How to Get Certified as an Electrician in California

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In California, an electrician certification is required to work as a general electrician.
In California, an electrician certification is required to work as a general electrician. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

In California, contracted work on a project that alters or repairs any building and exceeds $500 in value requires a contractor’s license. Electrical contractors are classified as C-10 contractors. To work as a general electrician under a C-10 electrical contractor you must acquire certification. Certification requires on-the-job training and classroom education. You must also pass a certification exam.

Enroll in an electricion trainee program at an approved school (see Resources).

Acquire employment as an electrician trainee working directly under a certified electrician. A single, certified electrician may only supervise a single electrician trainee. Your school can help you find suitable opportunities.

Register as an electrician trainee with the state of California. Navigate to the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards website and download an electrician trainee application (see Resources). Print this document and complete it by hand. Submit it along with all required fees.

Complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience. Complete your program of classroom training.

Complete an application for electrician examination and certification (see Resources). You must include documentation showing your on-the-job experience, including number of hours per category.

Submit your application, supporting documentation and all fees to the indicated address. When you are approved for testing, the relevant department will send you an eligibility notice outlining the procedures for completing an exam.

Schedule your exam time with PSI Services according to the procedures outlined in your eligibility notice. Examination sites are located across California. You need to score at least 70 percent to pass the exam. When you pass the exam, you will be granted certification and authorization to work as a general electrician under a C-10 electrical contractor.

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