The electrical industry is on the rise. The Louisiana economy is expecting an 8.3% increase in the ten-year period leading up to 2026. If you want a lucrative career in an ever-growing economy, the electrical industry may be right for you.
In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about earning your Louisiana electrical license, from finding steady work to resources for starting your own business.
There is no statewide license for trainees, journeymen, or master electricians in Louisiana. Instead, Louisiana makes these licenses available at the parish level. However, there is an electrical contractor license available at the state level.
A trainee is the equivalent of an apprentice in many Louisiana cities. This unlicensed position allows you to work an entry-level position or union apprenticeship. Apprentice and trainee electricians make an average of $15.12 per hour .
A journeyman license allows you to repair and install different types of electrical equipment under the supervision of an elec $23.64 per hour trical contractor or master electrician. Journeyman electricians make an average of $23.64 per hour .
At this level, you could apply for a maintenance electrician license. This license allows you to take journeyman-level electrical jobs specifically for maintenance, and it is only valid as long as you are employed by a business. Maintenance electricians make an average of $27.92 per hour .
Master electricians are the equivalent of electrical contractors in some cities. In New Orleans, a master electrician can repair, install, or contract to install all types of electric utilities and apparatus operating at up to 49 volts. Master electricians make an average of $3,536 a month .
An electrical contractor license is the highest form of licensure in Louisiana. Electrical contractors can hire master electricians and run their own businesses. They can work either commercial jobs or residential jobs. Electrical contractors earn an average of $61,537 every year .
Because licensing requirements vary based on the city and parish, this guide will use New Orlean’s local requirements as an example.
You will need five years of experience before applying for a journeyman electrician license. You can meet this requirement in one of three ways: enrollment at a technical college, a union apprenticeship, or being directly hired as a trainee.
The top five colleges for electricians in Louisiana are Northwest Louisiana Technical College, SOWELA Technical Community College, Central Louisiana Technical Community College, South Central Louisiana Technical College, and South Louisiana Community College. It takes two years to earn an associate’s degree, after which you will be enrolled directly into an internship or entry-level position.
Technical colleges combine classroom time with hands-on training to prepare the next generation of electricians. Only a few classes for electricians are available online. If you need help financing your schooling, you should contact the school about financial aid options.
Apprenticeships and technical colleges teach trainees the basics of the electrical industry. To apply for an internship at any of Louisiana’s seven Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees, you will need to join the union and fill out this application . You will not need to take any exams or receive a trainee license. However, you will need an electrician’s helper license if you would like to apply for a journeyman license when you complete your apprenticeship.
After accruing five years of experience as an electrician, you are eligible to take the journeyman license exam. In New Orleans, this license will designate you as a Class D Journeyman Electrician. You need to score at least 70% on the exam to pass. This bulletin breaks down everything you should study to prepare for the exam as well as the books and resources that you may have while taking the open-book exam. The International Code Council administers the exam while the city of New Orleans issues the license. Your license must be renewed annually.
After working as a journeyman electrician for five years, you can apply for a Class A Master Electrical License. In New Orleans, this license doubles as an electrical contractor's license, so many of the licensing requirements are the same. The exam is based on the 2011 National Electric code and is open-book. You also must have general liability insurance up to $500,000.
The electrical contractor license issued is Louisiana’s highest form of electrical license. To be eligible, you must have a business with a net worth of $10,000 over the last 12 months, and you must pass both a trade exam and business and law exam. You also will need to designate whether you would like a commercial license or a residential license. This resource will provide you with the appropriate application form and study materials.
Unions offer apprenticeship training, higher wages, safer working conditions, and steady work for electricians. Most Louisiana electricians land their first apprenticeship through one of Louisiana’s many Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees. If you’re having trouble finding work, unions strive to help all of their members. For example, the chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in New Orleans aspires “to have each and every brother and sister in Local 130 gainfully employed, thereby making it possible for you to enjoy a safe, secure lifestyle.”
To find a job with your Louisiana electrical license, check with your union or alma mater to see if they have any recent job board postings. Often times, these organizations keep track of all current and past members/alumni, and they can help you network throughout the state. Trade shows are another excellent way to network and find electrical contractor positions.
At your interview, you can expect your interviewer to ask about your past jobs, methods for electrical installation, level of license, and your work ethic.
Master electricians throughout the state generally need insurance. For example, master electricians in New Orleans must maintain general liability insurance coverage up to $500,000. If they have any employees, they also must maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
Electrical contractors are required to have general liability insurance to receive and maintain their license. They must have $100,000 in coverage. This requirement is the same for both commercial and residential contractors.
Insurance keeps you and your employees safe on every job, no matter how dangerous the work may be. Any trade can be dangerous; however, electricians in particular need to take special precautions in the field. Always use personal protective equipment.
Louisiana is an up-and-coming hot spot for the electrical industry and trade shows. The electrical industry will grow by almost 10% between 2016 and 2026. Attending trade shows like the NECA Labor Relations Conference will help you grow your business and stay ahead of upcoming trends.
Trainee, journeyman, and master electrician licenses are only valid within the specific parish or city.
If you are an electrical contractor, your Louisiana electrical license has reciprocity in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, and Utah.
You can use this portal to register a change of address, name change, or request a duplicate license.
It depends on your license level. If you hold a trainee, journeyman, or master electrician license, you will probably need to renew your license annually.
Electrical contractor licenses must be renewed one year after they are issued. After that, you can choose to renew your license every one, two, or three years. Renewal costs $100.
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