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How to Become an Electrician in Louisiana

The Louisiana Workforce Commission expects there to be an 8% increase in the number of jobs for electricians in Louisiana during the ten-year period leading up to 2024.

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Louisiana does not have a statewide regulatory board in place for non-contractor licenses, which means electrician licenses are issued for each city. Though your license will be issued at the local level for the city in which you’ll be employed, with proper licensure you will still be able to work throughout Louisiana since training requirements and practice standards are relatively similar throughout the state.

New Orleans is the example used in this guide. Regardless of where in Louisiana you’ll be licensed, you’ll follow the same general process as in New Orleans, starting out as a trainee, then becoming a journeyman, before earning a master electrician license, and then going on to register as an electrical contractor.

After getting an electrician license through your local municipal licensing authority, you may consider offering your services as an independent contractor by registering for the proper license with the Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors.

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

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

 


 

Step 1. Become a Trainee and Gain the Experience Required to Become Licensed

Electrician licensing in Louisiana is regulated at the county jurisdiction level rather than at the state level. This means the requirements for journeyman licensure may vary a bit from county to county, though requirements are generally uniform. In New Orleans, journeyman electrician licensing requires at least 5 years of experience as a trainee electrician.

Gaining the experience as a trainee required to earn your journeyman license can be accomplished in one of three ways – 1) Technical College, 2) Union Apprenticeship, or 3) Direct Hire Trainee:

1) Technical Colleges

If you choose to enroll in a technical college, you’ll have the opportunity to complete an associate’s of applied science degree or certificate of competency in electrical systems technology or electrical construction designed to prepare you to work in the field under a state licensed electrical contractor.

Technical school programs involve classroom-based learning, hands-on training in a lab environment and usually an internship that gets you out in the field gaining real-world exposure to electrical work under close supervision.

During your technical training you will study

  • Electrical Basics and Tools
  • Electrical Panels
  • Conduit Work
  • Grounding and Wiring
  • Wiring Protection Devices
  • Electrical Boxes, Receptacles and Switches
  • Wiring a Residence
  • Commercial Wiring & Installation
  • Circuits & Systems
  • Project Layout and Planning
  • Thinwall Conduit Raceway Systems
  • Rigid Conduit Raceway Systems
  • Floor Duct Installation
  • Motor Control Center Installation
  • Installing, Splicing and Terminating Wires and Cables
  • Cable Tray Installation
  • Lighting System Installation
  • Testing and Troubleshooting Feeders, Motors, and Branch Circuits
  • Fire Alarm and Security System Installation
  • Motor Installation
  • Installing and Terminating Transformers
  • Welding/Exothermic Welding and Brazing, Mechanical Fastening
  • Service and Troubleshooting
  • Material Handling and Pre-Fabrication
  • Safety Awareness

As you complete your program, you may transition from your internship to a full-time trainee position or pursue entry-level employment with a local contracting company on your own that is looking to hire a helper or trainee.

With a fundamental understanding of electrical theory and hands-on training you will make a strong candidate for a trainee position with a state licensed electrical contracting company.

2) Apprenticeship Programs

Union apprenticeship programs represent a tried and tested traditional route to gaining the education and trainee experience necessary to qualify for a journeyman license. Organized at the local level through Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATC) chapter offices, union apprenticeships represent a joint effort between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Union membership is required.

Union apprenticeships are available at the following Louisiana JATCs:

3) Apply Directly for a Trainee Position

You may also elect to apply directly for an electrical helper or trainee position with an electrical contracting company in your area. If you have construction industry or some basic electrical experience this is a viable option. Without some experience or formal training, it would be difficult to secure even a trainee position in a competitive job market.

Some licensed electrical contractors in Louisiana include:

  • Doyle Electric Inc
  • Copeland Electric
  • Trinity Electric
  • Fizgerald Electrical, LLC
  • Leger Electric LLC
  • Blanchard Electric Inc
  • Anytime Electric LLC
  • Kintzing Electrical Contractors Inc

Trainee Licensing

In New Orleans, you’ll need an electrical trainee license while working in an entry-level role or in a formal apprenticeship program. To apply for your trainee license, you will need to:

  • Apply with this form
  • Present two current passport sized photos
  • Provide copy of driver’s license
  • Provide letter on company letterhead from employer or trade union asking for a helper’s license on behalf of the applicant

 


 

Step 2. Take the Examination Required to Become a Journeyman or Maintenance Electrician

Here you will find instructions for taking the exam required to work as a Class D Journeyman Electrician in New Orleans.

A journeyman electrician license authorizes you to install or repair electrical materials under the employment of an electrical contractor. The requirements for this license are:

  • Five years of continuous working experience as an electrician
  • Four years with a state approved training program or apprenticeship
  • Four years with an electrician helper’s license
  • Pass the journeyman electrician exam at 70%
  • An application

The journeyman test is four hours long, has 80 multiple choice questions, and is open book. The study materials for this exam are the 2011 National Electric Code and any edition of Ugly’s Electrical Reference. Details about the test can be found in this bulletin. The breakdown of the topics on the exam is:

  • General Knowledge – 6%
  • Services and Service Equipment – 11%
  • Feeders – 4%
  • Branch Circuits and Conductors – 26%
  • Wiring Methods and Materials – 26%
  • Equipment and Devices – 13%
  • Control Devices – 4%
  • Motors and Generators – 6%
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions – 11%

As of January 1, 2016, the exam is administered on a quarterly basis as a pen and paper exam. Information about testing sites, the exam application, and the application deadlines can be found in this document from the International Code Council, which administers the exam.

Once you earn your journeyman electrician license, you’ll need to renew it annually, within a month of your birthday. Your license can be renewed through this application.

You can also apply for a maintenance electrician license. A maintenance electrician license is for electricians that are employed exclusively in a maintenance capacity. The license is only valid when employed by a business. Maintenance electricians are only authorized to do work on existing electrical installations. The requirements for this license are:

  • Five years of working experience as an electrician
  • Pass the maintenance electrician exam at 70%
  • An application

The maintenance test is three hours long, has 60 multiple choice questions, and is open book. The study material for this exam is the 2011 National Electric Code. Details about the test can be found in this bulletin. The breakdown of the topics on the exam is:

  • General Knowledge and Calculations – 10%
  • Utilization Equipment and Devices – 23%
  • Motors and Controls – 8%
  • Wiring Methods, Materials, and Conductors – 32%
  • Grounding and Overcurrent Protection – 18%
  • Special Occupancies, Systems, and Equipment – 8%

As of January 1, 2016, the exam is administered on a quarterly basis as a pen and paper exam. Information about testing sites, the exam application, and the application deadlines can be found in this document from the International Code Council, which administers the exam.

Once you earn your maintenance electrician license, you’ll need to renew it annually, within a month of your birthday. Your license can be renewed through this application.

 


 

Step 3. Earn a Master Electrician License in Your Area

After working as an electrician under an electrical contractor for five years, electricians can apply for a Class A Master Electrical License in New Orleans. The Class A master electrician license is also referred to as an electrical contractor license and doubles as the necessary requirement for working as an independent contractor, covered in the next section.

A master electrical license is a step above an electrician license and indicates that the electrician is very experienced. Holding an electrical contractor license authorizes an electrician to install, repair, or contract to install or repair electric utilities and apparatus of all kinds up to systems operating at 49 volts.

Applying for a master electrical license is much like applying for a journeyman electrician license. The requirements are:

  • Pass the Louisiana Master Electrician – 701 Exam
  • Provide two passport size photos
  • Maintain a physical place of business where an employee is during regular business hours to receive communication from the Electrical Inspection Division
  • Represent only one business or firm at a time
  • Fill out the application as an electrical contractor
  • Have General Liability insurance up to $500,000 and Worker’s Compensation as the state requires
  • Provide copy of driver’s license or state ID
  • Pay requisite application fee

The master electrical exam is five hours long, has 100 multiple choice questions, and is open book. The study material for this exam is the 2011 National Electric Code. The breakdown of the topics on the exam is:

  • General Knowledge and Plan Reading – 12%
  • Services and Service Equipment – 16%
  • Feeders – 4%
  • Branch Circuits and Conductors – 16%
  • Wiring Methods and Materials – 19%
  • Equipment and Devices – 10%
  • Control Devices – 3%
  • Motors and Generators – 8%
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions – 12%

As of January 1, 2016, the exam is administered on a quarterly basis as a pen and paper exam. Information about testing sites, the exam application, and the application deadlines can be found in this document from the International Code Council, which administers the exam.

Once you earn your master electrician license, you’ll need to renew it annually, within a month of your birthday. Your license can be renewed through this application.

 


 

Step 4. Consider Becoming Licensed as an Independent Electrical Contractor

In order to offer your electrical services to the public in Louisiana, you will need to register as a commercial or residential contractor with the State. With this license, you can hire master electricians and run a business as a local contractor.

There are two types of contractors in Louisiana: residential and commercial. The commercial contractor license authorizes specialty trades, such as electricians, to work on commercial projects valued at $10,000 or more. The residential contractor license authorizes specialty trades to work on residential projects that are valued at $7,500 on residential properties.

The requirements are similar for both licenses:

  • Fill out a license and specify as commercial or residential
  • Provide a financial statement proving a net worth of $10,000 (no older than 12 months old)
  • Designate a Qualified Party to hold all the necessary qualifications (can be sole individual)
  • Pass the required Business and Law and trade examinations (information will be sent to the Qualifying Party upon receipt of the application)

Additionally, for residential contractor license holders, they need to prove a minimum of $100,000 in general liability insurance.

Once you earn your license, you have to renew your license after a year. At that time, you can choose to renew it for one-, two-, or three-year periods. You will be notified by mail that you need to renew your license 30 days before the deadline. You’ll also need to keep up with the continuing education requirements. Six hours of continuing education need to be completed each year through one of the approved continuing education providers.

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