Embarking on a career as an electrician in Wisconsin is not just a job, it’s a solid career path within the construction industry. With the right education and training, you can learn how to become a licensed electrical professional in Wisconsin. This guide is designed to provide electricians and electrical contractors with a comprehensive overview of the steps and requirements to establish eligibility, apply for, and renew their electrician license in Wisconsin. It also outlines the license bond requirements and insurance needs for electricians in the state.

Licensing Requirements

Journeyman Electrician

To become a journeyman electrician in Wisconsin, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Complete an approved electrician apprenticeship program, which includes 576 hours of classroom instruction and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training over four years.
  • Pass the journeyman electrician examination.

The application fee for the journeyman electrician license is $35, and the exam fee is $30. The license is valid for four years and must be renewed by March 30th of the expiration year. The renewal fee is $100. More information can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) website.

Registered Electrician

A registered electrician in Wisconsin is an individual who is learning the trade under the supervision of a licensed electrician. The requirements for becoming a registered electrician are:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Be enrolled in an approved electrician apprenticeship program.

The application fee for the registered electrician license is $35. The license is valid for one year and must be renewed annually. The renewal fee is $35. More information can be found on the DSPS website.

License Bond Requirements

In Wisconsin, electricians are required to carry a $5,000 license bond. This bond is a type of insurance that protects the public from any damages or losses resulting from the electrician’s work. The bond must be issued by a surety company licensed to do business in Wisconsin. More information can be found in the Wisconsin Statutes.

Insurance Requirements

Electricians in Wisconsin are required to carry liability insurance. The minimum coverage amounts are $500,000 per occurrence for bodily injury, $500,000 per occurrence for property damage, and $500,000 aggregate for products-completed operations. More information can be found in the Wisconsin Administrative Code.

Electrician License Reciprocity

License reciprocity allows electricians who are licensed in one state to practice in another without needing to sit for another set of exams. As of now, Wisconsin has a reciprocity agreement with Iowa, covering both Journeyman and Master electrical licensing categories. This means that if you hold a Journeyman or Master electrician license from Iowa, you can apply for a reciprocal license in Wisconsin without having to take the Wisconsin licensing exam.

However, if you hold an electrical license from a state other than Iowa, Wisconsin currently does not have a reciprocity agreement in place. In such cases, Wisconsin will accept your experience of installation of electrical wiring from other states as comparable experience in qualifying to take the Wisconsin licensing exam. Another option would be to obtain a Registered Electrician license in Wisconsin.

For more information on how to apply for a reciprocal license, please check the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services website.

License Bond Requirements in Wisconsin

While the specific bond requirements for electricians in Wisconsin are not explicitly stated in the provided resources, it’s important to note that many states require electricians to post a license bond as part of their licensing process. A license bond is a type of surety bond that protects your clients by compensating them if you fail to fulfill your contractual obligations.

The bond amount varies by state and sometimes by the type of license. It’s recommended to contact the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services directly for specific information on license bond requirements in Wisconsin.

Insurance Needs for Electricians in Wisconsin

Insurance is a crucial aspect of running an electrician business as it protects you and your business from potential financial losses. The following types of insurance are typically recommended for electricians:

  • General Liability Insurance: This insurance covers injuries or property damage that occur on the job. It offers you and your clients 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.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: This insurance covers vehicles used in your business.
  • Inland Marine Insurance: This insurance covers tools and equipment from loss or theft.
  • Surety Bonds: These may be required for licenses, permits, or contractor registrations.
  • Umbrella Insurance Coverage: This insurance covers you for catastrophic losses that exceed the underlying policy limits.

In most states, General Liability Insurance for Electricians is not mandatory. However, even in these states, the minimum requirements are often low. For example, in Washington, the minimum requirement is only $250,000. At FarmerBrown.Com, they generally sell only 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.

For specific insurance requirements in Wisconsin, it’s recommended to contact the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services or a trusted insurance provider like Farmer Brown Insurance.

Remember, while insurance and bonds represent an additional business expense, they provide essential protection for your business, your employees, and your clients. They can also help you win more contracts as many clients prefer or require their contractors to be fully insured and bonded.

Conclusion

Becoming a licensed electrician in Wisconsin involves meeting specific educational and training requirements, passing an examination, and maintaining a license bond and insurance. The process may seem daunting, but with careful planning and preparation, you can successfully navigate the licensing process and start your career as a licensed electrician in Wisconsin. Remember to keep track of your license expiration dates and renew your license on time to avoid any disruptions in your ability to work.