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Electrical Licensing Information

To obtain an electrical license in Oregon, you must be enrolled in an electrical apprenticeship, which is a two-step process. You must (1) work the trade during the day, and (2) go to school in the evening. 

After your educational and apprenticeship requirements are met, you will apply to the State Building Codes Division to take the appropriate test for the specific license you are seeking. 

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a partnership between business, industry, labor and government resulting in a skilled trade. These skills are learned in a practical way through training, on-the-job work, and supplemented by related classroom instruction.

Who qualifies as an apprentice?

All apprentices must meet certain basic qualifications. These include age, education and experience. Written standards are ser by the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JACTs) and approved by the State Apprentice Council.

What is a JACT?

Known as the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, it is a committee of management and labor, with equal representation, which administers the apprenticeship and journeyperson upgrading training programs.

How do I apply for an apprenticeship?

Visit the websites for application procedures and dates. Education requirements vary extensively. As we understand it, many programs require high school graduation with a "C" and 2.0 grade point average or higher, with math usually a focal point. Some programs accept GED with a certain minimum score. Apprenticeship applications are processed through the Bureau of Labor and Industry. (BOLI)

Some programs only register apprentices who have been selected through internal promotion by their training agents. Others select apprentices by posting opening announcements to the general public. For additional information, please contact BOLI at 503-731-4072 or visit the BOLI website.

What are the different licenses available in Oregon?

There are approximately 30 different electrical licenses offered in Oregon. The General Journeyman is the most common electrical license and offers the most options for employment and pay-range opportunities. Visit the BOLI website to explore exactly what each license is able to do.

How will I be selected?

Each JATC selects their own method, such as:

  • Strict Selection: applicants are interviewed and ranked according to their qualifications with highest ranked placed first on a list.
  • Hired from Existing Employees: applicants are drawn from those already employed by that site.
  • Selection from Pre-Qualified Pool: employer must hire from the pool of applicants pre-qualified by the apprenticeship committee.
  • Intent to Hire Issued: applicants sign a registration log, do the job search, complete a "declaration of interest," submit documentation to satisfy minimum requirements, find their own employment, complete application and are approved by the committee.

What are apprenticeship standards?

These are organized written plans outlining the terms and conditions of employment training and supervision of apprentices in am apprentice occupation. It includes the progressive wage scale, the work processes to be learned on the job, and the outline of related technical instruction.

What is an apprenticeship agreement?

It is a written agreement between an apprentice and the sponsor containing the minimum terms and conditions of employment during the term of apprenticeship.

Do I have to serve a probationary period?

All new apprentices serve a probationary period of three to twelve months, typically six months, during which the apprenticeship agreement may be canceled at the request of the apprentice or the sponsor. After completion of the probationary period, the agreement may be canceled by the sponsor after adequate cause has been shown, and all parties to the agreement have had an opportunity to be heard.

What is related training?

It is an organized and systematic form of instruction designed to provide guidance in the theory and technical aspects of the trade. Usually a minimum of 144 classroom hours for each year of apprenticeship is required and is typically conducted at the local community college.

What is the term of an apprenticeship?

The training period, or term of apprenticeship is specifically defined for each trade. The term is generally defined for each trade. The term is generally stated in a number of hours per year. For apprentice, 2000 hours is considered a year of on-the-job training, with related classroom instruction. All apprenticeship programs must be at least 2000 hours or one year in duration. However, most programs are 8000 hours or four years long.

What is my beginning wage?

The beginning wage for an apprentice is a percentage of a journeyman wage. Starting rates for apprentices are usually 50 percent of the journeyperson wage, and increases are generally given every six months. Apprentices may also receive other benefits, such as vacation pay, health and welfare benefits, and pension credits. Apprentices usually work the same hours as journeypersons.

What is the ratio of apprentices to journeypersons?

Each standard set of definite ratio of apprentices to jourenypersons. The general policy is to set a ratio that allows for proper training and supervision of the apprentice during the apprenticeship.

Who supervises my on-the-job training?

The apprentice's on-the-job training must be supervised by a qualified journeyperson. The journeyperson has a responsibility of conducting the apprentice's training and coordinating the theoretical classroom training with hands-on experiences.

How often do I get re-rated?

Each apprentice is reviewed and rated by the apprenticeship committee approximately every six months to determine progress. This review includes an evaluation of on-the-job performance, attendance and grades in the related classroom instruction.

What is PCC's role?

PCC is the certifying agency with the Board of Education for the educational component ONLY.  Information and an application packet for either apprenticeship program (union or non-union) may be obtained by contacting either IBEW or IECO directly:

Where do I apply?

Union Apprenticeship Program, NECA-IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). 16021 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97230. (503) 262-9991 NECA-IBEW is a Five-Year Program with 900 classroom hours

Non-Union Apprenticeship Program, IECO (Independent Electrical Contractors of OR), 12254 SW Garden Pl., Tigard, OR  97223.  (503) 598-7789   IECO is a Four-Year Program with 600 classroom hours

For Limited Maintenance or Restricted Energy licenses only, contact ABC (Associated Building Contractors), 12256 SW Garden Pl., Tigard, OR  97223.  (503) 598-0522

Additional Information:

We suggest that you apply to both the union AND the non-union agency.  IECO accepts applications ONLY when there are openings (usually twice annually). 

The application process is VERY competitive, and we suggest taking courses at PCC such as basic electrical theory, math (algebra), blueprint reading, and basic computer skills, to elevate your GPA and broaden your knowledge base before applying (or to re-apply) to the apprenticeship programs. 

For electrical classes offered by PCC, go to Class Schedule or call Sandy Miller at 503-978-5651.

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