Effective July 1, 2023, a new law significantly shifts Washington’s approach to journey level (01) electrician certification. It moves from five pathways to certification to one – an apprenticeship-only model. This change will also effect 01 general electrical contractors and other employers of 01 electricians and trainees who perform 01 work.

L&I is proposing a change that would provide more opportunities for 01 certification. See the proposed rule and your opportunities to participate.

An important note:

These changes do not apply to specialty electrical contractors or the trainees they employ. Also unchanged is the process for trainees to submit hours of experience to the Electrical Program’s licensing division. This page provides guidance for electrical trainees, employers, and registered apprenticeship programs. 

Electrical Contractors

The new law changes how trainees receive experience toward qualifying for an (01) journey level examination. Trainees – electricians you hire – must be registered apprentices. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Join an existing registered apprenticeship program as a training agent.
    OR
  • Create and sponsor your own apprenticeship program that is registered with and approved by the state.
Training agent

Instead of being a sponsor, most businesses join with an existing apprenticeship sponsor as a training agent.

Registering as a training agent can be done within a few weeks – and in some cases in as little as one business day. For example, as a small electrical contractor, you can become a training agent through a registered electrical apprenticeship program. This is a business-to-business agreement made between the program and you as the employer/contractor.

If you decide to participate as a training agent with an existing apprenticeship program, you may be required to pay a fee to that program to help cover the costs of training. This fee varies by the program with whom you partner.

Check out the “01 Programs” tab to find current programs.

Registered apprenticeship

Depending on your business needs, it may or may not be practical to sponsor a registered apprenticeship program. It typically takes a minimum of six months to get a new program started. You pay no fees to L&I to register a program.

As a sponsor of a registered apprenticeship, you will oversee every aspect of training, from development to actual administration. You will need to develop program standards that L&I reviews and then must be approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council (WSATC).

Find out more about becoming a registered apprenticeship.

Contact Apprenticeship Consultant Gary Peterson
Phone: 360-701-7140
Email: Gary.Peterson@lni.wa.gov
Visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Apprenticeship and click on the “Offer a Registered Apprenticeship” tab.

Trainees

If you are a trainee looking to become a journey level (01) electrician, starting July 1, 2023 here is what the law requires you do:

You must be a registered apprentice.
  • Electrical trainees are often informally referred to as “electrical apprentices.” However, unless a trainee is in a registered apprenticeship program, they are not an apprentice. To work, apprentices need both an apprenticeship card and electrical training certificate. To employ apprentices, electrical contractors must be training agents for the same apprenticeship program in which their apprentices are registered.
Before you register, work with your apprenticeship program to receive advance standing.
  • When you apply to an apprenticeship program, you can receive advance standing based on the hours approved by L&I’s Electrical Program licensing division. Use our Verify tool to view your hours on file with electrical licensing.
    • For specialty electrician certificate holders in 02, 03, 04, 06, 06A, and 07 specialties, your program is required to grant 4,000 hours for previous experience. This is based on L&I review of state law (RCW 19.28.191(1) (c) (Effective July 1, 2023).
    • Regarding hours of work for non-certificate holders in the above mentioned specialties, your program retains its authority to evaluate and award credit towards advance standing of the applicant. The total can include all hours, from the specialty list above, approved through L&I’s Electrical Program licensing section.
To qualify for an 01 electrician examination, you must have completed a registered apprenticeship program.
  • Applicants approved for examination before July 1, 2023 are not required to complete an apprenticeship even when reapplying after that date.
Find current registered programs under the “01 Programs” tab.
  • Typically, employers, employer associations, and labor unions sponsor registered apprenticeship programs. Occupations for 01 electricians are: Construction Electrician, Inside Electrician, or Inside Wireman. You can also use the Apprenticeship Registration & Tracking System (ARTS) to find registered apprenticeship programs that train journey level 01 electricians.
  • Get more information regarding Apprenticeship: www.Lni.wa.gov/Apprenticeship

Check the “Rulemaking” tab to find out what L&I is doing to help the electrical industry and trainees while implementing this new law.

Registered Apprenticeships

The new law regarding journey level (01) electricians likely will mean an increase in demand for registered apprenticeships in that field. It is likely applicants for registered apprenticeship programs will come with hours and request advanced standing. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • L&I’s Electrical Program, through the licensing section review, approves hours of experience for electrical trainees through a review of affidavits filed with the agency.
  • Registered apprenticeship programs can grant advanced standing based on hours of experience approved by L&I’s Electrical Program licensing section.
  • For specialty electrician certificate holders in 02, 03, 04, 06, 06A, and 07 specialties, your program is required to grant 4,000 hours for previous experience. This is based on L&I review of state law (RCW 19.28.191(1) (c) (Effective July 1, 2023).
    • Residential (02) – WAC 296-46B-920 (2)(a).
    • Pump and irrigation (03) – WAC 296-46B-920 (2)(b).
    • Signs (04) – WAC 296-46B-920 (2)(d).
    • Limited energy system (06) – WAC 296-46B-920 (2)(e).
    • HVAC/refrigeration system (06A) – WAC 296-46B-920 (2)(f)(v).
    • Nonresidential maintenance (07) – WAC 296-46B-920 (2)(g).
  • Regarding hours of work for non-certificate holders in the above mentioned specialties, your program retains its authority to evaluate and award credit towards advance standing of the applicant. The total can include all hours, from the specialty list above, approved through L&I’s Electrical Program licensing section.
  • L&I’s Apprenticeship Program reviews registered training programs for evidence of a “fair and equitable process” in granting credit for hours of work.
  • Additional information: Guidance for registered apprenticeship programs regarding changes in Electrical Apprenticeship.
  • Questions regarding the impacts of this new law can be sent to:
    SSB6126Implementation@Lni.wa.gov
01 Programs

The following is a list of registered apprenticeship programs that train journey level 01 electricians and Washington counties they cover.

Apprenticeship Program Name Occupation Territory in WA
Area 1 Inside Electrical JATC​​ - Regulated by Oregon --- Clark, Klickitat, Skamania, Cowlitz, and Pacific
Electrical Management Group of Washington Inside Electrician Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Pacific, Lewis, Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Kittitas, Walla Walla​​
Construction Industry Training Council of Washington - Construction Electrician​ Construction Electrician​​ All counties in Washington​​
Frontier Apprenticeship & Training
(Frontier Electric of Washington FRONTEW115M5 employees only)​​
Inside Electrician​​ Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania​​
IBEW 48 NECA-IBEW Electrical JATC​ - Regulated by Oregon ​​ ---​​ Clark, Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skamania, Wahkiakum​​
Inland Empire Electrical Training Trust​ Inside Electrician​​ Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Whitman​​
LU 112 - NECA Electrical Apprenticeship Committee​ Inside Wireman​​ Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Walla Walla, Yakima, Kittitas​​
Northwest Washington Electrical Industry Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee ​ Inside Wireman​​ Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Island, Okanogan, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom​​
Performance Electrical Apprenticeship Committee
(Boone Electric Construction BOONEEC952BM employees only)​​
Inside Electrician​​ Pierce, King, Thurston, Lewis, Snohomish, Spokane, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Lincoln, Whitman​​
Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Inside Wireman​​ Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Clallam​​
Southwest Washington Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Inside Wireman​​ Pacific, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Mason, Pierce, Thurston​​
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories 01 Electrician
(Schweitzer employees working at facilities owned by Schweitzer)
General Electrician (01) Whitman, Spokane
Titan Electrical Apprenticeship & Training
(Titan Electrical LLC TITANEL877RD employees only)​​
Inside Wireman​​ Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Adams, Lincoln, Snohomish, King, Pierce​​
Tradesmen Apprenticeship & Comprehensive Training
(Tradesman Electric Inc.
TRADEEI954R9 employees only)​​
Inside Electrician​​ Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Skamania​​

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