Alabama is home to over 8,000 electricians, with sector growth expected over the next decade. Licensed electricians in Alabama have their Journeyman Electrician License or their Electrical Contractor License. Both licenses require between 6,000-8,000 hours of supervised experience with additional completed education.
This article will discuss the requirements and process for obtaining each Alabama electrical license, as well as the renewal process and reciprocity guidelines with neighboring states.
Do You Need an Electrical License in Alabama?
You either need to have an electrical license or be supervised by a licensed electrician while conducting electrical work in Alabama.
The exception to this rule is if you or your full-time W2 employee are performing electrical work on your own property. In this case, neither of you need an electrical license, but your electrical work is limited solely to that on your legal property.
Types of Electrical Licenses in Alabama
Alabama electrical licenses are monitored by the Alabama Board of Electrical Contractors (ABEC). The ABEC offers two electrical licenses in the state: the Journeyman Electrician License and the Electrical Contractor License.
The ABEC issues licenses only to individuals, not companies – even when the individual forms part of a company, they should apply independently.
To apply, both types of applicants must first complete the required number of supervised work and/or educational hours. Once their application is approved by the ABEC, applicants will pay and sit for the official licensing exam needed to collect their license.
AL Journeyman Electrician License
Alabama journeyman electricians are defined as any individual who has the qualifications to install electrical equipment (lighting, heating, power, etc.) or electrical wiring and apparatus. This person must work under a licensed master electrician or Alabama-licensed electrical contractor.
Journeyman electricians in Alabama make between $42,939-$57,125 per year, plus overtime.
Journeyman Electrician License Requirements
To become a journeyman electrician in Alabama, you’ll need to have completed:
- A minimum of 8,000 hours of experience including training and technical knowledge around the installation and maintenance of wiring, apparatus, or equipment lighting, power, and heating. These hours must be supervised by a licensed electrician in the state and adhere to standard rules and regulations.
- A large part of these hours should be from commercial, industrial, or residential electrical work
- Applicants who have received education from an approved curriculum or apprenticeship program can replace one year of education for 1,000 hours of required experience, for up to 2,000 hours. This means you can either provide 8,000 hours of experience or 6,000 hours of experience plus 2 years of approved education.
How to Obtain the AL Journeyman Electrician License
Once you’ve acquired the necessary hours of experience and/or education, you can apply for your Journeyman Electrician License. After your application is approved by the board, you’ll need to take an official exam and pass to receive your license.
To do so, follow the steps below:
- Complete and submit the application, ensuring it is signed and notarized
- Provide appropriate documentation, especially of said work experience, education, or completion of an apprenticeship program
- Attach a 2’X2’ head-and-shoulder photo taken within the last 6 months
- For questions about the application contact the Board at 334-420-7232
- You will receive a notice once the Board approves your application. Once notified, you have 90 days to pay the required $115 to schedule your Alabama Electrical Journeyman test.
- This test is 80 questions with a 4-hour time limit.
- If you fail the test, you can retake it as many times as needed within 2-years, but you’ll have to pay the fee again each time.
- When you pass the test with a 75% or more, you can receive your Journeyman Electrician License
Renewing Your Journeyman Electrician License in AL
Journeyman Electrician Licenses should be renewed every year, before the 30th day of the month of expiration. Renewals cost $35 (+ a $15 late fee if renewing after the 30th) and can only be done during the quarter of expiration. There is no Continuing Education (CE) requirement for this renewal as of 2022.
You can complete the renewal application here.
AL Electrical Contractor License
Electrical contractors are defined as any person, firm, or corporation who installs or solicits power/control systems. This includes altering, repairing, or maintaining any electrical apparatus. This person can plan, lay out, and supervise electrical installations.
Electrical contractors in Alabama make between $42,234-$77,032, depending on work and educational experience.
Electrical Contractor License Requirements
Electrical contractors must fulfill the same 8,000-hour work experience requirement as journeyman electricians in Alabama; however, some of those hours must be attributed to providing direct supervision of electrical installations and electrical contracting activities.
How to Obtain the AL Journeyman Electrician License
Once you’ve fulfilled your hours, you can:
- Complete, sign, and notarize the application
- Attach relevant documentation of work and educational experience, as well as a 2’X2’ photo
- Once the application is approved, pay the $165 exam fee and schedule your Alabama Electrical Contractor test
- The test is 110 questions over a 5-hour time frame. You must pass with a 75% or higher.
- After passing the exam, you can receive your license
Electrical Contractor License Reciprocity with Other States
Alabama holds a reciprocity agreement for licensed electrical contractors coming from other states. You must have completed and passed a similar or equivalent exam in the licensing state.
The fee for receiving your reciprocal Electrical Contractor License in AL is $315. You must complete the same application as first-time applicants in Alabama; however, be sure to follow the instructions specific for reciprocity applicants. This includes attaching:
- A copy of your license
- The original Board letter verifying your licensure
- Proof of Citizenship Form (found in the application)
Renewing Your Electrical Contractor License in AL
Electrical Contractor Licenses should be renewed every year. The fee is $150 (+ a $50 late fee if renewing after the 30th of the expiration month). Renewing applicants should fill out the same application as for the journeyman renewal.