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#9162 04/20/02 03:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 257
I'm from Pennsylvania where anyone with a screwdriver can do electrical work.
The state of PA does not require electricians or contractors to be licensed. Some cities such as Pittsburgh, do require city licenses.And you can get a license by joining the IBEW of course...
From what I understand, a homeowner or property owner is not even allowed to do any type of electrical work even on thier own property in Pittsburgh.
I believe there there should be some type of licensing required for all contractors.
I'm just curious about what everyone thinks and if anyone has ever been involved in getting the ball rolling on state mandated licensing. And, what are the licensing requirements in your area.

#9163 04/20/02 03:56 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 22
OMG, no license required. Is that really true? I'm all for licensing. More skilled and educated workers is the way to go, .. better pay, quality of work and safety.
I'm sure most people feel the way you do.

I think are licensing requirements in Michigan are... you must be a Master electrician to pull permits, and there must be atleast 1 journeyman on the jobsite. I think its 1 journeyman for every 2 apprentices, but thats never enforced. Except by the union.
Apprentices are also suppose to register with the state.
Recently, it was the city or counties job to deal with electrical licensing, but the state has now taken over. The state has also written, a michigan electrical code book.

[This message has been edited by AndrusT (edited 04-20-2002).]

#9164 04/20/02 04:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 324
My state (GA) requires 4 years OJT under a licensed electrician, a heap of references, three letters from some one in the building trade stating that you are qualified and of good moral character and a signed voucher from a current license holder before they will even let you take the 8 hour exam. Over 80% fail the first time and it's even tough to get accepted. I have passed 3 state exams the first time, call me lucky (or well prepared). The Sec of State governs us and is not afraid to slap a fine or revoke a license in a blink of an eye. This makes guys take their job a bit more serious. Homeowners are allowed to do there own work but must reside in the house one year before selling. GA has an electrical board and a seperate low voltage board for work under 90V. Kind of crazy that you can wire a factory but you can't wire a TV jack unless you have LV license. I think it is very important to have licensing for accountability. I'm sure fire/homeowners insurance is much higher in your state than mine.

And what really ticks me off in GA is the general contractors are not required to have a license. This hurts us because any dumb*ss can buy a truck, some magnetic signs and a cell phone and be in business. Get tied up with on of these guys and you can lose money fast. We have had this happen a couple of times when home owners requested us to do the job and the idiot GC cant even read a set of prints!

[This message has been edited by arseegee (edited 04-20-2002).]

#9165 04/20/02 04:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 36
Master66, I know that here in north Texas an experienced electrician can join the IBEW, take their written and practical "hands-on" test and be classified as a JIW (Journeyman Inside Wireman) but that does NOT entitle him/her to a city license. Some union jobs calling for JIW's stipulate the JIW's must also hold a city license. To obtain that license in Dallas, in addition to passing either the city test or the tougher SBCCI test, one still has to prove to the Chief Electrical Inspector a minimum of 8000 hrs. and present notarized letters of recommendation before the city of Dallas will take your $20 and issue the Journeyman Electrician registration (license).

#9166 04/20/02 04:59 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
This is my first post, but I've been lurking for a while. I also live in Georgia and agree with everything Arseegee said. I've taken 2 state exams and passed both times due to heavy prep. The only thing I don't like in Georgia is that you can take the test 3 or 4 times a year until you pass. I talked to one guy at the exam who was on his 11th try, this guy did not need a license, he should've had the test memorized by the 4th try.

I'm all for licensing and it really ticks me off when I go to a trouble shoot and the shoddy workmanship was performed by a "handyman" who said he was an electrician. Why is it that all handymen think they're good at electrical work when they rarely are?

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 04-21-2002).]

#9167 04/20/02 05:36 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 257
Thanks for the replies guys! It does seem that every state has licensing requirements except for PA.
I live in South-Western PA, about 20 minutes from Morgantown, WV.
Morgantown is a booming college town with a lot of new construction all the time. So, I decided to see what it would take to work in WV.
1) All contractors must be licensed by the state as well as be registeed with most cities.(Theres fees for all of this in addition to permit fees)
2) Electrical contractors must pass a business and law exam which consists of simple business questions relating to payroll, overtime pay, workers comp., construction scedules and contract law. I bought the study guide and passed with noooo problem.
3) The person that is to hold the license must also have a Master Electrician's license from the state or pass the electrical portion of the contractors test.
I took the contractors test first and must say it is more like a test that an electrical engineer would take. The minimum passing score is 80. I got a 78.
I then took the Master test, governed by the state fire marshal, and passed the first time. Years ago I decided to see if I could get a Journeyman license just to see if I could pass the test. It took 2 tries but I passed.
It took me almost a year to get my Contractor's License, due to the time between tests and paperwork preperation but I did it. We just started advirtising recently in Morgantown and have been getting jobs.
Also in WV, everyone doing electrical work must have a state license, even apprentices.
There must be at least one Journeyman on each job at all times but there can be an unlimited number of apprentices. (licensed).
If you do any work in WV you must also have a "Wage Bond". This bond is equal to about 125% (I might be off slightly) of your gross payroll for what ever number of employees you have working. This is for the employees benefit to assure they get paid no matter what. This can get expensive.
Keep the feedback coming...

#9168 04/20/02 08:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 11
I'm with you master66
I live in southeast Pennsylvania where the plumbers are more regulated then we are. Only 10 minutes away are Delaware and Maryland who both have statewide licensing. In PA every township, borough, and city has their own requirements. They range from paying a fee and getting a registration card to having to take a masters test. If you work in a wide area you end up with a stack of cards that cost a small fortune to renew every year. I can't wait for statewide licensing.

#9169 04/20/02 08:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 31
Here in Arkansas you have to have a state Master's license to bid jobs and to pull permits. Tests are tough and given only two times a year. Funny thing is I was told that they were written by some company in Pa. and the tests were sent there for grading. May not be so, but I was told that.

#9170 04/20/02 09:57 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
Well, I was gonna say what WV requires, but you know already!

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#9171 04/20/02 11:10 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
California does not have any licensing requirements for wireman yet. It's in the works but it is very slow going. Contractors must be licensed.

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