How to Become an Electrician in North Carolina
In order to become an electrician you must follow a very simple process. By fulfilling the education and experience requirements and getting the relevant license, you can make your dream of becoming an electrician a reality. Here is a brief look at the process of becoming an electrician in the state of North Carolina.
First, get a high school diploma or a GED and make sure that you have a drug free background, a valid driver’s license and social security number, as they are essential if you want to enroll in training schools and become a part of a good apprenticeship program.
Once you have the above-mentioned things you must start looking for a suitable apprenticeship because it is important if you want to be taken seriously as an electricians. It can also help you get some valuable information, as you will be supervised by highly experienced master electricians and electrical contractors. You can become well acquainted with the tools used by an electrician and learn how to face the situations that occur in an electrician’s life in this four year apprenticeship program.
You should contact organizations such as Watson Electrical, North Carolina Association of Electrical Contractors and some Electrician training schools that offer apprenticeship programs. You must also enroll in recognized online courses or in courses offered at electrician training schools near you in order to complete your classroom training requirements. You will also need to supply your own tools for your apprenticeship.
Once you are done with your apprenticeship you must get a license because it is illegal to work as an electrician in the state of North Carolina without one. The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors approves the licenses.
There are ten classifications of electrical contractor licenses offered in the state of North Carolina including:
- The Intermediate (I), Unlimited (U) and Limited (L) categories allow you to carry out commercial, residential and industrial work.
- For electrical contracting projects associated with residential and single-family detached dwellings, the (SP-SFD) license is required.
Apart from these, there are six other special classifications for electrical contracting, which have a limited scope of work. These include:
- Fire Alarm/Low Voltage (SP-FA/LV),
- Groundwater pump (SP-WP)
- Swimming Pool (SP-SP)
- Elevator (SP-EL)
- Electric Sign (SP-ES)
- Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Heating (SP-PH)
You can find out more about the classifications of the licenses, the fees, and the license terms here and the requirements that you must fulfill to apply for a particular license are available here. You must also have a very good grasp of the National Electric Code in order to get this license. You can also find out more details about the different exams here.
Once you pass the exam, you must submit a completed application for the particular license you want, pay the annual fee and provide the required details.
All the licenses must be renewed annually and you must complete the Continuing Education (CE) hours in order to get the renewal. A minimum of one-half of the continuing education (CE) hours should be obtained through classroom training and all these should be taken from board approved sponsors and instructors of continuing education courses. If you hold one of the Intermediate, Unlimited, Limited & SP-SFD classifications, 8 hours of (CE) per year needs to be completed. On the other hand, 4 hours per year of (CE) must be completed for the special restricted classifications. Additionally if you end up with more than the required hours then those hours can be carried forward to the next year.
North Carolina has reciprocity agreements with the following states:
There is a lot of room for growth in the career of an electrician as you move on from an apprentice, to become a licensed electrician and finally a master electrician. On top of that, the demand for electricians continues to grow and this is the reason why more and more people are after this career.