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Electrical Contractors in the State of North Dakota may not perform or offer to perform electrical work without a license. This applies to any person or business who intends to install, repair, alter, add-onto, supervise, plan or layout electrical wiring, apparatuses and equipment used for light, heat or power. Licenses are issued by the North Dakota State Electrical Board.
The Board is responsible for ensuring that all applicants have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform electrical work. As part of the licensing process, the Board requires contractors to meet a minimum number of hours of work experience and/or education, and pass an examination related to electrical codes and safety standards.
License Classifications and Categories for Electrical Contractors in North Dakota
The North Dakota State Electrical Board offers the following license classifications and categories to Electrical Contractors:
- Master Electrician License- this license class offers 3 different categories:
- Contracting Master Electrician- responsible for overseeing all electrical work and ensuring that the work complies with the laws and rules of North Dakota wiring standards.
- Master of Record- responsible for ensuring that all electrical work performed by a partnership, company, corporation, association or LLC is in compliance with the rules and laws of North Dakota wiring standards. The contractor may not perform work on another property unless it is owned or leased by the organization they are overseeing.
- Non-contracting Master Electrician- holds the same responsibility as a Journeyman and must work under the supervision of a Contracting Master Electrician or Master of Record.
- Journeyman Electrician License- allows the individual to perform electrical installations, repairs, alterations and additions under the supervision of a licensed Contracting Master Electrician or Master of Record.
- Class B Electrician License- allows the contractor to perform farmstead and residential wiring on one and two-family dwellings. All work must be done under the supervision of a Contracting Master Electrician or Master of Record.
- Apprentice Electrician Registration- allows the individual to learn the electrical trade while working under the direct supervision of a licensed Master or Class B Electrician.
For more information about the license classifications and categories offered, and the scope of work they are allowed to perform, please contact the Board at:
Process to Obtain an Electrical Contractor License in North Dakota
- Contractors must meet the work experience and education requirements for their chosen license classification.
- Contractors are required to complete and submit the application to the Board along with all the required documents and fees in order to gain approval to take the examination
- Contractors must take and pass a technical and practical examination related to electrical laws, codes and safety standards, administered by the Board
- Contractors must pay an additional licensing fee upon passing the exam
- Contractors must attend 8 hours of Board-approved continuing education courses every year upon renewal.
Work Experience, Education and Training Requirements
All contractors must gain approval from the Board to take the examination. In order to gain approval, the contractor must complete and submit an application, along with proof that they meet the Board’s requirements for work experience, education and training, based on their chosen license classification:
- Master Electrician- all categories must prove a work history with a minimum of 10,000 hours, including at least 1 year of experience working as a licensed Journeyman under the direct supervision of a licensed Contracting Master Electrician or Master of Record.
- Journeyman Electrician- must have a minimum of 8,000 hours of work experience earned over a period of 3 years. They must also prove that they have been previously registered as an apprentice and successfully completed a training program. If the contractor is a graduate of a 2-year electrical school, approved by the Board, up to 2,000 hours may be credited toward the work experience requirement. All Journeyman applicants are required to have a minimum of 4,000 hours of practical experience. Credit is given for the any combinations of the following types of experiences:
- Up to 1,000 hours for the repair of electrical wiring used for light heat and power
- Up to 1,000 hours for the wiring of fire alarm technology circuits and systems
- Up to 1,000 hours for wiring process control circuits or systems
- Up to 2,000 hours of electrical construction experience gained in the U.S. armed forces
- Class B Electrician- must have a minimum of 3,000 hours of experience performing farmstead or residential wiring for one and two-family homes and dwellings. All work must be performed under the supervision of a licensed Master or Class B Electrician. If the contractor is a graduate of a 2-year electrical school, approved by the Board, it may count toward 1,000 hours of the work experience requirement. The Board does not accept commercial wiring experience for this license class.
- Apprentice Electrician- must register with the Board within 6 months of becoming employed. Apprentices may work under the employment and supervision of a licensed Master or Class B Electrician. During this time they are responsible for completing 576 hours of training classes, recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship. Additionally, they must acquire 8,000 hours of work experience installing and repairing electrical wiring, apparatuses and equipment, over a period of 3 years. The Board also accepts the completion of a 2-year approved electrical school along with 8,000 hours of work experience gained over 3 years.
*For more information about approved Apprenticeship Training program providers, please visit:
In order to prove work experience, the contractor’s current and previous employers must complete the Electrical Employment Verification Record, which is included in the application packet. Each employer must separately fill out and verify the contractor’s experience. All employment verification forms must be signed by the contractor’s employers, as well as the Master Electrician who supervised their work. All forms must also be notarized.
*If additional room is needed, contractors may make copies of this form.
The verification form must include a list of jobs with the specific number of hours of work performed, as well as inspection and licensing information. Instructions for self-employed individuals are also included in the application packet.
The Board does not accept any of the following items as proof of work experience:
- Union Records or Letters
- Social Security Records
- Verification Forms from Other States
- Employer Letters
If the contractor is using education to satisfy the experience requirements, they must provide a copy of their official, sealed transcripts for the school they attended. Please note, in order to count toward the requirement, the school must be approved by the Board.
All Journeyman applicants must provide a copy of their completion certificate from the apprenticeship training program they attended.
For questions and information about the work experiences and education/ training that counts toward the requirement, contact the Board at:
Visit: Qualifications for Licensure
Preparing and Submitting an Application
For a copy of the license application, please visit:
For a copy of the apprenticeship registration application, please visit:
It is important that contractors carefully read and follow all instructions included in the application packet. Please note that the Board returns all incomplete applications. If an application is returned as incomplete, the contractor will be required to re-submit the application, and in some cases, re-pay the application fee.
Be sure to sign and date the application and include all required documents, including employment verification and proof of education.
All Master Electrician and Class B Electrician applicants must provide proof of general liability insurance in the following amounts:
- Master Electricians- $500,000
- Class B Electricians- $250,000
These license classes are also required to make a deposit to the Board’s undertaking fund, which is designed to be used for the completion of any projects abandoned by the contractor. For more information about deposits and insurance, please visit:
All contractors are also required to submit a non-refundable application fee:
- Master Electricians- $50
- Journeyman Electricians- $25
- Class B Electricians- $40
*Make fees payable to, “NDSEB.”
Please note that there is an additional licensing fee which is due at the time the contractor passes the examination. For more information about license fee amounts, call the Board at:
Mail the completed application along with all the required documents and fees to:
North Dakota State Electrical Board
P.O. Box 7335
Bismarck, ND 58507-7335
Applications are also accepted in-person at the Board’s physical address:
1929 N. Washington Street, Suite A-1
Bismarck, ND 58507
Direct all questions about the application and application process to the Board by calling:
It takes approximately 30 days for the Board to process license applications. At the time the Board approves the contractor’s application, they will issue an invitation to take the exam. This invitation will include a list of available exam dates.
It is the contractor’s responsibility to contact the Board and let them know the exam date they have chosen. Contractors are required to take the exam within the allotted time-frame, otherwise they will be required to re-submit an application and pay the fee.
The licensing exam is a 2-part test, covering both technical and practical aspects of electrical installations. The Board tests contractors to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed to perform electrical work, and to protect the public by ensuring that all work performed is up to safety codes and standards.
The minimum passing score for the exam is 70%.
For more information about the exam or the examination process, please contact the Board at:
How Long is a North Dakota Electrical Contractor License Valid?
All electrical license classifications and categories are good for a period of one year in the State of North Dakota. Licenses are renewed each year.
The Board offers online renewal for licensees. When preparing to renew a license online, the following is needed:
- License Number
- Last 4 digits of SSN
- Valid credit card (Visa or Mastercard accepted)
Each year upon renewal, contractors are required to attend 8 hours of Board-approved continuing education courses. Of the required 8 hours, 4 hours must be related to the most current National Electric Code. The remaining hours must be in subjects related to the electrical industry.
*Any credits received for continuing education are valid for up to 2 license renewal periods.
For more information about continuing education, please visit:
For more information about the license renewal process and renewal fees, please contact the Board at:
Visit: License Renewal
Table of Fees
|Fee||What is it For?||When is it Due?|
|$50||Application Fee for a Master Electrician License category||Upon submitting the license application|
|$25||Application Fee for a Journeyman Electrician License||Upon submitting the license application|
|$40||Application Fee for a Class B Electrician License||Upon submitting the license application.|
*For more information about additional fees, including licensing fees, examination fees and renewal fees, please contact the North Dakota State Electrical Board by calling:
The State of North Dakota does not have reciprocal licensing agreements with other states for General Contractors. Any out-of-state contractor who wishes to work on construction projects of $2,000 or more in North Dakota must register their business and obtain a license from the North Dakota Secretary of State.
As part of the licensing process, contractors are required to:
- Register their trade name/ business entity with the ND Secretary of State Business Division
- Obtain the proper forms of insurance and the proper tax permits
- Complete and submit a license application to the Secretary of State, along with all the required documents and fees
- Meet all the requirements for license renewal
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The State of North Dakota requires all individuals and businesses engaging in construction work of $2,000 or more, including labor and materials, to obtain a license from the North Dakota Secretary of State. General contractors include anyone engaging in the business of building, altering, repairing, dismantling or demoing a building or structure.
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