How to Become an Electrician in New Jersey

It’s an excellent time to become an electrician in New Jersey. According to the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the number of jobs in the electrical trade is expected to grow 18.5% during the ten-year period leading up to 2024, offering both job security and opportunities to go into business for yourself as an independent contractor.

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In New Jersey, you will first become an apprentice electrician through your chosen educational program before the New Jersey Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors (BEEC) licenses you as a journeyman, and eventually as an electrical contractor.

Follow the steps below to become a licensed electrician in New Jersey:

Enter an Electrical Training Program and Gain the Experience Required to Become a Journeyman
Apply for a Journeyman Electrician License
Pass the Electrical Contractor Exam and Become Licensed as an Electrical Contractor



Step 1. Enter an Electrical Training Program and Gain the Experience Required to Become a Journeyman

In order to become a qualified journeyman electrician in New Jersey, you must document 8,000 hours of practical electrical experience (including the installation and alteration of electrical wiring and components used for heat or power) under the direct supervision of a journeyman or master electrician. At least half (4,000 hours) of this experience must be completed within the five years immediately prior to applying for a journeyman license. In addition, you will be required to complete at least 576 hours of classroom instruction in order to apply for a journeyman license.

The first step to becoming a licensed electrician in New Jersey is to complete classroom and lab-based training while gaining hands-on experience in the electrical field. Your field experience would involve completing tasks that include wiring installation and maintenance under the direct supervision of a journeyman or master electrician who is licensed in the state of New Jersey.

You may start gaining the required training and experience by enrolling in a trade school program or pursuing a union or non-union apprenticeship directly.

Trade School

Trade schools offer a structured path to gaining electrical education and hands-on experience. By earning a certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology or another closely related major, you’ll easily satisfy the 576 hours of classroom instruction required to apply for your journeyman license.

These are among the technical schools in New Jersey offering qualifying programs:

  • Atlantic Co. Vocational Technical School—Mays Landing
  • Bergen County Technical Schools—Hackensack
  • Camden County Technical School—Sicklerville
  • Hohokus School of Trade & Technical Services—Paterson
  • Hudson County Area Vo-Tech School—North Bergen
  • Hudson Electrical Institute Inc.—Jersey City
  • Lincoln Tech—Union
  • Mercer County Technical School—Trenton
  • Middlesex County Vocational School—Perth Amboy
  • Monmouth County Vocational School—Freehold
  • Ocean County Vocational Technical School—Brick
  • Pennco Tech—Blackwood
  • Raritan Valley Community College—Somerville
  • Union County Vo Tech—Scotch Plains

Electrical education programs will cover the following topics:

  • Trade Electricity
  • Commercial Wiring
  • Techniques of the Trade
  • Conduit Bending
  • Motor and Motor Control
  • DC Electronics
  • AC Electronics
  • Basic Applied Electronic Math
  • Fundamentals of Electric Motor Control
  • Building Inspection/Electrical

As well as classroom and lab-based study, you’ll also complete electrical tasks such as residential and commercial wiring, installation and maintenance under the supervision of a licensed electrician in the state. In most cases, these programs would involve an internship that will place you with a state-licensed contractor. After completing your certificate or degree program you may be able to transition to fulltime employment as a technician trainee or pursue a formal paid apprenticeship to gain the experience required to earn your journeyman license.

Union or Non-Union Apprenticeship

As an alternative to entering trade school, you may also enter an apprenticeship program directly. Earning hands-on experience through an apprenticeship is the most common way to work your way towards becoming a journeyman electrician in New Jersey.

You may seek a union apprenticeship through Electrical Training Alliance programs managed jointly between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). The New Jersey Joint Apprentice Training Committee (NJJATC) offers union-sanctioned apprenticeship opportunities through several JATC offices throughout the state:

Participating in a union apprenticeship would involve becoming a member of the IBEW.

If you’d like to seek a non-union apprenticeship through a local merit shop, you may do so by applying for the program offered through the New Jersey Independent Electrical Contractors.



Step 2: Apply for an Electrical Journeyman License

You’ll be able to apply for a journeyman license provided you have met the qualifications to become a journeyman electrician, which include:

  • 8,000 hour of practical electrical experience
  • Minimum of 576 classroom instruction hours

You’ll need to print and fill out the Application for a Certificate of Registration to Practice as a Qualified Journeyman Electrician. You’ll mail it to:

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors
124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 45006
Newark, New Jersey 07101

The application will require that you give a detailed account of your work experience, including working with tools in the installation, alteration, or repair of wiring for electric light, heat or power.

The application also includes a reference form to be completed by an employer who has directly supervised your work.

Once you’ve become licensed as a journeyman electrician, you will need to renew your license every three years. You will need to complete 10 hours of continuing education units every three years. Upon renewal, the board requires that you submit certificates of completion for each credit.

You will need to fill out the renewal form and mail it to the board along with a $160.00 renewal fee.



Step 3. Pass the Electrical Contractor Exam and Become Licensed as an Electrical Contractor

The final step as an electrician in New Jersey is becoming an electrical contractor. You will be required to pass an exam and meet certain requirements to apply for licensing:

  • You must be over 21 years of age
  • You must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent
  • You must have documented proof of at least five years of experience working with tools in the installation, alteration, or repair of wiring for electric light, heat or power (this includes completion of a four-year apprenticeship program and one year of hands-on experience, or a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and two years of hands-on experience.)

In order to take the electrical contractor exam, you’ll need to fill out this application for examination and mail it with a fee of $100.00 to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

The exam is made up of 150 questions, and you will need a minimum of a 70% to pass.

Topics include:

  • General Electrical Knowledge
  • Raceways and Enclosures
  • Services, Feeders, and Branch Circuits
  • Overcurrent Protection
  • Conductors and Cables
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Equipment for General Use
  • Special Occupancies
  • Special Equipment and Conditions
  • Motors and Controls
  • Low Voltage and Communications Circuits

You will be allowed to use the most current version of the National Electrical Code in the testing center. For more information, consult the New Jersey State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors’ Electrical Contractor Licensure Examination Bulletin.

You will be required to renew your electrical contractors’ license every three years with a renewal fee of $150 and proof of at least 34 hours of continuing education. You’ll need to fill out and mail this renewal form to the board.

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