To become a certified electrician, master electrician, electrical administrator, or telecommunications administrator you must pass the appropriate Washington state examination related to the work you will be doing.

Electrical exams are administered by PSI, with testing locations available across the United States. For information on preparing for the exam, what to expect when taking the exam, testing locations in Washington, and exam content, download the Electrical Certification Candidate Information Bulletin.

You must pass each section of the examination with a score of 70% or greater.
Apply

Electricians and master electricians must complete all of the required experience and training for their certificate type before submitting an application for examination. After L&I receives the application and verifies the applicant’s experience, applicants will be sent a letter with information on how to schedule their exam with PSI.

Telecommunications and electrical administrators do not have any pre-qualifications for examination. However, there is a significant amount of electrical knowledge required to pass the exam.

Note: Administrator certification does not enable an administrator to perform electrical work in the electrical trade.

For more information, Contact L&I Electrical Licensing and Certification at 360-902-5269 or ElectricalProgram@Lni.wa.gov

Scheduling

Schedule your exam with PSI

Electrical exams are administered by PSI at their local testing centers. You can schedule an exam online or call 1-800-733-9267. Exams can be scheduled at a time convenient to you – there are no fixed dates or times for exams.

There are several categories of electrical work (e.g., general, residential, telecommunications, etc). A separate exam is offered for each certification. The specific sections for your certification must be scheduled for the same day.

PSI exam fees

  • PSI coordinates with L&I to set the fees for electrical exams. The fees paid to PSI are in addition to any application fees paid to L&I.
  • Administrator and master electrician exams are billed at a flat rate, regardless of the number of sections taken, or the time spent on the exam.
  • Electrician exams and retests are billed by the hour.
Special accommodations

Applicants with disabilities or those who would otherwise have difficulty taking the examination can contact us to request a reasonable accommodation. You will need to submit proof from a physician or specialist to document your specific needs. Special accommodation requirements can be found in Chapter 296-46B-960(4) WAC.

To request an accommodation, email ElectricalProgram@Lni.wa.gov or call 360-902-5249. Do not schedule your examination with PSI until you have received a determination on your request.

Scheduling tips

  • If you fail any section of the exam, you must wait 2 weeks to be eligible to retest.
  • You can only retest areas that you have failed.
  • If you fail any portion of the exam 3 times, you must wait 3 months to retest.
  • You have 1 year from your first attempt to retest until you have passed all sections.
  • After 1 year, if you have not passed all sections, you have to re-take the entire exam.
What to bring

All electrical exams are open book. You are allowed to bring the following items into the testing center:

  • National Electrical Code book.
    • Index tabs are acceptable, but they cannot be removable. No handwritten notes or sticky notes are allowed.
  • Washington state laws, rules, and regulations – Chapters 19.28 RCW and Chapter 296-46B WAC.
    • Printed copies must be hole-punched and placed in a three-ring binder.
    • You can purchase a printed copy of the laws and rules at your local L&I office.
  • Any original, copyrighted material (e.g., Ugly’s, Ferm’s Fast Finder, Soares Grounding, etc.).

Copyrighted materials can only have highlighting, underlining, and/or permanent index tabs. All books will be checked for handwritten notes, removable tabs and blank paper. Any materials found with unacceptable notations, etc. may be confiscated and will not be allowed into the exam. Handwritten notes and markings in books are considered an attempt to cheat on an examination.

Challenging the results

To challenge the results of an exam, first review the results provided by PSI. The score reports provide a list of code articles that indicate the areas of the exam where you answered questions incorrectly. You have to determine what questions you got wrong by reviewing the specific code listed.

How to challenge exam results

All challenges must be made in writing and received by the Chief Electrical Inspector no later than 20 days after your exam was taken.

  1. Send a letter requesting to challenge the exam results, along with the challenge fee of $129.90 to:
    Department of Labor & Industries
    Electrical Program
    P.O. Box 44460
    Olympia, WA 98504-4460
  2. Make sure you provide your contact information in the letter, including a phone number.
  3. Allow a minimum of 2 weeks for a response.
  4. L&I will contact you to schedule an appointment at the Tumwater L&I building.
  5. At your appointment, you will be asked to write a justification for each question that you wish to challenge.
  6. Allow a week for a response to your challenge. We will notify you of our determination in writing or over the phone.

Your exam will be changed only if your challenge is successful and results in a passing score. See Chapter 296-46B-960(6) and (7) WAC for complete information about challenging examination results.

Basic classroom instruction & continuing education

All electricians, electrical administrators, master electricians, and electrical trainees are required to complete educational requirements to maintain their certification.

Basic classroom instruction

Basic classroom courses are intended for electrical trainees. These courses meet a trainee's educational requirements both for renewal of their certificate and for electrical examination approval. Trainees must take 48 hours of basic classroom instruction every two years to renew their certificate. These hours may be included as part of a registered apprenticeship or electrical training program, or they can be taken separately. As their name suggest, these courses must be taught in a classroom-based environment. Electricians, administrators, and master electricians who take basic classroom instruction courses can only receive credit for these courses as industry related instruction.

Note: If a specialty electrician is also a trainee, basic classroom instruction can only count toward their trainee renewal or their continuing education — it can't be counted twice.

Continuing education

Electrical administrators, master electricians and electrician, are required to complete 24 hours of continuing education course work in the three (3) years between certification renewals:

  • 8 hours of your CEUs must be on currently adopted National Electrical Code (NEC) changes.
  • 4 hours must be on currently adopted Revised Code of Washington Chapter 19.28 RCW and related Washington Administrative Codes Chapter 296-46B WAC.
  • The remaining 12 hours of continuing education credits can be any other course from the list of approved courses below.
    • You cannot take the same class more than once and receive credit.

Note: Continuing education courses can only be credited to electricians, master electricians, and administrators. They do not count toward a trainee’s basic classroom instruction requirements.

Check status of continuing education & certificate

Verify a contractor, tradesperson or business

If you are unsure what continuing education has been reported, or the status of your certificate, check your record in L&I's verify a contractor or tradesperson tool to see what courses have been reported and may be considered for renewal will be listed.

Approved Continuing Education (CEUS)

Courses listed below are for electrician/master electrician and electrical administrator certificate renewal only and cannot be used for an electrical trainee renewal. (Find Basic Trainee Classes).

For course schedules, contact the course sponsor named in the lists below. Courses are good for 3 years from the date of approval. Before selecting a course, verify the course will not expire before you complete it. See the list of approved courses:

Courses specifically for combination 03 or 03A specialty plumber-electricians in the pumping industry.

(Trainees in the pumping industry must take Basic Classroom Instruction Classes to renew their training certificate.)

Chapter 296-46B-970 WAC rule regarding Electrical Continuing Education.

Basic classroom instruction for electrical trainees

Classes Required for Electrical Trainees

What classes are required for electrical trainees?

Check carefully — some classes may have expired.
When do I have to renew my electrical trainee certificate?

  • Electrical trainee certificates renew every 2 years.

How many hours of classroom instruction are required to activate or renew my electrical trainee certificate?

  • 48 hours of basic trainee classes are required to renew.

What type of courses do I need take to renew my electrical trainee certificate?

  • Only basic trainee classes are credited towards trainee renewal.
  • Basic trainee classes for electrical trainees are different from continuing education courses for electricians, electrical administrators, and master electricians.
  • First aid, internet, or correspondence-based courses will not be credited toward renewal for trainees.

Note: Courses approved for electrician, electrical administrator, and master electrician renewal requirements will not be credited to an electrical trainee certificate.

For more information
Basic trainee class and instructor applications:

Out-of-state experience

If you have done electrical work outside of Washington that you want to present for consideration as qualifying experience, at the time of application you must present appropriate evidence showing that this work experience is equivalent to that required by law (Revised Code of Washington, Chapter 19.28.191 RCW) and rules (Washington Administrative Codes Chapter 296-46B-945 WAC).

  • Submit a notarized letter from your previous employer(s), on company letterhead, that indicates the time frame your supervised experience was obtained, the category (type of experience gained), and the number of hours of experience in each category.
  1. Use specific dates for your time frame.
  2. Indicate a specific number of hours worked.-we will not calculate hours per week/year.
  3. Hours must be broken down into the categories they were worked in.
  4. Describe the type of electrical work that was performed (i.e. residential, new commercial/industrial, maintenance, limited energy etc.
  5. Indicate the supervision level (for example, 75% supervision).
  • Submit copies of your previous employer(s) electrical contractor or business license for the state in which your electrical work was performed.
  • Submit payroll documentation, such as payroll summary or copies of paystubs, for the time frame you are claiming experience for.

If you are coming from a state that has electrician licensing requirements equivalent to Washington. We will require a notarized letter from the Electrical Board from that state attesting to your status and qualifications.

The letter must attest that you:

  1. Have an active electrician license.
  2. Type of license.
  3. License was obtained by examination.
  4. Meet the minimum qualifications to test. (example 8,000 hours of experience with at least 4,000 in commercial/industrial for general journey level, or 4,000 for specialty such as residential or limited energy.)

Contact the L&I Electrical Program at 360-902-5269 for details before coming to Washington.

Meeting the educational requirement when coming from out of state:

If you have completed a formal apprenticeship program that included in classroom instruction as part of the curriculum:

  1. Other electrical construction trade apprenticeship: an apprenticeship completion certificate or letter from the registered training director of the apprenticeship outlining the curriculum in NEC or electrical theory and number of in-class hours.
  2. Nationally recognized contractor/labor organization in the electrical construction trade: a course completion certificate or letter from the registered training director of the program outlining the curriculum in NEC or electrical theory and number of in-class hours.

Public community or technical colleges or not-for-profit nationally accredited trade or technical school: a notarized transcript from the office of the registrar listing the course names, hours, and credits of in-class NEC or electrical theory training completed by the applicant.

Military experience

  1. We cannot evaluate your military experience until you have an electrical training certificate or made application for an electrician examination.
  2. Send in a copy of your DD 214 form or current enlistment documentation.
  3. Send a printout of your VMET (Verification of Military Training and Experience).
  4. Your local recruiting office can help you obtain this information. Any other military transcripts and forms showing electrical construction trade experience.
  5. How do I submit experience earned in the military or in a state other than Washington? Chapter 296-46B-945 WAC
Military/shipyard experience

After review and approval by the department, an individual who has worked in the electrical construction trade performing work described in Chapter 296-46B-920 WAC while serving in the armed forces of the United States may be eligible to take the examination for the certificate of competency as a journeyman or specialty electrician. Credit may be allowed for hours worked or training received.

If an individual has military experience in a specialized electrical field (for example, rating) that is similar to a specialty electrician category listed in Chapter 296-46B-920 WAC, credit may be allowed toward the appropriate specialty certificate. Nuclear, marine, shipyard, shipboard, radar, weapons, aeronautical experience, or similar experience may be acceptable for no more than 50 percent of the minimum required work experience for qualifying for electrician examination.

The department will evaluate and determine whether the submitted experience is related specifically to the electrical construction/maintenance trade regulated by Chapter 19.28 RCW.

Contact us

Phone

  • Electrical Licensing and Certification: 360-902-5269
  • Electrical Citation and Amusement Ride Support Desk: 360-902-5570
  • Electrical Plan Review: 360-902-5246

Local offices

Find an office location near you.

Email

ElectricalProgram@Lni.wa.gov

Mail

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
Electrical Program
P.O. Box 44460
Olympia WA 98504-4460