To be an electrician in North Carolina you’ll need one of 3 different primary types of government granted licenses to legally perform electrical services within the state. These are granted by North Carolina’s State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors which sets the regulations for becoming an electrician in the state. Once you obtain the proper license, you are well on your way to making a career for yourself as an electrician in North Carolina.
Understand that this licensing requirement is mandatory for those performing any electrical job within the North Carolina. The 3 main types of NC licenses are as follows:
Limited which allows you to do electrical contracting work not exceeding $25,000 per project and at 600 volts or less. The yearly NC license fee is $60. Keep in mind, you must have at least 4 years electrical experience. 2 of the years need to be primary experience and the remainder can be secondary.
Intermediate which allows you to do electrical contracting work not exceeding $75,000 per project. The yearly NC license fee is $100. To get this license you must have at least 6 years electrical experience. 4 of the years need to be primary experience and the remainder can be secondary.
Unlimited which allows you to do any electrical contracting work with unlimited value. The yearly NC license fee is $150. You must have at least 7 years electrical experience. 5 of the years need to be primary experience and the remainder can be secondary. You also need to provide 2 well documented letters of recommendation to the state.
Other Types of NC Electrician Licenses
Another electrical license in the state of North Carolina is a Residential dwelling license which is highly specialized.
In addition, there are also 6 restricted electrical contracting license classifications in the state of NC that will allow you to do only specific contracting electrical work: Fire Alarm/Low Voltage, Elevator, Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, Groundwater pump, Electric Sign and Swimming Pool. If you have any of these specializations you may want to look further into these options in North Carolina.
You should call (800) 392-6102 to request a North Carolina application for any of these above-mentioned licenses.
Keep in mind you will need to renew your North Carolina license yearly. You also need to complete eight hours of studies, continuing education, with at least half at an in-person classroom or seminar setting. You can carry over any extra study hours for future year requirements if need be. This requirement is to keep your skills fresh in your head for safety reasons. NC definitely cares about safety standards when it comes to electricians.
State Reciprocity in NC
North Carolina offers reciprocity agreements for the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. For each of these states NC has a reciprocity packet which you’ll need to fill out. Just because you have a license from one of these states doesn’t mean NC will honor it because you’ll need lots of documentation in conjunction with the actual license.
View, download or print North Carolina’s applications and reciprocity information
Taking the North Carolina Exam
You have to be pre approved by NC’s State Licensing Board to take the state’s licensing examination. Not just anyone can take it because they want people who are serious about becoming an electrician.
North Carolina’s exam is administered by Promissor or PSI and is based on NEC standards which will be provided to you for reference. However, you can’t bring other documents into the test room. The exam is 6 hours long and consists of 100 multiple choice questions. You’ll need to score of at least 75% to pass the NC exam.
You should study areas such as North Carolina Electrical Contractors Licensing Law, Business & Project Management for Contractors, NC Electrical Contractors Edition and the National Fire Alarm Code. If you study and have a genuine interested in this field of work then you should do fine on the test.
It is recommended that you review North Carolina’s handbook regarding rule and regulations relating to the exam.
Best NC Cities for Electrical Work
If you are planning a career as an electrician in the state of North Carolina you should know which areas will offer you the most work. The population centers with the highest overall electricity consumption are Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro and Winston Salem. Several other cities offer good employment opportunities as well.
Much of North Carolina has a low population density which is where you are likely to find less promising work. The resident population in these rural parts of NC tend to have less disposable income for electrical projects.
If you have lived in NC for awhile you are likely to know which cities are best for electrical work. Best of luck pursuing your plans to become an electrician in the state of North Carolina!