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author RocketCert Staff
date 11.09.2021

Wisconsin (and the rest of the nation) is in the middle of a housing boom. This surging demand for residential structures has led to many new business opportunities for electricians. If you are in the electrical field and want to get in on the action, then you will need a Wisconsin Master Electrician or Electrical Contractor’s license.

With that in mind, we will outline the key differences between these two licenses so that you can better understand which option might be right for you. We will also lay out the path to becoming a master electrician or electrical contractor in Wisconsin.

Electrical Contractors vs. Master Electricians

In Wisconsin, a master electrician can perform electrical wiring activities without supervision. They are also able to supervise journeyman electricians, apprentices, and registered electricians. Becoming a master electrician will require substantial work experience in the field, which is detailed below.

Like master electricians, electrical contractors can also perform electrical wiring activities independently if they are also certified electricians. However, they also have the ability to bid for and contract out electrical work within the state.

When engaging in contracting activities, electrical contractors are responsible for utilizing the properly licensed or registered persons to install, repair, construct, or maintain electrical wiring and utilities. Electrical contractors also have the ability to apply for permits associated with these activities.

Becoming a Master Electrician

In order to become a master electrician, applicants must obtain a passing score on the master electrical exam. Applicants must receive pre-approval from the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Approval will not be granted unless the applicant has met the prerequisite requirements. 

These requirements can be met by:

Obtaining an Approved Degree

If you want to sit for the master electrician’s exam, then you can meet the prerequisite requirements by obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The degree must be in electrical engineering and must be from an accredited college or university.

Serve as a Journeyman Electrician

The second option to gain approval to sit for the exam involves working as a journeyman electrician. Applicants must work as a licensed journeyman electrician for at least 12 months in the state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin does not have reciprocity with other states.

Obtain Work Experience

The third path to becoming eligible for the master electrician exam is to obtain 10,000 hours of work experience over 60 months. Alternatively, you can complete 1,000 hours of work experience per year for 7 consecutive years.

A portion of the required hours can be met by completing education at an accredited college or university. Each completed semester is the equivalent of 500 hours of work experience. However, a maximum of 3,000 hours of education can be credited toward the required experience.

Becoming an Electrical Contractor

Unlike the master electrician license, an electrical contractor license applies to a business, rather than to individuals. In order to be eligible, the applicant must be an owner, partner, CEO, or chairman of an electrical contracting company.

Applicants must provide proof of compliance with Wisconsin’s worker’s compensation and unemployment program requirements. They must also obtain the minimum amount of liability insurance.

An electrical contractor cannot perform work unless they have also obtained a journeyman or master electrician’s license in the state of Wisconsin. The requirements for those certifications do not change, even though the applicant is an owner or partner in a licensed electrical contracting company.

Preparing for the Exam

Wisconsin’s master electrician’s exam is challenging, but obtaining certification is possible with the right prep materials. That is where we come in!

RocketCert provides high-quality exam prep, study materials, and Wisconsin Electrical continuing education courses at unbeatable prices. Our package also includes access to our digital resources that can help you to pass the Wisconsin master electrician’s exam. Check out our great deals and start your journey to becoming a licensed master electrician in Wisconsin today.