Arizona electrician license:
Everything you need to know
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the number of jobs for electricians in Arizona will increase by almost 50% in just the next five years. Now is the time to enter the electrical industry. This guide outlines how to earn your Arizona electrical license and grow your career.
Does Arizona require an electrical license?
You will need an Arizona electrical license to work in the state.
What are the different types of electrical licenses In Arizona?
You can apply for three types of electrical contractor license in Arizona.
If you earn an R-11 license, you can work on residential electrical systems. A C-11 license will authorize you to install and repair commercial electrical systems, and a CR-11 license will allow you to work with both commercial and residential jobs.
Arizona does not issue Arizona electrical licenses to journeyman electricians, but some municipalities do.
Residential electricians in Arizona earn between $45,000 and $58,000 per year. If you specialize in commercial or industrial electrical work, you could earn $90,000 per year.
How to get an electrician license in Arizona
Licenses are issued by the Arizona State Registrar of Contractors. Before you can sit for the tests to earn your license, you will need at least four years of on-the-job experience. Once you meet this requirement, you can apply for the written examination. If you have recently had an Arizona electrical license refused or revoked, you must wait at least a year to become eligible for an electrical contractor’s license.
After obtaining your license, you must meet the bonding requirements. The bond for a commercial specialty contractor is currently $2,500 if he or she expects to gross less than $150,000. Commercial general contractors need $100,000 bonds if they will earn more than $10 million within the year. You must send evidence of your bond to the registrar along with documents showing that you passed the necessary tests.
Union apprenticeships are available from the Phoenix and Tucson chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union, and the National Electrical Contractors Alliance. If you are interested in a non-union apprenticeship, you can enroll in programs operated by the Independent Electrical Contractors Association of Arizona, the Arizona Builders Alliance, or Independent Electrical Contractors of Southern Arizona. To get either a union or a non-union apprenticeship, you will likely have to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Graduated high school or earned a GED.
- Have a valid driver’s license and a reliable form of transportation.
- Pass a basic math and reading test.
- Show proof of passing a high school algebra class or earning at least one credit of post-school algebra.
Getting an apprenticeship is helpful for learning on the trade from an experienced electrical contractor. After enrolling in an apprenticeship program, you will be employed with a local electrical contractor and working a full-time job while attending night classes.
Vocational schools and associate’s degree courses in electrical technology can provide you with thorough training. Many schools have programs to connect you with local employers. The subjects you will study include:
- Electrical calculations and algebra
- Arizona safety codes
- Electrical theory
- Reading and understanding blueprints
- Transformers and motors
- Safe work practices and OSHA regulations
The final step is passing a two-part examination covering business management and electrical work. To apply to take the test, you should submit a form to the Arizona State Registrar of Contractors.
The electrical part of the examination will test your knowledge in the following areas:
- General electrical knowledge
- Safety and overcurrent protection
- Bonding and grounding
- Cables and conductors
- Illuminated signs
- Low and high voltage applications
- Boxes and raceways
- Service feeders and branch circuits
The business management examination is an open book test, and you will have three hours to answer 80 questions on the following topics:
- The laws dealing with electrical contractors in Arizona
- The state rules that contractors must abide by
- Workmanship standards set out by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors
- Contracts and professional agreements
- Bonding and insurance
- State and federal tax codes
- Financial management
- Recordkeeping and reporting requirements
- Safety standards
- Regulations and laws dealing with the environment
- Employment regulations and labor laws
Should I join an electrician union in Arizona?
Becoming a union member could lead to an apprenticeship, and it will also allow you to apply for union jobs. Other benefits of joining a union include:
- Health benefits for you and your dependent family members
- Pension benefits
- Participation in an annuity fund
- The option of contributing to a union 401(k) account
- Increased benefits as your training and qualifications progress
- Stricter safety standards on union worksites
- Greater job security
How to use your electrician license to get a job
Online jobs boards are helpful for your job search. The most popular job websites are Indeed, CareerBuilder, and Glassdoor. During your interview, you will be asked about your apprenticeship and the kind of work you hope to do in the future. The interviewer will ask some technical questions about electrical problems, too.
Electrician insurance in Arizona
You will need to obtain electrical contractor’s insurance. Liability insurance will cover you against any losses and protect you if you get sued, and workers’ compensation coverage will ensure that your employees receive benefits if they are injured while on the job.
Electrician industry trends
Learn about the latest trends by reading blogs and attending union meetings. Arizona is also a popular venue for trade shows and expos, and the National Electrical Contractors Association regularly holds events in the state.
Is my license only valid in Arizona?
Arizona has reciprocity agreements with Utah, Nevada, and California.
How often do I need to renew my electrician license in Arizona?
Your Arizona electrical license will be valid for two years.