Welcome to our comprehensive guide designed to assist electricians in Illinois navigate the process of establishing eligibility, applying for, and renewing their electrician license. This guide also outlines license bond requirements and insurance needs for electricians in the state. The electrician profession is a critical component of the construction industry, ensuring the safety and functionality of electrical systems in homes, businesses, and public facilities. As such, the state of Illinois has established rigorous standards for those seeking to enter this profession. This guide aims to provide a clear and detailed roadmap for aspiring and practicing electricians in Illinois.

Establishing Eligibility

Becoming a licensed electrician in Illinois requires a combination of education, practical experience, and examination. The first step is to complete a state-approved electrician training program or apprenticeship. These programs provide both theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary for a successful career in the electrical field. They cover a wide range of topics, including electrical theory, wiring, installation, safety practices, and the National Electric Code.

These programs typically last between four to five years and combine classroom instruction with on-the-job training. Classroom instruction covers electrical theory, blueprint reading, mathematics, electrical code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. On-the-job training, on the other hand, provides hands-on experience in installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical systems under the supervision of experienced electricians.

After completing your education, the next step is to pass the Illinois electrician licensing exam. The exam is based on the National Electric Code and covers both commercial and residential electrical work. The exam tests your knowledge of electrical theory, installation techniques, safety procedures, and the ability to interpret the National Electric Code. It’s recommended to thoroughly review the National Electric Code and use study guides and practice exams to prepare. The exam is administered by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and requires a passing score of 70% or higher.

Applying for an Electrician License

Once you’ve passed the exam, you can apply for your electrician license. The application process varies by city, but generally includes submitting an application form, paying a fee, and providing proof of insurance.

In the City of Chicago, for instance, the process involves submitting a completed application form, paying a $100 fee, and providing a current certificate of insurance. The application form requires information about your education, work experience, and exam results. The certificate of insurance should show that you have the necessary liability coverage for your work as an electrician.

In other cities, such as Rock Island, the application fee is $27.50, and applicants must provide a copy of a current Illinois Electrical License with a passing test score or passing test results from the State of Iowa Electrical Examining Board & Staff or an acceptable Prometric Exam.

It’s important to note that some cities in Illinois, such as East St. Louis, require all electricians, except for single-family homeowners working on their own personal residence, to be licensed. Therefore, it’s crucial to check the specific licensing requirements in your city or county.

License Renewal

Electrician licenses in Illinois must be renewed annually. The renewal process typically involves submitting a renewal application, paying a renewal fee, and providing proof of continuing education.

For example, in the City of Woodstock, there is a $75 annual license renewal fee. The renewal application should be submitted before the license expiration date to avoid any late fees or penalties. The continuing education requirement ensures that electricians stay up-to-date with the latest safety standards and technological advancements in the field.

Continuing education can be obtained through various means, including online courses, workshops, and seminars. The number of continuing education hours required varies by city and county, so it’s important to check with your local licensing board.

Reciprocity with Other States

Illinois has reciprocity agreements with several other states. This means that if you hold a valid electrician license in one of these states, you can apply for an Illinois license without having to retake the licensing exam. However, you will still need to submit an application and pay the required fees.

This reciprocity agreement is beneficial for electricians who move to Illinois from other states, as it saves them the time and effort of retaking the licensing exam. However, it’s important to note that not all states have reciprocity agreements with Illinois, so it’s crucial to check with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to determine if your current license is eligible for reciprocity.

License Bond Requirements

In Illinois, electricians are required to post a license bond to protect their clients. The bond amount varies by city. For example, in Carbondale, electricians must post a $3,500 bond, while in Monroe County, the bond amount is $10,000. The bond serves as a financial guarantee that you will comply with all state and local regulations in your work as an electrician.

The license bond is a form of insurance that protects your clients in the event of substandard or incomplete work. If a client files a claim against your bond and the claim is validated, the surety company that issued the bond will pay the client up to the bond amount. You are then responsible for reimbursing the surety company.

Insurance Needs

Electricians in Illinois are required to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage amounts vary by city. For example, in Cook County, electricians must have general liability coverage of $1,000,000. In Carbondale, the minimum coverage amounts are $100,000 per person, $300,000 for all persons, and $50,000 for property damage per accident. This insurance protects you from financial loss in case of accidents or damages that occur during your work.

Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage caused by your work. It can help pay for medical expenses, repair costs, and legal fees if a client or third party files a lawsuit against you. It’s important to work with a reputable insurance provider to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs.


Becoming a licensed electrician in Illinois involves completing an approved education program, passing the state licensing exam, and meeting the application requirements for your city. Once licensed, electricians must renew their license annually and meet continuing education requirements. Understanding the license bond and insurance needs is also an important part of being an electrician in Illinois. Following the steps outlined in this guide will help aspiring electricians successfully begin their careers.