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How to Become a Licensed Electrician in Ohio

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Ohio has no strict requirements stating that to become an electrician you must obtain a license. Getting a license, however, greatly increases your safety, and your chances of getting good quality work. Having an Ohio electrician's license will assure your customers that you have proper training and experience in the industry. Getting your license in Ohio takes time and hard work, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Enroll in an electrician institution, and graduate successfully. Several institutes in Ohio offer programs for prospective electricians. These institutes teach the students about reading blueprints, installing and maintaining the wiring, and repairing and troubleshooting of electrical systems. A student attending one of these institutes can expect to develop a strong understanding of the National Electrical Code as well as state and local electrical regulations.

Gain at least five years' work experience as an electrician. Hands-on electrical experience is a requirement to get a license. Working with electrical wires requires concentration, and familiarity, as well as expertise that you can only gain through field experience.

Gain business experience. You can do this in combination with your electrician experience. Three years of business experience are necessary to become a licensed electrician in Ohio.

Get liability insurance for your business. Obtain at least $500,000 for coverage of your contractor liability insurance. It is a requirement while applying for the license.

Make a record of your experience as an electrician, and attach copies of these documents--local licenses or registrations, permits obtained, signed contracts, union card, pay stubs, W-2s, invoices, letters of recommendation and verification of your employment or company letterhead. Record the complete dates, the joining date and the ending date. Document the day, the month and the year of your experience as an electrician; mention your duties as well. Any applications without the specific job descriptions and dates face rejection.

Obtain an application to take the electrician's license exam by contacting the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB).

Submit your application to OCILB along with your personal data, including your name, address, education, proof of citizenship, work experience and proof of prior employment as an electrician.

Submit your application, along with a check, or money order for the licensing fees. As of August 2010 the licensing fee is $25 and the exam fee is $60. Make the check or order out to the Treasurer, State of Ohio, Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB).

Get a background check. After processing of your application, if approved, you will have to go through a background check conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. After clearing it, you will become eligible to take the exam. You will receive notification of the date and location of the license exam.

Prepare well for the exam. Contact the OCILB to obtain the exam preparation materials. Study the preparation materials, and review old school books, and old tests done during your training program.

Take the electrician's license test. It contains five parts. The first part tests your knowledge of electrical construction; the other four parts test your knowledge of business and law. Be sure to keep a proof of your approved test application handy. You may need it to show to the examiner on the day of your exam.

Pass the exam. After passing, you will have to provide a proof of liability insurance of minimum $500,000 to the licensing board. After that, OCILB will issue your license.


The license exam will have a total five sections. One section is on law and business and the other four are on electrical knowledge covering transformers and equipment, service feeders and branch circuits, special occupancies and equipment, raceways, boxes and panel boards, utilization equipment, motors and generators, conductors and cables, and control devices.

The license exam will consist of 100 questions.

The time limit for finishing the license exam will be five hours.

A passing score on your license exam is 70 out of 100. Applicants can bring the current National Electrical Code book into the exam.


Your license will be valid for one year from the issuance date.

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for your licensing test.


Cape Cod-based Nicole Coe has been writing online since 2006. Her articles have been published on various websites. Coe earned an associate degree in language arts from Cape Cod Community College, in Hyannis, Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and communications online at Ashford University.

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