The electrical industry is a vital part of our modern society, powering homes, businesses, and public facilities. Electricians are the skilled professionals who install, maintain, and repair the electrical systems that keep our world running. In the state of New Hampshire, the Board of Electricians is the governing body that oversees the licensure of these professionals, ensuring they meet the necessary ethical, professional, and educational standards. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the process of becoming a licensed electrician in New Hampshire, detailing the steps and requirements for establishing eligibility, taking electrician exams, applying for an electrician license, and renewing your electrician license.

Licensing Requirements

In New Hampshire, the Electricians’ Board licenses or registers those who are performing electrical installations for heat, light, and power purposes regardless of the voltage. This means that whether you’re working on a small residential project or a large commercial installation, you need to be licensed or registered with the Board. The categories for licensing are Master, Journeyman, and High/Medium Voltage electricians.

A Master Electrician is the highest level of licensure. They are responsible for the installation, repair, and maintenance of electrical systems in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. They can also supervise other electricians, including journeymen and apprentices.

A Journeyman Electrician is a skilled and experienced electrician, but not yet at the master level. Journeymen can work independently on a variety of electrical systems but are typically supervised by a master electrician.

High/Medium Voltage Electricians specialize in working with high and medium voltage systems, typically in industrial settings or on electrical utility infrastructure.

The Electricians’ Board also registers apprentice electricians and high/medium voltage trainees. An Apprentice Electrician is someone who is learning the trade under the supervision of a licensed electrician. High/Medium Voltage Trainees are similar to apprentices but specialize in high/medium voltage systems.

Apprenticeship Requirements

Becoming an electrician typically starts with an apprenticeship. All apprentice electricians in New Hampshire must be employed by a master electrician or another employer who employs a NH master electrician from whom the apprentice electrician receives direction and supervision. This ensures that apprentices are learning the trade from experienced professionals and gaining practical, hands-on experience.

Apprentice applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. This requirement ensures that apprentices have a basic level of education and are prepared for the academic aspects of the apprenticeship, which can include classroom instruction in addition to on-the-job training.

Apprentices are required to complete a minimum of 150 hours of electrical schooling in an approved training course during each 12-month period that the apprentice identification card is valid. This schooling can cover a variety of topics, including electrical theory, safety practices, and the National Electrical Code (NEC).

Reciprocity with Other States

The concept of reciprocity is important for electricians who may wish to work in multiple states. Reciprocity agreements between states allow for an electrician licensed in one state to obtain a license in another state without having to go through the entire licensure process again.

New Hampshire has reciprocal licensing agreements with several states. Long-standing agreements exist with Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont. This means that if you’re a licensed electrician in any of these states, you can apply for a reciprocal license in New Hampshire, and vice versa.

New Hampshire also participates in the National Electrical Reciprocal Alliance (NERA), which includes Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. If you’re a licensed electrician in any of these states, you can apply for a reciprocal license in New Hampshire, and vice versa.

However, it’s important to note that reciprocity is not automatic. You must apply for a reciprocal license and meet any requirements set by the state you wish to work in. This can include providing proof of your current license, passing a state-specific exam, or paying a reciprocity fee.

License Fees

The fees for electrician licenses in New Hampshire vary depending on the type of license. These fees cover the cost of processing your application and maintaining your license. Here’s a breakdown of the fees for each type of license:

  • Apprentice: The application fee is $30, and the renewal fee is also $30. If you need to reinstate your apprentice license, the fee is $30. There’s also a certificate fee of $20 and a license verification fee of $10.
  • Journeyman: The application fee is $50, and the renewal fee is $150. If you need to retake the licensing exam, the fee is $25. There’s also a certificate fee of $20 and a license verification fee of $10.
  • Master: The application fee is $50, and the renewal fee is $270. There’s also a certificate fee of $20 and a license verification fee of $10.

It’s important to note that these fees are subject to change, so always check with the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification for the most current fee schedule.

Application and Renewal Process

The application and renewal process for electrician licenses in New Hampshire involves several steps. First, you must meet the eligibility requirements for the type of license you’re applying for. This can include educational requirements, work experience, and passing an exam.

Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements, you can submit your application to the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification. The application will ask for information about your education, work experience, and any licenses you hold in other states. You’ll also need to pay the application fee at this time.

After your application is approved, you’ll receive your license. Licenses are typically valid for a certain period of time, after which they must be renewed. The renewal process involves submitting a renewal application, paying the renewal fee, and providing proof of continuing education.

License Bond Requirements in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, electricians are not required to post a license bond. However, they must meet other requirements to get licensed. For instance, they must pass an exam, have a certain amount of experience, and pay the necessary fees. It’s important to note that while a license bond is not required, electricians may still need to get bonded for certain projects, especially public ones. This is because bonds provide a financial guarantee that the electrician will complete the project as agreed.

Insurance Needs for Electricians in New Hampshire

In most states, General Liability Insurance for Electricians is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended. This policy 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.

In addition to General Liability Insurance, electricians may also need other types of insurance, such as:

  • Commercial Auto Insurance: This covers vehicles used in your business.
  • Inland Marine Insurance: This covers tools and equipment from loss or theft.
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance: This covers your employees from injury or illness caused by their employment.
  • Umbrella Insurance Coverage: This covers you for catastrophic losses that exceed the underlying policy limits.

The cost of these insurances varies based on factors such as the size of your business, the amount of work you do, your claims history, and the location of your business. It’s important to work with an experienced insurance agent to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs.


Becoming a licensed electrician in New Hampshire involves meeting specific educational and experiential requirements, passing examinations, and paying necessary fees. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of these processes, but electricians should always check with the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification for the most current and detailed information.

Remember, being a licensed electrician not only allows you to legally perform electrical work in the state, but it also demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and quality workmanship. Whether you’re just starting your career as an apprentice or you’re an experienced electrician looking to become a master, getting licensed is a crucial step in your professional journey.