Electrical Contractors in the State of New York are not regulated at the state-level. Licensing and permitting are handled at the local-level by the city, county or municipality in which the contractor chooses to conduct business.
Before beginning work on an electrical project in New York State, it is important that contractors check with the local jurisdiction, planning or building department to determine what is required.
Below is a brief explanation of the licensing and permitting process for some of the larger cities in the State of New York.
New York, NY
Electrical Contractors in New York City are required to obtain a license from the Department of Buildings. The Department offers the following license classifications to Electrical Contractors:
- Master Electrician License- allows contractors to work as an independent contractor on electrical projects anywhere within the city
- Special Electrician License- allows contractors to work on specific buildings, lots and places within the city
In order to qualify for a license, contractors must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be of good moral character
- Must have a minimum of 7.5 years work experience, or 10,500 hours, within the past 10 years performing electrical work under the direct supervision of a licensed electrician such as:
- Working with wiring and appliances
- Must pass a written exam and a practical exam. The cost to take the written exam is $525. The cost to take the practical exam is $350.
- All contractors must undergo a background check/ investigation
- All contractors must hold general liability insurance in the minimum amount of $1 million per occurrence. If the contractor plans to employ workers, they must also carry workers compensation insurance.
For more information about obtaining an Electrical Contractor license in New York City, including further information about the work experience requirement, written and practical examinations, background check and insurance, please visit the links below:
Contact the Department of Buildings at:
The Department of Building Executive Office is located at:
208 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10007
In order to conduct business within the city limits of Buffalo, NY, various business types are required to obtain a business license from the city’s Office of Licenses.
The licensing of new businesses helps to protect the interests and well-being of the public in the City of Buffalo. Part of the licensing process involves inspections and reviews.
To determine if an Electrical Contractor is required to obtain a business license from the City of Buffalo, contact the Office of Licenses at:
Website: City of Buffalo- Licenses
Visit the Office of Licenses at:
301 City Hall
65 Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202
The City of Rochester, NY requires all Electrical Contractors to pass an examination and obtain a license from the city’s Electrical Examining Board. There are two different license classifications offered to Electrical Contractors:
- Single Phase Electrical License
- Master Three Phase Electrical License
In order to qualify to take the examination, both license classes are required to prove that they have the following work experiences in the field of electrical contracting:
- Single Phase Electrical Applicants- must have 2 years, or 3,000 hours of work experience within the past 5 years
- Master Electrical Applicants- must have 4 years, or 6,000 hours of work experience within the past 10 years
Acceptable work experiences include work as an:
- Electrical Apprentice
- Electrical Contractor that installs or repairs electrical wiring and equipment
*In some cases, education and training may count toward a portion of the work experience requirement.
All applicants must pass a 2-part examination with:
- Thomson Prometric Inc- $90 fee
- Electrical Exam with City of Rochester- $60 fee, based on National Electric Code
Contractors are required to submit an exam application, along with proof of their work experiences, and pay the appropriate licensing fee.
For questions and further information about the licensing process for Electrical Contractors in the City of Rochester, NY, please call:
Permit Office, Room 121B City Hall
30 Church Street
Rochester, NY 14614
Residential code in the City of Yonkers, NY states that all Electrical Contractors must obtain the proper permits for their projects. Permits are issued by the Department of Housing and Building’s Electrical Division.
Contractors must complete and submit an application for all proposed electrical work.
The application asks that contractors provide the following:
- Basic Information
- Estimated Cost of the Project
- Description of all Work the Contractor Intends to Performed
For more information about obtaining a permit for electrical work in the City of Yonkers, NY, please call or visit the Electrical Division at:
87 Nepperhan Avenue, 5th Floor
Yonkers, NY 10701
Website: Yonkers – Forms and Permits
Electrical Contractors in the City of Syracuse, NY are required to apply for a license from the city’s Board of Electrical Examiners. The Board offers the following license classifications to Electrical Contractors:
- Master Electrician License
- Limited Electrician License
- Special Electrician- Heating License
- Special Low Voltage/ Communication License
As part of the licensing process, all contractors are required to take and pass an examination. To qualify to take the exam, contractors must prove a number of years of work experience:
- Master Electrician- must have 10 years of experience in the electrical industry. 5 of those years must be working on the installation and maintenance of electrical systems, with 3 of the 5 years spent working on new construction, commercial and industrial installations.
- Limited Electricians- must have 5 years of experience in the electrical industry. 3 of those years must be spent working on the installation and maintenance of electrical systems with 1 year working on new residential construction.
- Special Electrician- Heaters- must have 3 years of experience installing residential heating equipment. 1 of those years must be spent working directly on the maintenance and installation of residential heating equipment.
- Special Low Voltage/ Communication- must prove that they have the qualifications and expertise to perform this type of work
The licensing fee for each classification is as follows:
- Master Electrician- $200
- Limited Electrician- $100
- Special Electricians- $75
For additional information about licensing and the examination process, contact the Board at:
Electrical Contractors in the City of Albany, NY are required to obtain a license and pass an examination through the Division of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance’s Electrical Examining Board.
All contractors must prove that they have the knowledge and technical ability to hold a license and perform electrical work.
In order to qualify, contractors must submit notarized documents proving 7 years of practical work experience under the supervision of a licensed electrician. Equivalent training or education may also count toward the work experience requirement.
The cost to obtain a license is $150.
For more information about the licensing and examination process for Electrical Contractors in the City of Albany, NY, please call or visit the Division at:
Division of Building and Regulatory Compliance
City of Albany
24 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12207
Website: City of Albany- Electrical Examining