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

The importance an electrician holds wherever they get to cannot be ignored. There is no limit to the places they can work, and their services are always needed almost all the time. Every household needs one; hospitals require one; and any organization. Hence, it is a profession that can never run out of customers.

In Arkansas, electricians are of great importance considering the growing economy and housing market. Becoming an electrician in Arkansas requires certain steps. Once these steps are accomplished, you are just on your way to gaining ground in your electrician career.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, there is a growing job opportunity for electricians in Arkansas. Between 2014 and 2024, electricians’ expected growth rate alone is 16 percent. This is faster than job growth on average. This means that a career as an electrician in Arkansas would be a wise choice for anyone who seeks secured employment and at the same time has an interest in electrical-related stuff. In essence, if you are looking to start a career as an electrician in Arkansas, you must be well acquainted with the educational, training, and licensing requirements.

Requirements for becoming an Electrician in Arkansas

Before we get right into what is required of anyone who desires a career as an electrician, I believe we must be clear on the various capacities to function as an electrician. According to the Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners, the following categories are available to electricians in the state:

  • Journeyman electrician
  • Master electrician
  • Residential journeyman electrician
  • Residential master electrician
  • Air conditioning electrician
  • Industrial maintenance electrician
  • Electrical apprentice

Now, to the requirements. 

Step 1 – Undertake On-Site Experience and Technical Training as an Apprentice

In the state of Arkansas, you cannot expect to just become an electrician without having first of all completed a training program. This training program could be a vocational one or a career school program. All that matters is that you get both coursework and hands-on work experience. In Arkansas, not only would you be required to gain a minimum of 8,000 hours of field experience (which is approximately four years), you will also be required to acquire 800 hours of technical instruction in the classroom. Alternatively, you can opt for an electrician school that provides online instructions in the job’s technical aspects before eventually starting an apprenticeship. Some of the classroom-based studies that will be included in your apprenticeship program are electrical theory, electrical algebra, AC/DC currents, blueprint reading, welding, electric code standards, motors and transformers, first aid regulations.

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As an apprentice, you can decide to be in a union or non-union apprenticeship. There are several electrical Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATCs) you can join in Arkansas. However, if you prefer a non-union apprenticeship, you can apply through the Mid-South Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).

Before you can qualify for the apprenticeship programs, there are specific requirements that must be met, such as:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED
  • You must possess a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
  • You must be able to scale through a general aptitude test involving math and reading skills
  • Finally, you must have submitted a copy of a high school or college transcript indicating you passed a standard algebra class.

 Step 2 – Becoming a Licensed Journeyman Electrician

To become an electrician in Arkansas, you can decide to take the examination that will qualify you as a journeyman. With a journeyman license, you are at liberty to work on electrical installations while at the same time adhering completely to all the code regulations in place. There are, however, some requirements that have to be met before you can be given this license. These include:

  • A notice of completing your apprenticeship program or four years of supervised full-time work in the electrical field, whichever the case may be.
  • You also must have passed a journeyman exam.

Once these requirements have been fulfilled, you can rest assured that your journeyman electrician license is all that is left.

Step 3 – Application for a Master Electrician License


After your time as a journeyman electrician, you can decide to go further in your career by becoming a master electrician. According to the Arkansas Department of Labor, a master electrician is an individual who possesses the necessary qualifications to plan, layout, and supervise the installation, maintenance, and extension of electrical conductors and equipment. Becoming a master electrician comes with certain privileges you certainly cannot enjoy as a journeyman electrician. First, as a master electrician, you get to perform work with no restrictions. Also, you get to be a supervisor in the electrical company you will work for.

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There are specific requirements for the master electrician license. They are:

  • A degree in electrical engineering and two years of construction-related experience.
  • As an alternative to the above, you can become a master electrician if you have six years of experience in the construction industry and two years of experience as a journeyman electrician.

Once these requirements have been met, you can apply immediately for the master electrician exam. You can then purchase your master electrician license once you pass the exam.

Step 4 – Becoming an Independent Electrician Contractor

After working for a few years as a master electrician, you can decide to become an independent electrical contractor. With an independent electrical contractor license, you get to work on residential properties. Before you can get this license, you must have worked as a master electrician with five years of experience. You are also required to have passed the Business and Law exam and the master level exam. Unlike other positions, passing the exam for the license of an independent electrical contractor is not enough; you are required to present the following documents still:

  • Evidence to show that you passed the Business and Law exam
  • Proof of worker’s compensation insurance
  • A surety bond of $10,000 to the state of Arkansas
  • Three references from former employers stating that you have experience of at least five years.
  • A financial review that is not older than a year from a certified public accountant.

Once your application gets approved, you can start working as an independent electrical contractor.

License Renewal in Arkansas

Every electrician license requires renewal at some point. Without this renewal, your license is just as good as nonexistent.

  • The Journeyman License: This license has to be renewed after a year of its possession. After the first renewal, it is then up to you to choose how you want it renewed, whether it is in one year, two years, or even three. Irrespective of which you choose, it is required of you to keep up with continuing education requirements. During each cycle of the National Electric Code, which is updated every year, you must complete eight hours of education.
  • The Master Electrician License: The license has to be renewed immediately after a year of its purchase. You can then decide whether you will prefer it being renewed yearly, after two years or three. Whichever you choose would not stop you from keeping up with continuing education requirements. You must complete 8 hours of education during each cycle of the National Electric Code, which is updated every three years.
  • The Independent Electrician Contractor License: Your license as an independent electrical contractor requires renewal every year. You will always be notified of the renewal sixty days before the deadline.
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Electrician License Reciprocity in Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, there are reciprocal agreements for journeyman electrician for various states as below:

  • Alaska                                                              
  • New Mexico
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Colorado

For master electrician license, there is only a reciprocal agreement with the state of Oregano alone.

To qualify for this reciprocity, applicants must have a good reputation in the sister state and must have been in possession of their license in the sister state for a minimum of one year.

Final Words

Regardless of how demanding it is to become an electrician in Arkansas, the challenges and difficulties will be easily surmountable as long as that is where your heart lies. Remember, the state of Arkansas continues to require the services of electricians.


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