How to Become an Electrician in Virginia, VA

Check Electrician Schools in Virginia, VA

In the state of Virginia it is mandatory to be properly licensed and certified before performing any electrical work. The state licensing body considers electricians to be “Tradesmen”. In case you wish to do contracting work as a firm, a contractor license is required.

Thus, there are three license options for electricians:

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation

The licensing process for electricians in the state of Virginia is overlooked by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). DPOR is an executive branch agency under the Secretary of Commerce and Trade that oversees 17 policy boards. The boards are responsible for regulating certain professions and occupations, as determined by the General Assembly. More specifically, the Board for Contractors regulates individual tradesmen who engage in the electrical trade.

DPOR issues professional credentials – licenses, certificates or registrations – in an efficient, least intrusive way. Their goal is to ensure the minimum competency necessary to practice while safeguarding the public, not to enhance professional stature or limit competition by keeping newcomers out. The minimum standards necessary to enter a profession are determine by Policy boards, and applicants are qualified based on a combination of education, experience and examination.

The DPOR can be contacted as follows:

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
9960 Mayland Drive
Suite 400
Richmond VA 23233-1485
(804) 367-8500
Licensing Section (804) 367-8511
[email protected]
[email protected]
Map to DPOR’s Walk-In Assistance Facility

Virginia Electrician Licensing Overview

To obtain an electrician license in Virginia, you have to apply with the Board and then successfully pass the designated examination. Note that you will have to submit the application prior to sitting for the corresponding exam. You will not be able to take the exams unless you have received prior approval from the Board.

There is an application fee of $130. Make out a check or money order to the Treasurer of Virginia and submit the application.

After your application has been approved by the Board, you will be ready for the exam. A notification will be sent to you via regular mail with instructions concerning how to register with the exam vendor and schedule the examination.

For more information on the Virginia Electrical License Exams, please see here.

Once you pass the examination, the exam vendor will notify the Board and the license will be sent to your address of record.

You will have to renew your license regularly. For license renewal and continuing education requirements, please see here.

Note that for each license type, there are additional requirements that have to be met. Please read below for the requirements per license.

Virginia Journeyman Electrician License Requirements

In order to be able to apply for the Journeyman Electrician license, you will have to meet one of the following requirements:

  1. Four years of practical experience in the trade and 240 hours of formal vocational training in the trade.
  2. Five years of practical experience in the trade and 160 hours of formal vocational training in the trade.
  3. Six years of practical experience in the trade and 80 hours of formal vocational training in the trade.
  4. Seven or more years of practical experience in the trade and 40 hours of formal vocational training in the trade.
  5. (For Liquefied Petroleum & Natural Gas Fitters only) Four years of practical experience and 80 hours of formal vocational
  6. training for liquefied petroleum gas fitters and natural gas fitter providers.
  7. Associates degree or certificate of completion from at least a two-year program in a tradesman related field from an
  8. accredited community college or technical school and two years of practical experience in the trade for which licensure is
  9. requested.
  10. Bachelor’s degree or certificate of completion from an accredited college or university in an engineering curriculum related to
  11. the trade and one year of practical experience in the trade for which licensure is requested.
  12. Ten years of practical experience in the trade as verified by individuals who have observed the applicant’s work in the trade.
  13. Being currently licensed as a journeyman electrician in another state.

For options 1-12, you will have to attach a completed Tradesman Individual Experience Form which can be found here, while for option 13 you will have to attach a Certification/Letter of Good Standing and a copy of a currently valid journeyman or master license or certification. Additionally, for options 1-11 you will have to also attach certification(s) of completion or official transcript(s).

You may find the Tradesman Exam and License Application here.

For more information on license reciprocity, please see here.

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

Virginia Master Electrician License Requirements

In order to be able to apply for the Master Electrician license, you will have to meet one of the following requirements:

  1. One year of practical experience as a licensed Virginia journeyman.
  2. Ten years of practical experience in the trade, verified by an affidavit from those who observed the candidate’s work in the trade.
  3. Being currently licensed as a journeyman electrician in another state.

For options 1-2, you will have to attach a completed Tradesman Individual Experience Form which can be found here, while for option 3 you will have to attach a Certification/Letter of Good Standing and a copy of a currently valid journeyman or master license or certification.

You may find the Tradesman Exam and License Application here.

For more information on license reciprocity, please see here.

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

Virginia Electrical Contractor License Requirements

If you are performing work over $1,000, you will have to contact the Board for Contractors to obtain a Virginia Contractors License.

Contractor licenses consist of two parts: the class of license (A, B, or C), which determines the monetary value of contracts/projects that may be performed, and the classification/specialty, which determines what type of work is allowed.

First, you will have to choose the appropriate class for your license. The following apply:

- A Class C license is restricted to contracts/projects that are less than $10,000, with the total amount of all contracts/projects performed in a twelve month period remaining below $150,000.

- A Class B license is restricted to contracts/projects that are less than $120,000, with the total amount of all contracts/projects performed in a twelve month period remaining below $750,000.

- A Class A license has no restrictions.

Make sure to select the correct class of license for the amount of work your company will be performing cause exceeding the limits is a regulations violation and could result in disciplinary actions.

The next step is to choose your specialty. There are classifications and specialties per license that identify the type of work that may be performed. Those are identified as three letter abbreviations that are printed on the bottom of the license.

The definition of each of the classifications and specialties can be found in the Board for Contractors Regulations document here. It is important to select the specialty that best describes the work your company.

Additionally, for electrical contractors there are financial requirements. If you apply for Class A and Class B license, you will have to provide a completed Financial Statement Form (included as part of the application) OR an annual report OR a CPA reviewed/audited financial statement, as evidence of your firm’s net worth.

For Class A you must provide proof of a net worth/equity of $45,000.

For Class B you must provide proof of a net worth/equity of $15,000.

You may find the financial statement form here (for Class A and B only).

The license application for all classes can be found here.

Along with your application you will have to submit the appropriate fee. Each form has the fee that must be submitted listed on the first page of that form.

Note that all Virginia Class A, B, and C Contractor Business License applicants are required to complete an 8-hour pre-licensing course.

For more details on the contractors licensing process, please see here.

Virginia Electrician License Exam Information

As mentioned above, after your application has been approved by the Board, you will have to sit for the corresponding examinations. The journeyman and master electrician categories have separate exams.

The administrator of the exams is PSI Online. There is a corresponding exam fee for each license, $125 for master electricians and $100 for journeyman electricians.

The journeyman electrician portion has 70 questions and a time limit of 210 minutes.

The master electrician portion has 90 questions and a time limit of 270 minutes.

Both journeyman and master license examinations require a score of at least 70% to pass.

You may find the candidate information bulletin here. Use that bulletin to find out what to study for your exam and how to schedule and pay for your exam.

The test is open book and material includes but is not limited to the following:

  • General Electrical Knowledge
  • Requirements for Electrical Installations
  • Electrical-Electronic Fundamentals Services
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Conductors and Cables
  • Raceways and Boxes
  • Special Occupancies
  • Special Equipment
  • Electrical Signs and Outline Lighting
  • Fire Detection and Alarm Systems
  • Motors and Controls
  • Utilization Equipment
  • Lighting
  • General Low Voltage Requirements
  • Communication Systems

There is also a Statutory/Regulatory section incorporated into the exam and its contents includes:

  • Standards of Practice
  • Standards of Conduct
  • Renewal and Reinstatement
  • Definitions
  • Qualification for Licensure
  • Revocation of Licensure

Virginia Electrician Reciprocal License Agreements

Virginia currently holds reciprocity agreements with various states and if you are a license holder in one of the included states, you may be able to acquire a license based on the conditions based above in the requirements section.

In case you are applying for a license or certification under any of these agreements, you will have to meet all of the terms of that agreement in order for your application to be approved.

When applying by reciprocity or by examination exemption, you will have to submit a complete application along with verification of licensure from the out of state board.

Following is a list of the license reciprocity agreements:

- Alabama Electrical Contractor License and Virginia Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity

- Kentucky Electrician and Master Electrician License and Virginia Journeyman and Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity

- Maryland Master Electrical Tradesman License and Virginia Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity

- West Virginia Journeyman and Master Electrical Tradesman License and Virginia Journeyman and Master Electrical Tradesman License Examination Reciprocity

- Maryland HVAC Board Journeyman and Master HVA Tradesman License and Virginia Journeyman and Master HVA License Examination Reciprocity

- North Carolina Unlimited (equivalent to Class A) and Intermediate (equivalent to Class B) Electrical Contractor License and Virginia Master Electrical Tradesman License and Class A or Class B Electrical Contractor Business License and Examination Reciprocity.

- Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) – Examination agreement for Journeyman and Master Plumbers and Gas Fitters

- Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors – Examination agreement for Commercial Building, Electrical and HVA, Contractor License and Journeyman and Master Electrical and HVA Tradesman (residency requirement).

Virginia Electrician License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements

All tradesmen must complete continuing education in order to renew their licenses. Virginia requires Electricians to complete at least 3 hours of continuing education every 2 years. Only approved courses offered by approved providers count toward the continuing education requirement.

All continuing education requirements must be fulfilled during the two-year term of the license.

The continuing education course must cover updates to the National Electrical Code.

The course must be completed through a Board-approved provider. A list of the Board-approved providers is available here.

Your license will not be renewed if you do not complete the continuing education. The regular renewal and reinstatement regulations apply to fulfillment of the continuing education requirements. You have a 30-day grace period after the expiration date on your license to submit payment and proof of continuing education.

For online license renewal, please visit the Boards’ online services here.

The above apply for the following largest cities (among others):
Virginia BeachNorfolkChesapeakeArlingtonRichmond
Newport NewsAlexandriaHamptonRoanokePortsmouth
SuffolkLynchburgCentrevilleDale CityReston
HarrisonburgMcLeanTuckahoeAshburnCharlottesville
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