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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
electure cannot work where Iwire is and Iwire cannot work where electure is.
What's wrong with this picture?.
I'm advocating a US wide National Licencing Scheme.
One Licence, one Qualification for Electricians.
Sure you could have another for Appliance servicemen and another for Linemen.
You guys might say that it's all very well for a Non-US guy to say this.
Over here in New Zealand, if you can't show a Practising Licence at the door, chances are the door will be slammed in your face.
Gets rid of the hacks for a start.
Your thoughts folks?.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Not going to happen in my life time.

Some areas do not have any licensing, another area has had strict requirements for decades.

There is no way that the States will get together on this.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
Trumpy Offline OP
Is that because of stubborness, or a
pre-concieved idea that it will not work from the outset?.

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Perhaps you would have to live here to understand...and that is not meant at all as an insult.

The fact is we have 50 very different states that are for the most part fiercely independent.

Anything that happens on a national basis is usually done by force.

The seatbelt laws are a good example. The Feds wanted it, many States did not. So the Feds said OK, if you do not pass a seat belt law in your state we will cut off millions of dollars in highway funds.

Back to the electrical Licenses.

Here in MA the requirements to get a Journeyman license are 8000 hours in the field under a licensed person and 600 hours of school.

In some states there are no licenses.

So now you want to go National.

Do you let the long time electricians from the non-licensed areas get a license by 'grandfathering' greatly upsetting those of us that worked hard to get our license.

Or do you make all those electricians that may have been doing fine work for many years stop working and start out as apprentices again?

Mike I would like a National License. I live in a group of the smallest States (New England) I had to test for a MA, CT and RI license I can apply for a NH, ME and VT license based on reciprocity.

We only recently (in the past 15 years) went to a sort of National license for truck drivers. What had been happening was that truck drivers where holding State drivers licenses in many states so that they could hide a large number of road violations.

It took the feds to come down and sat that truck drivers needed a Federal CDL (Commercial Drivers License)

So call it stubbornness or just tradition but I do not see any interest on a Federal level for National Electrical Licenses.

Here in MA one of our Politicians wanted to eliminate trade licensing and inspection. He felt that the free market would be self policing. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 12-21-2006).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,498
The fact is we have 50 very different states that are for the most part fiercely independent.
I think this is at the very same time America's biggest advantage and biggest problem. And since it's a historic fact I guess it won't change anytime soon.

On the other hand... I'd see good reasons for forcing a national licensing system, similar to the seat-belt laws but with economic advantages as an incentive.
There could be a requirement like if you can prove you have been working in the trade previously annd pass a simple theory test you get a license, if you're new you have to take the full apprenticeship to get a license (or maybe an advanced college course like it's possible in Austria and Switzerland, students of a technical high School (5 years 14-19, lots of shop work and I think 4 times 4 weeks of working for a company to get real hands-on work experience) and technical College courses (2 years, 2x 4 weeks work experience, that's what I did) are equivalent to journeymen as far as I know and can apply for a master's license after taking a postgraduate course. The master license has to be renewed yearly, so I won't bother to get one until I need it.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
I am under the impression that the seat belt laws were driven by advisory groups that proved that seal belts saved lives. They provided stats and reports that the wearing of the belts in a large number of accidents would of prevented many deaths.

Now, having said this, if somehow a large group of people could prove with stats and reports that many deaths are being caused by unlicensed electricians on the scale of seat belt deaths, maybe someone would listen. But I don't think that is happening here.

Mike, do you have a national plumbing license?
A national remolder (building) license?

Where would you want to stop? Just in our trade, or should everyone who deals with public safety in one way or another be required to be licensed nationaly?

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,370
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
I, for one, have never understood the problem either. I thought it was addressed at the very beginning.

Our Constitution states plainly that we are entitled to all the rights and priveledges of our home throughout the entire country. However, it seems that this part of the Constitution has been recognised only in regards to marraige and drivers' licenses.

So, instead, we have this incredible mish-mash of entangled jurisdictions, differing requirements, and conflicting regulations.

Now, I'm familiar with all the arguments that we need protection, accountability, etc. ... but I'm not convinced that the current system accomplishes any of that. Rather than seeing the license as an endorsement of legitimacy, many folks see it as just another intrusive bit of meddling government, another way to extort your money. Thus, the unlicensed are pretty much able to ply their trades with the active assistance of their prey ... OOPS, I mean customers.

This, of course, can result in an 'upside down' situation, where the law-abiding gets penalised, while the scamp has a competitive advantage.

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 886
Not going to happen because of something that is fundamental to our governing, it's called home rule.

Each town, village, city county and state is responsible for itself. They can do many things independently such as assess taxes, create their own codes and laws as well as dealing with licensing. This is why there is no US drivers license. Each state is responsible for administering their own program.


Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,788
Likes: 14
We are having a hard enough time trying to get a uniform system in one state (Florida). We have a uniform building code but the local inspectors/AHJs are still making this 1000 "intrepretations" of that code. A guy in Collier county still works with different rules than his counterpart a foot away in Lee County.
The same is true of the trades. There is no state wide licensing of the tradesmen, only the contractors and there is an assortment of local journeymen rules. Contractors who have good hiring and training programs in place do not want the state telling them what to do and of course the "handyman" types (wouldn't want to offend the Roma with the common "G" term) want no part of a journeyman card.
If you magnify that times 50 states and 50,000 other AHJs you see the problem.
That doesn't even address the "U" word which is considered very political on this BB and divisive across other parts of the country.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
State's rights and "Home Rule" are all well and good, but tend to go out the window whenever the Feds feel like it.

Witness the DEA moving in to bust cancer/AIDS patients and grandmothers with glaucoma in states which have legalized medical marijuana.

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