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Ohio electrician license guide

Feb 14, 2022 · 5 minutes to read

Electrician changing plugs

So you’ve decided you want to start your own electrician business in the state of Ohio, but you’ve run into your first roadblock – you need to get licensed. From job security, competitive pay to being your own boss, running your own electrician business has a lot to offer. You know how good it’ll be to run your own small business, but you feel unprepared for the license requirements that’ll get you there.

Not to worry! This Ohio electrician license guide will help you bust through the barriers and put you on your way to starting your own business. It’ll give you the spark you need to pass your license exam with flying colours and allow you to become a small business owner in the buckeye state of Ohio.

Do I really need a license?

The first question you may ask is, do you really need to get your license? Well, it depends. Many journeyman electricians in Ohio never get a license to do non-commercial electrical work. Only in the cities of Hamilton and Middletown are they required to hold a journeyman license to do general jobs, usually under the supervision of a master electrician.

However, if you want to become an electrical contractor, employ junior electricians and apprentices, and run your own electrician business in the state of Ohio, you will need a license. And the benefits are clear. An electrician journeyman’s average salary is $25.29 per hour in Ohio, which doesn’t sound too bad until you factor in the infrequent work and the limited jobs you can do without a license[1]. On the other hand, the median wage for Ohio electrical contractors is $52,200 per year[2].

Gain experience

Once you have chosen the licensing path, the first thing you’d need to do is gain experience. This is because to satisfy the criteria to sit a licensing exam, you must have been an electrician for at least five years before the licensing date.

From being electrocuted to electrical fire risks, being an electrician can be a dangerous profession. Getting the proper education through the right channels is highly recommended to ensure the safety of you and your clients.

Technical colleges are specifically designed to give you a comprehensive program that lets you develop your practical and theoretical skills in a safe environment. Getting started on your own Technical colleges can also fast-track your road to employment by providing you with network opportunities and laying the foundations for a long career as an electrician.

From there, an apprenticeship program is the logical next step for an aspiring electrician in Ohio after finishing technical college. Starting an apprenticeship will place you on the ground floor of an actual electrical company filled with a faculty of fellow electricians who has connections in Ohio circles.

They usually last three to five years and give you valuable on-site education and significant preparation for getting your Commercial Contractor License.

License requirements

They’ve made it simple for construction industry contractors to get licensed in Ohio. The state has standardized licensing for most trades, with aspiring electricians only requiring their Commercial Contractor license to practice their profession.

Apart from five years’ experience as an electrician, the criteria you will need to meet to apply for a Commercial Contractor license to become an electrician includes;

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Being a US citizen or a legal resident alien (with proof)
  • And having never have been convicted of a serious offense.

You will also need to carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability coverage, discussed further in the next section.

After your application is passed, you will give a brochure explaining what happens next. There will be two exams – a trade exam and a business exam – and you will have to score at least 70% to get your license. The exams are based on the 2014 National Electric Code, Ugly’s Electrical Reference, and the Electrical Field Reference Handbook.

The exams will cover transformers and equipment, wiring methods and installation, cabinets, panel boards, switchboards boxes, conduit bodies, conductors, control devices, motors and generators, and the utilization equipment and devices.

While the steps may seem daunting at first, there’s no need to worry! You would’ve completed much of the criteria during the first two steps. Be sure to study up, and you’ll be the brightest spark in the room!

Get your Electrical Contractor Insurance Sorted

As previously mentioned, the final criteria you need to meet to run your electrician business legally is to carry a minimum of $500,000 in contractor liability coverage in Ohio.

Your electrical contractor insurance will come in the form of General Liability insurance* (sometimes called commercial general liability (CGL) or “slip and fall coverage”). This insurance can help shield your business against property damage or bodily injury lawsuits from outside parties.

Your policy will cover your legal expenses, as well as your cost to compensate the claimant, up to the limits of liability.

Protecting your electrician business with electrician’s insurance is a bright idea. The potential for something to go wrong can increase when you’re working with others, on dangerous construction sites and with power tools. A client injuring themselves or an expensive piece of your equipment getting stolen is the last thing you need as a busy electrician.

In 10 minutes or less, you can get multiple quotes from top-tier insurers for your electrical company insurance. Select your preferred policy and get electrical contractor insurance instantly, so the only thing you need to worry about is brightening up your client’s day.

*As with any insurance, the cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.
[1] https://www.indeed.com/career/journeyman-electrician/salaries/OH
[2] https://www.careerexplorer.com/careers/electrician/salary/ohio/

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