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

Just like all other professions, becoming an electrician requires hard work, commitment, and dedication. The amount of work you choose to put in will determine how well you will do at the end of the day. 

Something is intriguing about North Dakota, and it is how well the economy continues to boom despite the collapse of the housing market that happened in 2008. When other states were battling unemployment, North Dakota seemed to be having as many jobs as were needed, especially in the area of skilled trades.

This is to say that those in such trades as the electrical trade in North Dakota enjoy what some states do not: job security. And nothing beats knowing that in years to come, you’ll still have your job to yourself. 

Steps How to Become a Licensed Electrician in North Dakota

To become an electrician in North Dakota, you would have to go through these steps:

Step 1: Obtain training and job experience needed to become a journeyman electrician 

Step 2: Sit for the examination to become a licensed journeyman  

Step 3: Meet the requirements for acquiring a non-contracting master electrician license 

Step 4: Earn an independent electrical contractor license. 

Step 1 – Obtain training and job experience needed to become a journeyman electrician 

Before you can earn a journeyman electrician license in the state of North Dakota, you would have to complete the following:

  • You must have a minimum of 8,000 hours of training and experience acquired in no less than three years; Or
  • You must have a minimum of 6,000 hours of training and job experience acquired in no less than three years, together with completing a two-year or more electrical school program.

The Board will also consider other areas of experience you may have to reduce the 8,000-hour requirement.

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The paths to acquiring all the training and job experience you need are quite flexible, as you could enroll in a local technical college, a union apprenticeship program, or a non-union apprenticeship program.

Technical College

If you opt for a technical college, you will spend at least two years getting an associate’s degree, making it possible to reduce the 8,000 hours requirement. 

Some of the topics that would be treated in the course of your program are:

  • Basic Math Computations
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Electrical Code
  • Algebra with Trigonometry
  • Electrical Theory
  • OSHA Regulations and First Aid
  • Telecom Cabling
  • Basic Telecommunications
  • Basic Alarm Technology
  • Logic Circuits and Programmable Controllers
  • Motor and Generator Theory
  • Semi-Conductors
  • Fire Access & CCTV Systems
  • Power Distribution and Load Calculations
  • Motor Controls 

You could gain work experience through the field experience component, permitting your transition as an electrical technician trainee under your employer. You could also gain knowledge by looking through job postings and finding employers willing to take on apprentices. 

Union and Non-Union Apprenticeship Programs

Most electricians start their careers by working as apprentices or trainees for at least three years. This would involve working on job sites with a state-licensed electrical contracting company while being supervised by a journeyman or master electrician and earning a highly specialized education in the electrician trade.

The Local electrical union chapters are majorly for the training of new union electricians. In alliance, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) have formed Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees all over the nation to offer training under the National Training Alliance. This helps in the regulation of the education experience for new electricians all over the nation.

In North Dakota, the non-union apprenticeship program through the Independent Electrical Contractors of the Dakotas located across the border in Pierre, South Dakota, provides many of the educational qualities of union programs. Still, they are also opened to working with non-unionized electrical contractors.

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Step 2 – Sit for the examination to become a licensed journeyman electrician 

After you have completed your apprenticeship, you can move on to work as a journeyman electrician. The good thing is you can work unsupervised as a journeyman electrician, unlike as an apprentice.

In order to become a licensed journeyman electrician, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • 8,000 hours of experience
  • You must be a registered apprentice electrician in North Dakota
  • You must have completed your apprenticeship classroom training program

Once you have met the requirements, you would then apply for the examination. Then, you would send the application together with the following documents:

  • Employment verification record (in the application)
  • Apprenticeship Training Completion Certificate

You’ll receive an invitation to take an exam administered by the Electrical Board after the board approved your application. After that, you will then pick a convenient date and inform the Board. Then, the board will notify you of the necessary study materials and exam details. Typically, you can only receive your license after you passed the exam with a minimum of 70% score.

Step 3 – Meet the requirements for acquiring a non-contracting master electrician license 

After you have worked as a journeyman electrician for a year in North Dakota, you can decide to get a non-contracting master electrician license. With this license, you have the same responsibility as a journeyman electrician.

The requirement for a non-contracting master electrician is to have worked as a journeyman electrician in North Dakota for at least a year.

If you meet this requirement, you would then get to fill out an application for examination. You would have to send the application together with the employment verification record.

You would receive an invitation once you’ve been cleared to take the exam. 

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Step 4 – Earn an independent electrical contractor license 

Before you can work as an independent contractor in North Dakota, you need to meet the requirement for a contracting master electrician license. The requirements for this license are just like the non-contracting license. There is just the need to include the general liability insurance requirements:

  • You must have worked as a journeyman electrician in North Dakota for a year
  • You must have $500,000 of general liability insurance
  • You must be prepared to contribute to the undertaking fund

You can then go ahead to fill out an application for examination once you meet the requirements. To pass, you would have to score at least 70%.

 Electrician License Renewal in New Dakota 

  • Journeyman Electrician License: This license has to be renewed yearly, precisely every 31st of March. To renew it, you’ll have to complete the continuing education requirements, which involve taking 8 hours of continuing education classes.
  • Non-contracting Master Electrician License: This license must be renewed annually, precisely on the 30th of April. To do this, you’ll have to complete the continuing education requirements, including taking 8 hours of classes.
  • Independent Electrical Contractor License: This license has to be renewed yearly, precisely on the 30th of April. To do this, you’ll have to complete the continuing education requirements, including taking 8 hours of classes.

Electrician License Reciprocity in New Dakota

North Dakota has electrical license reciprocity for master and journeyman licenses in both South Dakota and Minnesota. Also, for journeyman licenses alone, North Dakota has electrical license reciprocity with the following states: Colorado, Idaho, Alaska, Utah, Maine, Iowa, Montana, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Nebraska.

Conclusion 

Although becoming an electrician in North Dakota can be quite stressful, it is achievable and worth it in the end. 

References 

  • ElectricianSchoolEdu.org How to Become an Electrician in North Dakota 
  • North Dakota State Electrical Board Reciprocal License Agreements
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