How to Become an Electrician in Arkansas

Electricians are a necessary part of the growing economy and housing market Arkansas, making it a great time to join one of the most stable and well-paying skilled trades in America.

The US Department of Labor expects a job growth rate of 16.1% for electricians in Arkansas during the ten-year period leading up to 2024. This is a significant jump, showing that the electrical trade is appealing to more people than ever before.

The Arkansas State Board of Electrical Examiners is responsible for managing apprenticeship registration, as well as issuing journeyman and master electrician licenses. After progressing through these licensing phases, you’ll be eligible to apply for an electrical contractor license with the Arkansas State Licensing Board of Contractors.

Follow these steps to learn how to become a licensed electrician in Arkansas:

Gain the Job Experience and Technical Training Required to Become an Electrical Journeyman
Take the Examination Required to Become a Journeyman
Earn a Master Electrician Certificate or License in Your Area
Consider Becoming Licensed as an Independent Electrical Contractor

 


 

Step 1. Gain the Job Experience and Technical Training Required to Become an Electrical Journeyman

In Arkansas, you will need to accumulate a minimum of 8,000 hours (4 years) of field experience and 800 hours of technical instruction in the classroom to earn your electrical journeyman license.

You can begin accumulating the required number of hours through a technical program at a vocational school or by entering an apprenticeship program directly:

Vocation-Technical School

Classroom and lab-based technical training can be completed through convenient online programs, vocational schools or community colleges in your area that offer electrician/electrical systems technology certificates, career diplomas or associate’s degree programs. The credits you earn would then be applied toward the classroom hour requirements for journeyman licensure.

Classroom based study that is part of your apprenticeship program will include:

  • Electrical Theory
  • Electrical Algebra
  • AC/DC Currents
  • Welding
  • Motors and Transformers
  • Blueprint Reading
  • First Aid/Safety/OSHA Regulations
  • Electric Code Standards

During your technical program, you can begin working with an electrical contractor to receive on the job training and accumulate the experience required to earn your journeyman license. Some technical schools offer job placement assistance to make this process easier. Other schools actually include training placement that provides a specified number of hours of job experience as part of the program.

Union or Non-Union Apprenticeship

As an apprentice, you will be an employee-in-training, working for electrical contractors at a variety of job sites while earning a percentage of a journeyman’s wage.

In Arkansas, there are a handful of union electrical Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATCs) that offer apprenticeship programs for electricians, with locations in

You can also enroll in a non-union apprenticeship program through the Mid-South Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC).

Arkansas Apprenticeship has a directory of all organizations in the state offering electrical apprenticeships that meet the requirements for journeyman licensing.

To qualify for one of these apprenticeship programs, you need to meet these basic requirements:

  • 18 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Be able to pass a general aptitude test covering math and reading skills
  • Submit a copy of a high school or college transcript showing you passed a standard algebra class

After enrolling in an apprenticeship program, you need to register as an apprentice with the Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners.

At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll have completed at least 4 years (8,000 hours) of full time work and 800 hours of technical training.

 


 

Step 2. Take the Examination Required to Become a Journeyman

Holding a journeyman electrician license means you are capable of working on electrical installations while adhering to the code regulations currently in place.

To qualify for this license, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have a notice of completing your apprenticeship or 4 years of full time supervised work experience in the electrical trade
  • Pass a journeyman exam

Start by filling out this application for an exam. Submit it to the board, and when they approve it, you’ll be able to schedule your exam. The exam must be completed in 3 hours, has 60 questions on it, and is open book. You are allowed to consult the most recent National Electrical Code during the exam. Here is the break down of the questions on the exam:

  • Grounding and Bonding – 6 questions
  • General Knowledge of the Electrical Trade and Calculations – 9 questions
  • Service, Feeders, Branch Feeders and Overcurrent Protection – 8 questions
  • Raceways and Enclosures – 8 questions
  • Conductors – 7 questions
  • Motors and Controls – 7 questions
  • Utilization and General Use Equipment – 6 questions
  • Special Occupancies and Equipment – 4 questions
  • Low Voltage Circuits, Including Alarms and Communications – 2 questions
  • Safety – 3 questions

Once you pass the exam, you can purchase your journeyman electrician license. You need to renew your license after a year of having it. The first time you renew, you get to choose if you want to renew it after one, two, or three years. Regardless of which interval you choose, you need to keep up with continuing education requirements. You need to complete 8 hours of education during each cycle of the National Electric Code, which updates every three years.

 


 

Step 3. Earn a Master Electrician Certificate or License in Your Area

After working a journeyman electrician, you have the option to become a master electrician. Master electricians perform electrical work with no restrictions and are often supervisors in the electrical contracting companies they work for.

To qualify for this license, you need to meet ONE of the following requirements:

  • A degree in electrical engineering AND 2 years of construction related experience

OR

  • Six years in the construction industry working on both residential and commercial properties AND two years of experience as a journeyman electrician

OR

  • Any combination of experience as approved by the Board

Start by filling out this application for an exam. Submit it to the board, and when they approve it, you’ll be able to schedule your exam. The exam must be completed in 3 hours, has 60 questions on it, and is open book. You are allowed to consult the most recent National Electrical Code during the exam. Here is the break down of the questions on the exam:

  • Grounding and Bonding – 10 questions
  • General Knowledge of the Electrical Trade and Calculations – 5 questions
  • Service, Feeders, Branch Feeders and Overcurrent Protection – 10 questions
  • Raceways and Enclosures – 6 questions
  • Conductors – 6 questions
  • Motors and Controls – 6 questions
  • Utilization and General Use Equipment – 7 questions
  • Special Occupancies and Equipment – 5 questions
  • Low Voltage Circuits, Including Alarms and Communications – 2 questions
  • Safety – 3 questions

Once you pass the exam, you can purchase your master electrician license. You need to renew your license after a year of having it. The first time you renew, you get to choose if you want to renew it after one, two, or three years. Regardless of which interval you choose, you need to keep up with continuing education requirements. You need to complete 8 hours of education during each cycle of the National Electric Code, which updates every three years.

 


 

Step 4. Consider Becoming Licensed as an Independent Electrical Contractor

After working for a few years as a master electrician, you can get a license to work as an independent electrical contractor. This guide will cover getting a commercial contractor license with an electrical specialization. This license allows the license holder to work on residential properties.

To qualify for this license, you need to be or hire a master electrician and have 5 years of experience. You also need to pass the Business and Law exam in addition to a master level exam (if you haven’t taken one already).

Start the process by registering for and passing the Business and Law exam. You can register for the exam online. The exam is 2 hours long, has 50 questions, and is open book. You can reference the Contractor’s Guide to Business, Law and Project Management, Arkansas Fourth Edition on the exam. Here is the breakdown of the questions on the exam:

  • Business Organization – 2%
  • Licensing – 8%
  • Estimating and Bidding – 8%
  • Contract Management – 16%
  • Project Management – 12%
  • Insurance and Bonding – 6%
  • OSHA Recordkeeping – 6%
  • Personnel Regulations – 16%
  • Financial Management – 10%
  • Tax Laws – 10%
  • Lien Laws – 6%

After passing the exam, you need to submit an application, filled out fully, with the following documents:

  • Evidence of passing the Business and Law exam
  • A surety bond of $10,000 to the State of Arkansas
  • Proof of worker’s compensation insurance
  • Three references from former employers accounting for 5 years of experience.
  • A financial review, no more than a year old, from a Certified Public Accountant

Once you submit your application and you are approved, you can begin contracting your services to the public.

Your license needs to be renewed every year. You’ll receive notification in the mail of the impending renewal 60 days before the deadline.

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