The term Electrician covers a broad spectrum of people who engage in the connection of electrical devices and have different codes of licensing and certification under different states. In the state of California even after completing the basic electrician course and on-the-job training an electrician needs to be certified.
Who Needs Certification?
California electrical license holders who work as electricians for C-10 Contractors or make connections of greater than 100 volt amps need to be certified. A C-10 Contractor is licensed under the Contractors’ State License Board and a person who has a C-10 license but works as an employee still needs to be certified. If he is a sole owner or contractor with employees working under him he need not be certified. A person who holds a class C-7 low voltage license need not be certified but a foreman who works for a contractor will still need to be certified. The California electrical license regulations also stipulate that electricians from other states who want to work in California also need to be certified, even if the project is temporary or of short duration and even if the person holds an electrician license from their state.
Requirements for C-10 License
Electrical Contractors License or C-10 license is required for any project that exceeds $500 and in order to obtain the license a candidate has to clear two exams that’s has business, law, and the trade. The state also needs to pre-approve an California electrician license application before the candidate can actually take the examination. The potential candidate needs to have at least 4 years of experience at the foreman, contractor, supervisor, or journeyman level.
In the state of California an electrician is certified under five different classifications and each has an examination that needs to be cleared. Each classification also needs on-the-job training and experience. The five divisions are Residential Electrician, Fire/Life Safety Technician, Voice-Data-Video Technician, General Electrician, and Non Residential Lighting Technician. Each classification also requires a minimum of 8,000 hours on-the-job training and work experience and if a person does not have enough experience he can register as an electrician trainee.
Requirements for Different Electricians
An electrician is deemed as a Residential Electrician if he works for an electrical contractor who constructs, installs, or maintains and electrical system in a single family and multi family units and the maximum voltage received is a 3 phase, 4 wire 120/208 volts. The multi family units can also include motels and hotels but as long as they are set to receive the same voltage. An electrician is certified as a Fire/Life Safety Technician if he works for an electrical contractor that performs the work of installing, constructing, or maintaining electrical systems that are covered in Article 760 of the National Electrical Code. A Voice-Data-Video Technician in California is one who works for a C-10 electrical contractor involved in the installation, construction, and maintenance of electrical systems that are covered by the National Electric Code Articles 725,770 (non composite cables),800 (non hybrid cables), 810, and 820. A General Electrician is anyone who, for an electrical contractor, installs, constructs, and maintains any electrical system covered under the National Electric Code. And finally an electrician can be certified as a Non Residential Lighting Technician if he or she works for an electrical contractor involved in servicing, maintaining, and repairing existing non-residential lighting figurers.
How to Apply for Certification
The State of California, Department of Industrial relations (DIR), and the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) conducts the examination and a candidate who qualifies under a particular classification needs to obtain an application form the DIR and submit the duly filled out application. Once the board approves the candidate, he can take up the examination and once it is cleared, if it is passed, he will be certified accordingly. The DAS also has online applications that can be downloaded from their website. It only makes sense for them to have that ability and to provide that convenient of a service.
Renewal of Certification
Once an electrician is certified under a different division he needs to renew that certification every three years. The application can be downloaded from the DAS website. The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) enforces the California electrician license certification law and non compliance of the law will attract action from CSLB and there can be civil suits filed. If an electrician is found to be working without a valid certificate he will be barred from taking the certification exam for seven years. Certification can also be suspended or revoked if a person commits fraud or gross negligence. There is little sympathy for someone who engages in that type of activity.