In Wyoming, the decline of oil and gas revenues has been a real downer for the state’s economy, but one of the industries credited with filling that gap is the construction industry. In fact, in a 2015 article in the Billings Gazette, the president of the Wyoming Construction Coalition stated that the increase in construction statewide has been a real “boon for general contractors.” Of course, the increase in construction projects naturally creates a higher demand for electricians as well.
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In Wyoming, electrician licensing is regulated by the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety. On your journey to becoming an electrician, you’ll first start out as an electrical apprentice. Next, you’ll work as a journeyman electrician and then as a master electrician. Finally, you may consider getting licensed as an electrical contractor.
Follow these steps to learn how to become a licensed electrician in Wyoming:
Consider Getting Licensed as an Electrical Contractor
Step 1. Gain the Training and Hands on Experience Required to Qualify for a Journeyman License
Qualifying for a journeyman electrician license through the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention & Safety requires 8,000 hours (4 years) of hands-on experience under the direct supervision of a qualified journeyman or master electrician, together with 144 hours of classroom instruction each year for a total of 576 hours. This can be accomplished in one of two ways:
- Enroll directly in an approved apprenticeship program consisting of 8,000 hours (4 years) of hands-on experience and a total of 576 hours of classroom instruction.
- Earn a two-year degree and complete 4,000 hours (2 years) of hands on experience (by taking this path, you would be substituting up to half of the 8,000 hours of hands-on experience by taking electrical courses through an accredited school beyond the 576 hours minimum required for licensing.)
Military experience in the field may also be accepted if the candidate can produce a DD-214 discharge record showing they received relevant training.
The state maintains a separate category of license for low-voltage wiring technicians that requires just 4,000 hours (2 years) of on-the-job training.
Low-voltage electrician licensing is further subdivided into the following categories (all dealing with under 90 volts):
- LV-G – General low voltage systems
- LV-A – Alarm systems
- LV-C – Communication systems
- LV-S – Sound systems
- LV-T – Television and satellite systems
- LV-X – Control systems
- LV-LS – Lawn sprinkler systems
Technical School Program
Earning a degree, certificate or diploma through an accredited technical college or trade school program could put you in a position to qualify for a journeyman electrician license after just two years rather than four.
Wyoming adopts the National Electrical Code (NEC) code directly and without modification. Standard classroom hours to meet the 576 minimum required for journeyman licensing would involve fairly straightforward study of the NFPA 70 standard (the National Fire Protection Association rules regarding electrical installations).
Participating in a two-year Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Technology degree program (or shorter diploma or certificate level electrical trade program)would involve going much further in-depth. A program of this sort would involve the requisite number of hours of classroom instruction, but would focus mostly on developing practical skills through hands-on training. Technical programs in electrical technology typically cover:
- Project Layout and Planning
- Raceway Systems
- Installing Services, Switchboards and Panels
- Motor Control Center Installation
- Installing, Splicing and Terminating Wires and Cables
- Cable Tray Installation
- Lighting System Installation
- Testing and Troubleshooting Feeders, Motors, and Branch Circuits
- Motor Installation
- Control System Installation
- Installing Instrumentation and Process Control Systems
- Service and Troubleshooting
- Safety Awareness
After completing your program, you would be in a position to transition to the workforce as a paid apprentice to complete the remaining hours of field experience required to earn a journeyman license. The career assistance center would be able to assist you in finding prospective employers interested in hiring on apprentices that already have some training and classroom instruction in electrical technology.
There are two options for entering an electrical apprenticeship program directly in Wyoming: union-sponsored, or open shop (non-union).
Criteria for getting accepted into either type of apprenticeship program would typically include:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have at least one credit in algebra with a passing grade
- Must be a high school graduate or have obtained a GED
- Must have a valid driver’s license
You’ll also provide the following documentation with your application:
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copy of driving record
- High school or GED transcripts
- Complete work history
- DD-214, if you received electrical training during your military service
For union-affiliated apprenticeships, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) coordinates with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) to facilitate formal apprenticeships with unionized electrical contracting companies throughout Wyoming. The classroom instruction takes place at the local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee Location in Casper. Contact the Casper JATC for more information.
It’s also possible to enter into an apprenticeship at a non-union electrical contracting company in Wyoming. Individuals looking for a merit shop apprenticeship would apply for jobs directly with non-union employers, with the understanding that they will be taken on as an apprentice. The classroom education hour requirement for non-union apprentices is handled by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) industry trade group.
For both union and non-union apprenticeships, the apprentice must register to receive an apprentice electrician license from the state. The actual request for this license must be made by the apprentice’s sponsor—in the case of non-union apprentices, by the company that will be employing them, and for union apprentices, by the JATC.
After being accepted into an apprenticeship, you’ll be registered as an electrical apprentice with the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety by completing and submitting the Application for Electrical Apprentice Registration.
If you’re enrolled in a limited/low voltage apprenticeship, you’ll need to complete an application and register as a limited/low voltage apprentice technician. A limited/low voltage apprentice technician is required to have at least two years (or 4,000 hours) of practical experience working with low voltage applications.
Step 2. Pass the Exam and Get Licensed as a Journeyman Electrician
Your next step is to get licensed as a journeyman electrician. First, you’ll need to fill out an application to take the Wyoming journeyman electrician exam. In order to be eligible for this exam, you have to have a minimum of four years (8,000 hours) of experience and 576 hours of electrically-related classroom instruction. Your work experience must include installation in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. However, no more than 75% of your experience can be in any one category.
You can also receive up to two years of credit toward the experience requirement if you’ve completed any electrically-related coursework in addition to the 576 hours required. If you received any electrical training while serving in the military, you’ll want to submit a DD-214 with your application for credit.
Next, you’ll be contacted by the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety and given authorization to test. You will pay the $105 exam fee directly to Pearson Vue, the testing company.
The exam is open book, contains 80 questions, and has a four-hour time limit. You’ll need a score of 70% or higher in order to pass. Test content includes:
- General knowledge (6%)
- Services and service equipment (11%)
- Feeders (4%)
- Branch circuits and conductors (19%)
- Wiring methods and materials (26%)
- Equipment and devices (13%)
- Control devices (4%)
- Motors and generators (6%)
- Special occupancies, equipment, and conditions (11%)
After passing the exam, you’ll receive your journeyman electrician license. The initial licensing fee is $100. You must complete a renewal application and renew your license every three years. The renewal fee is $50. Also, in order to be eligible for renewal, you have to obtain at least 16 hours of continuing education. At least eight hours must be in NEC and code update.
The Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety has reciprocity agreements with Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah. You can fill out an application to apply by reciprocity.
If you completed a limited/low voltage apprenticeship, you can apply here for the limited/low voltage electrician exam. You must have at least two years (or 4,000 hours) of practical experience working with low voltage applications in order to take the exam. There are 12 different exam classifications, depending on which type of license you are pursuing. After passing the exam, you’ll receive your limited/low voltage electrician license. The initial licensing fee is $100. Your license must be renewed every three years for a fee of $50. There is no continuing education requirement for limited/low voltage electricians.
Step 3. Pass the Exam and Get Licensed as a Master Electrician
Next, you’ll apply to take the Wyoming master electrician exam. In order to be eligible for this exam, you must have eight years of experience (16,000 hours), and at least four years of your experience (8,000 hours) must be as a licensed journeyman. You must also have at least 576 hours of electrically-related classroom instruction. Work experience should include installation in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
After meeting the experience requirement, the Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety will contact you and give you authorization to test. There is a $105 exam fee, which you will pay directly to Pearson Vue, the testing company.
The exam is open book, contains 100 questions, and has a five-hour time limit. You’ll need a score of 75% or higher in order to pass. Test content includes:
- General knowledge and plan reading (12%)
- Services and service equipment (16%)
- Feeders (4%)
- Branch circuits and conductors (16%)
- Wiring methods and materials (19%)
- Equipment and devices (10%)
- Control devices (3%)
- Motors and generators (8%)
- Special occupancies, equipment, and conditions (12%)
Once you pass the exam, you’ll get your master electrician license. The initial licensing fee is $200. You will complete a renewal application and renew your license every three years for a renewal fee of $100. You’re also required to obtain a minimum of 16 continuing education hours during each renewal cycle. At least eight hours must be in NEC and code update.
The Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety has reciprocity agreements with Idaho, South Dakota, and Utah. You can fill out an application to apply by reciprocity.
Step 4. Consider Getting Licensed as an Electrical Contractor
If you decide you’d like to run your own electrical contracting business, you’ll need to get an electrical contractor license. The Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety offer an electrical contractor license and a low voltage/limited electrical contractor license.
Requirements for an electrical contractor license include:
- Complete an application
- Complete the Master Acknowledgment of Responsibility form
- Payment of $400 initial licensing fee
There is no experience requirement for this license type.
You will also complete the Personnel of Applicant form, which is part of the application packet. On this form, you acknowledge an understanding of the requirement that all electrical contractors must maintain worker’s compensation insurance and that all electrical work performed must be supervised by a master electrician. The Personnel of Applicant form must be notarized.
Your electrical contractor license is to be renewed yearly for a fee of $400.
Low Voltage/Limited Electrical Contractor
In Wyoming, a low voltage electrical contractor is limited to performing low-voltage electrical work under 90 volts. A limited electrical contractor is limited to performing electrical work only on the load side of equipment.
Requirements for these license types include:
- Complete an application
- Complete the Technician Acknowledgment of Responsibility form
- Payment of $200 initial licensing fee
There is no experience requirement for this license type.
Your low voltage/limited electrical contractor license is to be renewed each year for a fee of $200.