Idaho electrician license:
Everything you need to know
You can be a critical resource for homeowners and businesses. Whether you become an electrician or start your own business, you need an Idaho electrical license. This guide outlines the requirements, prerequisite exams, and unions.
Does Idaho require an electrical license?
Yes, you need an Idaho electrical license. The Idaho Division of Building Safety oversees the licensing process.
What are the different types of electrical licenses in Idaho?
Idaho electrical licenses cover two options: Journeymen Electricians and Master Electricians. A third license classification, Electrical Contractor, covers individuals who own or manage businesses that provide electrical services. Electrical contractors must either be master electricians or be employed by master electricians.
There are six Specialty Electrician license classifications:
- Elevator Irrigation Sprinkler
- Limited Energy
- Outside Wireman (Lineman)
- Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning
- Sign and Well Driller/Pump Installer
Electricians who hold specialty licenses are not licensed to do general electrical work.
How to get an electrician license in Idaho
Apprentice electricians in Idaho are not licensed, but they must be registered with the state. To qualify for registration, you must be at least 16 years old and submit a notarized application. If you’ve been a journeyman or master electrician in any recognized jurisdiction before, you’re not eligible to register as an apprentice.
There are five electrical apprenticeship levels:
- Apprentice: First-time registration
- Apprentice Level 1: Registered apprentice who’s completed 2,000 hours of work and a year’s worth of training at an electrical apprentice school approved by the Idaho Electrical Board.
- Apprentice Level 2: Registered apprentice who’s completed 4,000 hours of work and two years worth of training at an electrical apprentice school approved by the Idaho Electrical Board.
- Apprentice Level 3: Registered apprentice who’s completed 6,000 hours of work and three years worth of training at an electrical apprentice school approved by the Idaho Electrical Board.
- Apprentice Level 4: Registered apprentice who’s completed 8,000 hours of work and four years worth of training at an electrical apprentice school approved by the Idaho Electrical Board.
Registration is good for one year, and the registration fee is $15. All work hours must be completed under the supervision of a journeyman electrician with an Idaho electrical license.
Journeymen Electricians, Master Electricians, and Electrical Contractors
Idaho’s three classifications for electrical contractor licenses are:
Journeyman Electrician: To qualify for this license, you must pass the examination. You can qualify to sit for the examination in one of three ways:
- Complete four years of training at an approved electrical apprentice school and 8,000 hours of supervised work experience;
- Complete 16,000 hours or more of supervised work experience as an apprentice; or
- In-state apprentices may complete four years of training at an approved electrical apprentice school and 6,000 hours of supervised work experience, but they will need to work an additional 2,000 hours after passing the exam to be licensed as journeymen.
You’ll have four hours to pass an exam, which consists of 80 multiple choice questions. The passing grade is 70%.
•Master Electrician: To qualify for this license, you must pass the examination. In-state candidates qualify to sit for this examination after they’ve held a Journeyman Electrical license for at least four years.
An applicant who holds an out-of-state Journeyman Electrical license must first pass the Idaho Journeyman Electrical exam before he or she will be eligible to sit for the Idaho Master Electrician exam. Individuals who’ve worked in states that don’t require electricians to be licensed are not eligible to take Idaho’s Master Electrician examination.
The test consists of 100 multiple choice questions, and you’ll have five hours to complete it. A passing score is 75%.
•Electrical Contractor: If you own a business that offers electrical contracting services, or you work in a business with a supervisory capacity, you must hold an Electrical Contractor license. If you’re not a Master Electrician, then your business must employ at least one full-time Master Electrician.
The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions, and you’ll be given two hours to complete it. The questions will focus on contractors’ business law. A passing score is 70%. Before you receive your license, you must show proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation.
Specialty licenses are limited licenses that allow the licensee to perform specialized work under the supervision of an electrical contractor who is licensed in that specialty. Trainees, who work as the equivalent of apprentices, do not have to be licensed but do have to register with the Idaho Division of Building Safety.
Limited Electrical Installers, who are the equivalent of journeymen, must pass an examination in their field. to qualify to sit for the examination, they must have 4,000 hours of work experience in that field. Linemen who apply for a Limited Electrical Installer license do not have to take the test; they only have to show that they have graduated from an Electrical Lineman apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Limited Electrical Contractors must pass an examination before they will be granted a license. To qualify to sit for this exam, they must either be or employ a Limited Electrical Installer in the same category. Once you pass the exam, you must show proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation.
Should I join an electricians’ union in Idaho?
Union electricians in Idaho belong to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW.)
Dues are based on a percentage of gross wages and are deducted from workers’ paychecks.
Idaho’s union members only accounted for 4.7 percent of its workforce in 2018. However, there are advantages to joining the union. Wages at union shops are significantly higher, and union jobs offer far better benefits. IBEW members are eligible to receive pensions when they retire, and health care coverage for IBEW members usually covers a higher percentage of medical costs. Unions are also more proactive when it comes to safeguarding workers against hazards on the job.
How to use your electrician license to get a job
Affiliations with the electricians’ union and professional organizations like the National Electrical Contractors Association and the Independent Electrical Contractors Association provide excellent networking opportunities that can lead to employment opportunities.
Employment-oriented services like LinkedIn can also be a source of job leads. Referrals from satisfied customers will generate word-of-mouth inquiries. Pre-employment interviews are likely to focus on your project resume.
Electrician insurance in Idaho
Electrical Contractors and Limited Electrical Contractors are required by Idaho law to carry liability insurance and workers’ compensation. If you run your own business, you may want to carry commercial property insurance to protect valuable business property, like vehicles and equipment against theft. If you work for an Electrical Contractor or a Limited Electrical Contractor, you’ll be covered by their insurance.
Electrician industry trends
Property owners are looking for ways to cut down on costly utility bills. So, energy-efficient construction focusing on high-performance lighting systems is popular in Idaho. To learn about the latest trends, you can attend two major trade shows in nearby Nevada.
Is my license only valid in Idaho?
Idaho has reciprocity agreements for journeyman electrician licensing with Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Utah and Wyoming also have reciprocity agreements with Idaho for the master electrician license.
How often do I need to renew my electrician license in Idaho?
An Idaho electrical license must be renewed every three years. The fee for renewing a Journeyman Electrical License is $55, and the fee for renewing a Master Electrician License is $65. The fee for renewing an Electrical Contractor License is $100.
There’s a continuing education requirement, too. Journeymen electricians and master electricians must take 16 hours of code updates and eight hours of other industry-related classes.
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