How to Become an Electrician in Georgia

As things stand, electricians are among the professions in high demand across the United States, especially in densely populated areas such as Georgia. But, there’s a path you need to follow to obtain the skill and certification required. This article will guide you through the process of how to become an electrician in Georgia.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Step 1: Join an Apprenticeship Program That is Right for You
Step 2: Work as a Journeyman Electrician
Step 3: Become a licensed Independent Electrical Contractor

Steps to become an electrician in Georgia

Step One: Join an Apprenticeship Program or Trade School That Is Right for You

Before we discuss the first step, it’s important to note that, unlike other states, Georgia doesn’t have state licensing requirements for electricians. This implies that you can become an electrical contractor after completing your apprenticeship training and passing the contractor exam. In Georgia, electricians are licensed by the Construction Industry Licensing Board.

To work independently in the electrical trade in Georgia, most employers will want to see that you’ve completed 4 years (8,000 hours ) of on-the-job training plus 180 hours of yearly classroom learning.

How to start this journey of becoming an electrician in Georgia: 

  • Attend a trade school or technical program plus gain work experience OR
  • Pursue an apprenticeship with a union organization OR
  • Join the Independent Electrical Contractors apprenticeship program

Trade School or Technical Programs

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Going to a technical college or trade school with an electrical emphasis is a great way to make yourself more desirable to an employer. It helps that many of these schools and programs offer job-placement assistance.

Some options you may want to consider are:

  • Engineering Technology
  • Associates degree in Electrical Systems Technology

Graduates are prepared for entry-level work in electrical jobs and to work as an electrician apprentice. As mentioned before, your school may offer job placement help. You can also look for internships or apprentice positions with electrical companies and contractors.

After you have accumulated 8,000 documented hours of on-the-job training for a licensed electrical contractor, you are eligible to take the exam to become a contractor yourself.

Union Apprenticeships

A traditional apprenticeship is a great way to become an electrician with all the skills you’ll need to advance your career. Local IBEW unions provide traditional apprenticeships. It includes evening classes that local electricians teach plus employment via unionized contractors. 

You can find union apprenticeships through your local Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee (JATCs). It’s a partnership between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) under the National Training Alliance. This partnership ensures that there are high standards of electrical education across the country.  

JATC Georgia training locations:

Completing an apprenticeship with the IBEW-NECA Electrical Training Alliance will earn you a Journeyman Certificate that’s officially recognized across the US.

Requirements for joining apprenticeships may include:

  • Diploma/GED.
  • Birth certificate for age verification
  • Valid Georgia driver’s license
  • Social security card
  • Current criminal background check
  • Official, Sealed transcripts from High school or college showing proof of one credit hour of algebra completed successfully.
  • Application fee

Non-Union Apprenticeships

How to Join IEC Electrician Apprenticeship

If you prefer a non-union apprenticeship, Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) Atlanta and Georgia Chapter, operates in accordance with the US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship Standards. IEC provides job referral services for the apprentice.

Most apprentices double their salary in 4 years and may earn up to 41 hours of college credit.

Completing an apprenticeship with the IEC will earn you a journeyman Certificate that’s officially recognized across the US.

Step Two: Work as a Journeyman Electrician

It’s vital to note that Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board doesn’t have the Journeyman license component in its electricians’ licensing processes. 

However, when you complete your apprenticeship via union or non-union organizations, you’ll earn a Journey-person Certification, even though this is not a legal requirement in Georgia. 

You should know that most employers still want their electricians to hold the Journeyman certificate as it aligns with national standards.  

Completing your apprenticeship allows you to work for an employer without direct supervision.

Or, you can also jump directly to step three and become an electrical contractor without accumulating additional work hours/experience. You will need to pass the electrical contractor’s exam.

If you don’t feel the need to take the step to become a licensed independent contractor, having the Journeyman Certificate enables you to work almost anywhere in the US.

How to Join IEC electrician apprentice

Step 3: Become a Licensed Independent Electrical Contractor

In Georgia, once you complete 4 years of documented proof working under a licensed electrical contractor, you are eligible to sit for the electrical contractors’ exam.

The Georgia Board does have reciprocal agreements to accept the results of some examinations conducted by other state boards. The Georgia Board will accept results of approved examinations conducted by:

1. Alabama 
2. Louisiana
3. North Carolina 
4. South Carolina
5.  Tennessee 

There are two different types of Electrical Contractor licenses: Class I and Class II.

With a Class I license, there are restrictions. The license is restricted to contracting an installation of a single-phase that is less than 200 amperes. 

For a Class II license, there are no restrictions.

If you earn either of these two licenses, you can legally provide independent services in Georgia.

The Board of Construction Industry acknowledges secondary experience theoretical knowledge, but it has limitations on how this is attributed to your experience.

Those applicable may also claim veteran preference points by including a copy of their DD214 form showing that they served during conflict for a minimum of 90 days.

The additional class II experience requirement is that you need to show that you have worked on installing systems beyond 200 amperes. 

Fixing breaker box wires
Fixing breaker box wires

How to Get an Electrical Contractor’s License in Georgia

For you to become an electrical contractor, you need to pass the state exam. This is the only way that you can get a license and work legally. Again, you should take note that Georgia has reciprocal exam engagements with some states such as North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina.

The requirements for the licenses include:

  • Completed application with application fee
  • Be a minimum of 21 years old
  • Document 4 years of qualifying work experience
  • Submit certificates of completion of vocational/technical school program or diploma in Engineering Technology or related electrical field. These may be applied towards the work experience requirement.
  • Provide 3 notarized reference forms, with must be a licensed electrical contractor
  • Pass a background check
  • Submit a scheduling form and fee to AMP for the exam
  • Pass required exams with a score of 70% or above

Go to https://sos.ga.gov/. Select licencing, and From the “BOARDS AND LICENSED PROFESSIONS” drop-down menu, select “Electrical Contractors.” 

Note: There is no online option for Electrical Contractors, so you must select “Application/Form downloads and choose the appropriate PDF files. Application forms, suggested reference list, exam dates, and information forms are all here. 

When returning the exam application, you must attach the three references, one of which must be a licensed electrical contractor. The other referees must be from related fields. This includes professional engineers, registered architects, electrical contractors, or city inspectors.

Within 45 days, the Construction Industry Licensing Board sends a notification that says the applicant has been approved, along with an admission notice. If approved, the applicant needs to schedule for the exam. 

The following exam bulletin is an example to help when it comes to exam scheduling. The bulletin also provides a breakdown of questions that will appear on the exam. 

With the two licensing exams, expect the following subjects and number of questions:

Class 1

  • Transformers- seven questions.
  • Administrative functions, Laws, regulations- 30 questions.
  • Pre-test questions- 15 questions.
  • Locations, conditions, and special equipment- 21 questions.
  • Interior Electrical Systems- 30 questions.
  • DC and DC Rotating equipment – nine questions.
  • Electrical devices and controls- 22 questions.

Total: 155 questions

Class II 

  • Basic Electrical Circuits- 14 questions.
  • Interior electrical systems- 23 questions.
  • Transformers- 21 questions.
  • Administrative functions, Laws, regulations- 30 questions.
  • Pre-test questions- 22 questions.
  • Locations, conditions, and special equipment- 21 questions.
  • Interior Electrical Systems- 30 questions.
  • DC and DC Rotating equipment – nine questions.
  • Electrical devices and controls- 22 questions

Total: 162 questions

If you pass the Class I or Class II exam, you should receive your license in approximately six weeks. From then, you will be subject to Continuing Education (CE). A percentage of continued education equating to four hours per annum for each year must be met by your first renewal date. 

After your first renewal, you need four hours of continued education per annum. You are required to renew your license every two years on the 30th of June.

Best Places for Electrical Jobs Employment

Now that you have all that is required to be an electrician in Georgia, what next?

The answer is straightforward. Employment.

A good choice is to target densely populated areas where the overall electricity consumption is high. These areas include Athens, Columbus, Savannah, and Atlanta. Other cities provide good employment opportunities, but the state’s northern area has a mega-city, meaning you can earn a decent living. 

Wrapping up

Electricians are one of the highest-earning professions in Georgia. Becoming one isn’t easy. It takes lots of time, practical and theoretical learning and on the job experience, along with refreshing your knowledge throughout your career to renew your license bi-annually. 

We hope the guide has covered every aspect as far as becoming an electrician in Georgia is concerned. All you need to do now is to follow it through.

Sources

Georgia Board of Electrical Contractors
Library.Municode.com
Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia

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