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Electrical Contractor Licensing in South Dakota

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In order to contract or engage in work on electrical projects in the State of South Dakota, contractors are required to hold a license.  Licenses are issued by the South Dakota Electrical Commission, which is part of the SD Department of Labor and Regulation.

As part of the licensing process, contractors are required to meet the Commission’s requirements for work experience.  All contractors are required to start at the apprentice level and work their way up.  Contractors are also required to take and pass an examination.

License Classifications for Electrical Contractors in South Dakota

The South Dakota Electrical Commission offers the following license classifications to Electrical Contractors:

  • Electrical Contractor License- for contractors with the necessary skills and experience to plan, lay-out, and supervise the installation, wiring and repair of electrical apparatuses and equipment.
  • Class B Electrician License- for contractors with the necessary skills and experience to perform wiring, installations and repairs of electrical apparatuses and equipment.
  • Maintenance Electrician License- allows the contractor to perform electrical maintenance work for a firm, public entity, partnership, limited liability company or corporation.
  • Journeyman Electrician License- for contractors with at least 4 years of apprenticeship experience, allowing the individual to have the skills and knowledge to wire, repair and install electrical wiring apparatuses and equipment under the direct supervision of an Electrical Contractor.
  • Apprentice Electrician Registration- allows contractors to learn the electrical trade while working under the employment and supervision of an Electrical Contractor, Journeyman or Class B Electrician.
*All contractors are required to start their electrical career at the apprenticeship-level and work their way up the journeyman-level before they may become licensed in another classification.  A minimum of 4 years at the apprenticeship-level is required, with an additional 2 years at the journeyman-level under the supervision of an electrical contractor. 

For more information about the license classifications offered by the Commission, and the scope of work they are allowed to perform, please contact the Commission at:

605-733-3573 or toll free at: 800-233-7765

OR

Visit: Electricians and Electrical Contractors

Process to Obtain an Electrical Contractor License in South Dakota

  1. Contractors are required to fulfill the Commission’s requirements for work experience based on their chosen license classification.
  2. Certain license classifications are required to post a bond with the Commission and obtain public liability insurance.
  3. Contractors are required to complete and submit an application to the Commission along with the required documents and fees.
  4. Contractors must take and pass and exam based on their chosen license classification.
  5. Contractors are required to attend 16 hours of continuing education courses every 2 years upon renewal.

Work Experience Requirement

In order to be eligible to take the examination, all contractors are required to meet the Commission’s requirements for work experience, based on their chosen license classification:

  • Electrical Contractors- must have at least 2 years of work experience (4,000 hours) as a Journeyman Electrician, under the direct supervision of an Electrical Contractor. At least one of these years must be spent performing commercial wiring.  If the contractor holds a Class B Electrician license and is applying for an Electrical Contractor license, they must prove at least 1 additional year performing commercial wiring under the employment and supervision of an Electrical Contractor.
  • Class B Electrician- must have at least 2 years of work experience (4,000 hours) as a Journeyman Electrician under the direct supervision of a Class B Electrician or Electrical Contractor. At least one of these years must be spent performing residential/farmstead wiring.
  • Journeyman Electrician- must have at least 4 years of electrical training (8,000 hours) as an Apprentice, under the employment and supervision of a licensed Electrical Contractor or Class B Electrician.
*Apprentice Electricians and Maintenance Electricians do not have to meet any prior work experience requirements. 

The types of work experiences that count toward the requirement include:

  • Residential/Farmstead Wiring
  • Commercial/Industrial Wiring
  • Electrical Schooling (a maximum for 2,000 hours)
  • Apprenticeship Classes
*If the contractor is claiming schooling or apprenticeship classes, they must provide the name of the school/organization.  If the contractor is claiming another kind of work experience, they must detail the type of experience. 

The person verifying the contractor’s work experience must complete the Verification Form. For a copy of this form, please visit:

Verification Request Form

Contractors must list all current and previous employers for which they are claiming experience.  They must also provide the complete address of all employers listed.  If the address is not complete, the application will be delayed, and possibly rejected.

For more information about the work experience requirement, please contact the Commission:

605-733-3573 or toll free at: 800-233-7765

Preparing and Submitting an Application

For a copy of the license application, please visit the link below:

License Applications & Other Forms

Choose the application for the appropriate license classification.  The above link also provides a link to the online version of the application.  Only Class B Electricians and Electrical Contractors have the option of completing the application online.

All applications must be printed in ink or typewritten.  Be sure to read and follow all instructions.  Answer all questions and leave nothing blank.  If a question does not apply, simply write, “None.”  Please note that the Commission returns all applications with missing and incomplete information.

Be sure to sign and date the application.

All Class B Electrician and Electrical Contractor applicants are required to post a surety bond with the Commission and obtain public liability insurance.

Surety bonds must be in the amount of $10,000.  For a copy of the bond form, please visit the link below.  All bond forms must be signed and notarized:

Bond Application

Public liability insurance must be no less than $100,000 per occurrence with a $300,000 aggregate limit for bodily injury, as well as property damage insurance with limits no less than $25,000.  The Commission will also accept a combined single limit policy in the amount of $300,000.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $40 for all Electrical Contractors, Class B Electricians and Journeyman.  These license classes are also required to pay a licensing fee of:

  • Electrical Contractors- $100
  • Class B Electricians- $40
  • Journeyman Electricians- $40

The cost to apply for Apprenticeship registration is $20.  The cost to apply for a Maintenance Electrician license is $40.

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

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

South Dakota State Electrical Commission
308 S. Pierre
Pierre, SD 57501-5070

It takes the Commission approximately 30 days to process applications.  Once the application is approved, the Commission will send information about taking the exam.

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

605-733-3573 or toll free at: 800-233-7765

The Examination

Contractors must take and pass an exam in order to receive their license.

In order to take the exam, all contractors must get a written approval from the Commission.  Written approval is given at the time the Commission approves the contractor’s application.

Upon approval, contractors have 90 days in which to make arrangements to take the exam.

The cost to take the examination is no more than $150, based on the laws and regulations for Electricians and Electrical Contractors in South Dakota.

For more information about the exam or the examination process, contact Diana at the Commission office:

800-233-7765

OR

Visit: Electrician’s Examination

How Long is a South Dakota Electrical Contractor License Valid?

All electrical licenses and registrations are good for a period of 2 years in the State of South Dakota.  Licenses expire on June 30th of the even-numbered year.

Renewal fees are the same as the licensing fee for each classification.

In order to renew a license or registration, all contractors are required to complete 16 hours of approved continuing education courses.  Of these hours, 8 must be code-related.  The Commission requires that contractors submit completion certificates as proof that they have completed the continuing education requirement.

For a list of pre-approved continuing education providers, course types, dates and locations, please visit:

SD Electrical Commission- Continuing Education

Additionally all Electrical Contractors and Class B Electricians are required to provide up-to-date insurance information and deposit $50 with the Commission to keep their bond current during each renewal period.

Maintenance Electricians must have a minimum of 1 requested inspection, in the form of an approved third party inspection or waiver in order to renew.

For more information about license or registration renewal, contact the Commission at:

605-733-3573 or toll free at: 800-233-7765

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$40 Application Fee for all Electrical Contractors, Class B Electricians and Journeyman Upon submitting the license application
$100 License and Renewal Fee for Electrical Contractors Upon submitting the license application and every 2 years upon renewal
$40 License and Renewal Fee for all Class B Electricians, Journeyman and Maintenance Electricians Upon submitting the license application and every 2 years upon renewal
$20 License and Renewal Fee for Apprentice Electricians Upon submitting the license application and every 2 years upon renewal
$150 Examination Fee Upon making arrangements to take the exam

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