To be an electrician in Pennsylvania you’ll need to comply with the state’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act to legally perform electrical services within PA.
The Attorney General’s Office can register you and enforce these requirements. Once you get this done you are ready to begin your career as an electrician in the state!
While the state doesn’t actually have a licensure program or certification requirements, PA still requires you to register and maintain a minimum of insurance coverage as well as utilize legal contracts which comply with specific consumer protection requirements.
Some falsely believe the state doesn’t regulate the electrical trade. If you don’t do this you can face a $1,000 fine among other penalties.
This registration requirement is mandatory for those performing any electrical job within PA. Also keep in mind that Pennsylvania has 2,562 municipalities in total and many require electrician to meet their requirements on a local level.
Be sure to check the laws in your area to stay in good standing.
How to Register in Pennsylvania
In order to properly register as an electrician in PA you’ll need to be able to document prior home improvement businesses you operated or dealt with. The more information you can provide the better off you’ll be.
You should provide a description of your business and any information on bankruptcies or criminal involvement or actual conviction. Be sure to also include documents on your insurance policy proving at least $50,000 in personal injury liability coverage and $50,000 of property damage coverage.
Sign and date the certification packet and include a nonrefundable $50 fee, check or money order, before you mail it out to the PA Attorney General:
The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
Bureau of Consumer Protection
15th FL, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
ATTN : Home Improvement Contractor Registration
View, print or download the forms and instructions you need to register as an electrician in PA
Also read about Pennsylvania’s contractor registration law here
State Reciprocity in PA
Since you need to simply register in Pennsylvania to perform electrical work, there is no reciprocity with other US states. Likewise, if you are leaving PA and moving to another state to work as an electrician you will not be able to use your registration there. To put it simply, there is no reciprocity in the state and vice versa.
Other Noteworthy PA Info
In December of 2009 the state started using the International Building Code and International Residential Code (2009) which references the popular NEC standards.
Taking the Exam in Pennsylvania
Since the state more closely regulates the electrical trade on a local level you will need to check with the authorities in your area regarding any test requirement. Until then you should simply focus on the following:
- Work towards obtaining your degree in electrical engineering degree or completed courses at a technical electrician school
- Gain more experience by working for a licensed electrician in PA
- Look into what it takes to get a surety bond which protects the public against problems
- Also look into a general liability insurance plan to further protect the public in case damage occurs for whatever reason.
Best PA Cities for Electrical Work
If you are planning an electrician career in the state of Pennsylvania you should know which areas will offer you the most work. The population centers with the highest overall electricity consumption are your best bet.
Since PA is a really big state you’ll have many options available to you. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia plus several other large population centers close to New Jersey are good locations.
Remember that much of Pennsylvania has a low population density which is where you are likely to find less work. 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.
If you have lived in the state 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 Pennsylvania!