Washington State general electrical contractors are licensed to work in commercial, industrial, and all specialty electrical categories in which all of the work must be done by certified electricians. Similar to a Washington general contractor or plumbing contractor, those who are interested in obtaining their electrical license must submit an application. Once accepted into the program/trade school, prospecting electrical contractors must complete multiple levels of training, given the level they’re working towards (apprentice, journeyman, master status).
Washington Electrical License Reciprocity
At this time, Washington state does not have any reciprocal agreements with other states. In fact, the Washington Electrical Board withdrew from all reciprocity agreements in 2009.
Washington Journeyman Electrician Licensing Requirements
A journeyman license is a license that marks the second step in the apprenticeship-journeyman-master electrician process. This step reflects the completion of the proper education and training as an electrical apprentice and passing scores on the journeyman exam. There are a few steps to take prior to becoming a Washington journey level electrician.
- Earn at least 8,000 hours working as an electrical trainee under the supervision of a certified journey level electrician. A minimum of 4,000 of those hours must be spent working in commercial or industrial installations.
- 96 hours of basic classroom instruction.
- Supervised a minimum of 75% of the time.
To apply online for the Washington electrician license, you will need:
- Your legal name;
- Your Social Security Number;
- Mailing address;
- Email address;
- Form of electronic payment (credit/debit card, e-check);
- Affidavits of experience verifying documentation of your required hours of experience. To verify hours on file call their office at (360) 902-5269.;
- $90 application fee;
- Examination fee — varies by specialty and is paid directly to the testing agency (PSI).
To apply by mail:
- In-State Application: Print and fill out Form F626-001-000.
- Out-of-State Application: Print and fill out Form F626-009-000.
Both of these forms will be mailed to:
Electrical Licensing and Certification
PO Box 44460
Olympia, WA 98504-4460
If neither of these options work, Washington applicants can apply in person at their local L&I office.
Electrical Journeyman Exam
Upon approval, candidates will receive an eligibility letter from the Department of Labor and Industries, notifying them of what to expect from the exam. Important steps towards the electrical exam include:
- Scheduling the Exam with PSI: The exams are administered by PSI at their local testing centers and can be scheduled online or by calling 1(800)733-9267. PSI facilities can be located at the following Washington locations:
Arlington Flight Services at Arlington Municipal Airport
18810 59th Dr. NE, Bldg 44A
Arlington, WA 98223
Avian Flight Center at Bremerton National Airport
8900 State Hwy 3 SW, Suite 101
Bremerton, WA 98367
Glacier Aviation Inc at Skagit Regional Airport
15053 Crosswind Dr.
Burlington, WA 98233
1010 S.E. Everett Mall Way, Suite 208
Everett, WA 98208
Federal Way (Seattle)
500 South 336th St., Suite 220
Federal Way, WA 98003
Crest Airpark Airport
29300 179th PL SE
Kent, WA 98042
3435 Martin Way E, Suite I
Olympia, WA 98501
SpanaFlight at Pierce County Airport
16705 103rd Ave., Court E
Pierce County Airport
Puyallup, WA 98374
4122 Factoria Blvd. S.E, Suite 303
Bellevue, WA 98006
Snohomish Flying Service at Harvey Airfield
9900 Airport Way
Snohomish, WA 98296
920 N Argonne Road, Suite 202
Spokane Valley, WA 99212
Tacoma Community College Testing Center
6501 S 19th St, Building 6
Tacoma, WA 98466
9013 N.E. Highway 99, Suite F
Vancouver, WA 98665
3611 River Rd Suite 120
Yakima, WA 98902
- PSI Exam Fees: PSI coordinates with L&I to set the fees for the electrical exams. For most of the exams, PSI charges per hour, however some tests, such as the Master Electrician exam, will be billed at a flat rate. It’s important to note that registration fees are not refundable or transferable.
- Special Accommodations: Applicants with disabilities or who have difficulty taking the exam can contact the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries to request a reasonable accommodation. Proof provided by a physician or specialist will need to be submitted to document your specific needs. Requirements for special accommodations can be found in Chapter 296-46B-960(4) WAC.
- What to Bring: Exams are open book and the following items are allowed into the testing center:
- The national electrical codebook (index tabs are acceptable, however, they cannot be removable).
- Washington state laws, rules, and regulations — specifically Chapter 19.28 RCW and Chapter 296-46B WAC. Paper copies must be hole-punched and placed in a three-ring binder.
- Any original, copyrighted material, for example, Ugly’s, Ferm’s Fast Finder, Soares Grounding).
The exam-taker will want to keep in mind that handwritten notes or sticky notes are not allowed. Any material that is brought in will be checked and may be confiscated if any unacceptable notations are found.
Challenging Electrical Exam Results
Prior to challenging the results of your electrical exam, you’ll want to make sure to thoroughly review the results. The reasons why someone may want to challenge will vary, for example, feeling like you should’ve gotten a question right when it was marked wrong. Here’s how to challenge the results:
- Send a letter requesting to challenge the exam results, along with the challenge fee of $129.90 to:
Department of Labor & Industries
P.O Box 44460
Olympia, WA 98504-4460
- Provide your contact information in the letter;
- Allow a minimum of two weeks for a response;
- L&I will contact you to schedule an appointment at the Tumwater L&I building;
- There you will be asked to write a justification for each question that you wish to challenge;
- Allow a week for a phone call in response to the challenge.
See Chapter 296-46B-960(6) and (7) WAC for more information about challenging exam results.
Electrician Apprenticeship Requirements
Beginning July 1st, 2023, those in the state of Washington who are applying to take the general journey-level electrical exam, or any trainee working on a commercial job site, must have completed an electrical apprenticeship program.
To apply for an apprenticeship program, visit the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries apprenticeship program website. Here they have over 400 apprenticeship opportunities.
Electrical Trade Schools in Washington
There are many electrical trade schools in Washington. Listed below are a few of the schools to choose from.
- Puget Sound Electrical Apprenticeship: The PSEJATC is a non-profit organization that offers three different apprenticeship options: Inside Wireman Apprenticeship (five-year associate degree program), Limited Energy/Sound and Communication Technician (a three-year program), and Residential Wireman (a two-year program).
- Perry Technical Institute: Perry Technical Institute is a private, non-profit educational institution that offers a variety of programs, including electrical technology, a two-year program. Tuition ranges from $5,100 in the fall and winter quarters to $5,400 in the spring and summer quarters. Luckily, there are payment plans to help cover the cost.
- Bellingham Technical College: BTC is the only technical college in northwest Washington and offers high-quality education with more than 30 associate degrees and 50 certificate programs. The tuition at BTS for the 2019-2020 academic year is $9,565.
- Southwest Washington Electrical JATC: The SW Washington Electrical JATC offers both pieces of training for apprentices and continuing education for journey-level electricians. Books, tuition, and lab fees range from $1,000 and $1,800 per year.
Washington State Professional License Search
There are multiple ways for employers to search to verify a potential employee’s license and certification. The following websites are resources that one could use to verify a license.
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