How to Get an Electrician’s License in California

Now is a great time to consider pursuing a career path to become a certified and licensed electrician. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities for employment as an electrician are projected to grow 8% through 2029. That increased demand is due to projected growth in construction and infrastructure, as well as a rising need to utilize alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. But you may be wondering how to get an electrician’s license in California.

Becoming an electrician can really pay off for you and your family. In fact, the BLS reported that, as of May 2020, the annual mean wage for electricians in the state of California was $75,900.

To work as an electrician in California, you must be certified and licensed. Specifically, you’ll need to get the C-10 Electrical Contractor license, issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors State License Board, before you can legally bid on any project worth $500 or more. 

According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), if you want to become an electrician, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Register as an electrician trainee. To do this, you’ll need to submit an application, a check for $25, and proof that you are enrolled in an approved school, such as Summit College which offers a DIR-approved Electrician Program. This leading-edge program can prepare you for real-world situations and teach you about electrical theory, national electrical code applications, AC & DC machines and motors, green electricity, commercial installation, electrical circuits and more.

  2. You will need to complete at least 720 hours of electrician instruction from an approved trade school/apprenticeship program that combines hands-on training with classroom instruction.

  3. You will also need to gain 8,000 hours (approx. 4 years) of on-the-job experience (which also can be part of an apprenticeship). This experience must be as a journeyman, or as a foreman, supervising employee, contractor, or owner-builder.

Please note, there are no shortcuts here. Working as an unlicensed electrician is punishable by law and not worth the risk. The path to becoming an electrician requires hard work, but it will pay off.

Once you’ve completed these steps on how to get an electrician’s license in California, you’ll be eligible to take the state’s certification exams (which include a law and business exam and an electrical contractor exam). When you pass these tests, you will receive your electrician contractor’s license and be ready to embark on an exciting new career.

If you’re ready to start powering the world, you can begin your rewarding journey with a single step. Check out Summit College’s Electrician Program, apply online, or schedule a tour of one of our three campuses. Want to learn more? Contact us!