States are independently responsible for regulating and issuing journeyman electrician credentials. These are forms of licensure, as opposed to certification. To become licensed, individuals must have completed a certain amount of on-the-job training, and they need to pass an exam.
Although licensing exams cannot be taken online, there are some test aids and courses available online to help prospective electricians pass exams in their state. Licensure must be renewed periodically by obtaining continuing education credits, but it is important to note that online continuing education courses in this field are rare.
Electrician Licensure and Testing
Most states have licensure guidelines that candidates must meet in order to work as an electrician. Common denominators nationwide usually include individuals being at least 18 years old and having a high school diploma or its equivalent. To earn licensure, individuals typically need to complete a fixed amount of experiential hours and then pass an exam that tests their understanding of the science and ethics behind electrical repair and installation. The test typically covers the National Electrical Code (NEC), state and local electrical codes and building codes.
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Those seeking to obtain electrician licensure may be able to choose from various titles, depending on the classifications and requirements in their state. For example, Maine offers licensure specific to journeyman electricians or journeyman-in-training electricians. Iowa offers class A and class B licenses for journeyman electricians. Maryland's State Board of Master Electricians licenses only master electricians, requiring that candidates have worked under the supervision of a master electrician for seven years. Local jurisdictions in Maryland may offer various lesser licensing options, like general electrician or low voltage electrician and where they don't, electricians are required to have a state-level master electrician license to work.
Those with approximately seven years of experience or equivalent schooling can apply for master electrician designations where applicable. Other potential license types are apprentice, limited or special electrician, among others. An electrician's license - at any level or type - must be renewed periodically.
Licensing and Testing Resources
To prepare for licensure exams, prospective journeyman electricians can access some for-profit companies' limited study materials and practice quizzes online. Some companies specialize in helping electricians prepare for licensure exams, while others offer a variety of construction and contractor licensure prep. Individuals may complete short correspondence courses and tutoring sessions overseen by a professional, or they may access CD and DVD tutorials, study guides and sample tests for self-tutelage.
In some rare cases, prospective journeyman electricians can find online continuing education or recertification courses. Such courses may be offered by a vocational school or private continuing education provider. Minimum computer hardware and software requirements may need to be met in order to access course materials. Course content may include state electrical codes or NEC standards.
While the licensing exams for journeyman electricians vary by state, it is possible to find online courses and study materials that can supplement experiential training in order to prepare individuals for their state's test.