How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Rhode Island

Rhode Island offers peaceful living nestled in the northeast. For electricians, this lifestyle is highlighted by an average annual salary of $72,700 – an impressive 25% more than the national average for electricians. To learn how to become a licensed electrician in RI, you’ll need to know about the various licenses offered in the state. These include:

  • Journeyperson Electrician License
  • Limited Electrician License (Manufacturers and Non-Manufacturer)
  • Limited Maintenance Journeyperson License
  • Electrician Certificates (sign, fire alarm, lightning protection)
  • Electrical Contractor Licenses

Do You Need an Electrician’s License in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island requires a license for all those installing wires, apparatus, fixtures, conduits, electrical signs, lightning protecting equipment, and other appliances. Licenses are overseen and distributed by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

How to Get Your RI Electrician’s License

To receive your electrician’s license, you’ll first need to meet the license requirements, outlined further below. Each license has different job experience prerequisites, and many require you to first sit for the appropriate electrician’s examination before applying. 

Once you have met all of the requirements, you can complete your application, which will be reviewed by the RI Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety. Be sure to sign and notarize all forms, pay the application fee, and attach a notarized statement on company letterhead from your past or present employer(s) detailing your work experience. Apprentice electricians applying for journeyperson licenses must also send their Certificate of Completion of Apprenticeship.

Journeyperson Electrician B License in RI

The Journeyperson Electrician B License allows you to complete all work associated with a journeyperson electrician. This includes installing wires, conduits, fixtures, apparatus, and appliances. 

First, you must gain 4 years’ experience in the trade to qualify for the Electrical Journeypersons Test. Once you take the test and pass with at least a 70%, you can receive your license from Rhode Island.

The application fee is $75, plus a $72 two-year license fee.

Limited Electrician License in RI

There are two limited electrician licenses offered in Rhode Island: the Manufacturers C License and the Non-Manufacturers D License. These are offered to the employers of electricians who work in a specific building or series of buildings. 

No examination is required to receive either license. Please use this application. The cost is $240 for a two-year license fee.

Limited Electrician Manufacturers C License

Manufacturers C Licenses are issued to employing entities as opposed to the electrician themselves. Your employer may get this license if they are a manufacturing or industrial firm that employs electricians to work on their facilities. Independent electricians should not apply for this license.

Limited Electrician Non-Manufacturers D License

Non-Manufacturers D Licenses – also called Certificate D – are given to non-manufacturing establishments or firms that employ licensed electricians. If you work for a school, hospital, college, or another firm, you will need to receive your Journeyperson or Class B License and then have your employer receive their Certificate D.

Limited Maintenance Journeyperson License 

The Limited Maintenance Journeyperson License (Class M Certificate) is granted to electricians who are employed by a Class D or Class C license holder. This allows you to work as a journeyperson maintenance electrician only on your employer’s premises.

To become a limited maintenance journeyperson, you need at least 4 years of experience in your trade before taking the exam. You’ll need a 70% or higher to pass and receive your license. 

The application fee is $75, plus a $72 fee for a 2-year license. 

Other Certificates for Electricians Offered in RI

Rhode Island offers certificates for electricians working with fire alarms, electrical signs, and lightning protection. 

Electricians who only work on sign installations can be issued a Certificate CF. This allows you to install, maintain, work on, and repair electrical signs. This individual must take an exam unless they are applying for a “Sign Contractor Lightning Protection” which does not require a test.

Fire alarm installers can work on, install, maintain, and test fire alarm systems. This is a BF certificate. This requires a test.

Lightning protection installers receive an LPI certificate. They can install, maintain, work on, and fix lightning protection systems. This also requires a test.

The application fee is $75 plus a $72 fee for any of these 2-year certifications.

Electrical Contractor License A in Rhode Island

Rhode Island offers varying electrical contractor licenses. The Electrical Contractor A License is the most general electrical contractor license, which allows any person or entity to engage in the installation, maintenance, servicing, and testing of electrical wires, apparatus, fixtures, appliances, etc. 

To take the electrical contractor exam, you must have held a RI Journeyperson Electrician License for at least two years. Once you pass the test and pay the fee, you can receive your license. 

Additional Electrical Contractor Licenses in RI

Apart from the A License, Rhode Island offers licenses for:

  • Corporation Electrical Contractor AC 
  • Burner Contractor E
  • Corporation Oil Burner Contractor EC
  • Fire Alarm Contractor AF
  • Corporation Fire Alarm Contractor AFC
  • Electrical Sign Contractor SCF Electrical
  • Sign Contractor Lightning Protection

See here for a description of each type of contractor license, and page 2 of the application for associated fees and testing information.

Renewing Your Rhode Island License

All licenses and certificates expire after 2 years. Renewal fees are the same as the original license fee, plus $12 per month if applying late. If you do not renew your license within 2 years after expiration, it will be forfeited and you will need to reapply for a new license. You can renew your license online.

All renewals must complete at least 15 hours of Continuing Education before their license expires. These courses must be approved by the Rhode Island building commissioner’s office.

Electrician Salaries in Rhode Island

Electricians in Rhode Island enjoy a comfortable starting salary of around $68,500, plus up to $8,000 of additional income from overtime. The starting salary for an electrician in RI is more than $10,000 higher than the general salary of a Rhode Island citizen.

The bonuses don’t stop there – the average electrician in the state makes over $72,000 and, after a decade in the field, you can enjoy $84,500+ annually, plus overtime. 

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