If you’re exploring career options in Kansas, there’s a good argument for becoming an electrician. With a mean annual wage of nearly $60,000 in the U.S. and many job opportunities, it’s easy to see why the field is growing at such a fast rate. To become an electrical contractor, however, you have to earn the needed experience and meet the licensing requirements.
In Kansas, electrical licensing is handled by your county or city government; this is consistent with how the state handles general contractor and plumbing licenses. This guide will outline how this might look for you by explaining how the cities of Overland Park, Wichita, and Topeka handle electrical licensing, as well as giving practical advice for navigating these requirements.
Kansas Electrical License Reciprocity
Already licensed as an electrical contractor in another state? You may be interested in determining if there are any reciprocal agreements for those licensed elsewhere in the U.S. Unfortunately, the answer is a little complicated.
Because licensing is handled at the local level, license reciprocity may differ from city to city. Let’s look at some of the most high-population cities in the state as examples:
- Overland Park: Johnson County has no stated reciprocity agreements in place.
- Wichita: Licensed electricians from elsewhere who complete the required electrician exam, complete at least 12 hours of continuing education every two years, and submit an application will be issued a reciprocal license, according to Sedgwick county code.
- Topeka: This city has no clearly established license reciprocity agreements.
If you live elsewhere, go to your county’s website or reach out to your local representative to ask about potential reciprocal electrical license agreements.
Overland Park: Becoming a Class DE Electrical Contractor
To perform electrical services in Overland Park, you must apply to become a Class DE Electrical contractor with Johnson County. You must have the following to be eligible:
- A government-issued photo I.D.;
- A digital photo — this can be mailed to the county at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Proof of General Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance;
- A certified test score of at least 75% on an exam approved by the Contractor License Review Board — see your exam options at the JoCo website. Alternatively, you may have a Bachelor’s of Science in Architecture, Engineering, Construction Science, or Construction Management from an accredited school;
- Proof of your experience — at least two years as a journeyman electrical contractor or four years while working under a master electrician.
You can find the application packet on the Johnson County website. Be prepared to pay a $100 application fee and a $225 license fee via cash, money order, or check. You must turn in an original signed copy of your application, which can be either submitted at or mailed to the office at:
Class DE Electrical Contractor License Application
111 S. Cherry St.
Olathe, KS 66061
If you have any questions about any step of this process, you can contact JoCo staff at (913) 715-2233.
Wichita: Electrician Journeyman & Master License Requirements
To perform work as an electrician in Wichita, you must become licensed with Sedgwick County. This involves meeting the requirements to become a journeyman, then working to become a master electrician. To qualify as a journeyman electrician in this area, you must meet the following qualifications:
- One year of field experience and one year of an electrical trade school. Alternatively, you can complete two years of field experience;
- Score at least 75% on the International Code Council or Prometric Exam. Note that this must be the 2014 NEC exam. Explore your options for completing the exam on the Sedgwick County website.
To qualify as a master electrician, you must complete the above, register as a journeyman, then complete two years of field experience as a journeyman electrician.
With your proof of experience, trade school transcript (if applicable), and test results, you’re ready to complete the Trade Certificate Application, which can be found online. This application be used to apply for either a journeyman or master license. A certificate fee of $35 is required, which can be paid via check, cash, or credit/debit card. It can be submitted or mailed to:
Application for Master/Journeyman Trade Certificate
271 W. 3rd St. – Ste. 101
Wichita, KS 67202
You can also fax the application to (316) 660-1810.
Topeka: Journeyman & Master License Requirements
To become licensed as an apprentice, journeyman, or master in Topeka, you have to apply for a license from the city government. You can find the application online. As noted on the Topeka website, you’ll need to include the following documents with your application:
- Trade Contractor License Application;
- Exam certification with a score of at least 75%;
- Master Verification Form;
- Renovate Right Form;
- General Liability Certificate of Insurance;
- Worker’s Compensation Certificate of Insurance;
- Affidavit of Workers Compensation (if applicable);
- Certificate of Insurance Acknowledgement form.
If you have any questions, you can contact Topeka licensing staff at (785) 368-3905. There is an application fee of $33 for prospective apprentices, $53 for journeymen, and $103 for masters, which is payable by credit card. The application must be sent to:
620 SE Madison ‐ Unit 6
Topeka, KS 66607
It may also be faxed to (785) 368‐0944.
Electrician Apprenticeship Requirements
An apprentice electrical contractor works under a journeyman or master electrician in order to learn the ropes and meet the field experience requirements listed above. The specifics may vary from state to state, and it’s important to find an apprentice program that meets your needs to get licensed. Contact your local licensing governing body for more information on apprenticeship requirements and available opportunities or resources in your area.
Kansas Electrical Apprentice Jobs
An electrical apprenticeship allows you to gain the necessary experience to become a licensed electrical contractor. Know that apprenticeships are competitive, so it’s important to take a multi-pronged approach to finding one. One approach to looking for an apprenticeship is to use a registered apprenticeship program such as KansasWorks. You can also reach out to individual apprenticeship sponsors and programs.
Many branches of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers offer such opportunities. Some examples include:
- IBEW Local Union 226
1620 NW Gage Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66617
- IBEW Local Union 271
1040 S. Broadway
Wichita, KS 67211
- IBEW Local Union 304
3906 NW 16TH St.
Topeka, KS 66618
Whichever apprenticeship opportunity you find, it’s important that you make a good impression. Make a point of arriving on time and being present each day. Ask questions when processes or concepts are unclear. Try to form professional connections with others in the field. By making the most of your apprenticeship, you maximize your personal and professional development — as well as your chances of landing a job after completing it.
Electrical Trade Schools in Kansas
Another route to becoming a licensed electrical contractor in Kansas is to attend a trade school. There are many options across the state that offer programs in electrical technology, and these are designed to give you the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as an electrician. Explore the programs below for more information:
- Coffeyville Community College
400 W. 11th St.
Coffeyville, KS 67337
This is a public school. Get a cost estimate from Coffeyville Community College.
- Kansas City Kansas Community College
7250 State Ave
Kansas City, KS 66112
This is a public school. Get a cost estimate from Kansas City Kansas Community College.
- Labette Community College
200 South 14th Street
Parsons, KS 67357
This is a public school. Get a cost estimate from Labette Community College.
- North Central Kansas Technical College
3033 US HWY 24
Beloit, KS 67420
This is a public school. Get a cost estimate from North Central Kansas Technical College.
- Northwest Kansas Technical College
1209 Harrison Avenue
Goodland, KS 67735
This is a public school. Get a cost estimate from Northwest Kansas Technical College.
- Salina Area Technical College
2562 Centennial Rd.
Salina, KS 67401
This is a public school. Get a cost estimate from Salina Area Technical College.
- Washburn University Institute of Technology
5724 SW Huntoon
Topeka, KS 66604
This is a public school. Get a cost estimate from Washburn University Institute of Technology (see page 2).
Kansas Professional License Search
To perform a professional license search, you’ll need to locate your county’s government website. If your county requires electricians to be licensed, its site should have a database of registered electricians in the area. For example:
- Individuals in Wichita can check the city’s Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department.
- Those in Overland Park should check the Johnson County professional license database.
- To check contractors in Topeka should consult Topeka’s list of licensed electrical contractors.
These tools are designed to allow users to verify an individual’s or a business’s license status. You can search by name, location, or license number. The results will reveal whether the individual is registered and if their status is active, inactive, suspended, or terminated.
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