How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Montana and Get Your Montana Electrician License

Are you considering working as an electrician in Montana? Even if you’re coming in with experience, you’ll need to receive the proper electrical license to perform work in the state. This article will outline the licenses offered by the Montana State Electrical Board, as well as how you can start the application process. 

Do You Need an Electrical License in Montana?

As per Montana Code, a person cannot engage in or work in the electrical trade unless they have received a license or permit as an electrical contractor, residential electrician, journeyman electrician, or master electrician. 

The exceptions are if you were issued a permit to work on your personal dwelling or if you are part of an electrical apprenticeship program in which you’re training under a licensed electrician. 

Types of Electrical Licenses in Montana

Montana offers 4 types of electrical licenses. Their definitions are as follows.

  • Electrical Contractor License: An electrical contractor is a person, partnership, company, or group that plans, lays out, supervises, installs, and repairs electrical installations.
  • Residential Electrician License: Residential electricians in MO wire, install, and repair electrical apparatus and equipment in residential construction. Their work is limited to fewer than 5 units in one structure.
  • Journeyman Electrician License: Journeyman electricians wire, install, and repair electrical apparatus and equipment. 
  • Master Electrician License: Master electricians plan, lay out, and supervise the installation and repair of electrical apparatus and equipment.

Electrical Contractor Licenses in MT

You can receive an unlimited or limited electrical contractor license in Montana. 

Limited contractors can only work on residential construction of fewer than 5 units in one dwelling. Unlimited contractors have free reign over the projects they work on. 

Limited electrical contractors must employ or be a licensed journeyman, while unlimited contractors must employ or be a licensed master electrician. 

Otherwise, both share similar requirements and application procedures which are outlined below.

Application Procedure

To receive your electrical contractor license, you’ll need to complete the unlimited or limited application. You can do so by hand or online. 

Be sure to attach:

MT Residential Electrician License

Most residential electricians must apply before sitting for their exam unless they’ve taken a similar exam in another state. 

To apply for a license through examination, residential electricians must have completed one of the following:

  • An approved electrical apprenticeship program OR
  • 4,000 hours of residential electrical experience verified by a third-party OR
  • At least 20,000 hours of work in the electrical maintenance field verified by your employer

With your application, please attach:

  • License verification forms from other states, if possible
  • Residential experience verification form proving hours of experience OR
    • A copy of your Apprenticeship Completion Form OR
    • A copy of the written certificate by your previous employer verifying your 20,000 hours of experience
  • A $250 application fee
  • A $50 temporary work permit fee for exam candidates

If your application is approved, you may be issued a temporary work permit to work while you’re waiting to take your exam or for your exam results. You can learn more about these temporary practice permits here.

Montana also has reciprocal agreements with other states for this license. 

Renewals must complete 16 hours of Continuing Education (CE) per cycle, of which 8 should be on code updates.

MT Journeyman Electrician License

You can apply to be a journeyman electrician by examination. If you’ve already taken the exam in another state, you may be exempt and qualify for licensure through reciprocity. 

If you haven’t taken the exam, when applying in Montana you must have completed one of the following:

  • An inside wireman apprenticeship or other training program OR
  • 8,000 hours of practical electrical experience in residential settings OR
  • At least 20,000 hours of work in the electrical maintenance field verified by your employer. At least 8,000 hours must be in practical experience

With your application, please attach:

  • License verification forms from other states, if possible
  • Proof of your work experience or a copy of your Apprenticeship Completion Certificate
  • A $240 application fee
  • A $50 temporary work permit fee for exam candidates

As with the Residential Electrical License, temporary work permits can be issued for those awaiting examination. You can work under a general contractor at this time, but you cannot be the responsible electrician on site.

Journeyman electricians from neighboring states may be able to take advantage of reciprocity agreements with Montana. 

Renewals must complete 16 hours of Continuing Education (CE) per cycle, of which 8 should be on code updates.

MT Master Electrician License

Master electricians are the highest level of electricians. To be eligible for a Master Electrician License in Montana, you’ll need to meet one of the following experience requirements:

  • Be a graduated electrical engineer with at least 2,000 hours of practical experience OR
  • Have completed at least 8,000 hours of journeyman-level experience that is verified by a third party. At least 20%, but not more than 50%, must be residential experience.

With your application, you will submit:

  • License verification forms from other states, if possible
  • Proof of your work and/or educational experience via third-party verification and transcripts/degrees
  • A $240 application fee
  • A $50 temporary work permit fee for exam candidates

Once approved, you can register and sit for your exam. Master applicants can receive temporary journeyman work permits while waiting for examination. You can work under a general contractor at this time, but you cannot be the responsible electrician on site.

Master licenses must be renewed every two years and can be renewed online.

Electrical Exam Information

If you have not taken a reciprocal exam in another state, you must await approval by the Board before registering for your electrical exam. Once approved, you can take the exam within one week, although it can also be taken later.

All electrical trade exams are based on the 2017 National Electrical Code. Montana uses PSI as its exam vendor. More information on PSI exams in Montana can be found on the Candidate Information Bulletin.

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