To be an electrician in Michigan you’ll need a government granted license to legally perform electrical services within the state.
Licenses in MI are granted by LARA or the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs department which sets the regulations for becoming an electrician in the state. This is true unless you plan on only performing electrician services in Grand Rapids or Detroit because those cities issue their own licenses.
In general, this licensing requirement is mandatory for those performing any electrical job anywhere else in MI. All licenses need to be renewed and full documentation of your work experience is required which must be notarized. Michigan has a continuing education requirement and you can view their documents and programs here.
Electrician License Types in MI
Michigan groups professional electricians into 3 categories for the purpose of state licensing. You’ll start with a journeyman license before you can become a master electrician. Later you may wish to upgrade to what’s known as an electrical contractor.
Aspiring journeymen need to be at a minimum 20 years old and have more than 4,000 hours of relevant work experience over a period of at least 4 years with a licensed electrician. They take into account those graduating an associated educational program or ongoing attendance so schooling is encouraged in Michigan. Once you have these credentials you need to pass an exam. You will need to prepay for your journeyman license in the amount of $40 which doesn’t include the fee to take the exam.
Master electricians need to be at a minimum 22 years old and have had a journeyman license for at least 2 years. The work experience requirement at this level is 12,000 hours over a period of at least 6 years. There is a different exam for aspiring master electricians which costs $50 not including the cost of the test which is discussed further down the page.
The 3rd type of license you can get from Michigan is the Electrical Contractor license. Only master electricians can obtain this level after being classes as a mater for at least a year. Michigan only issues this to people working in the electrical field full time within the states borders. This license also requires that you take an examination. They charge much more for maintaining this type of license since it is $300.00 over 3 years. They actually only issue these once every 3 years so your fee would be prorated.
Also view other important Electrical exam information directly on Michigan’s main government website.
State Reciprocity in Michigan
Michigan offers reciprocity in general. If you are already licensed in another state you could qualify for taking the test in Michigan after the board signs off that the license is substantially the same as those of MI. It is done on a case by case basis to you should provide them with all the facts and documentation to help your case.
Taking the Exam in Michigan
You need to be approved by the state’s authorities, through the application process, in order to site for the test regardless of which electrical license you are trying to get. The examination is based on NEC standards which will be provided to you for reference.
Best MI Cities for Electrical Work
If you are planning an electrician career in the state of Michigan you should know which areas will offer you the most work. The population centers with the highest overall electricity consumption are Detroit, Grand Rapids and Warren. Several other cities offer good employment opportunities as well, many of them in Oakland county.
Much of Michigan has a low population density which is where you are likely to find less work. The state is quite large and much of it has little to no development. The resident population in the rural parts of the state is minimal and the people also tend to have less disposable income for electrical projects. In any case, due to the poor economy in Detroit, much of the state badly needs electrical work as updating and investment have lagged behind.
If you have lived in Michigan for awhile you are likely to know which cities are best for electrical work. Best of luck in your new career as an electrician in the state of Michigan!