How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Texas – TX: License Requirements

Electricians have a fulfilling career. Not only are they in charge of solving issues with electrical wiring, but they also install new systems ranging from lighting to air. 

Electricians must have stamina, critical thinking skills, and problem-solving skills. Most electricians only possess a two-year degree or certification, and you can complete the larger part of that education while you’re getting hands-on training as an apprentice.

The whole process takes about 6 to 7 years. You’ll learn and at the same time earn on the job while you develop from entry-level apprentice to licensed master electrician. Becoming a professional electrician is a widespread choice for people who are keen on getting started in skilled trades. People are attracted to the career because of the availability of various positions, the very technical nature, and the physical aspect of the tasks accomplished by electricians.

Before you can attain the position of a licensed master electrician exam there are several steps you must first take;

  1. Acquiring on-site Experience and Technical Training as an Apprentice.
  2. Becoming a Licensed Journeyman Electrician or Residential Wireman.
  3. Application for a Master Electrician License and Becoming an Electrician Contractor

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

The first step to becoming a licensed electrician is to be an apprenticeship. During the apprenticeship period, you will learn on-the-job training on basic work such as menial work, running errands, gathering supplies, delivering equipment, and accompanying more experienced electricians. These will be typically under the direct supervision of a licensed electrician. When you gain some knowledge in the field during this apprenticeship, you can anticipate getting more hands-on experience. 

Below are the key requirements for the apprenticeship:

  • The minimum age requirement for an apprentice in Texas is 18 years and must have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Complete classroom hours in electrical repair and maintenance at a trade school or community college during the course of your apprenticeship.
  • After your application, you will have one year to take the exam before having to re-apply. The exam includes the demonstration of your knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). The test also will include topics, like grounding, wiring methods, and load calculations. You will be licensed as a journeyman electrician or residential wireman at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation after successfully passing the exam.
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Electrician apprentices usually take about 4 years to complete their program. During this period, you’ll get about 8,000 training hours on the job. Once you are done with the apprenticeship, you’ll need to apply for an electrician apprentice license online through the TDLR website. Or you can download it and mail it in, including a detailed description of the nature of work completed during the apprenticeship and a $20 processing fee

Step 2 – Becoming a Licensed Journeyman Electrician or Residential Wireman

After you have completed the apprenticeship, you have two options whether to pursue to apply for the journeyman electrician license or resident wireman license.

Journeyman Electrician

As mentioned above, after completing the apprenticeship, you can choose to become either a journeyman electrician or a residential wireman. Once you’re an official journeyman, you can accomplish most tasks without the supervision of another electrician. You may even supervise some apprentices. 

A journeyman’s works are basically in residential and commercial settings. You will connect circuit breakers and switches, troubleshoot and install wiring, install lighting and security systems, and diagnose problems in a range of electrical systems. However, you cannot pull permits. 

To become a journeyman electrician in Texas, you need to fulfill the requirements as follow:

  • The minimum age requirement for a journeyman electrician in Texas is 18 years.
  • You will need 8,000 minimum hours of on-site training as an apprentice under the tutelage of a master electrician to become a journeyman electrician.
  • You need to submit the application with TDLR by paying the application fee of $30
  • After your application is accepted, you need to take the journeyman electrician exam

After fulfilling the above requirements, now you become a Texas licensed journeyman electrician.

Typically, you don’t need any extra education at the journeyman stage. Your hands-on experience will get you prepared for upcoming exams and licensing. 

Journeymen can work full time. Since they don’t require supervision, they can choose to work as journeymen for a lot of years. If you’re aspiring to become a master electrician, you must spend at least two years (or about 4,000 hours) as a journeyman before you’re considered qualified to take the master electrician exam in Texas.  

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In addition, to advance in your career, you will need to study for and take the master electrician exam which consists of 80 questions to be completed in 240 minutes, and you must get at least 70% in order to pass the exam.

Residential Wireman

This is another option after apprenticeship; thus, you can choose to become a residential wireman. To become a residential wireman, there are certain requirements as follow:

  • You are required to print and mail an application form to the TDLR with a $20 fee and a detailed description of the kind of work you have accomplished.
  • Once your application is accepted, you need to register for the residential wireman exam. The fee is $60.
  • The minimum age requirement for a residential wireman in Texas is 18 years
  • You will need 4,000 minimum hours of on-site training under the tutelage of a master electrician to become a residential wireman. You also have to pass the Residential Wireman exam satisfactorily.
  • The examination consists of 80 questions with a duration of 240 minutes. To pass the exam, you must score nothing less than 70%.

Step 3 – Application for a Master Electrician License and Becoming an Electrician Contractor

Master Electrician

After you have been a journeyman electrician for a minimum of two years, now you are qualified to apply for the master electrician license.

At this level of your career, you’re ready to be the person in charge of a project. You have at least 12,000 hours of experience.

As a master electrician, you can work unsupervised, manage your own team, and use permits to work on major projects. Master electricians can work on complex installations and repairs and will adequately supervise apprentices and journeymen. 

To become a master electrician, you need to fulfill the requirements as follow:

  • You are required to fill out a form and mail it to the TDLR with a fee of $45.
  • Apply for the Master Electrician exam and submit an examination fee of $74.
  • Take the exam and you have to pass Texas State’s master electrician exam (70% is the pass mark) and it consists of 100 questions with a duration of 300 minutes.
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Electrical Contractor

The final stage in your journey as an electrician is to become an electrical contractor. A contractor license opens new chances for you. Upon becoming an electrical contractor, you’ll be able to employ electricians, bid on multi-million dollar projects, and collaborate with both government and private entities. You can as well run your own business as an independent contractor.

You don’t need any extra education to become an electrical contractor other than studying to sit for any necessary exams. Below are the requirements to become a licensed electrical contractor:

  • You have to either be a licensed master electrician or recruit a master electrician.
  • You are required to obtain and fill out the Electrical Contractor license application
  • Pay the application fee of $110.

A contractor license is a business license, while a master electrician is a professional license. You need to have a professional license before you can qualify to become an electrical contractor. You’ll also be required to have additional insurance as a contractor. General liability, workers’ compensation, and other forms of insurance are definitely recommended

Texas Electrician License Reciprocity

Texas has reciprocal agreements for electrician licenses with a number of other states which enables licensed electricians in Texas to work in those states. These states are:

  • New Mexico
  • Arkansas
  • North Carolina
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Oklahoma

Texas Electrician License Renewal

The license renewal depends on each level of license as follow:

  • Your journeyman license will be due for renewal every eighteen months, you can do this online with a fee of $30 and proof of completion of 4 continuing education hours.
  • Residential wireman license renewal can be done online for a fee of $20 and will be due every 18 months. It also requires proof of completion of at least 4 TDLR approved CE courses.
  • Master electrician licenses are due for renewal every 18 months. Renewal can be processed online for a fee of $45 and requires completion of four hours of CE requirements each renewal cycle.
  • The electrical Contractor license will be due for renewal after 18 months with a $110 fee.

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