August 4, 2022
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Understanding the New Electrical Licensing Law
Senate Bill 604/House Bill 1285 was written to clarify and complete the revisions to the Maryland Electricians Act from the 2021 Legislative Session. Under the bill, the State Board of Electricians must credit successful completion of an apprenticeship program approved by the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Council or the federal Office of Apprenticeship that consists of at least 576 classroom hours and 8,000 hours of work experience toward the experience required for licensure as a master electrician or journeyperson electrician. The bill also required the Board to waive the experience and examination requirement if the applicant provides written proof of four years of work experience providing electrical services under the control and direction of a master electrician and submits the application by the required deadline or otherwise provides proof of completion of the above apprenticeship programs.
Finally, the bill also altered general liability and property insurance requirements for licensees employed by another licensee who maintains the required coverage. The bill took effect on July 1, 2022.
As a result of legislation passed by the 2021 and 2022 Maryland General Assembly:
- All individuals working in the electrical trade must be licensed, whether it is a Master, Journeyperson or Apprentice.
- Those without a license can be cited.
(Note: this does not require individuals to be in a registered apprenticeship program, BUT all individuals must have a state-issued license)
- Established that local jurisdictions could no longer issue a license for either of these classifications; however, they could still require a “registration” in their jurisdiction and charge a fee for said registration.
What’s THE most important information electrical contractors and electricians need to understand?
- Have your electricians go online and apply for the journeyperson electrician license BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 2022 (Note: Application for the exam exemption)
- If they apply before the 12/31/22 deadline, they can get their license without having to take the exam.
- Those individuals who had a Journeyman license from one of those jurisdictions that had one prior to the new law being passed and were not able to renew by the local county should input that expired license number and the date 1/1/2023.
- For those individuals who work in the electrical trade but whose experience does not rise to the level of journeyperson, they need to secure an Apprentice license (Electrical Apprentice License)
Path to get a new state journeyperson license by DECEMBER 31, 2022, WITHOUT having to take an exam:
- Those who can provide documentation of four (4) years’ experience working under a Master. There is a template on the PSI site for the letter the Master is to provide for the individual (Original Journey License Reciprocal/Waiver of Examination Application)
- Provide written proof that the applicant has successfully completed an electrician apprenticeship program approved by the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Council (or equivalent for those individuals who graduated from a program in another state) or the Federal Office of Apprenticeship that consists of:
- At least 576 classroom hours; and
- 8,000 of work experience
Issues that remain unresolved:
What about those electricians with a “Shelved” Master Electrican license?
These are individuals who work for another company and under that company’s master. By ‘Shelving’ their Master Electrician license, they are absolved from paying for insurance and taking Continuing Education courses to keep their license current. Under the new law, there is no path for an individual with a ‘Shelved’ Master license to secure a journey license. This issue will be attempted to be resolved when the regulations are written. If that is not possible, we will correct it in the next legislative session.
- At present, there are no immediate plans to accommodate those individuals who do not speak English by making the journeyperson or Master Electrician exam available in Spanish or any other language.
- What about electricians who have licenses from other states:
- Reciprocity w Maryland exists with the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia., and Delaware for master’s but not yet for journeyperson (reciprocity is listed on the application but only for local jurisdictions)
- NOTE: Remember, those individuals who have successfully completed a State or Federally approved program from another state, can still secure a license by showing proof of their completion.
After the 12/31/22 deadline, THE ONLY APPLICANTS WHO CAN SECURE THE JOURNEYPERSON LICENSE WITHOUT HAVING TO TAKE AN EXAM ARE THOSE WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED AN APPROVED ELECTRICIAN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM.
Members are cautioned that due to the heavy volume of applicants PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL the 11th hour to apply.
For further questions, please contact Marcus Jackson, director of government affairs, [email protected]; 301-595-9711.