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Requirements for Grandfathering Into Electrical License

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Most states have testing or examination requirements that must be met before a person can receive an electrical license, but many of these states also have a grandfather clause. This grandfather clause allows certain professionals to receive an electrical license without meeting the standard educational or examination requirements as long as the individual has enough on-the-job experience as an electrician. The on-the-job experience required to qualify varies from state-to-state, so it's best to check with your state licensing board to determine how much experience is necessary to fall under the grandfather clause.


The grandfather clause for an electrical license requires no formal education such as an apprenticeship program or college degree. Grandfathering for an electrical license supersedes this educational requirement if a person can show adequate on-the-job experience. Most state or municipality licensing boards require extensive work experience before granting an electrical license under the grandfather clause. The licensing board also has different work experience requirements for different types of electrical licenses, including electrical contractors, master electricians or a limited electrical license. For example, the state of Kentucky requires two years of verifiable experience to receive an electrical contractors license under the grandfather clause. Kentucky also requires a minimum of four years experience for an electrical license and six years of experience for a master electricians license under the grandfather clause.

Application Requirements

Every state or municipality has an application process that must be met before receiving an electrical license, even under the grandfather clause. This application requires that certain information be provided so the licensing board can verify the applicant's qualifications. The applicant must list the employers he has worked for in the past as an electrician, include letters of recommendation from these employers on company letterhead and provide contact information for these businesses. This contact information is verified by the licensing board. If the information or work experience does not coincide with what is represented on the application, the applicant cannot qualify under the grandfather clause.

Fees Requirement

Every electrician who wishes to receive a license is required to pay all associated fees to the licensing board. These fees are different for the every type of electrical license. A master electrician must pay a higher fee than a general electrician, and an electrical contractor must pay a higher fee than both the master or general electrician. Additionally, the electrical contractor must provide proof of liability insurance in some states like Kentucky. Kentucky requires an electrical contractor to provide proof of $500,000 worth of liability insurance under the grandfathering requirements of the licensing board.


Horacio Garcia has been writing since 1979, beginning his career as the spokesperson for Trinity Broadcast Network. Within 10 years Garcia was being called upon to write speeches and scripts for several state and federal congressmen, local broadcast networks and publications such as "Readers Digest." He received his bachelor's degree in public relations from Argosy University.

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