As in most states, in West Virginia, you will have to be properly licensed as an electrician before performing any electrical work. West Virginia has a relatively simple and straightforward process for acquiring an electrical license.
The following types of licenses exist:
- Apprentice Electrician
- Master Electrician
- Journeyman Electrician
- Specialty Electrician
Please note that there is also a certification for electrical inspectors.
West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office
The licensing process for electricians is managed and overlooked by the State Fire Commission and more specifically the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office (WVSFMO).
The State Fire Commission’s objective is to provide the best possible Fire Prevention and Life Safety by means of Legislation, Education, Training, Standards and Resource Allocation.
For the Marshal’s Office, the mission is to improve the Quality of Life of West Virginia citizens and to reduce the loss of life and property through Education, Inspections, Investigations, Certification & Licensure, Building Plan Reviews and Enforcement of Fire Safety Laws.
The contact information for WVSFMO is the following:
State Fire Commission
Office of the State Fire Marshal
1207 Quarrier St., 2nd Floor
Charleston, WV 25301
Fax: (304) 558-2537
West Virginia Electrical License Application Process
In order to obtain the desired electrician license, you will have to apply with the State Fire Marshal Office. After you get approved, you will be able to sit for the relevant exam.
You may find the electrician license application form here.
You will have to completely fill out and sign the application and include the appropriate fee made payable to the WVSFMO, otherwise the application will get rejected. Note that debit or credit cards are not accepted at the time.
The license application fees are as follows:
– Master License – $50.00 Annual Fee (Expires June 30 each year)
– Journeyman License – $50.00 Annual Fee (Expires June 30 each year)
– Apprentice License – $50.00 Annual Fee (Expires June 30 each year)
– All Specialty Licenses – $50.00 Annual Fee (Expires June 30 each year)
The are also exam fees that should also be payable to the WVSFMO:
- $25.00 for Journeyman, Master and all Specialty exams
- $10.00 for all Apprentice exams and for retest of any level within 12 months of the original examination date.
Note that the exam fee must be submitted alongside your application.
Please note that certain requirements have to be met for each type of license.
Master Electrician License Requirements
You will have to provide proof of at least 10,000 hours or 5 years of actual hands-on experience in the electrical field. These hours have to include some residential, some commercial and some industrial experience.
Vocational training cannot be counted towards the required experience. All work experience has to consist of above ground structural wiring in accordance with the NEC.
Journeyman Electrician License Requirements
You will have to provide proof of 8,000 hours or 4 years of hands on electrical work experience
a completed apprenticeship program approved by the US Dept of Labor
a completed vocational course approved by the WV Dept of Education of no less than 1080 hours.
You will also have to provide a copy of your certificate of completion of your apprenticeship or vocational program.
Specialty Electrician License Requirements
There various specialties for electricians, including HVAC, Electric Sign, Single Fam. Dwelling, Elevator, Fire & Burglar Alarm.
You will have to provide proof of 4,000 hours or 2 years of hands on electrical work experience in the specialty area that you will be testing for.
One year may be obtained through an approved educational course.
Apprentice Electrician License Requirements
For apprentice electricians, the only requirement is to be 18 years of age.
After your application get reviewed by the Office, a written notification of acceptance or denial of your application will be sent to you within 14 days.
Finally, don’t forget to check Electrician Jobs in West Virginia.
West Virginia Electrician Licensing Exam Information
As mentioned above, you will have to be pre-approved before sitting for the electrician test. You will have to submit an application to the State Fire Marshal’s Office to gain approval to take the exam.
The exams are open book and are based on the National Electric Code (NEC) book. You may have on you calculators, book tabs, keyword indexes and Ugly’s reference books. However, study guides, test prep courses and practice exams are not available.
The exams start at 9.00AM and you will be able to check-in from 8.30AM and afterwards. You will have strictly (4) four hours to complete the exam. Make sure to arrive on time because no additional time will be granted.
Master Electrician Exam
For master electricians, the exam will consist of 50 multiple choice questions (worth 1 point each) and 10 calculations (5 points each) which may include intricate calculations referencing service loads, power factor, voltage drop, service size, demand load, circuit resistance, outlet requirements, etc.
Journeyman Electrician Exam
For journeyman electricians, the exam will consist of 42 multiple choice questions (worth 2 points each) and 4 calculations (worth 4 points each) which may include simple calculations referencing power factors, voltage drops, resistance, circuit requirements, etc.
Specialty Electrician Exam
For specialty electricians, the exam will consist of 20-25 multiple choice questions (worth 4-5 points each).
Apprentice Electrician Exam
For apprentice electricians, the exam will consist of 20 multiple choice code questions taken from the first four chapters of the National Electric Code book.
West Virginia Electrician License Renewal and Continuing Education
All electrician licenses expire June 30 each year.
You will receive a renewal notice in April for your convenience. You will then have to return the renewal form with the appropriate licensure fee in the provided envelope.
Please note that all renewals must be post-dated no later than June 30.
You may still renew your license after June 30 if you pay the $15.00 late fee up to June 30 the following year. If your license lapses for more than (12) twelve months you may not renew your license and shall retest to receive your license.
West Virginia does not require Continuing Education at this time.
Finally, don’t forget to check Electrician Jobs in West Virginia.
West Virginia Electrician Reciprocal License Agreements
The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office recognizes reciprocity with several jurisdictions.
You must be currently be licensed by examination in the state from which you are applying and you will have to provide the relevant documentation along with your application.
Regardless of the jurisdiction, you must also possess the minimum requirements for licensure, as described above.
Individuals who previously held a WV Electrician’s License and allowed it to expire are not eligible for reciprocity.
The following agreements are currently in place:
- Virginia – Master and Journeyman Classifications
- Ohio – Master Classification
- North Carolinia – Master Classification
- Kentucky – Master and Journeyman Classifications
- Maryland – Master Classification
- WV Division of Labor, Contractor’s Board – Master Classification
You must complete the application for licensure legible and in ink and submit it along with the $50.00 license fee to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office.
You may find the Reciprocity Application form for electrical licensure here.
West Virginia Electrical Inspector Certification
An electrical inspector is a person performing electrical inspections for compensation or hire within the State of West Virginia. Every inspector has to be licensed by the State Fire Marshal.
There are three distinct classes and the minimum requirements for them are as follows:
Class A Electrical Inspector’s License
For Class, successful completion of the International Code Council’s (ICC) Test 2A is required or NFPA Certified Electrical Inspector Examination AND possess a valid WV Master Electrician’s License.
Class B Electrical Inspector’s License
Successful completion of the International Code Council’s (ICC) Test 2A and 2B OR NFPA Certified Electrical Inspector Examination AND possess a valid WV Master Electrician’s License.
Class C Electrical Inspector’s License
Successful completion of the International Code Council’s (ICC) Test 2A, 2B and 2C AND possess a valid WV Master Electrician’s License.
For all classifications, in addition to a valid Master Electrician’s License, there is also the obligation to obtain and maintain Errors & Omissions Insurance (Professional Liability) in the minimum amount of $250,000.
You may download the electrical inspector application form here.