The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the number of jobs for electricians in Arizona will increase by almost 50% in just the next five years. Now is the time to enter the electrical industry. This guide outlines how to earn your Arizona electrical license and grow your career.
You will need an Arizona electrical license to work in the state.
You can apply for three types of electrical contractor license in Arizona.
If you earn an R-11 license, you can work on residential electrical systems. A C-11 license will authorize you to install and repair commercial electrical systems, and a CR-11 license will allow you to work with both commercial and residential jobs.
Arizona does not issue Arizona electrical licenses to journeyman electricians, but some municipalities do.
Residential electricians in Arizona earn between $45,000 and $58,000 per year. If you specialize in commercial or industrial electrical work, you could earn $90,000 per year.
Licenses are issued by the Arizona State Registrar of Contractors. Before you can sit for the tests to earn your license, you will need at least four years of on-the-job experience. Once you meet this requirement, you can apply for the written examination. If you have recently had an Arizona electrical license refused or revoked, you must wait at least a year to become eligible for an electrical contractor’s license.
After obtaining your license, you must meet the bonding requirements. The bond for a commercial specialty contractor is currently $2,500 if he or she expects to gross less than $150,000. Commercial general contractors need $100,000 bonds if they will earn more than $10 million within the year. You must send evidence of your bond to the registrar along with documents showing that you passed the necessary tests.
Union apprenticeships are available from the Phoenix and Tucson chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union, and the National Electrical Contractors Alliance. If you are interested in a non-union apprenticeship, you can enroll in programs operated by theIndependent Electrical Contractors Association of Arizona, the Arizona Builders Alliance, or Independent Electrical Contractors of Southern Arizona. To get either a union or a non-union apprenticeship, you will likely have to meet the following requirements:
Be at least 18 years of age.
Graduated high school or earned a GED.
Have a valid driver’s license and a reliable form of transportation.
Pass a basic math and reading test.
Show proof of passing a high school algebra class or earning at least one credit of post-school algebra.
Getting an apprenticeship is helpful for learning on the trade from an experienced electrical contractor. After enrolling in an apprenticeship program, you will be employed with a local electrical contractor and working a full-time job while attending night classes.
Vocational schools and associate’s degree courses in electrical technology can provide you with thorough training. Many schools have programs to connect you with local employers. The subjects you will study include:
Electrical calculations and algebra
Arizona safety codes
Reading and understanding blueprints
Transformers and motors
Safe work practices and OSHA regulations
The final step is passing a two-part examination covering business management and electrical work. To apply to take the test, you should submit a form to the Arizona State Registrar of Contractors.
The electrical part of the examination will test your knowledge in the following areas:
General electrical knowledge
Safety and overcurrent protection
Bonding and grounding
Cables and conductors
Low and high voltage applications
Boxes and raceways
Service feeders and branch circuits
The business management examination is an open book test, and you will have three hours to answer 80 questions on the following topics:
The laws dealing with electrical contractors in Arizona
The state rules that contractors must abide by
Workmanship standards set out by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors
Contracts and professional agreements
Bonding and insurance
State and federal tax codes
Recordkeeping and reporting requirements
Regulations and laws dealing with the environment
Employment regulations and labor laws
Becoming a union member could lead to an apprenticeship, and it will also allow you to apply for union jobs. Other benefits of joining a union include:
Health benefits for you and your dependent family members
Participation in an annuity fund
The option of contributing to a union 401(k) account
Increased benefits as your training and qualifications progress
Stricter safety standards on union worksites
Greater job security
Online jobs boards are helpful for your job search. The most popular job websites are Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor. During your interview, you will be asked about your apprenticeship and the kind of work you hope to do in the future. The interviewer will ask some technical questions about electrical problems, too.
You will need to obtain electrical contractor’s insurance. Liability insurance will cover you against any losses and protect you if you get sued, and workers’ compensation coverage will ensure that your employees receive benefits if they are injured while on the job.
Learn about the latest trends by reading blogs and attending union meetings. Arizona is also a popular venue for trade shows and expos, and the National Electrical Contractors Association regularly holds events in the state.
Arizona has reciprocity agreements with Utah, Nevada, and California.
Your Arizona electrical license will be valid for two years.
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