The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth requires a license for most state electrical contractors and electricians. Electrical workers in Michigan should first find out if they need to get a state license. Those who do need to gain a certain amount of experience and pass an electrician exam to get a Michigan electrician or electrical contractor license. Those who do not still have local electrician registration requirements that they must adhere to to work as an independent electrician in the state of Michigan.
Individuals seeking to work as an independent licensed electrician must generally get a state license. As of 2010, however, two cities – Grand Rapids and Detroit – handle their own electrician licensing programs. If you intend to work as an electrician or electrical contractor in either of those cities (or Kent or Wayne County), then you need to contact the building department in either of those counties or cities to find out how to qualify for a local license. If you intend to work in any other areas in Michigan, then proceed to Step 2.
The bulk of Michigan electricians and electrical contractors must get a statewide license to work independently. The Electrical Division issues the following kinds of licenses:
a. electrical journeyman
b. master electrician
c. electrical contractor
d. fire alarm specialty technician
e. fire alarm contractor
f. sign specialist
g. sign specialty contractor
Note: When working as an employee of a licensed electrician or other specialist, you do not generally need a license so long as you remain under the supervision of such licensee. In fact, thís is how you gain the necessary experience to get a Michigan electrical license. However, just because you do not need a license does not mean that you do not have to register. If you work as an apprentice electrician, then you may need to register with the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. Check with your licensed employer for registration requirements. This is vital because you need an official record of experience if you ever intend to get licensed as an independent electrical contractor or electrician in Michigan.
Open the “Electrical Examination Schedule, Licensing Information and Applications” page . You can use this page to find all of the Michigan electrician exam and license application procedures.
Read through the information to see what kinds of requirements exist for each type of electrician or contractor. Generally speaking, a journeyman electrician, master electrician or other specialist needs to have actual experience and pass an exam. On the other hand, an electrical contractor can either individually qualify as an expert or hire a licensed electrician to perform the work for the contracting company.
See the exam schedule and make sure you submit an application at least 60 days before the desired date for your electrician exam. You should read the application instructions to see the kinds of experience waivers that are available. For example, applicants with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering can typically get credit for at least one year of experience.
Get a copy of the “Michigan Electrical Code” to prepare for the exam. The questions actually come from this publication. You may take a completely unmarked (no note taking, stickies, etc.) National Electrical Code into the exam as a reference. Look inside your application instructions to see exactly what you need to study for the exam.
Submit the application and $100 application fee per the instructions in your application packet. If you pass, you do not need to submit any more documentation unless specifically asked to by the Electrical Division.
Michigan Electrical Division Exam and Electrician License Application and Qualification Information