Becoming a licensed electrician in Arkansas involves a series of steps, including education, experience, and examination. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the process, from the initial application to the renewal of your license.

Types of Electrician Licenses in Arkansas

In Arkansas, electricians can be classified into two main categories: Journeyman Electricians and Master Electricians.

Journeyman Electricians

Journeyman Electricians are licensed to install, maintain, and extend electrical conductors and equipment. However, they cannot contract with the general public to plan, lay out, or supervise the installation, maintenance, and extension of electrical conductors and equipment without employing at least one full-time Master Electrician.

Master Electricians

Master Electricians have an unlimited license classification. They are authorized to plan, lay out, and supervise the installation, maintenance, and extension of electrical conductors and equipment. They can also contract with the general public to perform these tasks.

Applying for an Electrician License

Journeyman Electrician License Requirements

To apply for a Journeyman Electrician License, you must:

  1. Apply for approval to take the Journeyman Electrician Exam. Applications can be obtained from the Arkansas Electrical Inspection and Licensing Division.
  2. Submit a “Released for Test” form from a completed 4-year electrical apprenticeship or state equivalent. Alternatively, submit proof of current Journeyman licensure in a reciprocal state for at least one year and with at least 8 years (16,000 hours) of electrical construction experience or training.

Master Electrician License Requirements

To apply for a Master Electrician License, you must:

  1. Apply for approval to take the Master Electrical Contractor Exam.
  2. Hold a degree in electrical engineering plus two (2) years of construction-related experience, or have six (6) years of experience in the construction industry, both residential and commercial, including two (2) years of experience as a licensed Journeyman Electrician. Alternatively, you can have any combination of experience and training that the state board approves.

Examination Process

Once you receive approval, you can schedule your exam. The Journeyman Electrician exam consists of 60 questions, and you must score at least 70% to pass. The Master Electrician exam also consists of 60 questions with the same passing score requirement. Both exams are open book and have a time limit of 180 minutes.

Insurance and Bond Requirements

In Arkansas, electricians are required to carry electrical contractors’ insurance, which includes liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. The specific amounts vary based on the type of work and the size of the company.

License Renewal

Electrician licenses in Arkansas must be renewed each year. You have the option to pay for up to three years of renewals in advance. Each time you are up for renewal, you must complete 8 hours of continuing education relating to the National Electric Code.

Electrician License Reciprocity with Arkansas

In Arkansas, the Board of Electrical Examiners is responsible for the administration of laws governing the licensing of electricians. The board offers various classes of licenses, including master electrician, journeyman electrician, residential master electrician, residential journeyman electrician, air conditioning electrician, and industrial maintenance electrician. They also register electrical apprentices.

Arkansas has reciprocal agreements with several states for journeyman and master electrician licenses. These states include Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. However, it’s important to note that the board only reciprocates an original license from the issuing state on this list. You cannot reciprocate a reciprocated license. A Master license from the list above can only be reciprocated with a Journeyman’s license except for Oregon, with which Arkansas has a Master License reciprocal Agreement. Wyoming will only reciprocate a journeyman’s license with an individual that has completed a USDOL approved apprenticeship program of at least 576 hours of classroom time.

License Bond Requirements in Arkansas

Licensed contractors in Arkansas, including plumbing, HVAC, electrical, residential, and commercial contractors, are generally required to obtain an Arkansas contractor license bond. This bond is mandated by the state and serves as an ongoing licensing requirement. The bond’s obligee is the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board, and their contact information is provided. The cost of the bond varies depending on the contractor’s location and ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. Contractors are responsible for paying a bond premium, which is a percentage of the bond amount, determined by the surety company based on their credit history and business finances. Contractors with lower credit scores may have higher bond premiums due to increased risk.

Insurance Needs for Electricians in Arkansas

In most states, General Liability Insurance for Electricians is not mandatory, but it’s strongly recommended. This insurance offers protection from any covered claim for any injuries or damages to third party persons or property as a result of your work. This also includes legal fees to defend your business from any covered claim.

Farmer Brown Insurance, for example, suggests that electricians should at a bare minimum obtain General Liability Insurance to protect their business and their customers. They generally sell affordable General Liability Insurance For Electrical Contractors policies with at least $1 Million in coverage. The cost of having $1 million in coverage in most cases is less than $50 dollars a year.

In addition to General Liability Insurance, electricians might also consider other types of insurance such as Commercial Auto Insurance, Inland Marine Insurance (covers tools and equipment from loss or theft), Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Surety Bonds (may be required for licenses, permits or contractor registrations), and Umbrella Insurance Coverage (covers you for catastrophic losses that exceed the underlying policy limits).

Please note that the insurance requirements and recommendations can vary by state and it’s always a good idea to consult with an insurance professional to understand the specific needs for your business in Arkansas.


Becoming a licensed electrician in Arkansas requires dedication and hard work. However, with the right preparation and understanding of the process, you can achieve your goal. Remember to stay up-to-date with your continuing education and insurance requirements to maintain your license.