How to Get an Electrician's License in Texas

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The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation issues electrician's licenses.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation issues electrician's licenses. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Texas requires licenses for contractors and individuals doing electrical work within its borders. Texas, a municipality within the state, or states with which Texas has reciprocity agreements, which are Louisiana for a master electrician’s license, and Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming for a journeyman electrician's license, may issue the license. A municipal license allows work only within the issuing municipality.

Determine if you are in an exempt category that does not require an electrician's license. Texas exempts people doing electrical work under certain circumstances from having to get a license, such as mechanics working on cars or farmers working on agricultural equipment. Check the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation’s website to see if you are exempt.

Determine the type of license you need. Texas has individual and business electrician's licenses. The individual licenses fall into nine categories: master electrician, master sign electrician, journeyman electrician, journeyman sign electrician, residential wireman, maintenance electrician, residential appliance installer, electrical apprentice and electrical sign apprentice. The business licenses fall into three categories: electrical contractor, electrical sign contractor and residential appliance installation contractor.

Check with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation for the requirements for the type of license you need. The requirements for the individual licenses vary and involve age, training and testing. To acquire a master electrician license, for example, the applicant must have 12,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician, hold a journeyman electrician license for at least two years and get a passing score on the master electrician examination. All three of the business licenses require having an individual license of the same type or employing someone who does. The business licenses also have requirements on the amount and type of business liability insurance.

Get a license application and file all the paperwork. License applications are available online at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation's website. Fill out any required experience verification forms and have them signed by a supervising master electrician or other supervisors.

Pay for the license. At the date of publication, costs range from $20 for an electrical apprentice license to $115 for a residential appliance installer contractor license. Renewal is every 18 months.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be prepared to wait a few weeks to receive your electrician's license in the mail.
  • Go ahead and apply for jobs and let them know that you have already applied for your apprentice license.
  • Working with electricity can always be dangerous.

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