Oregon employs roughly 10,000 electricians, with over 11,300 projected jobs expected by 2028. If you’re thinking of becoming an electrician in OR, this may be the perfect time to do so. Keep reading below for details on the different licenses for electricians in Oregon and how to apply for them.
Do You Need an Electrician’s License in Oregon?
Oregon has very strict laws when it comes to performing electrical work. Electrical installations by unlicensed persons are prohibited. Even the most basic of electric installations and maintenance must be completed by a licensed apprentice, journeyman electrician, or electrical contractor.
Types of Licenses for Electricians in Oregon
Electricians in Oregon have many licenses to choose from depending on their job experience. All electricians must first meet certain requirements to apply for examination. After applicants pass the exam, they will receive their state license.
An electrician’s license is offered for a:
- General journeyman
- General supervising electrician
- Limited supervising electrician
- Limited journeyman (elevator, manufacturing, sign, or stage)
- Limited energy technician (class A and B)
- Limited maintenance electrician
- Limited residential electrical
- Limited building maintenance electrician
- Limited renewable energy technician
- Electrical contractors
The requirements to apply for examination for each license are listed for each license below, as well as on page 8 of the application.
General Journeyman Electrician License
General journeyman electricians can make any electrical installations as they work under a general supervising electrician or limited supervising electrician.
Applicants must have:
- 8,000 total hours of experience including:
- 100 hours of experience in stock room and material handling
- 1,000 hours of residential wiring experience
- 1,000 hours of experience in commercial installation
- 1,000 hours of experience in industrial installations
- 500 hours in intercommunication, signal, and control
- 100 hours in underground construction
- 250 hours in troubleshooting and maintenance
- 50 hours in finishing and fixture hanging
- 4,000 hours of additional hours in the field
- A “C” or higher in electrical courses outline at the bottom of this page
Supervising Electrician Licenses
Oregon offers both a General Supervising Electrician License as well as a Limited Supervising Electrician License.
General Supervising Electrician License
A general supervising electrician works for or as an electrical contractor, but they require a supervisor to sign off on their work. They direct, supervise, make, or control electrical installations, as well as design, plan and lay out work for their employing contractor. This supervising electrician signs permits, ensures safety standards, and is employed by an electrical contractor.
To receive this license, you must have 4+ years of experience as a general journeyman electrician or its equivalent.
Limited Supervising Electrician License
Limited supervising electricians can supervise electrical work only under the branch that they have passed an exam in. They must have 4 years’ experience under that branch as a journeyman electrician.
Limited Journeyman Electrician Licenses
Oregon offers an array of limited journeyman electrician licenses. These licenses allow you to work as an electrician only under the class of work you are licensed in.
Each limited journeyman license requires at least 4 years of specialized experience as an apprentice or its equivalent. The exception is for limited journeyman sign or stage electricians, who only need two years of specialized experience. Below are the definitions of each type of limited journeyman electrician license.
- Limited elevator journeyman: can install, maintain, and repair elevators. These electricians must complete an elevator apprenticeship program.
- Limited manufacturing plant journeyman: can install, maintain, replace, and repair wiring and electrical products on manufacturing or industrial plants used by their employer.
- Limited journeyman sign electrician: can install and service electrical signs and outline lighting. They are employed by limited sign contractors.
- Limited journeyman stage electrician: can install temporary feeders, branch circuits, and equipment specifically used for different shows, festivals, productions, etc. See here for specific experience requirements.
Other Limited Electrician Licenses
- Limited residential electrician: can work with electrical installations in one- or two-family units that are 3 stories or lower. The required work experience for this license can be found here.
- Limited maintenance electrician: can maintain, repair, and replace electrical installations in industrial plants and for systems less than 600 volts in commercial office buildings. These electricians must complete a 2-year training program OR provide proof of sufficient experience.
- Limited building maintenance electrician: can maintain, repair, and replace certain installations in commercial office buildings or government buildings with systems of 300 volts or less.
- Limited renewable energy technicians: are employed by limited renewable energy contractors or electrical contractors.
- Limited energy technician (A and B): Class A technicians must have 3 years of experience while class B technicians need at least 2 years of experience in the field.
Obtaining an Electricians’ License in OR
If you meet the above requirements for one of Oregon’s electrical licenses, your next step is to apply for examination.
You’ll need to attach a Verification of Work Experience form filled out by each of your past or current employers. Be sure your work experience meets the requirements listed on pages 8-10 of the application.
Attach the correct payment to your application. The fees are:
- General journeyman: $100
- General supervising electrician: $100
- Limited supervising electrician: $100
- Limited journeyman (elevator, manufacturing, sign, or stage): $50
- Limited energy technician (class A and B): $50
- Limited maintenance electrician: $100
- Limited residential electrical: $100
- Limited building maintenance electrician: $50
- Limited renewable energy technician: $50
Before submission, go through the application checklist to make sure you’ve completed the application in its entirety. Once your application is submitted (via fax or mail) and approved, you’ll be able to sit for the exam. You will receive the license after passing the exam.
Renewing Your Oregon Electrician License
Your expiration date will be listed on the front of your license. You can renew your license within 45 days of said date and will receive a notice in the mail at that time. Renewals can be processed easily online.
Many licenses require Continuing Education credits for renewal. Check your license’s specific requirements here.