Step 1: Choose your license type

The first step to becoming a licensed electrician in North Carolina is to determine what type of license you need. There are three main types of license classifications for electricians:

  • Unlimited License: This license lets the licensee engage in any electrical contracting project regardless of value.
  • Intermediate License: This license lets the licensee engage in a single electrical contracting project of a value, not in excess of $150,000.
  • Limited License: This license lets the licensee engage in a single electrical contracting project of a value not in excess of sixty thousand dollars ($60,000).

Additionally, the equipment or installation in the contract is rated at not more than 600 volts.

In addition to the main classifications, there are also seven specialty license classifications:

  • Residential Dwelling License (SP-SFD)
  • Fire Alarm/Low-Voltage License (SP-FA/LV)
  • Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning License (SP-PH)
  • Swimming Pool License (SP-SP)
  • Groundwater Pump License (SP-WP)
  • Electric Sign License (SP-ES)
  • Elevator License (SP-EL)

Step 2: Pass the electrical license exams

Before you can apply for your electrical license exams, you will need to pass the electrical contracting examination.

The exam includes topics such as electrical contractors licensing laws, national electric code, national fire alarm code, project management, and conducting business as a contractor. The number of questions and the time to complete the test vary depending on the license classification.

Specialty electrical contractors will need to complete an additional licensing exam for their specialization.

Step 3: Get a surety bond

If you are applying for an intermediate or unlimited license classification you must provide a statement of bonding ability when submitting your license application.

The statement verifies your ability to obtain a surety bond when working on electrical projects in North Carolina. To get the statement, you will need to verify that you can get a bond valued at $150,000 The statements are issued by surety companies similar to the bonds themselves.

When you go to work on an electrical project, you will then need to get a surety bond. These are put in place to ensure that electricians comply with all North Carolina General Statutes.

The required bond amounts for North Carolina electrical contractor bonds range from $50,000 to $150,000.

You will need to pay a small percentage of the required bond amount as a premium. The surety company will determine your premium by evaluating a myriad of factors, most notably your credit score, personal financials, and years of experience.

In addition to the state-level bonds, various local municipalities throughout the state of North Carolina have their own bonding requirements. For example, in the city of Rocky Mount, electricians need to get a $1,000 electrical bond before performing electrical work.

Step 4: Submit application for electrical contracting license

After you have completed the necessary requirements, you can begin completing your electrical license application.

The various license application forms are available on the NCBEEC website. There are also reciprocity applications for contractors migrating from 11 different states.

Once you have completed the form you can mail it to the following address:

State Board of Examiner of Electrical Contractors
3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 206
Raleigh, NC 27609

Step 5: Complete continuing education

One of the requirements to keep your license active is to complete continuing education. Half of the training hours must be completed at an in-person classroom or via seminar attendance.

If you have an Unlimited, Intermediate, or Limited & SP-SFD license classification, you will need to complete eight hours of courses per year. Any special restricted classifications need to have  four hours of continuing education per year.

Step 6: Renew your North Carolina electrical license

All North Carolina electrical licenses are valid for a 1-year period. When your license is set to expire, you will receive a renewal notice about 60 days before the license is set to expire. You will also receive subsequent notifications via email 30 days and 10 days before the expiration.

There is a $25 administrative fee that is charged if you do not renew your license before the expiration date. Mail applications are considered filed on the postmark date.

Below is the Board’s contact information for if you have any questions about the renewal process.

Continuing Education & License Renewal
Telephone: (919) 733-9042 ext. 204
Fax: (800) 691-8399

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