Electrical License Requirements for New York

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In New York, electricians are not regulated at the state level. Rather, individual cities issue their own electrician licensing requirements. In many New York cities, qualified individuals may apply for a Master Electrician license which authorizes the licensee to engage in the business of installing, repairing and maintaining electrical systems. In most cities, license candidates are required to pass an electrician licensing examination. Usually, a license candidate is also required to establish a business entity. Some cities may offer a procedure by which an electrician license originally granted in a second city can be validated for work.

Electrical Experience

Although specific requirements vary from city to city, in most cases licensure requires significant on-the-job experience working under a master electrician. New York City requires license candidates to show more than seven years of electrical experience immediately prior to submission of an application, while the city of Troy requires six years. The City of Rochester, on the other hand, only requires three years of electrical experience, half of which may be satisfied by electrical training in a vocational school or college. To obtain the required electrical experience, an electrician often begins as a trainee or apprentice. To gain employment as a trainee, a high school or GED diploma is generally required. Additionally, courses in mathematics -- especially algebra -- often prove valuable to electrician trainees.

Form a Business Entity

Before submitting an application, license candidates are usually required to register a business entity with the appropriate state authorities. To operate as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, file a business certificate with the local county clerk’s office. To operate under a more complex business form -- a corporation or a limited liability company, for example -- submit the appropriate registration forms to the New York State Department of State.

Submit a License Application

In most cases, license applications require documentary proof of adequate training and experience as a working electrician. For example, New York City requires a letter bearing a company seal from each of your former employers and an official statement of earnings from the U.S. Social Security Administration showing your earnings from those employers. If a city accepts coursework in substitution of on-the-job experience, submit official transcripts and diplomas with the application. In cases where a license candidate is required to pass a licensing exam, the license application often serves as an exam application as well.

Pass a Licensing Examination

After verification of a candidate’s application, an exam authorization notice will be issued if so required under licensing standards. The notice includes instructions on how to schedule and prepare for the examination. In the city of Troy, for example, only three exams are administered each year. On this particular exam, test takers are able to use the National Electrical Code manual during the two-hour exam.

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About the Author

William Carpenter began writing professionally in 2004, working with nongovernmental organizations and business clients while living in China. He maintains clients in China while writing for a variety of U.S. publications. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Portland State University.

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