How to Become an Electrician in South Carolina, SC

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South Carolina Electrician Licensing Overview

As in most states, in order to perform electrical work in the state of South Carolina, you will have to be properly licensed. A valid license covers the installation, alteration, or repair of wiring-related electrical material and equipment used in the generating, transmitting, or utilization of electrical energy less than six hundred volts.

Additionally, the license includes, but is not limited to, installing, altering, and repairing, panels, controls, conductors, conduits, cables, devices, plates, electric ceilings, control wiring; and electric heating, lighting fixtures, lamps, general outside lighting, underground and overhead feeder distribution systems for services, and related components or work necessary to provide a complete electrical system and installing window or through-the-wall air conditioning units not to exceed three HP or three tons where no piping is necessary.

For single and two family residences and apartment buildings up to 16 units and three stories in height, an Electrical Residential License is required. A Mechanical Contractors License is required for anyone performing “commercial” construction over $5000.

South Carolina City and County Licensing

Please note that except for your South Carolina statewide license/registration, the cities and/or counties in which you plan to work may require additional licensing and/or permitting. In general, each city/county has its own rules, regulations, and fees. For this reason, before starting any electrical work, make sure to follow this procedure:

1) Determine the city/county in which you will be operating within South Carolina.

2) If the location you will be operating is within a city, visit the South Carolina Municipal Directory page, to lookup the city’s phone number. When you call, ask to speak with the Business License or Building Permit department.

3) If the location is not in a city limit, but in a county, visit the South Carolina Association of Counties page, to lookup the county’s phone number. When you call, ask to speak with the Business License or Building Permit department.

4) If you are not sure if a location is in the city or county, call the local city/county to confirm which permit and/or license you may need.

South Carolina Residential Electrical Contractor License

The SC Department of Labor is overlooking the residential contractor licensing process. It can be contacted at:

South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Residential Builders Commission
Synergy Business Park, Kingtree Building
110 Centerview Dr., Suite 102
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 896-4696
Fax: 803-896-4404
http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/ResidentialBuilders/

In order to acquire a license as a Residential Electrical contractor, you must have a minimum of 1 year experience under the direct supervision of a Master Electrician or properly licensed Electrical contractor.

To become licensed as a Residential Electrical Contractor, the procedure below should be followed:

- Download the application form from here and print it or contact the Residential Builders Commission at 803-896-4696 and request that an application form be mailed to you.

- Submit the completed Residential Electrical Contractor application form to the Residential Builders Commission along with the affidavit of one year of work experience (Section ā€œCā€ of the application form) . The affidavit will have to be signed by a licensed residential builder or general contractor and a $100.00 application processing fee (certified check or money order) made payable to LLR-Residential Builders Commission.

- Your application will be reviewed by the Residential Builders Commission staff for accuracy and completeness within seven (7) to ten (10) business days. You may check online the status of your application here. If your application is incomplete or the social security number is not provided or is incorrect, the application will be returned to you.

- Once your application is approved, an Examination Eligibility Letter will be mailed to you. Your Examination Eligibility is valid for one year and you are allowed only three (3) attempts to pass the residential builders exam within a twelve (12) month period.

There is a fee of $350 for a 2-year license and $175 for one year.

Next, you will have to pass the relevant two parts exam. The Residential Electrical Contractor exam and the Business Management and Law Exam are administered by PSI Examination Services (PSI) and you will schedule your own exam and make payment by (certified check or money order) to PSI Examination Services. You may visit the PSI website for more information on their fees and exam services.

You may find the Candidate Information Bulletin here.

After passing exams, you will have to submit the following information to the Residential Builders Commission staff:

  • A copy of your test results from PSI testing services.
  • A certified check or money order made payable to LLR-Residential Builders Commission in the amount of $100.00 if the license is issued for more than twelve (12) months before the next renewal date. If the licensed is to be issued for twelve (12) months or less before the next renewal date a certified check or money order made payable to LLR-Residential Builders Commission in the amount of $50.00.
  • A surety bond in the amount of $10,000 (original bond signed by the applicant with the power of attorney attached) the bond must be issued in the individual applicants name listed as principal and not in a company or business name.

Note that South Carolina is not reciprocal with any states for Residential Electrical Licensing, so you will not be able to obtain a Residential Electrical Contractor license without having to take the SC exam if you are licensed in another state.

However, a Residential Electrical Contractor license can be obtained without examination if you are licensed as SC Mechanical Contractor by exam with an electrical classification or you have taken the Master Electrical Exam with the South Carolina Municipal Association (MASC). For those cases, you will have to submit a completed Residential Electrical Contractor license application with the documentation of the SC Mechanical Contractors license or the Master Electrical Exam from the Municipal Association, with all fees and a $10,000 surety bond for review by the Residential Builders Commission.

The Residential Electrical Contractors License is renewable every two (2) years before June 30, of each odd year (2013, 2015, 2017, etc.). You may renew your license online using a credit card and your user ID and password. Regarding Continuing Education, the Board does not require continuing education at the time.

Finally, don’t forget to check Electrician Jobs in South Carolina.

South Carolina Mechanical Contractor License

The SC Contractors’ Licensing Board is overlooking the contractor licensing process. It can be contacted at:

South Carolina Contractors’ Licensing Board
PO Box 11329
Columbia, S.C. 29211
Phone (803) 896-4686
http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/Contractors/

To be eligible to obtain a Mechanical Contractor license, you must pass a technical exam, a business management/law exam and be able to document 2 years of experience within the last 5 years for the classification(s) of work in which you are applying.

There is a $175 fee for a mechanical contractor license.

In order to apply for the Mechanical Contractor Licensing exams, contact Psychological Services, Inc. (PSI) at (800) 733-9267 and request: “The South Carolina Contractors Application Package” or visit their web site. If you apply online, be sure to make the same request as stated above. In both case, you will receive the following:

  • PSI’s Candidate Information Bulletin
  • S.C. contractor’s application, Doc #165
  • S.C. Code of Laws Take Home exam, Doc #170 and booklet.

When you receive the application package, submit to PSI the registration form for the technical exam and the Business Management/Law exam.

A listing of reference materials and testing sites, along with additional information is included in the Candidate Information Bulletin which can be found here.

After that, you will receive an Eligibility Letter from PSI. Call the number at the bottom of the letter and schedule an appointment at the testing site of your choice.

After passing the technical and Business Management/Law exams, submit your completed application, Doc# 165, for licensing to the S.C. Contractors’ Licensing Board and include all of the following:

  • Fee
  • Financial Statement (use Doc# 172 for Groups 1 & 2 only)
  • Technical and Business Management/Law Score Sheets
  • Experience Affidavit (must have 2 years commercial experience within the last 5 years)
  • South Carolina Code of Laws Take Home Exam (answer sheet & signature page)
  • If corporation, partnership, LLC, etc. attach registration with the Secretary of State of S.C.

Under certain preconditions, you might be able to apply for a license by waiver. A technical examination must have been passed with one of the following states.

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

Contact the Board for details or find more information about waivers here.

Finally, don’t forget to check Electrician Jobs in South Carolina.

South Carolina Electrical License Exams

As mentioned above, the Residential Electrical Contractor exam and the Business Management and Law Exam are administered by PSI Examination Services (PSI). You may visit the PSI website for more information on their fees and exam services or contact PSI Examination services at 1-800-733-9267.

You may find the Candidate Information Bulletin here.

The trade exam may only be taken twice in a 12-month period, and thereafter only once in six months.

The exam fee is $75.

For the exam, there are 80 questions and a time limit of 4 hours. In order to pass, you will have to achieve a score of 70% (56 questions correct).

The exam topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
General Electrical Knowledge,Service, Feeders, and Branch Circuits,Grounding and Bonding,Conductors and Cables,Raceways and Boxes,Special Occupancies and Equipment,Electrical Power,Motors,Low Voltage,Lighting,Illuminated Signs,Fire Detection and Alarm Systems,Safety Information.

The reference books for the exams are:

1. NFPA 70 National Electrical Code or National Electrical Code Handbook
2008. National Fire Protection Association

2. NFPA 72 – National Fire Alarm Code
2007, National Fire Protection Association

3. American Electricians Handbook
1996, 14th Edition, Croft/Summers, McGraw-Hill Publishing, Inc.

4. Code of Federal Regulations
29 CFR Part 1926 Revised as of 2008 or 2011 (OSHA), Superintendent of Documents
OR
Code of Federal Regulations
29 CFR Part 1926 Selections as of 2008 or 2011 by PSI

5. Key Word Index
2002, Tom Henry, Tom Henry Bookstore

South Carolina Contractor License Financial requirements

For the Mechanical Contractor type of licenses, there are financial requirements, depending on the net worth. There are five different groups, each of which allows for jobs of a certain amount and demand a minimum net worth.

  • Group 1: Allows for jobs of $17,500 or less, applicants must submit a self-prepared financial statement showing a net worth of at least $3,500.
  • Group 2: Allows for jobs of $30,000 or less, applicants must submit a self-prepared financial statement showing a net worth of at least $6,000.
  • Group 3: Allows for jobs of $50,000 or less, applicants must submit a financial statement compiled and reviewed by a CPA showing a net worth of at least $10,000.
  • Group 4: Allows for jobs of $125,000 or less, applicants must submit a financial statement compiled and reviewed by a CPA showing a net worth of at least $25,000.
  • Group 5: There are no financial limits on the size of job allowed, applicants must submit an audited financial statement that has been prepared by a CPA showing a net worth of at least $100,000.
The above apply for the following largest cities (among others):
ColumbiaCharlestonNorth CharlestonRock HillMount Pleasant
GreenvilleSummervilleSpartanburgSumterGoose Creek
Hilton Head IslandMyrtle BeachEvergreenAikenAnderson
GreerGreenwoodTaylorsMauldinWade Hampton
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