What kind of license do you need in Washington State to work as an electrician?

Navigate the path to becoming an electrician in Washington State—license insights revealed.

Fortunately, the path to becoming an electrician in Washington state is not too complicated. There’s a lot of experience and on-site training needed, but it’s not quite the same commitment as something like going to medical school. Electric services are a big deal, though – we can’t just let anybody in!

For starters, a general electrician license (01) and/or certificate covers all types of electrical construction work, from simple maintenance to complex installation. People who pursue these come mostly from one of two fields – either as a trainee or from out-of-state.

Getting certified as a trainee

Before getting any license or certificate, you need to meet the minimum requirements for qualifying in Washington state, as defined by WAC 296-46B-945. Then, you need to have the necessary prior experience. What that means is:

An electrician works in a home.

  • 8,000 hours working under the supervision of a certified electrician (4,000 of which must be done so on a commercial or industrial installation project)
  • 96 hours of classroom instruction

Following that, you need to take your electrician exam. To do so, you need to apply and receive approval from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I). Then you can schedule your exam.

Should you pass, then you can now pursue and get certified within other specialties (such as Residential, Pump and irrigation, etc).

Getting certified as an out-of-state electrician

You may be coming into Washington state with out-of-state electrical experience. The most important part of this process is submitting the proper documentation that proves your previous work (as required by RCW 19.28.191).

This paperwork should include the time frame of your work, the type of work you did, and how many hours you completed. Also, most importantly, this letter needs to be notarized.

In addition, you need to submit a copy of your electric license for where you previously worked.   You are required to also turn in proof of payroll (paystubs or payroll summary will do).

What do you do once you have your license?

Fortunately, now is as good a time as any to be a qualified and licensed electrician. The job market in Washington state has been on the rise, especially with the recent shortages in skilled labor.

At Prairie Electric, we are always looking for skilled electricians to join our team. We promise a career that will expand your skill-set and always keep you fresh and stimulated.

To learn more, visit our Careers page.

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