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How to Become an Electrician in Texas

In the midst of a housing and commercial construction boom, the job market for the skilled trades looks promising in Texas. In fact, a 2015 report released by the Texas Labor Market & Career Information Department found that the number of jobs for electricians in the state is expected to grow by 27.8% during the 10-year period leading up to 2024, leaving no shortage of opportunities for licensed electricians in the state.

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From apprentice to journeyman to master electrician, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) will handle all steps of electrician licensing and renewal.

Follow the steps in the guide below to earn your electrician license in Texas:

Get the Technical Training and Experience You Need to Earn a License
Apply for a Journeyman Electrician or Residential Wireman Electrician License
Become Licensed as a Master Electrician or Electrical Contractor

 


 

Step 1. Get the Technical Training and Experience You Need to Earn a License

To qualify for an electrician license through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, you’ll need to gain the required number of hours of job site training experience:

  • Journeyman electrician: 8,000 hours of experience and on-the-job training (equivalent to four years)
  • Residential wireman: 4,000 hours of experience and on-the-job training (equivalent to two years)

You may begin gaining in one of two different ways:

  • Apply for a position in a formal union or non-union apprenticeship program
  • Enroll in a trade school program and transition into an entry-level apprenticeship position

Trade Schools

Trade schools approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation will allow you to complete 48 weeks of classroom-based training on residential and commercial wiring.

Through a trade school, you’ll study the following topics:

  • Commercial Wiring
  • Tech Electrical
  • Electronics for Electricians
  • Grounding Electrical
  • Programmable Controllers
  • Conduit Bending for Electrical
  • Electrical/Micro Comp
  • Fiber Optic Electrical
  • Fire Alarm/Security
  • Electric Motor Control
  • Electrical Code
  • Arc Welding
  • Standard First Aid

These trade schools will also offer the opportunity for you to receive on-the-job training under the supervision of licensed electrical contracting companies that partners with the school. You’ll complete wiring, maintenance, and installation under supervision and learn to install fire alarms, security systems, and commercial wiring.

Approved programs will help you make the transition to a union or non-union apprenticeship to gain the remaining experience hours required for the electrician license you choosing to pursue (journeyman or residential wireman).

Union or Non-Union Apprenticeship

There are 44 apprenticeship programs that are approved by the Texas Board of Licensing and Regulation. If you’d like to pursue a union-sponsored apprenticeship in Texas, you may do so through one of the 11 Electrician Training Alliance Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committees (JATC) found in Texas. Through a partnership with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), JATCs offer apprenticeships through offices in the following areas:

Participating in a union apprenticeship would involve joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

If you’d prefer to pursue a non-union regulated apprenticeship, you may do so through Texas chapters of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC) or Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC):

IEC:

ABC:

Apprentice Licensing

Once you have been approved for an apprenticeship, you may apply for your apprentice license through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. You can apply online, or print and mail the apprentice application along with the $20 processing fee to:

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
PO Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711

You will need to renew your apprentice license online each year of your apprenticeship.

You will need 4,000 minimum hours of on-the-job training to become a residential wireman and at least 8,000 hours to become a journeyman electrician.

 


 

Step 2. Apply for a Journeyman Electrician or Residential Wireman Electrician License

Once you have completed your apprenticeship, depending on your career goals, you may choose to pursue either a journeyman electrician license or a residential wireman license.

Journeyman Electrician License

You will need 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician to apply for a journeyman electrician license.

There are two steps to obtaining a journeyman license: applying with the TDLR, and taking the journeyman electrician exam.

You will need to print and fill out the journeyman electrician license application, including a detailed description of the nature of work completed during your apprenticeship and a $30.00 fee. You can mail it to:

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
PO Box 12157
Austin, Texas 78711

After your application is accepted, you will need to register for the journeyman electrician exam, which is hosted by PSI Exams. The examination fee is $74.

The journeyman exam consists of 80 questions to be completed in 240 minutes, and you will need a score of at least 70% to pass.

The exam covers:

  • Definitions, Calculations, Theory, and Plans—6 questions
  • Electrical Services, Service Equipment, and Separately Derived Systems—9 questions
  • Electrical Feeders—3 questions
  • Branch Circuit Calculations and Conductors—15 questions
  • Electrical Wiring Methods and Electrical Materials—18 questions
  • Electrical Equipment and Devices—10 questions
  • Motors and Generators—5 questions
  • Electrical Control Devices and Disconnecting Means—3 questions
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment—9 questions
  • Renewable energy technologies—2 questions

Your journeyman license will need to be renewed every eighteen months online with a $30 renewal fee and proof of completion of 4 continuing education hours.

The TDLR only accepts approved continuing education hours. Each of the following topics must be represented by one hour of training:

  • National Electric Code (NEC)
  • Texas Law (Title 8, Occupations Code, Chapter 1305)
  • Texas Rules (Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 73)
  • Electrical safety (NFPA 70E)

For more details about the journeyman electrician exam, please see the TDLR’s Electrician Candidate Examination Bulletin.

Residential Wireman License

To apply for your residential wireman license, you will need a minimum of 4,000 hours of on-the-job training under a master electrician. In addition, you’ll need to pass the residential wireman exam.

You’ll need to print and mail the residential wireman application form to the TDLR with a $20 fee and a detailed description of the nature of electrical work you have completed.

Once your application is accepted, you’ll need to register for the residential wireman exam through PSI Exams. The examination fee is $60.

The residential wireman exam is made up of 80 questions to be completed in 240 minutes, and you will need a 70% to pass.

The test will consist of:

  • Definitions, Calculations, Theory, and Plans—8 questions
  • Electrical Services, Service Equipment, and Separately Derived Systems—16 questions
  • Electrical Feeders—7 questions
  • Branch Circuit Calculations and Conductors—14 questions
  • Electrical Wiring Methods and Electrical Materials—10 questions
  • Electrical Equipment and Devices—12 questions
  • Motors and Generators—2 questions
  • Electrical Control Devices and Disconnecting Means—2 questions
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions—7 questions
  • Renewable Energy Technologies—2 questions

You will need to renew your license online every 18 months for a $20 fee. You’ll also need to provide proof of completion of at least 4 TDLR approved CE hours, covering the topics of The National Electric Code, Texas Law (Title 8, Occupations Code, Chapter 1305), Texas Rules (Title 16, Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 73), and Electrical safety (NFPA 70E).

For more information about the residential wireman exam, please see the TDLR’s Electrician Candidate Information Bulletin.

 


 

Step 3. Become Licensed as a Master Electrician or an Electrical Contractor

Once you have been a journeyman electrician for at least two years, you will be qualified to test for your master electrician’s license, provided you have completed at least 12,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician.

You’ll need to print and fill out the master electrician application form and mail it to the TDLR with a $45 fee. Next, you’ll need to apply for the master electrician exam through PSI exams and submit a $74 examination fee.

The master electrician exam consists of 100 questions to be completed in 300 minutes. You will need a minimum score of 70% to pass.

The test’s questions consist of the following topics:

  • Definitions, Calculations, Theory, and Plans—12 questions
  • Electrical Services, Service Equipment, and Separately Derived Systems—16 questions
  • Electrical Feeders—4 questions
  • Branch Circuit Calculations and Conductors—15 questions
  • Electrical Wiring Methods and Electrical Materials—16 questions
  • Electrical Equipment and Devices—12 questions
  • Motors and Generators—8 questions
  • Electrical Control Devices and Disconnecting Means—3 questions
  • Special Occupancies, Equipment, and Conditions—12 questions
  • Renewable Energy Technologies—2 questions

After receiving your master’s electrician license, you’ll need to renew it every 18 months. You’ll need to complete four hours of CE requirements each renewal cycle, and you can renew your license online for a $45 fee.

You may also choose to become an electrical contractor in Texas. To become an electrical contractor, you’ll need to either be licensed as a master electrician or employ a master electrician.

You’ll need to fill out the electrical contractor license application, include a $110.00 fee, and renew it every 18 months with a $110 renewal fee. There are no continuing education requirements. You can renew your license online.

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