How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Nebraska and get your electrician’s license

Nebraska has experienced significant growth in electrical jobs over the last decade. Being an electrician put you in a lucrative position with the opportunity for job growth and overtime pay. 

With the appropriate license, you can become an apprentice electrician, journeyman electrician, fire alarm installer, residential journeyman wireman, or electrical contractor in NE.

Do You Need an Electrician’s License in Nebraska?

According to Nebraska law, the proper type of State electrical license is required to install any electrical work under the State Electrical Division’s jurisdiction. It is a Class I misdemeanor to work without a license, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Types of Electrical Licenses in Nebraska

Nebraska offers 5 types of electrical licenses, defined as the following. 

  • Apprentice electrician: Any electrician other than a licensee is considered to be an apprentice electrician and must be licensed as such. Apprentices must be supervised by a licensee.  
  • Journeyman electrician: Journeyman electricians wire or install electrical apparatus and equipment for systems.
  • Fire alarm installer – These electricians plan, lay out, and install electrical equipment for fire alarm systems at 50 volts or less. 
  • Residential journeyman wireman – These electricians wire and install electrical apparatus for residential installations, as well as supervise apprentice electricians. 
  • Electrical contractor – This person can plan, lay out, install, and supervise electrical work. They are not limited in their project size and employ a master electrician or may be licensed as one. 

To apply for these licenses, you must be a U.S. citizen or qualified under the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act to apply for this registration. 

Nebraska Apprentice Registration 

Nebraska issues Apprentice Registrations, as opposed to licenses. Receiving your apprenticeship license is a vital step if your end goal is receiving a journeyman, fire alarm installer, residential wireman, or electrical contractor license. 

Apprentices must work under the supervision of a licensed electrician on the job. This includes both practical and classroom instruction. A maximum of 3 electricians should be supervised by one licensee at a time. Most apprentices are a part of a state-approved apprenticeship program. 

Apprentice applicants must complete the application and pay a registration fee. Since licenses are renewed every two years, the fee is $20 if filed during an even-numbered year or $40 if filed during an odd-numbered year. You can also complete the application online. 

There are no examination requirements for apprentice electricians. 

NE Journeyman Electrician License

Journeyman electricians in NE must meet the following criteria before applying to sit for a journeyman license. 

  • Have 4+ years of experience in the electrical trade
    • 1 year of experience will be credited for the completion of an Associate’s degree in electrical technology.

Those with electrical military experience can qualify for a restricted journeyman electrician license. These are non-reciprocal. The same goes for if you have less than 4,000 hours of experience in NE or if you have 8,000 hours of experience but have not been registered as an apprentice for 4 years. 

If you meet the requirements, you will apply to sit for the exam. Applicants will complete the application, detailing their experience and/or education with verifiable documents. 

You must pay a $60 application fee, plus either a $25 or $50 licensing fee depending on which year you apply

NE has reciprocity for journeyman electricians from the states listed here. 

Fire Alarm Installers in NE

Fire alarm installers in Nebraska must have 2 years of experience related to fire alarm system electrical work. They must also be registered as an apprentice working under a licensed alarm installer for at least 2 years. 

The application fee is $60, plus a $25 or $50 licensing fee depending on the year. 

NE Residential Journeyman Wireman Licenses

NE residential journeyman wireman electricians must:

  • Have 3+ years of experience in the electrical trade
  • Have been a registered apprentice electrician during those years
    • 1 year of experience may be credited for the successful completion of a 2-year post-secondary course. 
  • Complete the application and include verifying documents of your experience
  • Pay a $60 application fee
  • Pay a licensing fee of either $25 or $50 depending on the year

Once approved, you may sit for the appropriate exam. When you pass, you will receive your license. 

Electrical Contractors in Nebraska

Electrical contractors oversee large electrical projects and have distinct requirements for licensing. All electrical contractors first work as another type of electrician for a few years. 

You must: 

  • Graduate from a 4-year college or university program AND have at least 1 year of experience as a licensed journeyman OR
    • Have 5+ years’ experience planning, laying out, supervising, and installing wiring and electrical equipment
  • Hold at least $100,000 liability insurance per person, $300,000 each for accident insurance, and $100,000 for property damage
  • Complete the application
  • Pay the $125 application fee plus a $125 or $250 licensing fee depending on the year

Nebraska holds reciprocity agreements for electrical contractors coming from Minnesota and South Dakota. 

Renewing Your Nebraska License

All licenses expire on December 31st of even-numbered years. To renew your license, you must possess 12 Continuing Education (CE) credits approved by the Board. Six hours must be on the National Electrical Code 2017 (NEC). 

Apprenticeship licenses do not require CE.

Electrician Licensing Exams

All licenses except those for apprentices must take and pass a state-approved exam in their trade. These exams cover the NEC, basic electricity theory, the NE State Electrical Act, blueprint reading, and emergency circuits, among other things. 

Here are the basic requirements for applying for examination, whereas license-specific information can be found here. 

You can renew your license before it expires. After expiration, you have a 3-month grace period for renewal, but you will be charged a late fee and you cannot work with an expired license during that time. If your license is expired for more than three months you must apply and take the examination again. 

Electrician Salaries in Nebraska

The average electrician in NE starts out making around $51,900 per year, averages at $55,200, and can reach $64,000+ with a decade of experience. These amounts do not include additional overtime pay, which averages at $8,000+ per year. 

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