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Electrician Licensing

Wisconsin electrician license:
Everything you need to know

Wisconsin has a lot to offer to a budding electrician. The state is constantly expanding, and with every new construction project, there is a need for skilled electricians to perform custom wiring projects.

The electrical profession is growing quickly. Multiple paths exist to ensure you receive a rewarding electrical career. You can work for a major company, or receive your license to run your own business. This guide will teach you the process for earning your Wisconsin electrical license.

Does Wisconsin require an electrical license?

Yes, you are required to have a Wisconsin electrical license.

What are the different types of electrical licenses in Wisconsin?

As an apprentice electrician, you will work under the supervision of a master electrician. Some jobs for first-year apprentice electricians might include cleaning up, electrical wiring, and bending conduit. In Wisconsin, most apprentice electricians earn $14 to $20 per hour, depending on the city.

As a journeyman electrician, you work alongside a master electrician. Jobs might include installing electrical panels, outlets, lighting fixtures, and electrical wiring. At this level, electricians earn $25 to $29 per hour.

As a master electrician, you can work on your own and apply for an electrical contractor’s license. You can supervise apprentice and journeyman electricians and own your own electrical contracting business. Master electricians also have the skills and experience to tackle more complex projects, and you’re responsible for applying for permits, creating electrical plans for buildings, and participating in inspections. A master electrician earns $30 to $35 per hour.

How to get an electrician license in Wisconsin

The first step is to complete an apprenticeship program. Most school programs take only two semesters to complete.

There are several schools in Wisconsin that have electrician programs. Some of these include Fox Valley Technical College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Waukesha County Technical College, and Blackhawk Technical College.

Being an electrician requires the ability to do basic math, particularly algebra. In school, you’ll learn practical skills, like blueprint reading, electrical code, first aid, and some of the scientific aspects of electricity. You also should purchase basic tools, such as needle nose pliers, tape measures, screwdrivers, fish tape, and utility knives. Some programs might offer financial aid in the form of loans and grants. 

Most courses include in-person classes to get hands-on experience. Most electrician programs in Wisconsin cost between $3,000 to $4,000 per semester for in-state students. Before you apply, you need to earn a high school degree or a GED.

Along with going to school, you’ll also need to complete an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship takes at least four years. The exact number of hours per week that you work will depend on your employer.

When you complete your apprenticeship, you can apply to be a journeyman electrician by completing a test and paying an application fee through the state of Wisconsin.

To become a journeyman electrician, you’ll have to sit for an exam. You can use notes and books to complete the test, and the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services posts exam information on the Journeyman Electrician Exam Information page. The test for master electrician covers the same information as the journeyman test.

Should I join an electrician union in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, there are a few different electrician unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Northeast Wisconsin Building and Construction Trades Council. There are many benefits to joining a union, such as increased wages and better insurance. You also can get a pension, sick pay, and paid vacation.

How to use your electrician license to get a job

If you’re ready to get a job, there are a couple of ways that you can find one. A common way is to look at the job boards. You also can network with people that you met during school. Otherwise, you might choose to work for the electrician who supervised your work during your apprenticeship.

When you go to an interview for a job, you should dress professional. The interviewer will ask you about your schooling, apprenticeship, and any other relevant work experience.

Electrician insurance in Wisconsin

If you’re a master electrician with your own business, you’ll need to get liability insurance to protect yourself . You’ll also want to invest in commercial property insurance, health insurance, and auto insurance..

If you’ll be working under a master electrician, your employer will most likely cover your insurance needs.

Trade shows help professionals with a Wisconsin electrical license network and learn more about the latest trend. There are many trade shows throughout the country, such as the Electrical Manufacturing and Coil Winding Expo, Electrical Wire Processing Technology Expo, and NECA 2019.

You can also stay in contact with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) or the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) to stay current with the latest equipment. Finally, you should definitely stay up to date with Wisconsin’s electrical code changes by visiting the Electrical Wire Processing Technology Expo.

Is my license only valid in Wisconsin?

Your Wisconsin electrical license is only valid within the state. 

If you changed your name or address or need a duplicate card, contact the state board.

How often do I need to renew my electrician license in Wisconsin?

Electrical licenses in Wisconsin expire every four years. If you file the paperwork on time, renewal of a journeyman electrician is $100, and renewal for a master electrician is $200. There’s an extra process fee for any expired electrician license that is expired.