How to Become an Electrician in New Mexico

Becoming a licensed electrician means securing your position in a trade that offers job stability and a lot of respect from fellow tradesmen and clients. According to a 2015 report published by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, the number of jobs for electricians in New Mexico is expected to increase by 11.9% in the ten-year period leading up to 2024.

To earn a journeyman certificate and eventually become licensed as an electrical contractor, you’ll need to meet the licensing requirements of the New Mexico Electrical Bureau.

Follow the steps below to become licensed as an electrician in New Mexico:

Complete an Electrical Education Program and Gain the Hands-On Experience Required to Become a Journeyman
Pass the Journeyman Electrical Exam and Become Licensed as a Journeyman
Pass the Electrical Contractor Exam and Become Licensed as an Electrical Contractor

 


 

Step 1. Complete an Electrical Education Program and Gain the Hands-On Experience Required to Become a Journeyman

Your first step towards becoming a licensed electrician in New Mexico is gain the required, hands-on experience needed to become a journeyman electrician. You’ll need to choose the path that’s right for you and begin working under the supervision of a journeyman electrician or an electrical contractor.

You have a number of different electrical journeyman licensing options to consider in New Mexico requiring you to complete the experience requirements specified here:

Four Years (8,000 hours):

  • Residential and commercial electrical
  • Electrical distribution systems / transmission lines

Two Years (4,000):

  • Residential wiring
  • Electrical sign and outline lighting
  • Cathodic and lightening protection systems
  • Sound intercommunication, alarm systems and systems equal to or less than 50 volts
  • Telephone and interconnect systems
  • Water well pump installer
  • Residential water well pump installer

You may seek out the required experience in one of three ways:

  • Union or Non-Union Apprenticeship
  • Trade School
  • On-the-Job Training

Trade School

You can gain the required experience through a trade school electrical program. You may pursue an electrical education through one of seven programs in and around New Mexico

  • Central New Mexico Community College—Alberquerque
  • Luna Community College—Las Vegas
  • Navajo Technical University—Crownpoint
  • New Mexico State University—Carlsbad
  • New Mexico State University—Grants
  • Northern New Mexico College—Espanola
  • University of New Mexico—Gallup

Through your educational program, you will study the following topics:

  • Electrical Basics and Tools
  • The Service Entrance and Electrical Panels
  • Grounding and Wiring
  • Electrical Wiring Protection Devices
  • Electrical Boxes, Receptacles and Switches
  • Installing Lighting, Ceiling Fans, and Appliances
  • Introduction to Commercial Wiring
  • Conduit Work
  • Electrical Equipment for Commercial Installation
  • Electrical Circuits and Systems

Not only will you complete classroom study, but you’ll also gain experience in the field working under the supervision of a licensed electrician in New Mexico. Your school will have partnerships with electrical companies, construction companies, and independent electrical contractors who are interested in taking on an apprentice and teaching the trade.

Union or Non-Union Apprenticeship

Direct entry apprenticeships are also a popular way to gain the experience required to become a journeyman electrician.

Through the New Mexico Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), you can secure a union apprenticeship. The JATC offers the union-sanctioned apprenticeship through the combined efforts of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). You’ll be paired with an electrical contractor and learn to complete different tasks involved in wiring commercial and industrial buildings.

You might also seek a non-union apprenticeship through the Northern New Mexico Independent Electrical Contractors chapter, Southern New Mexico IEC chapter, or the New Mexico chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

On-the-Job Training

If a trade school program or formal apprenticeship program isn’t right for you, you may also become independently apprenticed to a licensed electrician in New Mexico. This may be a good option for you if you’d like to work under a specific contractor or with a certain company.

The experience you gain through apprenticeship is critical, as you will need 8,000 hours to move forward to journeyman certification.

 


 

Step 2. Pass the Journeyman Electrical Exam and Become Licensed as a Journeyman

In order to become licensed as a journeyman electrician in New Mexico, you will need a minimum of 8,000 hours (roughly four years) of hands-on experience as an electrician, including installing, altering or repairing electric light, heat or power.

You’ll need to fill out the application for journeyman certificate and mail it to:

PSI
2301 Yale Blvd. S.E., STE C-4
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Once PSI has received your application and approved you to test, you’ll register for the journeyman exam through PSI Exams.

The exam is split into two parts: Code Examination and Theory Examination. The test will cover:

  • Electrical Installation Requirements
  • Services, Feeders, and Branch Circuits
  • Overcurrent Protection
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Conductors and Cables
  • Raceways and Boxes
  • Hazardous Locations, Special Occupancies, and Special Equipment
  • Lighting, Signs, and General-Use Equipment
  • Motors, Transformers, and Generators
  • NM State Code

You will need at least a 70% to pass.

Your journeyman certificate will expire every three years. You’ll be required to complete a renewal application and mail it to PSI, at the address provided above.

Along with your renewal application, you’ll be required to submit proof of at least 16 hours of continuing education, with eight hours in code change instructions and eight hours in other industry-related instructions. The board only accepts approved courses, which are listed here.

 


 

Step 3. Pass the Electrical Contractor Exam and Become Licensed as an Electrical Contractor

In New Mexico, you’ll need a contractor’s license in order to bid and contract all electrical work, including sound, alarms, TV systems, computer data, and telephones.

You’ll start by submitting a contractor license application. Included with the application will be:

  • Proof of financial responsibility
  • Proof of current New Mexico tax ID number

You’ll sign up for the required exams through PSI exams. In New Mexico, you will be required to take the Business and Law exam as well as the Electrical Inspector exam in order to become licensed. You will need a minimum score of a 75% on both tests in order to pass.

The Business and Law Examination covers:

  • Licensing Requirements
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Business Organization and Financial Management
  • Tax Laws
  • Labor Laws
  • Project Management and Lien Law
  • Contracts
  • Risk Management
  • Environmental and Safety

The Electrical Inspector Examination covers:

  • General Knowledge and Electrical Installation Requirements
  • Services, Feeders, and Branch Circuits
  • Overcurrent Protection
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Conductors and Cables
  • Raceways and Boxes
  • Hazardous Locations, Special Occupancies, and Special Equipment
  • Lighting, Signs, and General-Use Equipment
  • Motors, Transformers, and Generators
  • New Mexico State Code
  • Low Voltage

Both examinations are open book, and you will be allowed to have the most current edition of the national electrical code and the New Mexico Electrical Code with you during the test.

For more information on the electrical contractor exams, you may consult the Contractor Examinations Candidate Information Bulletin.

Your electrical contractor license will expire annually, and you will need to renew it with a $50 fee.

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