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Electrical Contractor Licensing in Montana

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In order to perform electrical work in the State of Montana, contractors are required to hold a license.  It is illegal to engage in electrical work in Montana without a license or temporary work permit.  Licenses are issued by the Montana State Electrical Board, which is part of the Montana Department of Labor & Industry.

As part of the licensing process, contractors are required to meet the Board’s requirements for insurance, employing a responsible party, education or work experience, and in some cases, pass a qualifying exam.

License Classifications for Electrical Contractors in Montana

The Montana State Electrical Board offers the following license classifications to Electrical Contractors:

  • Residential Electrician License- allows contractors to perform electrical work in a residential setting, with structures of 5 living units or less
  • Journeyman Electrician License- allows contractors to perform the work of a journeyman, including wiring, repairing and installing electrical apparatuses and equipment used for light, heat and power. Also allows contractors to oversee the work of a Limited Electrical Contractor
  • Master Electrician License- allows contractors to wire, repair and install electrical apparatuses used for light, heat and power. Also allows contractors to oversee the work of an Unlimited Electrical Contractor
  • Limited Electrical Contractor License- limits contractors to performing electrical work in a residential setting, with structures of 5 living units or less. Limited Electrical Contractors must employ a full-time Journeyman Electrician to oversee all their business’ work
  • Unlimited Electrical Contractor License- allows contractors to perform electrical work in a residential, commercial, industrial or institutional setting. Unlimited Electrical Contractors must employ a full-time Master Electrician to oversee all their business’ work

For more information about the license classifications offered by the Board, please call:

406-841-2202

OR

Visit: Montana State Electrical Board

Process to Obtain an Electrical Contractor License in Montana

  1. Contractors must complete and submit an application to the Board along with the required documents and fees
  2. Those applying for a Residential, Journeyman or Master Electrician license are required to take and pass an exam based on the most current National Electric Code
  3. Those applying for a Limited or Unlimited Electrical Contractor license are required to prove that they meet the Board’s requirement for unemployment and worker’s compensation insurance; and they must employ a full-time Journeyman or Master Electrician to oversee all their business’ work
  4. All licensed Residential, Journeyman and Master Electricians are required to attend continuing education courses every 2 years upon renewal

Education and Work Experience Requirement

In order to qualify to take the exam, all Residential, Journeyman and Master Electrician applicants must prove that they meet the Board’s requirement for education or work experience.  Contractors must have completed the required education/training or have practical experience in the field.

If the contractor is using education to gain approval to take the exam, they must meet the following requirements, based on their chosen classification:

  • Residential and Journeyman Electrician Applicants- must prove that they have completed an approved apprenticeship program in the electrical trade or they must have completed a training program conducted by a valid union or trade association.
  • Master Electrician Applicants- must prove that they are a graduate of an accredited electrical engineering program from an approved college or university, in addition to having 2,000 hours of practical experience.

If the contractor is using work experience to gain approval to take the exam, they must meet the following requirements, based on their chosen classification:

  • Residential Electrician Applicants- must meet one of the following:
    1. Have a third party verify at least 4,000 hours of practical electrical experience
    2. Provide written certification of at least 20,000 hours of electrical maintenance work, of which 8,000 hours must be practical electrical experience
  • Journeyman Electrician Applicants- must meet one of the following:
    1. Have a third party verify at least 8,000 hours of practical electrical experience
    2. Provide written certification of at least 20,000 hours of electrical maintenance work, of which 8,000 hours must be practical electrical experience
  • Master Electrician Applicants- must have a third party verify at least 8,000 hours of Journeyman-level experience, of which no less than 20% and no more than 50% is performed in a residential setting.

Limited and Unlimited Electrical Contractor applicants do not have a requirement for education or work experience; but they must prove that they are in compliance with the state’s workers compensation and unemployment insurance laws.   They must also employ full-time Journeyman or Master Electrician to take responsibility for their work.

For more information about the education and work experience requirements, contact the Board at:

406-841-2202

OR

Email: dlibsdele@mt.gov

Preparing and Submitting an Application

For a copy of the license application, click the link below that corresponds to the contractor’s chosen license classification:

The Board also offers the option of submitting an application using their online system.  For more information, please visit:

Professional Licensing Online

Be sure to read and follow all instructions in the application packet.  Please note that the Board will return all applications with incomplete or illegible information.

Contractors applying for a Residential, Journeyman or Master Electrician license must submit proof of their education or work experience in order to gain approval to take the exam.  This includes completion certificates and verification from current/former employers.

Those applying for a Limited or Unlimited Electrical Contractor license are not required to take an exam.  However, they must provide proof that they hold workers compensation and unemployment insurance, or they must provide proof that they are exempt, in order to receive a license.

For more information about Workers Compensation Insurance, please call:
406-444-6532

For more information about Unemployment Insurance, please call:
406-444-3834

For more information about Independent Contractor Exemption, please call:
406-444-9029

Some Limited and Unlimited contracting businesses may also be required to register with the Montana Secretary of State.  For more information, please call:
406-444-3665

OR

Visit: www.sos.mt.gov

Limited and Unlimited Contractors are also required to provide proof that they employ:

  • Limited Electrical Contractors- must employ a full-time, licensed Journeyman Electrician
  • Unlimited Electrical Contractors- must employ a full-time, licensed Master Electrician

All applicants are required to submit the appropriate application fee:

  • Residential, Journeyman and Master Electrician application fee- $240
  • Limited and Unlimited Electrical Contractor application fee- $300

The Board accepts payments in the form of check or money order, made payable to, “State Electrical Board.”

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

State Electrical Board
P.O. Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513

The Board also accepts applications in-person, at their physical address:

301 South Park, 4th Floor
Helena, MT 59620

It takes the Board approximately 30 days to process license applications.  Be aware that the Board may ask for additional information, or they may ask for an in-person interview in some cases.

Upon approving the application, they Board will issue an admission letter to take the examination, or they will issue the contractor’s license.

*The Board offers the option of temporary work permits for anyone waiting to take the exam, at the cost of $50.  For more information, contact the Board. 

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

406-841-2202

OR

Email: dlibsdele@mt.gov

The Examination Process

The following license classifications are required to pass an exam in order to receive their license:

  • Residential Electricians
  • Journeyman Electricians
  • Master Electricians

The computer-based examination covers information related to the most current version of the National Electric Code.

The Board holds a contract with PSI Services to administer the exam.  Once the Board approves the contractor’s application, they will issue an admission letter to take the exam.  It is then the contractor’s responsibility to contact PSI to schedule their test.

*Be sure to keep the admission letter, as it will be needed on the day of the exam, when checking into the testing center. 

PSI’s Candidate Information Bulletin contains all the information needed to schedule and prepare for the exam, including exam content outlines.

For a copy of the bulletin, please visit:

PSI Candidate Information Bulletin

Contractors may schedule their exam one of the following ways:

  1. Call PSI at: 800-733-9267
  2. Online: psiexams.com

Contractors will be required to pay the examination fee at the time that they schedule their test.  The cost to take the exam is:

  • Master Electricians- $80
  • Journeyman and Residential Electricians- $70

On the day of the exam, be sure to arrive early to allow time for check-in.  Contractors are required to bring the following items to verify their identity:

  • Government-issued photo ID- such as a driver’s license, state ID, military ID or passport
  • Exam admission letter- from the Board

Contractors are required to pass the exam with a score of 75% or higher.

Contractors are allowed 3 attempts to pass the exam.  After the first failed attempt, contractors do not have to wait to schedule a re-take.  After the second failed attempt, contractors are required to wait 6 months and attend an 8-hour Board approved electrical code seminar, before they may schedule a re-take.  If the contractor fails the exam a third time, they must wait 1 year and attend two 8-hour Board-approved electrical code seminars before they may submit a new application and re-apply to take the exam.

Upon passing the exam, the Board will issue the contractor’s license.

For more information about the examination or the examination process, contact PSI Services at:

800-733-9267

How Long is a Montana Electrical Contractor License Valid?

All electrical license classifications are good for a period of two years in the State of Montana.  Contractors are required to renew their license every two years, on the even numbered year, between May 15th and July 15th.

The Board offers online license renewal.  For more information, please visit:

Online License Renewal

The cost to renew a license is:

  • Residential, Journeyman and Master Electricians- $200
  • Limited and Unlimited Electrical Contractors- $300

Upon renewal, all Residential, Journeyman and Master Electrician licensees are required to attend 16 hours of Board-approved continuing education courses, 8 hours of which must be related to code updates.

Limited and Unlimited Electrical Contractors are not required to attend continuing education courses.

For more information about renewing a license or continuing education, contact the Board at:

406-841-2202

OR

Email: dlibsdele@mt.gov

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$240 Application fee for all Residential, Journeyman and Master Electricians Upon submitting the application
$300 Application fee for all Limited and Unlimited Electrical Contractors Upon submitting the application
$50 Temporary work permit fee for anyone waiting to take the exam Upon submitting the application
$80 Cost to take the Master Electrician Exam Upon scheduling the exam
$70 Cost to take the Residential or Journeyman Exam Upon scheduling the exam
$200 Renewal Fee for a Residential, Journeyman or Master Electrician License Every 2 years upon renewal
$300 Renewal Fee for a Limited or Unlimited Electrical Contractor License Every 2 years upon renewal

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