Becoming a licensed electrician in New Jersey is a rewarding career choice that offers a wide range of employment opportunities. With the right education and training, you can learn how to do it right and become a licensed electrical professional in New Jersey. This comprehensive guide outlines the steps and requirements for electricians to establish eligibility, apply for their electrician license, and renew their electrician license in New Jersey. It also provides information on reciprocity with other states, specific locations and counties in New Jersey, license bond requirements, and insurance needs for electricians in the state.

Steps to Get an Electrician License in New Jersey

1. Gain Necessary Experience

The first step to becoming a licensed electrician in New Jersey is to gain the necessary experience. This is typically achieved through an apprenticeship program, which combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction. As an apprentice, you’ll work under the supervision of a licensed journeyman or master electrician, learning the trade firsthand while also receiving formal education on electrical theory and codes.

Apprenticeships can be found through local trade schools, community colleges, or through union and non-union apprenticeship programs. These programs typically last four years and include at least 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom instruction. During this time, you’ll learn about electrical safety, blueprint reading, circuitry, electrical theory, and the National Electrical Code.

2. Apply to be a Journeyman Electrician

Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, the next step is to apply for a journeyman electrician license. To qualify, you’ll need to have at least 8,000 hours of documented experience under the supervision of a licensed electrician. At least 4,000 of these hours must have been completed within the five years prior to your application.

In addition to your work experience, you’ll also need to have completed at least 576 hours of classroom instruction. This education can be obtained through your apprenticeship program or through a separate educational program.

Once you’ve met these requirements, you can submit your application to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. The initial cost to apply for a journeyman license is $40.

3. Apply for Electrical Contractor License

After gaining experience as a journeyman electrician, you may decide to take the next step and become an electrical contractor. This requires additional experience and the passing of a state examination.

To qualify for an electrical contractor license, you must be at least 21 years old and have at least five years of experience in the electrical field. This experience can be obtained through a combination of work as a journeyman electrician and formal education.

Once you’ve met these requirements, you can apply to take the electrical contractor licensing exam. The application fee for the exam is $100 and is non-refundable.

4. Take Electrical Contractor Licensing Exam

The electrical contractor licensing exam is a comprehensive test that covers a wide range of topics, including general electrical knowledge, grounding and bonding, equipment for general use, conductors and cables, motors and controls, low voltage and communications circuits, raceways and enclosures, services, feeders, and branch circuits, overcurrent protection, special occupancies, special equipment and conditions.

The exam is administered by PSI and requires a score of 70% or higher to pass. Examinees are allowed to use the most current version of the National Electrical Code (NEC) during the exam.

License Renewal

Once you’ve obtained your journeyman or electrical contractor license, it’s important to keep it up to date. In New Jersey, these licenses must be renewed every three years. The renewal fee is $160 for a journeyman license and $150 for an electrical contractor license.

In addition to the renewal fee, you’ll also need to complete continuing education units each year. Journeyman electricians are required to complete 10 hours of continuing education each year, while electrical contractors must complete at least 34 hours.

These continuing education courses are designed to keep you up to date on the latest changes and advancements in the electrical field. They may cover topics such as new electrical codes, safety procedures, and new technology in the industry.

Specific Locations and Counties in New Jersey

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs, Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors is responsible for issuing electrician licenses in the state. The office is located at 124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 45006, Newark, NJ 07101.

While the requirements for becoming a licensed electrician are consistent throughout the state, there may be additional local requirements depending on the specific location or county. It’s important to check with your local government or licensing board to ensure you meet all necessary requirements.

Electrician License Reciprocity

License reciprocity allows an individual who is licensed in one state to become licensed in another state without having to go through the entire licensing process again. However, not all states have reciprocity agreements, and those that do may not have agreements with all other states.

In the case of New Jersey, the state does not have a general reciprocity agreement with other states for electrician licenses. This means that if you are a licensed electrician in another state and you want to work in New Jersey, you will likely have to go through the New Jersey licensing process.

However, it’s important to note that licensing requirements can vary significantly from state to state. In some cases, your experience and training in another state may help you meet some of the requirements in New Jersey. It’s always a good idea to check with the New Jersey Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

License Bond Requirements in New Jersey

In New Jersey, electricians are required to post a $1,000 bond with the state. This bond is designed to protect consumers from any damages or losses they may suffer as a result of the electrician’s work. If a consumer files a claim against the bond and the claim is validated, the surety company that issued the bond will pay the claim. The electrician is then responsible for repaying the surety company.

The bond is not an insurance policy for the electrician; it does not protect the electrician from liability. Instead, it provides a form of financial guarantee to the consumer that the electrician will perform their work in accordance with state laws and regulations.

Insurance Needs for Electricians in New Jersey

In New Jersey, electricians are not required by state law to carry insurance. However, it is highly recommended for electricians to have General Liability Insurance at a minimum. This type of insurance protects your business from any covered claims for injuries or damages to third-party persons or property as a result of your work. It also includes legal fees to defend your business from any covered claim.

The policy limits of $1,000,000 for a single claim and $2,000,000 aggregate will be sufficient in most cases. However, if there are specific contractual terms that require you to have greater limits, these can be obtained.

In addition to General Liability Insurance, electricians may also consider other types of insurance such as Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance, and Inland Marine Insurance (which covers tools and equipment from loss or theft).

Remember, while insurance may not be mandatory, it provides a safety net for your business and can protect you from significant financial loss. It’s always a good idea to consult with an insurance professional to understand your options and choose the coverage that best fits your needs.


Becoming a licensed electrician in New Jersey is a process that requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ongoing education. However, the rewards of this career path can be significant. Not only do electricians in New Jersey earn a respectable income, but they also enjoy a high level of job security and the satisfaction of providing a valuable service to their communities.

Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re an experienced electrician looking to advance, this guide provides a comprehensive overview of the steps and requirements needed to become a licensed electrician in New Jersey. By following these steps and meeting these requirements, you can establish your eligibility, apply for your electrician license, and renew your license as needed.