How to Become an Electrician in Vermont

It’s an excellent time to pursue a career as an electrician in Vermont. A 2015 report published by the Vermont Department of Labor predicted that the electrician job market will experience a 14% increase over the ten years leading up to 2024.

In Vermont, you’ll begin your journey by becoming a registered electrical apprentice through the Vermont Department of Labor. As you complete your apprenticeship and move forward, all licensing will be handled through the Vermont Electrical Licensing Board, a division of the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety.

Follow the steps in the guide below to start your career as an electrician in Vermont:

Get the Technical Training and Experience You Need to Earn a License
Apply for Your Journeyman or Specialist Electrician License and Pass the Required Exam
Apply for a Master Electrician or Special Electrician License in Vermont

 


 

Step 1. Get the Technical Training and Experience You Need to Earn a License

To become a licensed Journeyman Electrician in Vermont, you will need to satisfy ONE of the following requirements:

  • Complete a trade school or appropriate military program and gain 8,000 hours of experience under a licensed electrician
  • Gain 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom-based technical training through a Vermont State or IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Apprenticeship Program
  • Document 12,000 hours of relevant experience

To qualify for an Electrical Specialist license, you’ll need to satisfy ONE of the following requirements:

  • Complete a trade school program and gain one year (2,000 hours) of job experience under a licensed electrician
  • Document proof of two years (4,000 hours) of experience under a licensed electrician

Trade School

According to the Vermont Department of Labor, most electricians in training attend classes at Vermont Technical College, which offers a variety of satellite locations throughout the state, in the following cities:

  • Randolph Center
  • Williston
  • Bennington
  • Brattleboro
  • Lyndon
  • Middlebury
  • Newport
  • Albans
  • Springfield
  • White River Junction

Through the Vermont Technical College electrical program, you will be able to secure an apprenticeship with a local licensed electrician. Your advisor can help you find a licensed electrician in your area who is interested in taking on an apprentice.

While earning your hands-on experience in the field, you’ll also be completing critical classroom study on the following topics:

  • Current Edition of the National Electric Code (NEC)
  • Grounding and Wiring
  • Wiring Protection Devices
  • Electrical Boxes, Receptacles and Switches
  • Electrical Circuits and Systems
  • Conduit Work
  • Commercial Wiring
  • Wiring a Residence to NEC and IRC Codes

On-the-Job Training

You might also seek independent apprenticeship with a licensed electrician in Vermont. This is an alternative to more formal, structured apprenticeship programs through trade schools, the union or nonunion organizations. If you already have connections with a licensed electrician or want to work for a specific contracting company, this might be the best route to take.

Union Apprenticeship

You may seek a union-sanctioned apprenticeship through the Vermont Joint Apprentice and Training Committee (VT JATC). The Vermont JATC offers apprenticeships in partnership with both the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Completing an Apprenticeship Agreement

Whether you’ve chosen a union apprenticeship, an apprenticeship through your trade school, or have secured your own on-the-job training, The Vermont Department of Labor requires that your employer contact the apprenticeship office by calling 828-5250. The apprenticeship office will send a representative to make an on-site visit to your workplace, and you’ll need to complete an apprenticeship agreement with your employer.

Qualifications for apprenticeship include:

  • High school diploma/GED
  • Basic mathematics and science courses


 

Step 2. Apply for Your Journeyman or Specialist Electrician License and Pass the Required Exam

Once you’ve completed the required number of classroom-based and on-the-job experience hours, you’ll be eligible to apply for your journeyman or specialist electrician license. You’ll need to fill out the Electrical License Application and mail it to the board with a $115 fee.

(If you have not completed a formal apprenticeship or trade school program, you will need to submit proof of 12,000 hours of experience through signed affidavits from your employer(s).)

In addition, the application will require you to include:

  • Names and contact info of three people who have come into direct contact with your electrical work
  • A reference from an employer proving that you have completed the required hours

You’ll mail the completed application to:

Division of Fire Safety
Attn: Electrical Licensing Board
1311 US RTE 302, Suite 600
Barre, VT 05641-2351

Journeyman License 

Testing for the journeyman exam is proctored through Pearson VUE. You would register online for a $65 fee and schedule the computer-based test. For paper and pencil testing, you can register online through the International Code Council.

The journeyman electrician exam consists of 90 multiple-choice questions to be completed in four hours. The test covers:

  • General Knowledge—8%
  • Services and Service Equipment—12%
  • Feeders—3%
  • Branch Circuits and Conductors—18%
  • Wiring Methods and Materials—22%
  • Equipment and Devices—13%
  • Control Devices—3%
  • Motors and Generators—5%
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions—10%
  • Local Amendments—6%

The exam is open-book, and you will be allowed to reference:

  • The current edition of the National Electrical Code
  • The current edition of the State of Vermont Electrical Safety Rules
  • Ugly’s Electrical Reference

If you have additional questions about the exam, you may reference the International Code Council’s State of Vermont Examination Information Bulletin.

You will need to renew your journeyman license every three years with proof of 15 completed hours of continuing education courses. The board only recognizes approved continuing education courses.

You can print and mail your renewal application to the board.

Specialist Electrician License

You may also apply for a specialist electrician license, provided you have completed at least one year of a training program and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training experience.

If you haven’t completed a formal trade school training program, you may also apply for a specialist electrician license if you can provide proof of at least two years (4,000 hours) of experience performing electrical work.

You’ll also need to register for an exam through Pearson VUE. Depending on your specialization, you will need to take one of the following exams:

  • Automatic gas and oil heating
  • Outdoor advertising signs
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning electrical
  • Appliance and motor repairs
  • Electrical well pumps
  • Electric farm equipment
  • Commercial fire alarm
  • Household fire detection and alarm
  • Gas pump installation and bulk plant works
  • Electric lock installation

The specialist electrician license will expire after three years, during which time you must complete 15 hours of approved continuing education courses.

To apply for a master electrician license, you’ll need to have held a journeyman license for at least two years.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for a Master Electrician or Special Electrician License in Vermont

Once you’ve held a journeyman electrician license for two years, you’re eligible to apply for a master electrician license.

If you haven’t held a journeyman license for two years, you may also apply for a master electrician license with 16,000 hours of experience and signed affidavits from previous employers proving that you have completed the required hours.

You’ll need to fill out an application and mail it with a $150.00 fee to the electrical licensing board. The application will require you to include a summary of your electrical experience.

Once your application is accepted, you can schedule the master electrician exam through Pearson VUE for a $65 fee.

The master electrician exam is made up of 105 multiple-choice questions to be completed in five hours. The exam covers:

  • General Knowledge—11%
  • Services and Service Equipment—15%
  • Feeders—4 %
  • Branch Circuits and Conductors—16%
  • Wiring Methods and Materials—17%
  • Equipment and Devices—10%
  • Control Devices—3%
  • Motors and Generators—8%
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions—11%
  • Local Amendments—5%

The exam is open-book, and you will be allowed to reference:

  • The current edition of the National Electrical Code
  • The current edition of the State of Vermont Electrical Safety Rules
  • Ugly’s Electrical Reference

For additional information on the exam, please reference the International Code Council’s examination bulletin.

You’ll need to renew your master electrician license every three years, with proof of completion of 15 Vermont-approved continuing education hours.

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