How to Become an Electrician in Maryland

According to the Maryland Department of Labor, the mean annual wage for electricians in the state in 2015 was $54,868, or $26.50 per hour. Experienced electricians in the state are earning $64,890 annually, or $31.25 hourly. Electricians working in Anne Arundel County earn even higher average salaries – $65,771.


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The future is bright and earning potential is strong for electricians in Maryland, making this the perfect time to become an electrician in the Old Line State.

Electricians in Maryland are regulated and licensed by the county(ies) in which they work. Each of the state’s 24 counties has its own regulations, which means you’ll be required to hold a performance license in any county in which you plan to work.

As you become more experienced, you will qualify for a master electrician license through your local licensing authority. You can also pursue a state-issued master electrician license through the State Board of Master Electricians of Maryland, which will make it much easier to apply for additional performance licenses at the county level if you choose to offer services beyond county lines.

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

Get the Training and Job Experience Necessary to Become a Licensed Electrician
Take the Exam Required to Become Licensed in Your Jurisdiction
Earn the Maryland Master Electrician License
Obtain Necessary Insurance for a Maryland Master Electrician



Step 1. Get the Training and Experience Necessary to Become a Licensed Electrician

Electrician licensing in Maryland is handled at the local level, with each licensing jurisdiction maintaining an independent licensing process and requirements. Most major jurisdictions/counties in Maryland have a licensing structure that does not include a primary licensing level like journeyman, instead only offering a master electrician license. Exceptions for major licensing jurisdictions are shown here:

Baltimore County

  • Limited License (Commercial, residential and industrial settings) – Requires documenting proof of 5 years experience in the electrical trade, 2 of which must have involved being actively in charge of performing installations while under the supervision of a licensed electrician
  • Restricted License (Low voltage of 50 volts or less) – Requires documenting proof of 3 years experience in the electrical trade, 2 of which must have involved being actively in charge of performing installations while under the supervision of a licensed electrician

Anne Arundel County

  • Restricted License – Requires documenting proof of 3 years as an apprentice, journeyman in another jurisdiction or helper under the supervision of a Master Electrician with a total work history of 7 years OR proof of working for no less than 1 year under the supervision of a Master Limited Election
  • Master Limited License (On-site industrial plant work only) – No less than 2 years of documented experience under the supervision of a Master Limited or Master General Electrician

Documented experience in Anne Arundel County must be during the period immediately preceding an application for licensure.

Technical School Programs

By entering a technical school program and earning a certificate, diploma or Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology, or similar degree, you’ll be well positioned to begin looking for opportunities to gain the experience necessary to qualify for a journeyman, restricted, limited or master electrician license.

Though there is a significant classroom component to these programs, the focus is on hands on skills training in a shop setting. A technical school program for the electrical trade will prepare you with skills related to:

  • Residential Wiring
  • Commercial & Industrial Wiring
  • The National Electric Code
  • Electrical Theory
  • Applied Math
  • Safety/CPR/First Aid
  • Transformers/Generators
  • Electrical Motors
  • Reading Blueprints
  • Tools, Equipment, and Instruments
  • Low Voltage Wiring, Maintenance, and Repair
  • Cable Installation/Splicing Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

Some programs include an externship/field training component that will involve being placed with a locally licensed electrical contracting company. This could lead to full time employment as an electrical technician or apprentice if positions are available. Many technical school programs provide job placement assistance, making it easier to transition to the workforce after graduation.

You might also pursue an independent apprenticeship with a licensed electrician or a structured apprenticeship program through a trade organization like the Independent Electrical Contractors or Associated Builders and Contractors. If you have already made connections with a licensed electrician or want to work for a specific contracting company, you may also explore those options.

Apprenticeship Programs

You can locate Registered Apprenticeship opportunities through the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program (MATP). An apprenticeship allows you to earn a living while you learn the skills of the trade under the supervision of a Journeyman Electrician or Master Electrician and take classroom-based courses in the electrical field.

Most apprenticeships require you to complete 2000 hours of combined on-the-job training and classroom work. All apprentice programs in Maryland differ, but this is the state standard. Many programs have agreements with colleges in Maryland, allowing you to transfer credits earned as an apprentice into a degree program if you choose.

A list of approved apprenticeship partners and programs can be found here.

You will receive wages and benefits as an apprentice electrician in Maryland, and will usually be guaranteed a job after training is complete. Most employers or apprentice sponsors will pay for most, or all, of the cost of your training program.

Under the rules of the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program, in order to become an apprentice, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Meet high academic standards, including passing math and English tests
  • Pass a drug test
  • Be physically able to perform required tasks
  • Have your own personal transportation

To apply for the program, research the sponsors available and contact the sponsor directly to apply.

Your prospective sponsor will set up an interview and help you to apply for the program. Your sponsor will register you as an apprentice with the Maryland Department of Labor and file an Apprenticeship Agreement. At the conclusion of your program, you and your sponsor will file the Application for Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship. This will ensure that you will receive a Certificate of Completion and become an industry-recognized apprentice electrician upon completion of the program.

Apprentice Electricians in Maryland need not be licensed but must work under supervision of a journeyman electrician or higher at all times.

After completing your apprenticeship, you can move on to become a journeyman electrician in the Maryland county(ies) in which you wish to work.


Step 2. Take the Exam Required to Become Licensed in Your Jurisdiction

Once you have completed your initial training and experience phase, you may apply at the local/county level for a primary electrician license.

Since each county’s rules and regulations regarding electricians are different, you are advised to contact your local licensing department for information on primary licensing in your county.

Most major licensing jurisdictions/counties in Maryland have a licensing structure that does not include a primary licensing level like journeyman, instead only offering a master electrician license.

Your county may also require you to take a licensing exam to obtain a journeyman or other similar license.

You may also opt to skip this interim licensing step and continue to work as an apprentice under direct supervision and then take the examination for the state’s Master Electrician’s license once you’ve accumulated enough experience. This license exceeds the authority of all local electrical licenses. Before you may apply for the Master Electrician state license, you must have seven years of electrical experience under the supervision of a Master Electrician.



Step 3. Earn the Maryland Master Electrician License

A state-level Master Electrician License in Maryland is available through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and may be used to obtain local electrical permits. Each company may have just one Master Electrician, or you may work as an individual under this license- you can NOT both use the license as an individual AND assign it to your company if you choose to establish one. If you assign your Master Electrician license to your company, you are responsible for obtaining all local permits for the company and are also wholly responsible for the electrical work of the entire company.

In order to qualify to take the state’s Master Electrician Exam, you must have seven years of experience working under a Master Electrician. You may count your apprenticeship to fulfill up to three of these years. Make sure to present your original Certificate of Completion when applying for the exam.

If you have met these requirements, contact PSI Exams at 800-733-9267 for a Master Electrician examination application. The examination fee is $65. Exams are administered five days per week at six locations across Maryland- College Park, Crofton, Hagerstown, Lanham, Salisbury and Baltimore. The test consists of 100 questions, and you must get 70 percent correct to pass. You are allotted 240 minutes to complete the exam.

Exam content includes:

  • Electrical Theory- 20 points:
    • Definitions
    • Theory Including Ohm’s Law
    • Techniques
    • Troubleshooting
    • Equipment/Devices
    • Instruments
    • Materials
    • Math
    • Conversions
    • Diagrams
    • Symbols
  • Wiring and Protection – 14 points:
    • NEC Article 100
    • NEC Article 110
    • NEC Articles 200-210
    • NEC Articles 215-225
    • NEC Article 230
    • NEC Article 240
    • NEC Article 250-285
  • Wiring Methods and Materials- 13 points:
    • NEC Article 300
    • NEC Article 310-14
    • NEC Article 320-30
    • NEC Article 332-356
    • NEC Article 358-374
    • NEC Article 376-398
  • Equipment for General Use- 9 points:
    • NEC Article 400-411
    • NEC Article 422-27
    • NEC Article 430-50
    • NEC Article 455-90
  • Special Occupancies-8 points:
    • NEC Article 500-25
    • NEC Article 530-47
    • NEC Article 550-90
  • Special Equipment- 4 points:
    • NEC Article 600-75
    • NEC Article 680-95
  • Special Communications – 2 points:
    • NEC Article 700-08
    • NEC Article 720-30
  • Calculations – 30 points

Once you have passed the Master Electrician Exam, you must apply for the state Master Electrician license online through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. You will receive a registration number, pin and password by mail when you pass the exam. You must submit a written account of any criminal convictions and current status of these convictions related to incarceration, parole, probation, payments of a fine, restitution, etc. You must also submit certified true copies of any court dockets. The Maryland State Board of Master Electricians will make a determination on licensure from the documentation you submit.

Your Master Electrician License renews every two years at a fee of $25. Renewal may be done online. No continuing education is required at this time to maintain your Master Electrician license.

Maryland has reciprocal agreements with Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia at the Master Electrician level. You must complete a Reciprocal Initial License Application if you hold a license in one of these states.

Local licensing jurisdictions also offer Master Electrician licenses, which restrict the holder to only working within the county jurisdiction.



Step 4. Obtain The Necessary Insurance for a Master Electrician in Maryland

As a licensed Maryland Master Electrician, you do not need a contractor’s license to work for yourself. You do, however, need insurance before you may work in Maryland. This includes:

  • A minimum of $300,000 in General Liability insurance
  • A minimum of $100,000 in Property Damage insurance (amount may be higher, as counties vary on this requirement, check with the county in which you plan to work)
  • Worker’s Compensation insurance (if you have employees)

If you want to start your own electrical business, you will need a state of Maryland business license as well as a license in the county in which you plan to work. Register with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation first, then contact your local Clerk of the Circuit Court to file for a state business license. They can also direct you to any local licenses you may need to start your business.

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