program in their pursuit of a license. This apprenticeship program could be a unionized one or one without any union affiliations.
Below are some of the requirements of union apprenticeships:
- You must be no less than eighteen years.
- You must have a valid Montana driver’s license
- You must present a certified copy of your birth certificate and your Social Security card
- You must be able to provide your high school diploma or GED transcripts
- You must be a resident of Montana.
- You must have passed the electrical trade aptitude test.
- You must apply for union membership
Suppose you’d rather go through a non-union apprenticeship program. In that case, the only one in Montana is at Helena. This non-union apprenticeship program is managed through the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) trade association in conjunction with local open shop electricians.
The application requirements for non-union apprenticeship programs are not as strict as unionized ones.
If you would prefer the option of a two-year associate’s degree instead of an apprenticeship, then you would need to choose between the two colleges in Montana that run approved two-year degrees in Electrical Technology: Flathead Valley Community College and Montana State University.
Courses are taken in these colleges to meet up with the classroom education requirements while the practical experience has to be earned through:
- Obtain experience with other students by getting employed by a non-union contractor.
- Experience in electrical maintenance work acquired before enrolling in the program
Step 2 – Sit for the Examination to Become a Licensed Journeyman Electrician.
After you are done with your apprenticeship, you would have to sit for an examination that would qualify you for a journeyman license.
To receive the license, you would have to meet the following requirements:
- You must fill the application
- You must meet the education or experience requirement
- You must pay a sum of $240 to the state board for the application fee.
- You must pay the $70 examination fee (to PSI Services)
- You must be able to provide a document showing you completed your apprenticeship.
- You must have gotten a minimum of 75%on the journeyman electrician examination.
Before you can be considered for a journeyman license, you must have met either the experience requirements or education requirements.
After fulfilling the above requirements and submitting the application, you will receive an admission letter from the state board giving you the go-ahead to register for the journeyman examination.
Some of the questions you would come across in the journeyman examination cover topics like:
- National Electrical Code (NEC) 2014
- Layout and practical installation of electrical circuits
- Ohm’s Law
Step 3 – Obtain Your Master Electrician License
After working for years as a journeyman, you only take a step further and become a master electrician. To qualify for the license, you must meet the following requirements:
- Complete and submit the application
- Meet up with the education or experience requirement
- Pay the sum of $240 as an application fee to the state board
- Pay the sum of $80 as an examination fee.
- Provide copies of your college transcripts.
- If your application is through experience garnered, you’ll have to provide a completed Master Experience Verification Affidavit.
- Have a minimum of 75% on the master electrician examination.
Like the journeyman license, you need to meet one of the education or experience requirements before getting the master electrician license.
You will then get an admission letter that permits you to register for the master electrician examination.
This examination covers topics like:
- National Electrical Code (NEC) 2014
- Procurement and material handling
- The layout of electrical circuits
- Print reading
- Electrical theory
- Cost estimating
Step 4 – Consider Acquiring an Electrical Contractor License
After becoming a licensed master electrician, you can consider becoming an independent electrical contractor.
In Montana, you can either get a limited or an unlimited electrical contractor license. A limited contractor is restricted to residential areas, while an unlimited contractor can work on residential and commercial electrical work.
Some of the requirements you are to meet before earning a limited electrical contractor license include:
- You must complete and submit an application.
- You must pay the sum of $300 for the application fee.
- You must provide proof of worker’s compensation coverage
- You must provide proof of unemployment insurance coverage
As a limited electrical contractor, you must be prepared to employ a full-time journeyman electrician as the responsible electrician.
To acquire an unlimited electrical contractor license, you have to meet the following requirements:
- Complete and submit the application.
- Pay the sum of $300 as the application fee
- Provide proof of worker’s compensation coverage
- Provide proof of unemployment insurance coverage
As an unlimited electrical contractor, you should be prepared to employ in your service a full-time master electrician as the responsible electrician.
Electrician License Renewal in Montana
- Journeyman License: Your journeyman license must be renewed every 2 years. You would have to pay a sum of $200 to get it renewed. You would also have to acquire a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education during each renewal.
- Master Electrician License: This must be renewed every 2 years with a fee of $200. You must also acquire a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education during each renewal.
Electrician License Reciprocity in Montana
Montana has electrical reciprocal agreements with the following states: New Hampshire, Alaska, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Minnesota.
The steps to becoming an electrician in Montana might appear cumbersome, but with the right attitude, hard work, and some commitment, it would be easier than you ever imagined.
- ElectricianSchoolEdu.org How to Become an Electrician in Montana
- Electrical School Becoming an Electrician in Montana
- General Contractors License Guide How to Become an Electrician in Montana: License Requirements and Trade Schools