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CSLB Warns Electricians That Deadline for Certification Has Passed

SACRAMENTO — In 1999, legislation was passed requiring all electricians who work for a C-10 electrical contractor to be certified by the state of California. Regulations were put in place in 2002. The deadline for residential electricians getting this certification was January 1, 2007. The deadline for general electricians and fire/life/safety electricians was a year ago January 1, 2006. Electricians who are not certified by this time are working illegally.

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is urging all electricians who work for C-10 electrical contractors to immediately sign up to take a certification exam. Not complying with the law could subject the licensee to administrative action by the CSLB. It could potentially open these contractors and workers up to civil suits should there be problems with work done by an uncertified worker.

The Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) is responsible for the processing of applications for electrician certification and electrician trainee applications. "There are now 138 approved schools throughout the state and testing dates are plentiful," said Dave Rowan, chief of DAS. "Any electrician who needs to get into compliance and work legally as an electrician in California should be able to do so with little to no difficulty."

To legally work as an electrician since the deadline passed a person must be one of the following:

  • Certified by having taken and passed the exam; or
  • An apprentice in a state approved program;
  • Or an electrician trainee

If a person wants to perform electrical work for a C-10 contractor and does not yet qualify to take the certification exam because of lack of work experience or related instruction, they can do so legally by registering as an electrician trainee and attending an approved school.

Also of note, two new electrician certification exams have been developed. They are the Non-Residential Lighting and the Voice Data Video Technician exams. These exams will be available beginning March 2007. The deadline for this certification is December 31, 2007.

In addition, a move is underway to replace the 1999 edition of the National Electric Code (NEC) book as a reference source only, for the electrician certification examination with the 2002 edition. These are provided to candidates when they take their certification exam. Through June 2007, both versions in English will be available for the test candidates at the exam site. Starting July 1, only the NEC 2002 version will be available for use during the English version of the exam. The updated Spanish version of the NEC will be available in 2008. Until then, the 1999 Spanish version of the NEC will be issued to the candidates when they take the Spanish version of the exam.

To learn more about electrician certification, apprenticeship or electrician trainees, the CSLB urges you to visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/DAS/ElectricalTrade.htm. To review certification statistics, get a list of electricians who have been certified, or do an electrician certification search, visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/das/ECU_Stats.htm.

You can send any written questions or comments to:

Luisa Martinez
Division of Apprenticeship Standards
455 Golden Gate Avenue, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
lmartinez@dir.ca.gov

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The CSLB licenses and regulates California's 304,000 contractors, and investigates more than 20,000 complaints against contractors annually. In fiscal year 2005-06, the CSLB helped consumers get more than $36 million in restitution.

 

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