How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Electrician License

Pennsylvania does not offer state-wide regulations for electricians. Instead, each city or municipality issues instructions around licensure for electrical work. This article will discuss the general requirements to obtain electrical licensure in PA, specifically in the three most-populated areas: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Allentown.

Do You Need an Electrical License in Pennsylvania?

Licensing requirements for PA electricians vary from city to city. Most municipalities require or recommend the completion of a training or apprenticeship program, at minimum, to do basic electrical work.

In the Philadelphia region, you need an Electrical Contractor License to do electrical work, including low-voltage wiring. Pittsburgh requires an Electrical Trade License, which is very similar to an Electrical Contractor License. Allentown requires an Electrical License and also offers a Telecommunications (Low Voltage) License option.

Philadelphia’s Electrical Contractor License

Electrical contractors usually have an LLC or business. To apply to be an Electrical Contractor in Philadelphia, you must:

  • Provide your Business Income and Receipts Tax ID (BIRT)
  • Have your commercial activity license
  • Provide a Certificate of Insurance covering
    • $500,000 in general liability
    • $300,000 in automobile liability
    • Workers Comp with $100,000/accident, $100,000/employee, and a $500,000 policy limit
  • Have completed 4+ years of electrical work under a licensed company in the state OR
  • Have completed 2 years of post-high school education plus 2+ years of electrical work under a licensed company in the state
  • Pass the Philadelphia Electrical Contractor Examination administered by the International Code Council in the 12 months prior to your application
  • Complete at least 8 hours of NFPA continuing education (CE) coursework by a DLI-approved provider in the 12 months prior to your application
  • Be current on all Philadelphia taxes

Getting Your License

Once you have procured the above documentation, passed your exam, and completed your CE coursework, you can begin the Electrical Contractor License application. This can be accessed online or you can apply in person through an appointment.

With this application, you must attach proof of insurance, proof of work experience through tax records, proof of the licensure of your supervisor, a 2” X 2” photo in color, and a $60 application fee.

When your application is approved, you will receive a notice with the license payment due. The license fee is $225.

Renewing Your License

Licenses in Philadelphia must be renewed annually online or in person. Renewals must show proof of insurance and proof of at least 8 hours of CE coursework completed since the previous license period.

Renewals cost $165, with a late fee of 1.5% per month after 60 days past the renewal due date.

Pittsburgh’s Electrical Trade License

Pittsburgh does not have a Journeyman License, basic electrician certification, or the like. Some electricians can work independently, but they’ll need a licensed supervisor to apply for the electrical permits.

Receiving your Electrical Trade License in Pittsburgh gives you more freedom in working as a supervising electrician in the area. You’ll need:

  • Proof of liability insurance with blanket coverage
  • Worker’s Comp or a notarized affidavit that you have no employees
  • References to prove at least 6 years of relevant job and educational experience
    • Statement attesting experience from employer OR
    • A notarized statement attesting to self-employed experience
  • To pass the trade test from the exam provider
    • More information on scheduling the exam can be found here

Getting Your License

After collecting your documentation, you can apply online or print it out and submit it in person with the $80 license fee.

Renewing Your License

Renewals must also pay an $80 fee and complete 8 hours of CE coursework. Renewal applications must include a copy of a valid photo ID. The renewal application is the same as the “Trade License Application.”

Allentown’s Electrical License

Allentown offers a general Electrical License. Before applying, you must:

  • Be over 21 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Have 4+ years of practical experience

Getting Your License

If you meet the requirements, you may complete your application and mail it to the City of Allentown.

Be sure to:

  • Attach copies of diplomas, degrees, and certifications
  • Attach a copy of your photo ID
  • Include a $40 non-refundable fee via check
  • Sign and notarize the last page of the work experience section

You will then await your results. If your application is approved, you will receive instructions on how to register with ICC for your exam. Upon passing your exam, you will receive your license.

Renewing Your License

Licenses must be renewed each year. For more information on renewals contact Miriam Poche at 610-437-7592 ext. 2700.

Allentown’s Telecommunications (Low Voltage) License

To receive Allentown’s Telecommunications License, you must complete the same application as the above license. Applicants must be 21 years or older and provide sufficient proof of experience on their application. Attachments, fees, and notarization should be the same as the Electrical License requirements above.


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