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Electrical Contractor Licensing in Arkansas

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Electrical Contractors in the State of Arkansas are required to hold a license if they intend to perform, bid or advertise electrical work within the state.  Licenses are issued by the Arkansas Department of Labor’s Board of Electrical Examiners.

The Board creates the laws and sets the standards for all electrical work performed within the state.  As part of the licensing process, contractors are required to prove that they meet the Board’s requirements for education/training and work experience, in addition to passing a qualifying exam.

*It is important that contractors check the local laws of the city or town in which they choose to work.  Some cities and towns have local licensing laws, as well as permitting and inspections. 

License Classifications for Electrical Contractors in Arkansas

The Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners offers the following license classifications to Electrical Contractors:

  • Master Electrician License- allows contractors to oversee and supervise electrical projects including the layout, planning, installation, extension and maintenance of electrical conductors and equipment.
  • Journeyman Electrician License- allows contractors to work on electrical projects according to the plans and specifications provided, including the installation, extension and maintenance of electrical conductors and equipment.
  • Residential Master Electrician License- allows contractors to perform the same scope of work as a Master Electrician; in a residential setting, including one and two-family dwellings.
  • Residential Journeyman Electrician License- allows contractors to perform the same scope of work as a Journeyman Electrician; in a residential setting, including one and two-family dwellings.
  • Electrical Contractor License- issued to persons representing a business, such as a firm, partnership or corporation that wishes to engage in the business of electrical contracting. All businesses are required to employ someone who holds a Master-level Electrician License to supervise and oversee their projects.
  • Air Conditioning Electrician License- allows contractors to work specifically with the installation, maintenance and extension of electrical conductors and equipment for heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration.
  • Industrial Maintenance Electrician License- allows contractors to work on the installation, extension and maintenance of electrical conductors and equipment for electrical power and control systems within industrial manufacturing facilities.
  • Specialist Sign Electrician License- allows contractors to install and maintain electrically operated and illuminated signs, in addition to making connections to approved outlets for signs.
*The Board is also responsible for registering anyone who wishes to gain electrical experience by working as an Electrical Apprentice.  The cost to register as an Electrical Apprentice is $10 per year.  For more information, please contact the Board.    

For more information about the license classifications offered by the Board, and the scope of work they are allowed to perform, please visit the Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners Laws.

OR

Call the Board at 501-682-4549

Process to Obtain an Electrical Contractor License in Arkansas

  1. Contractors must decide the license classification that they want to obtain
  2. Contractors must meet the requirements for their chosen license classification, including work experience, education and/or training
  3. Contractors must complete and submit an application to the Board, along with all the required documents and fees, in order to gain approval to take the examination
  4. Contractors must take and pass the examination administered by the Arkansas Board for Electrical Examiners
  5. Contractors must pay a license issuance fee in order to receive their license, once they have passed the exam
  6. Contractors are required to attend continuing education courses every year upon renewal in order to stay up-to-date on National Electric Code

Work Experience, Education and Training Requirement

In order to gain approval to take the exam, contractors must meet the Board’s requirements for work experience, education and training, based on their chosen license classification:

  • Master Electrician License- must hold a degree in Electrical Engineering in addition to having at least 2 years of construction-related work experience OR they must have 6 years of work experience in the construction industry, working in both a commercial and residential setting, 2 years of which they must hold a Journeyman Electrician license.
  • Journeyman Electrician License- must prove that they have completed a 4-year electrical apprenticeship program that is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau for Apprenticeship and Training OR they must have 8 years (16,000 hours) of work experience or training related to electrical construction.
  • Residential Master Electrician License- must have at least 3 years of work experience wiring one and two-family dwellings. One of the required years must be as a licensed Residential Journeyman Electrician.
  • Residential Journeyman Electrician- must have at least 2 years of work experience wiring one and two-family dwellings OR a combination of 2 years work experience with formal apprenticeship training.
  • Electrical Contractor License- must prove that they hold or employ someone who holds a Master-level Electrician license. This person is responsible for overseeing and supervising all of the business’ projects.
  • Air Conditioning Electrician License- must have at least 2 years of work experience wiring HVACR equipment OR a combination of education/training and work experience
  • Industrial Maintenance Electrician License- must have at least 4 years of work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed Master Electrician, Journeyman Electrician or Industrial Maintenance Electrician.
  • Specialist Sign Electrician License- must have 2 years of experience working for an electrical sign company or a licensed electrician performing sign-related electrical work.
*The Board also accepts a combination of formal training/education and work experience for all license classifications.  Contact the Board for more information. 

For more information about the work experience and education/training requirements for each license classification, please visit the Board’s administrative regulations.

OR

Call the Board at: 501-682-4549

Preparing and Submitting an Application

Download a copy of the license application from the Board’s Website.

Be sure to read all instructions, follow all directions and fill the application out completely before submitting.

All contractors are required to fill out the work experience (Part I) and trade-related education (Part II) portions of the application.

In order to prove work experience and education/training, contractors are required to submit the following, as needed:

  • Verification of employment on an original notarized letter from a current/previous employer that contains the details of the contractor’s employment dates and the work they performed OR the Affidavit of Employment Experience form, located on page 5 of the application packet.
  • Copies of transcripts, degrees and certificates related to formal education
  • List of any formal apprenticeship training programs completed, along with the dates the contractor was enrolled, and copies of any certificates of completion
  • If the contractors has had any experience as a supervisor or owner of an electrical contracting business, they must submit proof of said experience in the form of:
    • Notarized letter describing the experience
    • Copy of any ads or promotional materials related to the business
    • List of jobs the business contracted or the individual supervised
    • Copies of any city/state business licenses issued to the individual/business
    • Other information the proves the length of time the business has been active

The Board reserves the right to contact the applicant’s current/previous employer to verify any information provided on the application.

Be sure that all information provided on the application is truthful, accurate and complete.  If additional room is needed to prove work experience or education, attach sheets of paper with further proof/explanation.

The Board determines the applicant’s eligibility to take the examination based on the information provided on the application.

Along with the application, be sure to submit the examination fee:

  • $50 exam fee- Industrial Maintenance Electrician applicants
  • $100 exam fee – for all other license classifications

Fees are non-refundable.

*All contractors are also required to pay a license issuance fee upon passing the exam. 

Applications are due at least 5 business days before the next scheduled Board meeting.

Submit the completed application, along with all the required documents and fees to:

Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners
10421 West Markham
Little Rock, AR 72205-2190

Once the Board receives and accepts the contractor’s application, they will post a list of applicants who are eligible to take the exam.

For more information about the application or the application process, contact the Board at:

501-682-4549

OR

Visit the Board’s website

The Examination Process

Once the contractor’s application is accepted and they are determined eligible, they must pass a qualifying examination administered by the Board of Electrical Examiners.

Examinations are based on the contractor’s chosen license classification.

For more information about the exam or the examination process, contact the Board at:

501-682-4549

If the contractor does not pass the exam on their first attempt, they must re-pay the examination fee and re-take the test on the next scheduled exam date.

*In some cases, the Board may require the contractor to complete a 2-year apprenticeship program before they are approved to re-take the exam, if they fail an exam and have not yet completed an apprenticeship training program. 

Exam scores are good for a period of 1 year after the contractor passes the test.  Upon passing, all contractors are required to pay a license issuance fee of:

  • $50- Master Electricians
  • $100- Electrical Contractors
  • $25- all other license classifications

After passing the exam and paying the license issuance fee, contractors will receive their license.

All Electrical Contractors are required to employ someone who holds a Master Electrician License to oversee and supervise the business’ projects.  The license number of the Master Electrician in charge must be posted at all job sites.

How Long is an Arkansas Electrical Contractor License Valid?

All electrical license classifications are good for a period of one year in the State of Arkansas.  Expiration dates are printed on the contractor’s license.

*All licenses must be renewed within 6 months of the expiration date; otherwise the contractor is subject to penalties. 

Licenses expire on the last day of the month in which they were originally issued.

Afterward contractors have the option of renewing their license on a 1, 2 or 3-year cycle.

The cost to renew a license is:

  • $50 per year- Master Electricians
  • $100 per year- Electrical Contractors
  • $25 per year- all other license classifications

Each year, as National Electric Code is updated (Jan 1st of each year), some contractors are required to attend continuing education courses in order to stay up-to-date with their profession.

All Master Electrician and Journeyman Electrician license classifications are required to attend 8 hours of continuing education courses, based on National Electric Code.

In order to count toward the requirement, continuing education classroom instruction must be approved by the Board.

View a list of approved continuing education courses.

For more information about license renewal and the renewal process, please contact the Board at:

501-682-4549

OR

Visit the Board’s Online Renewal web page

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$50 Examination Fee for all Industrial Maintenance Electrician applicants Upon submitting the license application
$100 Examination Fee for all other License Classifications Upon submitting the license application
$50 License Issuance Fee for Master Electricians Upon passing the exam
$100 License Issuance Fee for all Electrical Contractors Upon passing the exam
$25 License Issuance Fee for all Other License Classifications Upon passing the exam
$50 License Renewal Fee for Master Electricians Every year upon renewal
$100 License Renewal Fee for all Electrical Contractors Every year upon renewal
$25 License Renewal Fee for all Other License Classification Every year upon renewal
$10 Cost to register with the Board as an Electrical Apprentice Every year upon registration.

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