The state of Pennsylvania does not have a statewide standard when it comes to licensing of electricians and electrical contractors.
If you plan to work as an electrician in the state, you must contact local authorities at the city or county level to find out what the local requirements are for the type of work you plan to do since local jurisdictions have the authority to set their own regulations.
There is a state license issued to electrical inspectors. This license requires an examination on the Uniform Construction Code. This test is administered by the International Codes Council and once licensed, continuing education credits are required for renewal every three years.
Licensing at the local level as a Pennsylvania electrical contractor means requirements may vary from location to location. Typically you will need to pass an examination and have a certain number of work-years of experience. The International Codes Council administers tests in Pennsylvania for those working in electrical fields.
The Master Electrician examination costs $100 and has 100 multiple choice questions. This is an open book test that has a five hour time limit to complete. It covers topics such as general electrical knowledge, branch circuits, conductors, equipment, wiring methods, motors, generators, plan reading, and safety. The Journeyman Electrician examination covers the same topics taken from the 2005 National Electrical Code and also costs $100. It only has 80 questions and takes about four hours to complete.
In addition to taking the required examinations, you must also possess sufficient training. At the very least, completion of an apprenticeship is usually required for licensure as a journeyman. Obtaining a master electrician or electrical contractor license usually requires becoming licensed as a journeyman first and then gaining several months or years experience.
You may be able to find applications and forms needed for a Pennsylvania contractor license on your local county or city website. In addition to the application itself, you will probably need official supporting documents that verify your training and experience. This usually includes school transcripts and notarized statements from previous employers, or even tax forms. You’ll probably have to provide proof of liability insurance coverage and may have to pass a background check as well.
The fee for your electrical Pennsylvania contractor license is set by the local jurisdiction. There is usually a small fee to apply, a fee for the examination, and a fee for the license itself. The license will need to be renewed periodically; this could be annually or every 2-3 years. Some jurisdictions may require you to obtain continuing education credits each year to stay current with code changes.
It is possible you may be able to receive reciprocity if you currently hold an electrician’s license in another part of Pennsylvania or another state. Even when reciprocity is granted, you usually still have to go through the application process and pay the necessary fees. Reciprocity merely eliminates the need to take the examination.