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How to Become an Electrician in Missouri

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, a subset of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, named electricians to the state’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Occupations list. The electrical trade has historically provided career opportunity, advancement, and stability, and it continues to do so today. In fact, the Missouri Department of Economic Development projects that the number of new jobs for electricians in Missouri will increase by 21% in the 10-year period leading up to 2022, with demand being even more substantial in areas like Kansas City (23%) and the Ozark region (23%).

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In Missouri, electrician licensing is handled locally at the city and county level, rather than blanketed by statewide regulations.

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

Obtain Work Experience and Classroom Education to Fulfill Licensing Board Requirements
Take the Journeyman Electrician Examination and Begin Working as a Journeyman
Become Licensed as a Master Electrician
Consider Becoming Licensed as an Electrical Contractor

 


 

Step 1. Obtain Work Experience and Classroom Education to Fulfill Licensing Board Requirements

Electrical licensing in Missouri is handled at the local level. This means qualifications for a journeyman license differ somewhat from city to city. Still, the general requirements are quite similar among the different licensing jurisdictions. To take the journeyman exam you must complete 8,000 hours of documented and supervised work experience along with some classroom-based technical training.

All the major licensing jurisdictions recognize the most common routes to qualifying for a journeyman license:

  • Five-year, 8,000-hour field apprenticeship, with 500-1000 hours of classroom training depending on the requirements of the licensing jurisdiction

OR

  • Two-year associate’s degree in electrical engineering or electrical technology and verification of 8,000 hours of supervised experience

OR

  • Four-year bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or electrical technology and verification of 4,000 hours of supervised experience

OR

  • Documented proof of 12,000 hours (6 years) of experience performing wiring work and maintenance with a licensed electrical contractor

Whether through an apprenticeship or technical school program, the classroom training would cover:

  • Electrical Theory
  • Structured wiring systems
  • National Electrical Code (NEC)
  • Conduit bending
  • Blueprint reading
  • OSHA safety
  • Industrial motor controls
  • Fiber optics
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeships are the most common route to a journeyman license. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) coordinates with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to organize local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC) to facilitate apprenticeships with unionized electrical contracting companies in the area. These apprenticeship programs are offered by local IBEW branches together with the JATC to bring together field training and classroom education. In Missouri, there are seven different JATCs that cover the state:

Apprenticeship programs through local JATCs will provide training that conforms to the journeyman licensing requirements for the area in which they are located.

Union apprenticeships have the following requirements for entry:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Submit a certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Submit your high school diploma or GED transcripts
  • Complete one full year of algebra
  • Complete one full year of geometry (specific to St. Louis JATC)
  • Receive a passing score on the electrical trade aptitude test
  • Union membership required

It’s also possible to participate in an apprenticeship through a non-union electrical contracting company. Formal non-union apprenticeship programs are offered through the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) trade association in coordination with local open shop electrical contractors. The entry requirements typically include:

  • A minimum age requirement, between 16 and 18 years of age
  • A high-school diploma or GED
  • Having a valid driver’s license
  • Passing a drug test and criminal background check

There are several options for non-union apprenticeship programs in Missouri.

Apprenticeship programs through the respective local chapters will align with local licensing requirements

Trade School or College Degree

Some Missouri jurisdictions accept a two-year degree from a certified trade school, or a four-year degree from a college, in lieu of the traditional apprenticeship program. These schools are usually required to be certified by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a multi-state accreditation authority. These programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Additional requirements include:

  • The degree must be in an associated (electrical, industrial, or elevator) field with a focus on electrical theory
  • Graduation must be verified by original transcript
  • Several thousand hours of practical experience with wiring must be verified; typically 8,000 hours for holders of two-year degrees and 4,000 hours for those with four-year degrees

Since colleges and trade schools do not automatically provide a hands-on learning environment in which to gain the practical experience required for licensing, it falls to the student to make their own arrangements. Some find part-time work with a non-union contractor to gain the necessary hours while still attending school. Others wait until they have received their degree and then accumulate the required hours as an unlicensed helper on the job.

Other Routes

Relevant Military Training – Some Missouri jurisdictions, such as St. Louis County, are also willing to accept relevant military training in lieu of other training. The burden is on the applicant to provide proof of such training and make the relevant comparisons with the NFPA70 (the National Fire Protection Association’s standard for electrical safety in the workplace) standards of the NEC.

Extensive Field Experience – Sometimes, extensive and direct field experience in the employment of an electrical contractor or elevator service company can substitute for classroom training requirements. Again using St. Louis County as an example, 12,000 hours of hands-on experience in either electrical wiring or elevator maintenance (for elevator-specific licenses) can serve as the necessary pre-qualifications for a journeyman electrical license.

 


 

Step 2. Take the Journeyman Electrician Examination and Begin Working as a Journeyman

Typically, after completing an apprenticeship, the next step would be to take the journeyman electrician examination and receive your license as a journeyman electrician. In Missouri, however, most city and county governments skip the journeyman license altogether and instead offer only higher-level licenses.

Jefferson City is one of the few cities in Missouri to offer a journeyman license. If you want to stand out above the rest and put your qualifications on display for potential employers, you may want to consider applying for a journeyman license through the City of Jefferson City, Department of Planning & Protective Services, even if you don’t plan to live or work nearby.

In order to be eligible for licensure as a journeyman electrician, you must:

  • Complete at least 8,000 hours as an apprentice (documented on company letterhead)
  • Submit an application for the journeyman license and pay the $105 licensing application fee
  • Submit an application for the journeyman electrical examination and pay the $100 testing fee
  • Receive a minimum score of 75% on the Prometric journeyman electrical examination

The journeyman examination is open book and consists of 80 questions with a three-hour time limit. Test topics include:

  • General electrical knowledge (10%)
  • Wiring and protection (22%)
  • Wiring methods and materials (19%)
  • Equipment for general use (19%)
  • Special occupancies (10%)
  • Special equipment (5%)
  • Special conditions (5%)
  • Communication systems (5%)
  • Safety (5%)

You can also use your apprenticeship completion certificate as proof of your education and training, rather than seeking a journeyman license.

 


 

Step 3. Become Licensed as a Master Electrician

Because there is no state regulatory board in Missouri, the licensing requirements for master electricians varies by city and/or county. Below is a step-by-step look at how to become licensed as a master electrician in Kansas City.

Kansas City

In Kansas City, electrician licenses are regulated by the City of Kansas City, City Planning & Development. You can become licensed as a class I or class II master electrician. Class I master electricians are allowed to install, alter, repair, or remove ANY electrical equipment. Class II master electricians are limited to working with certain types of electrical equipment and only with existing circuits spanning 10 feet or less.

Licensing requirements for class I and class II are generally similar and require you to:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete a licensing application and pay the $55 application fee
  • Provide two notarized reference letters from two different companies verifying that you have at least three years of experience in the electrical trade as a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor
  • Receive a passing score (70%) on the appropriate exam

Class I master electricians can sit for the master electrician examination administered by Prometric or the standard master electrician examination administered by the International Code Council (ICC). Class II master electricians must take the maintenance electrical examination administered by Prometric.

The maintenance electrician examination is open book and consists of 50 questions with a two-and-a-half-hour time limit. Test topics include:

  • General electrical knowledge (12%)
  • Wiring and protection (24%)
  • Wiring methods and materials (24%)
  • Equipment for general use (16%)
  • Special occupancies (6%)
  • Special equipment (6%)
  • Special conditions (4%)
  • Communication systems (4%)
  • Safety (4%)

 


 

Step 4. Consider Becoming Licensed as an Electrical Contractor

Application requirements for an electrical contractor license in Missouri are specific to the city and/or county in which you will offer your services. The requirements are a bit more in-depth than lower-level licenses because electrical contractors must assume ultimate liability for any work performed by their company.

Below is a step-by-step look at how to become licensed an electrical contractor in St. Louis County and Kansas City.

St. Louis County

In St. Louis County, electrician licenses are regulated by the St. Louis County Board of Electrical Examiners. Getting licensed as an electrical contractor in St. Louis County requires you to:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a minimum of 12,000 hours of practical experience
  • Provide verification of employment, including submission of W2 forms and the Affidavit of Employment Experience form
  • Receive a passing score (75%) on the master electrician examination administered by Prometric
  • Submit a licensing application
  • Pay the $20 application fee
  • Pay the $50 escrow deposit

There is an annual fee of $125 for the electrical contractor license, which is due December 31 each year. There is a $100 late fee assessed for each month the annual license fee goes unpaid.

The 12,000-hour practical experience requirement can be satisfied by meeting any ONE of the following:

  • 8,000 hours of electrical apprenticeship plus 4,000 hours of additional work experience
  • 8,000 hours of practical experience plus a two-year degree from an electrical trade school
  • 4,000 hours of practical experience plus a four-year degree in electrical engineering
  • 12,000 hours of practical experience while under the employment of an electrical contractor

If you have served in the military, you may also receive credit for any training in electrical wiring you received during your service.

The master electrician examination is open book and consists of 100 questions with a four-hour time limit. Test topics include:

  • General electrical knowledge (10%)
  • Wiring and protection (23%)
  • Wiring methods and materials (19%)
  • Equipment for general use (19%)
  • Special occupancies (9%)
  • Special equipment (5%)
  • Special conditions (5%)
  • Communication systems (5%)
  • Safety (5%)

In order to receive your electrical contractor license, you will also need to meet the county’s bond and insurance requirements, which include:

  • $10,000 indemnifying bond
  • $500,000 contractor liability insurance

Kansas City

In order to become licensed as an electrical contractor in Kansas City, you must:

  • Be licensed as a class I master electrician
  • Complete a licensing application and pay the $55 application fee
  • Provide proof of contractor liability insurance (minimum of $1,000,000 per occurrence)

There is a one-time licensing issuance fee of $167, and licenses are renewed every four years for a fee of $167.

In Kansas City, if you choose to become licensed as an electrical contractor and run your own business, you are required to hire an electrical supervisor or meet the requirements yourself and serve as the electrical supervisor for your business. Requirements for the electrical supervisor certificate include:

  • At least 21 years of age
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Complete a certificate application and pay the $55 application fee
  • Provide two notarized reference letters from two different companies verifying that you have at least three years of experience in the electrical trade as a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor. At least one year of experience must be in the commercial or industrial field.
  • Passing score (70%) on the low-voltage electrical examination administered by Prometric or the low-voltage electrician examination administered by ICC.

The low-voltage electrical examination is open book and consists of 50 questions with a two-and-a-half-hour time limit. Test topics include:

  • General electrical knowledge (14%)
  • Wiring and protection (10%)
  • Wiring methods and materials (14%)
  • Equipment for general use (6%)
  • Special occupancies (6%)
  • Special equipment (10%)
  • Special conditions (20%)
  • Communication systems (20%)

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