How to Become an Electrician in Georgia

With the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (under the US Department of Labor) expecting the number of jobs for licensed electricians to increase by 17.4% in Georgia during the ten-year period leading up to 2024, now is the perfect time to take the steps required to earn your license.

In Georgia the path to becoming an electrician takes fewer steps than in many other states. This means you’ll be able to offer your services as an electrical contractor soon after getting your training.

Electricians in Georgia are licensed under the Construction Industry Licensing Board.

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

Acquire Job Experience, Technical Training and Classroom Instruction
Consider Working as a Journeyman Electrician Before Earning Your Electrical Contractors License
Become Licensed as an Independent Electrical Contractor

 


 

Step 1. Acquire Job Experience, Technical Training and Classroom Instruction

The standard employer-mandated training and experience requirements in Georgia for working independently in the electrical trade without direct supervision is five years (8,000 hours) of practical, on the job experience and 180 hours of classroom-based education for each year you are in training. This can be accomplished in one of two ways:

  • Apprenticeships are two part programs where you spend time in a classroom learning the fundamentals and skills of the electrical trade combined with full-time, paid, on the job experience under an electrical contractor.

OR

  • Enrolling in a technical school and completing an associate degree or certificate of competency in electrical systems technology before seeking entry-level employment.

Technical College

For a comprehensive education that includes classroom study and hands-on technical training, you can look into technical colleges or vocational schools in Georgia. Most often, your options would include an associate’s degree in applied science in electrical systems technology or a certificate of competency in the electrical field. Technical school is a great option for people who want to keep the option of further education open while getting a career-focused education.

You can expect to cover many of the following subjects in the classroom component of technical school program:

  • Residential Wiring
  • Electrical Theory
  • Applied Math
  • OHM’s law
  • Safety/CPR/First Aid
  • Advanced Electrical Theory
  • Transformers/Generators
  • The National Electric Code
  • Commercial & Industrial Wiring
  • Electrical Motors
  • Blueprints
  • Line Logic
  • Programmable Controllers

With your education taken care of, you would be in an excellent position find work with a local electrical contractor where you’ll accumulate the job experience required to earn your journeyman license. Many trade schools offer job placement assistance. Some programs include an externship/field training component that will involve working for a locally licensed electrical contracting firm. This could lead to full time employment as an electrical technician in training if positions are available.

If striking out on your own after graduation, you can pursue an apprenticeship with a union or non-union organization in the area, or find a trainee position directly with a local contractor. Many job postings for apprentices or interns are advertised in local union halls or through non-union trade organizations. You may find yourself working for one of Georgia’s large local contractors:

  • Metro Electrical Contractors in Atlanta
  • D&N Electric Company in East Point
  • Bettis Electric in Roswell

Apprenticeships

Local unions offer a traditional apprenticeship experience with classes taught by local electricians and employment through unionized contractors.

Union apprenticeships are available through local JATCs (Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee), which are partnerships between local union chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) under the National Training Alliance, which ensures a high quality education and consistency in education across the nation.

You can find JATCs in the following locations:

If you choose a non-union apprenticeship, you’ll get an education from local electricians as well as assistance in finding an employer interested in taking on an apprentice. Job postings can typically be found at non-union trade organizations, as well as assistance from program directors and educators.

Non-union trade organizations that facilitate electrician training programs in Georgia are as follows:

 


 

Step 2. Consider Working as a Journeyman Electrician Before Earning Your Electrical Contractors License

The licensing process for electricians put in place by the Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board does not include the journeyman licensing phase that is found in virtually every other state and licensing jurisdiction. In Georgia, after completing your apprenticeship and technical training, you’ll be able to legally work for an electrical contractor without direct supervision and without the need to attain any interim licensure.

If you choose, after completing your apprenticeship and technical training you may proceed directly to the next step to apply for your contractor’s license without gaining additional experience.

However, if you complete an apprenticeship through the IEC, ABC or IBEW, you’ll still earn a Journeyman Certificate in accordance with national standards, though this is not legally required by the state of Georgia. Still, both unionized and even some non-unionized employers often require you to hold a Journeyman Certificate that aligns with national standards, so in many cases it is still key to continued employment.

Additionally, because these Journeyman Certificates align with national standards, you would often be allowed to work in other states by simply providing a copy of your certificate and getting a local journeyman license or certificate by reciprocity. In some licensing jurisdictions you may need to take a journeyman electrician exam to prove your knowledge to the state or county authority.

 


 

Step 3. Become Licensed as an Independent Electrical Contractor

The Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board issues two different Electrical Contractor licenses: Class I and Class II.

  • Class I license is restricted to electrical contracting involving single-phase electrical installations that do not exceed 200 amperes at the service drop or the service lateral
  • Class II licenses do not have this restriction

By earning either of these licenses, you can legally offer your services to the public in Georgia.

Both licenses require you to:

  • Complete the application
  • Be 21 years old
  • Submit proof of 4 years of experience as an electrician
  • Pass the proper exam with a score of 70%
  • Submit three references on the required form (at least one reference must be a licensed electrical contractor)

There is one additional experience requirement for Class II applicants. To get a Class II Electrical Contractor License, you have to have worked with and installed systems of more than 200 amperes.

When filling out the exam application you need to attach your three notarized references. Once you are approved to take the exam, you need to schedule the exam yourself. You’ll receive notification from the Construction Industry Licensing Board within 45 days of submitting your application if you’ve been approved.

To schedule your exam, follow the instructions provided in this exam bulletin. Also in the bulletin is the precise break down of the questions that will be on the exam.

The following are the general subjects and the number of questions that will be on each exam.

Class I:

  • Regulations, Laws, and Administrative Functions – 30 questions
  • Basic Electrical Circuits – 21 questions
  • Electrical Controls and Devices – 22 questions
  • DC and DC Rotating Equipment – 9 questions
  • Transformers – 7 questions
  • Interior Electrical Systems – 30 questions
  • Special Equipment, Conditions, and Locations – 21 questions
  • Pre-test questions – 15 questions
  • Total questions – 155 questions

Class II:

  • Regulations, Laws, and Administrative Functions – 30 questions
  • Basic Electrical Circuits – 14 questions
  • Electrical Controls and Devices – 15 questions
  • DC and DC Rotating Equipment – 16 questions
  • Transformers – 21 questions
  • Interior Electrical Systems – 23 questions
  • Special Equipment, Conditions, and Locations – 21 questions
  • Pre-test questions – 22 questions
  • Total questions – 162 questions

Once you pass the exam and receive your license, either Class I or Class II, you need to renew your license every two years. In order to do this, you need to keep up with the continuing education requirements for electrical contractors. Electrical contractors have to complete 4 hours of continuing education each year for a total of 8 hours every two years. Local JATCs or electrical unions often offer continuing education credits.

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