Since the licensing process for electricians in Mississippi is far easier than it is in many other states, you may very well make the move toward establishing your own electrical contracting business just a few years after completing your initial training.
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Follow these steps to learn how to become a licensed electrician in Mississippi:
|Get the Training and Experience Required to Become Licensed|
|Pass the Exam Required to Qualify for a Primary Electrician License Through Your City or Township|
|Earn an Electrical Contractor’s License Through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors|
Step 1. Get the Training and Experience Required to Become Licensed
In Mississippi, primary electrician licenses (Electrician, Journeyman Electrician) are issued at the local level only through your city’s Electrical Board. These local primary licenses permit you only to work within the city’s jurisdiction.
Achieving electrician journeyman status in Mississippi by completing an approved apprenticeship program and receiving a certificate of completion is still common. Getting a certificate of completion after gaining experience and training at the journeyman level through an apprenticeship program is a tried and tested route to entering the profession, but does not take the place of a municipal government issued license where required. State accredited apprenticeship programs generally consist of:
- 5 years (8,000 hours) of job experience and on-the-job training performing electrical work in residential and commercial settings
- 1,000 hours of classroom-based technical and safety training and electrical theory instruction
After initial training and experience requirements are met, many electricians in Mississippi choose to pursue Electrical Contractor licenses at the state level through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors. An Electrical Contractor license requires:
- Certification from an electrical trade school program AND 4 years experience performing electrical work under a master-level electrician
- Four-year degree AND one year of experience working under a master-level electrician
Local-level master electrician and contractor licenses are also available through some city Electrical Boards, but restrict the license holder to working and bidding jobs only within the city’s jurisdiction.
Technical School Programs
Technical schools often offer comprehensive industrial/commercial/residential electrical programs that will prepare you to work in any setting. These programs are designed to prepare graduates for entry level positions as electrician’s helpers or electrical apprentices, and provide one of the key qualifications necessary to earn a contractor’s license through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors.
These program consist primarily of hands-on training in a shop environment, along with classroom instruction. In your program you can expect to learn about:
- Commercial wiring
- Residential wiring
- Industrial wiring
- AC and DC circuits
- Branch circuit and service entrance calculations
- Electrical drawings and schematics
- Motor control systems
- Equipment maintenance and troubleshooting
- Solid state motor control
- Programmable logic controllers
Technical school programs in electrical technology often result in a certificate of completion in electrical systems technology or similar credential, which will make you a strong candidate for entry-level positions with electrical contracting companies in Mississippi.
To be eligible for most apprenticeship opportunities in Mississippi, you would be required to:
- Register locally as an apprentice by complete the apprenticeship application (which can be picked up at your local union or trade group’s office)
- Provide a copy of your valid Mississippi driver’s license
- Provide a copy of your social security card
- Provide a copy of your birth certificate
- Produce a copy of an official transcript, including all high school and college courses that you have taken (or GED certificate)
- Provide records of any courses that you have taken that are mandatory for admission into the apprenticeship program (for example, completion of Algebra 1 is often a prerequisite)
- Reside within the union’s jurisdiction
- Pay an application fee (usually nominal; $25)
- Pass an aptitude test
- Pass an admissions interview
Union apprenticeships through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Electrical Training Alliance are available at the following Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee locations in Mississippi:
- Corinth-Tupelo Miss. JATC in Corinth
- Jackson JATC in Byram
- Gulfport JATC
- Meridian Area Electricians JATC in Meridian
Apprenticing with the union would require you to become a dues-paying, card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Formal non-union apprenticeship programs are also available through the Mid-South Chapter of Independent Electrical Contractors located across the border in Memphis, Tennessee.
You can also find apprenticeship opportunities available directly through local electrical contractors or explore options available through the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation (MCEF).
Step 2. Pass the Exam Required to Qualify for a Primary Electrician License Through Your City or Township
Once you have completed your initial training and experience, you may apply to take the examination required to receive your primary electrician license (Electrician; Journeyman Electrician) at the local level. This process varies depending upon where you live in Mississippi. Contact the Board of Electrical Examiners in your area for information:
Where a designated Board is not available, the state maintains a list of local government links here.
Local requirements for practical experience and classroom hours typically align with state standards for accredited apprenticeship programs, requiring 5 years (8,000 hours) of job site experience and 1,000 hours of classroom-based instruction.
Exams are based on the National Electric Code and cover the following competencies:
- General Electrical Knowledge
- Service, Feeders, and Branch Circuits
- Grounding and Bonding
- Conductors and Cables
- Raceways and Boxes
- Special Occupancies and Equipment
- Electrical Power
- Low Voltage
- Illuminated Signs
- Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
- Safety Information
- Overcurrent Protection
You may be allowed to refer to the National Electrical Code during the exam.
Most jurisdictions require that you get 70 to 75 percent of the exam questions correct to pass the exam. Once you pass, you will be issued your Journeyman Electrician or other similar license within your jurisdiction.
Step 3. Earn an Electrical Contractor’s License Through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors
If you’re interested in bidding jobs independently and hiring a team of electricians you would take the state’s exam to become an Electrical Contractor.
Holding this license authorizes you to:
- Perform unrestricted electrical work statewide within the scope of either residential or commercial domains as determined by the specific license you hold
- Hire and employ electricians and other staff
- Bid jobs as an independent electrical contractor
This exam consists of two portions: 1) Master Electrician and Mississippi Law and 2) Business Management.
Before you can apply to become an Electrical Contractor, you must have worked under a master electrician for at least four years and have certification from an electrical trade school. If you have a four-year degree, you only need one year of experience working under a master electrician.
You must complete separate applications for Residential Contractor and Commercial Contractor, depending upon the type of work you wish to perform. (If you receive one licensure classification and wish to add an additional classification, you only need to complete the Application for Additional Classification). Keep these points in mind when completing your application:
- If you already have a corporation, LLC or LLP, it must be registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office prior to applying for Contractor Licensure
- Contact the Mississippi Department of Revenue to obtain a Mississippi Income Tax ID Number or Federal Tax ID number prior to application
- Provide a certificate of general liability insurance coverage showing current coverage, and MSBOC listed on the policy to be notified in the event of cancellation of coverage
- Provide a certificate of insurance showing current workers’ compensation coverage IF you have five or more employees
- Provide three reference letters: one from your bank and two from persons you have worked for or with on construction projects
- Show at least three jobs in the classification in which you seek licensure (example, three residential electrical jobs if you seek residential contractor licensure)
- Provide proof of employment (W2 form, check stub, articles of incorporation, etc)
- Application fee of $50 for one classification ($100 for each additional classification)
Once you submit your completed application to the Mississippi Bureau of Contractors, they will send you an Examination Application form. The examination fee is $240 if you are registering to take both portions. Make sure to check off the correct exams for which you are applying. Exams are given in Jackson. You may also arrange to take the exam in Louisiana or Alabama if that is easier for you.
The Master Electrician portion of the exam consists of 80 questions. You must get 70 percent correct to pass. You have three hours to complete the exam, which covers:
- General electrical knowledge
- Service, feeders and branch circuits
- Grounding and bonding
- Conductors and cables
- Raceways and boxes
- Special occupancies and equipment
- Electrical power
- Low voltage
- Illuminated signs
- Fire detection and alarm systems
- Safety information
- Overcurrent protection
You may use copies of the National Electrical Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and Ugly’s Electrical References during this portion of the exam.
The Law and Business Management portion of the exam is 50 questions long and you have two hours to complete it. You must get 70 percent of the questions right to pass. Content includes:
- Estimating and bidding
- Lien law
- Financial management
- Tax laws
- Labor laws
- Project management
- Business organization
- Risk management
- Environmental and safety
You may use a copy of the NASCLA Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management-Mississippi, 4th edition during the exam.
After both portions of the exam, you will immediately be given your scores on the computer screen. Hard copies of your scores, as well as your Master Electrician/Contractor license, will be mailed to you.
The State of Mississippi recognizes reciprocity if you hold a license with one of the following boards:
- Alabama General Contractors Board
- Alabama Electrical Board
- Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors
- Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors
- North Carolina Electrical Contractors Board
- South Carolina Contractors Licensing Board
- Tennessee Board for Licensing General Contractor
However, if you hold a license through one of the above-mentioned boards, you must still take the Mississippi Law and Business Management examination to become licensed as a contractor in Mississippi.