How to Become an Electrician in Virginia

To be an electrician and legally perform electrical services in Virginia one must have a government granted license. It is granted by Virginia’s Board of Contractors that also sets the regulations for becoming an electrician in Virginia. Once the person has obtained the corresponding license, he is well on his way to making a career as an electrician in the state of Virginia!

There are 3 types of licenses, all granted by Virginia’s Board of Contractors -journeyman, master and contractors. To obtain any of the licenses, candidate must be 18 years of age, must have at least a GED and 4 years of electrical training. These licensing requirements are mandatory for those performing any electrical job worth over $1 000 within the state regardless of duration.

Electrician Training in Virginia, VA

Electrician License Types in Virginia

The journeyman license requires 2 years of practical work experience in the electrical trade and 1 degree or certification that shows completion of a 2 year educational program from a trade or technical institution or community college;

or You can have 4 year practical work experience in the electrical trade and 240 hours of formal vocational training;

or 5 year practical work experience in the electrical trade and 160 hours of formal vocational training;

or 6 year practical work experience in the electrical trade and 80 hours of formal vocational training;

or if You have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a focus on engineering and 1 year practical work experience;

or 10 year practical work experience in the electrical trade which is verified by those who actually supervised Your electrical work..

The master electrician license requires 1 year practical work experience as an already licensed journeyman in Virginia or 10 year practical work experience in the electrical trade. This must be verified by supervisors of Your work.

Both types of licenses have to be renewed every 2 years. License holders must also complete 3 hours of studies (so called continuing education), which is required to stay in good standing with the state.

License classification

Each license granted in Virginia falls into three categories – class A, class B and class C. Class A carries no limitation on the value of work projects you can take on. B and C both have limits. For most craftsman just starting out, Class B is good enough.

Virginia State Reciprocity

Virginia offers reciprocity agreements for the following states: Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia and Alabama. License transfer will most likely be successful if You manage to comply with all requirements, when submitting the application form.

View here Virginia’s applications for being a Virginia based electrician

Taking the Examination

In order to pass the exam, candidate must score at least 70%. The exam for apprising journeyman electricians consists of 70 questions with a time limit of two and a half hours, while the exam for apprising master electricians consists of 90 questions with a time limit of four and a half hours.

Both tests are based on the National Electrical Code standards. The journeyman exam fee is $100, while those taking masters licensing exam must pay $125 in fees.Be sure to study topics focusing on general electrical knowledge, installations, electrical fundamentals; feeders and branch circuits; service and feeder requirements; grounding and bonding; conductors and cables and special equipment.

Additional topics that have to be covered include electrical signs and outline lighting; motors and controls; utilization equipment; lighting; general low voltage requirements; communication systems; fire detection and alarm systems; standards of practice; standards of conduct among others.

Cities in Virginia for the Best Electrical Employment

If You are about to pursue an electrician career in the state of Virginia, You should know which areas will probably offer You the most work. The population centers with the highest overall electricity consumption are Richmond, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, all of Northern Virginia. Several other cities in Virginia offer good employment opportunities as well. Good luck!