How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Virginia

Virginia is known as the birthplace of the nation, but you may also consider it the birthplace of your electrician career. To become a licensed electrician in Virginia, you’ll need to meet the experience requirements and complete the Tradesman Exam & License Application. This article will discuss the licensing routes for both journeyman and master electricians, as well as electrical contractors in VA.

Do You Need an Electrician’s License in Virginia?

The Board for Contractors regulates all tradesmen in Virginia. They issue “certifications” as opposed to licenses, but these certifications are mandatory. Electricians in VA must also check with their locality for any additional ordinances or electrician requirements.

Types of Licenses for Electricians in Virginia

Electricians in Virginia can be journeyman electricians, master electricians, or electrical contractors.

Journeyman electricians are qualified to install wires, equipment, conduits, apparatus, fixtures, and appliances. They cannot design electrical systems. 

Master electricians have experience in all phases of electrical installation and wiring, can design electrical systems, and instruct/supervise journeyman electricians, apprentices, and other workers.

Electrical contractors employ master, journeyman, and apprentice electricians for the construction, alteration, or repair of different electrical systems. For any work valued over $1,000, you must hold or be supervised by a contractor in the state.

How to Obtain an Electricians’ License in Virginia

Most electricians in VA start their training as apprentice electricians in an approved apprenticeship program. This allows them to gain the necessary training and instruction under a licensee while completing paid working hours that count towards licensing requirements. 

Each license requires set work experience and/or education. All education must be proven through official transcripts and all work experience must be verified by the employer on the Individual Experience Verification Form.

Once you have completed the experience, you can apply for licensure and the official exam. After paying the fees and passing the exam, you will receive your license.

Below are the work experience and educational requirements for each type of electrician’s license. 

Journeyman Electrician License Requirements

You must meet ONE of the following to apply for the journeyman license and examination.

  • 4 years’ experience and 240 hours of formal training
  • 5 years’ experience and 160 hours of formal training
  • 6 years’ experience and 80 hours of formal training
  • 7 years’ experience and 40 hours of formal training
  • Hold an associate’s degree or certificate from a 2-year program at a community college or technical school and 2 years’ experience
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or certificate in engineering and one year of experience
  • 10 years of verifiable experience 
  • Hold a Journeyman License/Certification and supply a letter of good standing from one of the reciprocal states listed below

Reciprocity

Virginia has reciprocity agreements for licensed journeyman electricians coming from Washington D.C., Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland. 

Master Electrician License Requirements

You must meet ONE of the following to apply for the master license and examination.

  • One year of experience as a licensed journeyman electrician
  • 10 years’ experience 
  • Hold a Master Electrician License from one of the reciprocal states listed below

Reciprocity

Virginia has reciprocity agreements for licensed master electricians coming from Alabama (electrical contractors), Washington D.C., Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina (electrical contractors).

Electrical Contractor License Requirements

You must apply for an Electrical Contractor License as a business entity (LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.) or sole proprietor – not as an individual. You will need your registered State Corporation Commission Number, if applicable. 

Electrical contractors will choose between 3 license classifications:

  • Class A license holders must have $45,000 in net worth/equity
  • Class B license holders must have $15,000 in net worth/equity
  • Class C license holders have less than $15,000 in net worth/equity

Net worth must be shown through a Financial Statement Form, CPA review/audit, OR a Surety Bond Form.

All electrical contractors must employ a VA-licensed master electrician full-time. This person may be yourself (management) or your employee, and they should have 2 years’ experience for Class A licenses, 3 years for Class B, and 5 years for Class C. This person cannot owe child support, liens, bond defaults, bankruptcy payments, or other unpaid claims.

Before completing the application and paying the fee, the applicant will need to complete 8 hours of pre-license education. The applicant will also need to pass a Business Exam.

Reciprocity

Virginia has reciprocity agreements for licensed electrical contractors coming from Alabama and North Carolina. 

The Electrician’s License Application

Once you meet your license requirements, you may complete the Tradesman Exam & License Application (master and journeyman) or the Contractor License Application (electrical contractor). 

Be sure to complete all parts of your application and attach the necessary documentation, such as experience verification forms, official transcripts, and copies of any licenses held. Electrical contractors should attach all documents listed at the end of page 6 of the application. 

Journeyman and master electricians will be notified of approval and given information on how to schedule their exams. After completing their exam successfully, they will receive their license.

Electrical contractors should take the exam before applying and will receive their license once their application is approved. 

Electrician License Fees

  • Journeyman Electrician License or Reciprocity License: $130
    • Renewal: $135
  • Master Electrician License or Reciprocity License: $130
    • Renewal: $135
  • Class A Electrical Contractor License: $385
    • Expedited service for Class A: an additional $250
    • Renewal: $240
  • Class B Electrical Contractor License: $370
    • Renewal: $225
  • Class C Electrical Contractor License: $235
    • Renewal $195
  • Exam fees: varies, check with the exam provider PSI

Renewing Your Virginia Electrician License

Master and Journeyman Electrician Licenses renew every 3 years. You must complete 3 hours of approved Continuing Education (CE) before renewal. You can look up how many hours of CE you need online. Renew online or via mail.

Electrical Contractor Licenses are renewed every 2 years. You can renew online if you are a contractor firm, but otherwise, individuals must renew by mail. More information can be found here under the “Forms” section.

Renewal fees for all licenses are listed above; however, if you are renewing a license received before August 31, 2023, you will only pay a prorated fee. 

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