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

Wisconsin offers a wide selection of licenses and registrations for electricians in the state. The average WI electrician makes $61,620 annually but can make upwards of $80,000 with experience. 

This article discusses the requirements, costs, and process to obtain licensure in WI as a(n):

  • Electrical apprentice
  • Registered electrician
  • Journeyman electrician
  • Master electrician
  • Electrical contractor
  • Commercial Electrical Inspector

Do You Need an Electrical License in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin requires all electricians – from apprentices to contractors – to be licensed or registered with the state.

Registered Electrical Apprentices in WI

To work as a licensed or registered electrician in Wisconsin, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident and first complete an electrical apprenticeship. Apprenticeships usually last four years and include a paid work component plus classroom educational training.

Apprentices should register with the state to comply with local laws. If your apprenticeship program specializes in industrial or residential work but not both, you can register as an industrial electrical apprentice or residential electrical apprentice during your program.

Registered Electricians in Wisconsin

Registered electricians in Wisconsin can perform electrical wiring under a journeyman electrician or a master electrician licensed in the state. They are not required to hold apprenticeship licenses in conjunction with this registration, although an apprenticeship is highly recommended.

To become a registered electrician, you must:

  • Be up-to-date on taxes, UI contributions, and/or child support
  • Complete the application
  • Pay the $15 application fee plus a $20 credential fee


You must renew your registration annually online. To do so you’ll complete an application, pay a $20 fee, and complete 24+ hours of approved continuing education.

Licensed Journeyman Electricians in Wisconsin

Journeyman electricians in WI work under a licensed or registered master electrician in the state. They can supervise registered electricians. You can be a full-service journeyman, industrial journeyman, or residential journeyman electrician in Wisconsin.

To become a licensed journeyman electrician, you must:

  • Show proof of completing an electrical construction apprenticeship OR
  • Show proof of completing 8,000+ hours of electrical work over at least 2 years OR completing 1,000 hours of electrical work per year for 5+ years
    • Only 2,000 hours or two years of work from a school/apprenticeship program can count towards this requirement
  • Complete the appropriate application (click link above for which type of journeyman you want to be)
    • Include the date you plan to take the exam
  • Pay a $35 application fee and a $30 exam fee
    • When you pass the exam, you’ll pay a $100 prorated credential fee which is good for 4 years
  • Take and pass the exam

Wisconsin has reciprocity for journeyman licenses with Iowa and New Hampshire. The same application must be completed, and you can receive exempt status for the exam.


You must renew your license every 4 years online. To do so you’ll complete an application, pay a $100 fee, and complete 18+ hours of approved continuing education before renewal.

Licensed Master Electricians in WI

Master electricians can hire other licensed electricians and request permits to install, repair, or maintain electrical wiring. You can receive a general master electrician license, registered master electrician license, residential master electrician license, or

To become a licensed master electrician, you must:

  • Have at least 12 months of licensed journeyman electrical experience in WI OR
  • Have at least 10,000 hours of electrical experience over 60+ months OR 1,000 hours/year over 7+ years OR
    • Only 3,000 hours and 3 years of experience can be attributed to educational programs
  • Hold an electrical engineering bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • Complete the application
  • Pay a $35 application fee, $30 exam fee, and $200 prorated license fee which is good for 4 years
  • Pass the exam

Wisconsin has reciprocity for those who have held a master electrician license for at least one year in Iowa.


You must renew the master electrician license every 4 years online. To do so you’ll complete an application, pay a $200 fee, and complete 24+ hours of approved continuing education before renewal. Only 18 hours are required for residential master electrician renewals.

Registered master electricians do not require renewals.

Wisconsin Licensed Electrical Contractors

Electrical inspectors can acquire state permits, and hire individuals to construct, repair, and install wiring. If applying on behalf of a business, you must be the business owner, partner, or chairman.

To apply for an electrical contractor license, you must:


For information on renewals, please see here.

Licensed Commercial Electrical Inspectors in WI

Licensed electrical inspectors do not have to be electricians themselves. More information on this position and its licensing requirements can be found here.

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