“Knowledge is power, and electricity is the driving force behind it.” With the demand for skilled electricians constantly growing, there’s never been a better time to learn how to become an electrician in North Carolina. The road to a successful career as an electrician is paved with exciting opportunities and the satisfaction of providing essential services that light up homes and power our daily lives.

If you’re passionate about electricity, love working with your hands, and want a career that offers stability, growth, and endless possibilities, you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to becoming a licensed electrician in the beautiful state of North Carolina. So, let’s dive into the electrifying world of electrical systems technology and kickstart your journey to a brighter future today!

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Basic Licensing Requirements For Electricians In North Carolina

Before we delve into the details of how to become an electrician, let’s first explore the fundamental prerequisites you must fulfill to enter the field. The state of North Carolina maintains specific requirements to ensure the safety and competence of electrical professionals. To pursue a career as a licensed electrician, you must meet the following criteria:

Be At Least 18 Years Old

The minimum age requirement for electricians in North Carolina ensures that you have the maturity and physical capability to handle the demands of this challenging profession.

Have A High School Diploma Or GED

A solid foundation in basic education is crucial for grasping the principles of electrical theory, industrial safety, and electrical systems technology. Completing high school or obtaining a GED demonstrates your readiness to embark on this career path.

Pass A Drug Test

As an electrician, you’ll be responsible for the safe installation and maintenance of electrical systems. Passing a drug test is a necessary step to ensure that you can perform your duties safely and responsibly.

Have A Valid Driver’s License

As an electrician here, you’ll often be required to travel to various electrical projects, making a valid driver’s license essential for ensuring reliable transportation. Possessing a driver’s license demonstrates your responsibility and ability to navigate the roads safely.

Completed NC Licensing Test

The North Carolina licensing test assesses your knowledge of the National Electrical Code, electrical systems, and electrical safety regulations. Passing this exam demonstrates your competence and readiness to handle various electrical contracting licenses and projects. Preparing for this test is a critical step in securing your electrical contracting license and setting you up for success in the electrical contracting industry.

By fulfilling these requirements, you will have taken significant strides toward becoming a licensed electrician. With your qualifications in place, you can confidently pursue the specialized training and experience needed to excel in this in-demand field. We highly encourage every, regardless of industry, to obtain their OSHA 10 certification. We have a fantastic partnership with CareerSafe that provides BlueRecruit users discounted pricing. You can learn more and get started here.

Steps To Earn An Electrician Certification In North Carolina

Becoming a certified electrician here involves several essential steps.

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Step 1: Choose An Electrical License

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is selecting the appropriate electrical contractor license and classification. In North Carolina, there are three primary types of electrical contractor licenses: Limited, Intermediate, and Unlimited.

Each license has specific requirements tailored to the level of experience and expertise it represents. Let’s discuss the requirements for each license type in detail:

1. Limited License

A Limited electrical license is ideal for those who are new to the electrical contracting business or who prefer to work on smaller-scale technology projects. With this license, you can perform electrical work on projects valued not exceeding $60,000. To qualify for a Limited license, you must have a minimum of 4 years of on-the-job experience, primarily working with electrical systems and wiring in residential or commercial settings, as per the National Electrical Code.

2. Intermediate License

The Intermediate electrical license allows you to work on projects valued up to $150,000, involving more advanced electrical wiring systems and adhering to the National Fire Alarm Code. This license classification requires a minimum of 4 years (8,000 hours) of on-the-job experience. As an Intermediate electrical contractor, you’ll have the opportunity to work on more complex electrical contracting projects and expand your skills in areas like fire systems electrical installation.

3. Unlimited License

As the name suggests, the Unlimited license places no limits on the value of the projects you can undertake. To qualify for this license, you must have at least five years (10,000 hours) of on-the-job experience in electrical contracting, including work on electrical machines and data communication systems alarm installations. With an Unlimited license, you’ll have the opportunity to work on large-scale electrical projects, including industrial installations and complex electrical engineering technology applications.

By understanding the requirements for each license classification, you can choose the one that best suits your experience and career goals.

Step 2: Gain Experience

To truly thrive in this industry, you need to immerse yourself in hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge of electrical systems, electrical machines, and the National Code. Rest assured; there’s a clear path to achieve this:

1. Complete an apprenticeship program approved by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors

Learning the ins and outs of the electrical trade through a comprehensive apprenticeship program sets you up for success. By enrolling in such a program, often offered through technical community colleges, electrical trade schools, or local electrical contracting companies, you’ll gain practical skills and theoretical knowledge in electrical systems technology that will elevate your career. These programs seamlessly blend on-the-job training with classroom instruction, ensuring you become a well-rounded electrician.

2. Complete the required number of hours of on-the-job training and classroom instruction

Remember, practice makes perfect! The more time you invest in honing your craft, the more confident and capable you’ll become in handling various electrical projects. By completing the required hours of hands-on training and classroom instruction, you’ll establish a strong foundation in electrical theory, Electrical Code, and industry best practices. This invaluable experience will empower you to excel in your chosen license classification and make a lasting impact in the electrical contracting industry.

So, take the leap and immerse yourself in the world of electrical experience. With determination, hard work, and a passion for learning, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a certified electrician, ready to tackle any challenge and seize every opportunity that comes your way.

Step 3: Obtain A Journeyman Electrician License

As you progress, you’ll soon reach a pivotal milestone: obtaining your journeyman electrician license. This achievement not only showcases your dedication to the craft but also serves as a testament to your expertise and professionalism in electrical systems and National Code. Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Pass the journeyman electrician exam

Picture yourself confidently conquering the journeyman electrician exam, a comprehensive test designed to assess your mastery of electrical theory, code, electrical wiring, and electrical systems technology. This crucial step proves that you have the knowledge and skill set required to excel in the electrical contracting industry and handle various projects.

2. Submit the application and required documentation to the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors

With the exam behind you, it’s time to showcase your hard-earned experience and qualifications in electrical systems and electrical work. By submitting a thorough application and the necessary documentation to the State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to excellence and your readiness to take on the responsibilities of a journeyman electrician.

3. Pay the licensing fee

As the final piece of the puzzle, pay the appropriate annual license fee to obtain your journeyman electrician license. This investment in your future will open doors to new opportunities and empower you to pursue more complex projects, further solidifying your position as a top-tier electrician.

Embrace this exciting chapter in your career with determination and confidence. By obtaining your journeyman electrician license, you’ll not only set yourself apart from the competition but also secure a bright future in the dynamic world of electrical contracting.

Step 4: Consider Becoming Licensed As An Independent Electrical Contractor

Becoming licensed as an independent electrical contractor can open up numerous opportunities for those who have completed their electrician certification in North Carolina. It allows individuals to work as independent contractors and bid on contracting projects, enabling them to take on their own clients and potentially earn more income.

However, it’s important to note that becoming an independent licensed electrical contractor requires additional licensing and bonding ability forms, as well as a strong understanding of basic business practices. If you’re interested in pursuing this path, it’s essential to thoroughly research the requirements and steps involved to ensure a smooth transition into this field.

Step 5: Maintain Your Electrician License

Congratulations on your hard-earned electrician license! Now, it’s crucial to maintain your status as a licensed electrician, ensuring a thriving career in the electrical contracting industry. By following these key steps, you’ll continue to excel in your field, stay up-to-date with the latest industry standards, and keep your electrician license in good standing:

1. Renew your electrician license every year:

Demonstrating your ongoing commitment to the profession, be sure to renew your electrician license annually. Staying current with your electrical license shows potential clients and employers that you’re a reliable and dedicated professional, well-versed in electrical systems, National Code, and electrical contracting licenses.

2. Complete continuing education requirements:

To maintain your electrician license, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest advancements in electrical systems technology and industry best practices.

By completing the required continuing education courses, you’ll not only fulfill your North Carolina electrical license renewal requirements but also hone your skills and deepen your knowledge of electrical theory, the National Code, and electrical work. This will empower you to tackle even the most challenging electrical contracting projects with confidence and expertise.

3. Follow all safety regulations and codes to maintain your license:

As a certified electrician, you have a responsibility to prioritize safety in all aspects of your work. By adhering to all relevant safety regulations and codes, such as the National Fire Alarm Code and industrial safety standards, you’ll protect yourself, your clients, and your reputation in the electrical contracting industry.

In summary, maintaining your electrician license is an ongoing commitment that requires dedication, expertise, and a passion for continuous improvement. By renewing your license annually, investing in continuing education, and following all safety regulations, you’ll solidify your position as a top-tier electrician poised for long-term success in the dynamic world of electrical contracting.

How Much Does It Cost To Become An Electrician In North Carolina?

The path to becoming an electrician in North Carolina involves several steps, including attending an electrical program at a community college or technical community college, completing an apprenticeship program, and obtaining the necessary electrical journeyman license. While costs may vary, we’ve outlined some of the primary expenses you can expect during your journey:


Enrolling in an electrical technical program at a community college or a technical community college is a critical first step. Tuition fees for these programs can vary but are generally more affordable than traditional universities. Some aspiring electrical workers may also choose to pursue electrical trainee programs or courses offered by associated builders and independent electrical contractors. You can learn more about this trade and other trades as well as conduct training, earn certifications, and even explore trade schools and scholarships at BlueCareer.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeships provide invaluable on-the-job training and experience. Costs associated with these programs can range from minimal to several thousand dollars, depending on the organization and the resources provided. Apprenticeship programs, such as those offered by the North Carolina Association of Electrical Contractors are excellent options to consider.

Licensing And Exam Fees

To obtain your electrical and journeyman electricians license or journeyman electrician license, you’ll need to pass the electrician certification exam administered by the North Carolina Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Exam fees typically range from $100 to $200. Additionally, there are licensing fees for electrical contractors and licensed electrical contractors, which vary depending on the license classification (limited, intermediate, or unlimited).

Continuing Education

Licensed electricians in North Carolina must complete continuing education courses to maintain their licenses. These courses, often offered through community colleges, independent electrical contractors, or North Carolina electrical associations, can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 per course, depending on the provider and the course content. Topics covered in these courses may include Electrical Code updates, basic business practices, bonding ability forms, and safety regulations.

While the journey to becoming an electrician requires a financial investment, the rewards of a fulfilling, stable career in the electrical contracting industry make it well worth the effort. With the right training, dedication, and perseverance, you’ll be on your way to becoming a sought-after electrical professional in no time.

North Carolina Electrician Licenses

Ready to take the next step in your career and become a licensed electrician in North Carolina? In this section, we’ll discuss who issues electrician licenses, how long it takes to obtain one, and whether your North Carolina license is valid to search electrician programs in other states.

Who Issues Electrician Licenses In North Carolina?

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors is the governing body responsible for issuing electrician licenses in the state. This organization ensures that electrical workers meet stringent requirements, such as completing an electrical technical program at a community college or technical community college, successfully finishing an apprenticeship program, and passing the North Carolina electrician certification exam.

The board also oversees the continuing education requirements for licensed electricians and electrical trainees and ensures that they adhere to safety regulations and electrical codes.

How Long Does It Take?

The time it takes to become a licensed electrician can vary depending on your educational and apprenticeship choices. Completing an electrical program at a community college or technical community college typically takes one to two years, while apprenticeship programs may last anywhere from three to five years.

Once you’ve met these requirements, you’ll need to pass the North Carolina electrician certification exam and submit your application for a license. Upon approval, your license will be issued, and you’ll be ready to work as a licensed electrician.

Does My North Carolina Electrician License Work In Any Other State?

While some states have reciprocity agreements that allow licensed electricians to work in neighboring jurisdictions, North Carolina’s electrician licenses are not universally recognized. Each state has its own licensing requirements, and you may need to obtain a separate license if you plan to work outside of North Carolina.

However, your educational background and experience in the electrician programs in North Carolina may help expedite the licensing process in other states. It’s essential to research the specific licensing requirements for the state in which you intend to work to ensure you’re in compliance with all applicable regulations.

Benefits Of Becoming A Certified Electrician

If you’re considering a career in the electrical industry, you may be wondering about the benefits of becoming a certified electrician. Here, we’ll discuss the promising outlook and salary expectations for certified electricians, highlighting the potential rewards of pursuing this profession.

As a certified electrician, you’ll enjoy a stable and fulfilling career in a high-demand field. With the continuous growth of technology and the increasing need for reliable electrical systems, electricians are more essential than ever. By completing an electrical technical program at a community college or technical community college and obtaining your electrician certification, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenges and opportunities in this dynamic industry.

In addition to job security, certified electricians can expect competitive salaries. According to the National Electrical Contractors Association, the average salary for a certified electrician varies based on factors such as experience, education, and geographic location.

However, electricians typically enjoy higher-than-average wages compared to other professions. Additionally, as you gain experience and complete continuing education requirements, you’ll have opportunities to advance your career, take on more complex projects, and potentially increase your earning potential.

North Carolina Electrician Training Programs And Schools

Embarking on a career as a certified electrician begins with choosing the right training program. Several schools and institutions across the state offer comprehensive electrical technical programs, which are vital for aspiring electricians.

Community colleges and technical community colleges play a significant role in providing quality electrical education. These institutions offer a mix of theoretical and practical knowledge, equipping you with essential skills to excel in the electrical industry. By completing an electrical program at a reputable community college or technical community college, you’ll gain the foundation you need to pursue an apprenticeship and ultimately become a licensed electrician. (We have a extensive list of trade schools and scholarships. Take a look to find one near you.)

Advancing To Master Electrician

Taking your electrical career to new heights by becoming a master electrician is an exciting and rewarding path. As a master electrician, you’ll be recognized as a highly skilled professional with extensive experience and expertise in the field. Here’s what you need to know to advance to the master electrician level in North Carolina.

First and foremost, you must meet the required experience and training requirements. Having completed your electrical program at a community college or technical community college and gained valuable on-the-job experience through apprenticeships, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle this next step. North Carolina requires electricians to have a specific number of years of experience working as licensed electricians before they can qualify for the master electrician exam.

Next, you’ll need to pass the master electrician exam, which is administered by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. This comprehensive exam tests your knowledge of electrical systems, codes, and best practices, ensuring that you’re fully equipped to take on the responsibilities of a master electrician.

After passing the exam, you’ll need to submit the application and required documentation to the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. This may include proof of your education, apprenticeship, and work experience, as well as any other relevant documentation.

Finally, you’ll need to pay the licensing fee to obtain your master electrician license. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be ready to embark on a rewarding career as a master electrician, enjoying the prestige and increased earning potential that comes with this esteemed title.


The process of becoming a certified electrician may seem daunting at first, but with dedication and hard work, it can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career. From gaining experience through apprenticeship programs to passing the necessary exams and obtaining relevant licenses, each step towards becoming an electrician brings you closer to a prosperous career.

With the ever-growing demand for skilled electricians in the state, there are numerous job opportunities and room for growth in this field. Whether you choose to work as an independent contractor or advance to become a master electrician, the possibilities are endless. So, take the first step towards your dream career and become a certified electrician in North Carolina today with BlueRecruit!

At BlueRecruit we are always looking for electricians. Create a profile so companies can find you. Once you have an interview, visit our blue collar interview tips post so you can prep for your interview and negotiate the best salary for yourself.


How long does it take to become an electrician in North Carolina?

The journey to becoming an electrician in North Carolina varies but typically involves 2-4 years of education and training, followed by passing the necessary exams and obtaining relevant licenses.

How much does a licensed electrician make in North Carolina?

The average salary for a licensed electrician in North Carolina varies based on experience, education, and location, but they generally enjoy competitive wages compared to other professions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data from May 2020, the mean annual wage for electricians in North Carolina was $53,710. The lowest 10 percent of earners in this occupation in North Carolina earned less than $33,930 annually, while the top 10 percent earned more than $80,080 annually.

What do I need to study for my NC electrical license?

To prepare for your NC electrical license exam, focus on the National Electrical Codes, electrical theory, and state-specific regulations. Attending a trade school or community college program can also help you study effectively.

Can I do my own electrical work in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, homeowners can perform certain electrical work on their own property. However, it’s important to check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before starting a project.