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How to Become an Electrician in Nevada

In Nevada, licensed electricians are in high demand. In fact, a 2015 report published by the US Department of Labor predicted a 47.1% job growth rate between 2014 and 2024 for electricians in the state.

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In Nevada, regulations vary by city and county, and each jurisdiction has its own licensing authority. This means electricians abide by the licensing requirements applicable to the area in which they plan to work as they complete the experience required to earn a journeyman card.

Statewide, Nevada’s electrical contractors are licensed through the Nevada State Contracting Board. The board issues electrical contracting licenses to those who have worked as journeymen electricians for a minimum of four years.

Follow the steps in the guide below to work towards becoming licensed in Nevada:

Gain the Technical Training and Experience Required to Earn a Journeyman Card Through Your Local Licensing Board
Earn a General Journeyman Certification
Earn your Electrical Contractors License or Other Special Certification

 


 

Step 1. Gain the Technical Training and Experience Required to Earn a Journeyman Card Through Your Local Licensing Board

In Nevada, the licensing of individual electricians takes place at the local/county level. This means meeting county or city requirements in order to receive a journeyman card or certificate for that municipality. Here we show the requirements for the largest jurisdictions:

Reno:

  • Residential Journeyman (appropriate for all residential wiring installation, maintenance and repairs) – Qualifying to take the exam required for a residential journeyman license requires 6,000 hours (3 years)of documented job experience in the electrical trade
  • General Journeyman (appropriate for all residential, commercial, industrial and construction wiring installation, maintenance and repairs) – Qualifying to take the exam required for a general journeyman license requires 8,000 hours (4 years) of documented job experience in the electrical trade

Clark County (Las Vegas):

Clark County relies on state-licensed contractors to see to it they are employing qualified journeymen and master electricians to perform duties and supervise apprentices on job sites. The only requirement in place through the county is that journeymen and master electricians are qualified by examination. The county does not require proof of any documented experience or training. It is implied that these electricians are properly trained and have gained experience through trade school and apprenticeship programs since this would be a requirement for getting hired by a licensed contractor.

Trade School

There are currently three electrical trade school programs in Nevada:

  • College of Southern Nevada—Las Vegas
  • Great Basis College—Elko
  • Truckee Meadows Community College—Reno

Depending on the educational program, requirements for certification may vary slightly, but all programs will require you to be a resident of the state of Nevada and possess a valid driver’s license, be 18 years or older, and possess a high school diploma or GED.

Once you’ve enrolled in a program, your advisor can help you seek out an apprenticeship with an independent electrical contractor, an electrical company or a construction company that is partnered with the school.

Apprentice electricians are required to work under the employment of a state of Nevada licensed electrical contractor, and while you are an apprentice, you must be under the direct supervision of either a licensed electrical contractor or a certified journeyman or master electrician.

Through your electrician educational program, you will study courses that include:

  • Getting Started as a Residential Electrician
  • Working Safely with Electricity
  • Electricians’ Tools
  • Additional Unit Materials
  • The Nature of Electricity
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Working with Conduit
  • Wiring Electrical Components
  • Math for the Trades
  • Circuit Analysis and Ohm’s Law
  • Electric Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Troubleshooting Electrical Systems
  • Electrical Estimating

You’ll also receive an apprentice certificate through your trade school program. Renewal requirements in Nevada will vary among educational programs, but most apprentice certificates will need to be renewed yearly. To renew your apprentice certificate, you will need to submit transcripts of the classes you have completed and a record of employment with the local electrician you work for.

If you would rather seek out an independent apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed electrical contractor, you may do so on your own. You’ll just need to make sure that your employer is a licensed electrical contractor in the state and is interested in taking on an apprentice.

Apprenticeship Programs

There are two options for entering an electrical apprenticeship program in Nevada directly: union-sponsored, or open shop.

For union-affiliated apprenticeships, 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 local JATC to bring together field training and classroom education.

Nevada has two JATCs, one each for the northern and southern parts of the state:

Entry requirements for both programs are the same:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Have graduated high school or obtained a GED
  • At least one year of high school algebra or the ability to pass an algebra test
  • A qualifying score on an aptitude test
  • Ability to pass a drug test
  • Have a valid driver’s license

In direct-entry apprenticeship programs, you can expect to spend four years and 8,000 hours getting hands-on training under the supervision of a licensed master or journeyman electrician.

Classroom education will cover aspects of the National Electrical Code, which is implemented in Nevada with two different sets of modifications—one covering the northern part of the state, and the other covering the southern section.

Reno requires you to maintain an Apprentice Electrical Certificate during the course of your apprenticeship. Your apprenticeship program administrator will instruct you on the specific requirements for this once you are accepted.

 


 

Step 2. Pass the Exam Required for Your General Journeyman or Residential Journeyman Card

After completing an electrical apprentice educational program, the next step is to seek certification as a journeyman electrician in your place of residence.

Throughout Nevada, including Reno and Clark County, in order to become a journeyman electrician, you must apply for a Journeyman Electrical Certificate by examination, issued by the International Code Council.

The test will be based on the most current edition of the National Electrical Code.

Both the residential journeyman and the journeyman electrician exams will include questions on the following topics:

  • Grounding and bonding
  • Overcurrent protection
  • Wiring methods and installation
  • Boxes and fittings
  • Services and equipment
  • Motors
  • Special occupancies
  • Load calculations
  • Lighting
  • Appliances
  • Box and raceway fill
  • Hazardous location
  • Trade knowledge
  • Electrical theory

You will be required to renew your certificate every three years. In order to renew, you’ll have to provide proof of at 1.5 – 3 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which amounts to 15 hours of instruction. All CEUs must be related to the electrical trade, and you’ll be required to participate in a one-day code change class highlighting code changes to the current edition of the National Electrical Code.

You’ll also need to pay a $30.00 fee at the time of renewal.

Only approved CEUs will count towards your continuing education credit, so make sure to review this list of approved CEUs in Nevada.

Reno

In order to become certified, applicants will take either the residential journeyman exam or the journeyman electrical exam, depending on their qualifications:

  • The residential journeyman exam requires 6,000 hours of documented experience in the electrical trade
  • The journeyman electrician exam requires 8,000 hours of documented experience in the electrical trade

When submitting the Application for Journeyman Electrician Exam, applicants are required to provide:

  • Letters verifying employment during the required dates, written on company letterhead
  • Registration fee of ten dollars
  • Resume with detailed work experience

The detailed work experience section of your resume will require you to describe the nature of work you’ve completed. You will be expected to have completed work in two different areas of electrician expertise, such as residential wiring or troubleshooting and maintenance.

All documents must be submitted in person to the City of Reno, Community Development Department at 1 E. 1st Street, 2nd Floor, Reno, NV 89501

Clark County (Las Vegas)

Clark County Nevada’s Department of Development Services Building Division Journeyman and Master Electrician Examination Program is administered through the International Code Council’s Professional Certification Contractor Examination Service.

The computer-based Clark County Journeyman Electrician exam is administered for ICC by Pearson VUE, a professional test administration company. To register for the exam, call Pearson VUE at 1-877-234-6082.

After you pass the exam, ICC will mail you your official results along with an application for an ID card.

Your Journeyman card would need to be renewed every three years. ICC will send you an expiration notice, renewal instructions and an application for renewal ninety days prior to the expiration date.

Clark county also gives you the option to pursue Master Electrician Certificate, which also requires qualification by examination only. You can apply for the ICC exam and certification using the same process as described above for the journeymen exam.


 

Step 3. Earn Your Electrical Contractors License or Other Advanced Certification

Nevada requires all “businesses or individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in Nevada” to be licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board. For electricians, this involves becoming licensed as an electrical contractor.

You must have four years of experience to apply for a contractor’s license, and only experience at the journeyman level or as a foreman or supervising employee will count (in other words, you will not be able to count your experience gained as an electrical apprentice.)

You will need to submit the following documentation in order to become licensed:

  • Print and fill out the application and mail to either address, depending on your location:
  • Southern Nevada: 2310 Corporate Circle, Suite 200, Henderson, NV 89074
  • Northern Nevada: 9670 Gateway Drive, Suite 100 Reno, NV 89521
  • Submit a minimum for four notarized reference certificates (these can be completed by employers, co-workers, building inspectors, or electrical engineers, provided each reference has physically observed your electrical work.)
  • Submit detailed resume of your work experience, including employers’ contact information, dates employed, and the type of projects you have completed.
  • Provide a personal, current financial statement detailing your financial situation.
  • Pay an application fee, which varies by city and county. For details on your city of residence, call the Nevada State Contracting Board at: (702) 486-1100.

If this is your first time applying for a Nevada Electrical Contractor’s license, you will be required to take an exam through PSI Licensure. The exam will be located in one of three testing centers, located in Las Vegas, Reno, and Elko.

The exam is split into two parts: the standard Business and Law examination and a trade exam covering the electrical code.

  • The Business and Law examination will cover business management and construction law through multiple choice questions. This test is based on The Construction Business and Law Manual for Nevada.
  • The trade examination will also be made up of multiple choice questions, which cover the basics of the national electric code.

You will be allowed three attempts to take the exam; if you fail the third attempt, you’ll have to wait thirty days and then reapply.

Once you’ve passed the exam, you’ve earned your electrical contractor’s license. The electrical contractor license is valid for a two-year period after issuance and must be renewed every two years.

 

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