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author RocketCert Staff
date 01.22.2024

Entering a skilled trade is a great option for anyone interested in a lifelong profession that offers the opportunity to become a business owner, provide valuable services, and earn a good living without necessarily having to complete a college degree program. 

That said, you must obtain a suitable license to legally perform trade jobs in most states. These licenses, issued by state boards, typically feature requirements like some combination of education and training, plus experience and perhaps financial requirements like insurance. 

In many cases, you’ll also have to pass a trade exam, sometimes alongside other state tests.

In the case of electrical work, however, you might opt to take the NASCLA Electrical Exam instead. The National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (NASCLA) is known for setting national standards for contractors, including the knowledge and skill required to hold a professional license.

Where can you take the NASCLA exam, and where is it accepted for licensing purposes? What can you expect when you take the exam?

Where Is NASCLA Valid?

Several states (as well as Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands) participate in NASCLA, either as accepting or administering and accepting agencies. 

That said, not every state involved administers or accepts exams for every trade, and some have other requirements, such as non-trade state exams in addition to the NASCLA exam, to obtain specific licenses. You will still have to fill out an application with your state licensing board, regardless of the exam you take.

The electrical exam, specifically, is administered and accepted in:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • South Carolina

States that accept this exam in lieu of state exams but do not administer the test include:

  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

This exam is also accepted in the District of Columbia. Some states accept both journeyperson and master/contractor exams, while others accept only one or the other. It’s important to understand the rules in your state before you take the exam to ensure that you meet all criteria to obtain your preferred license.

What’s Included in the Electrical Exam?

NASCLA offers both a journeyman electrician exam and an electrical contractor exam (master level). The journeyman electrician exam consists of 100 questions covering topics like:

  • Interpreting plans and specifications
  • Basic electrical safety
  • Electrical theory and principles
  • Testing and troubleshooting
  • General code requirements
  • Wiring and protection
  • Wiring methods and materials
  • Equipment for general use
  • Special occupancies and special equipment
  • Special conditions and communication systems

You must answer a minimum of 70 questions correctly to pass. The electrical contractor exam also has 100 questions covering the following topics:

  • Project design and management
  • Safety
  • Electrical theory and principles
  • General code requirements
  • Wiring and protection
  • Wiring methods and materials
  • Equipment for general use
  • Special occupations, special equipment, and special conditions
  • Communication systems

You must answer at least 75 questions correctly to pass this exam. Both tests are open-book, and you will have 270 minutes (4.5 hours) to complete them.

Preparing for the NASCLA Electrical Exam

If you need help preparing for your NASCLA Electrical Exam, RocketCert offers exam prep programs designed for working professionals. Contact us now to learn more.