As the construction industry grows each year, businesses and employers with more at stake are turning to skilled tradesman with proven competency for their projects. Proof of skills and experience is a critical factor in your ability to get a high paying job or earn a lucrative contract. I have helped thousands of electricians around the state of California get their electrical certification.
Everyone wants to earn more money and ultimately gain more freedom. In today’s market, simply having the skills is not enough. You must have documented proof to back up your wage demands. The following article will break down everything you need to know about the electrical certification process in California.
A contractor is someone who has proven a minimum of 4 years journey level experience and passed both the California contractor LAW and TRADE examination. A contractor is legally allowed to bid on an electrical project where the cost of labor and materials exceeds $500. Electrical companies doing large projects and individual electricians working in a residential or commercial setting, hold the C-10 license. An electrical contractor will hold the license and place the bid, but they may have someone helping them and performing tasks. This person must hold an electrical certification. An individual holding the C-10 license does not need an electrical certification.
The Division of labor standards enforcement is an agency that functions under the California Department of Industrial Relations. This branch of government handles everything from safe working conditions and fair compensation to enacting labor standards for specialized tradesman. Everything about electrical certifications, tests, fees, and certification renewals is handled by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
There are 100 questions on the exam, and you will have 4 hours to complete. The test is multiple choice, and it will be taken on a computer. You will receive a practice test before the final exam. The test is open book, so you will be able to use your NEC code book. A 70% score is required to pass. The exam is also available in Spanish. If you fail the exam, you will have to wait 60 days before you can retake it, and it will cost $100 per retake. Here you will find the application to retake the exam. There are 22 testing locations around the state of California.
Below is a breakdown of what will be on the electrical certification exam:
1) Of the following output characteristics, which is NOT required to be compatible with the output of a generator or other electric power production source operating in parallel with an electrical supply system?
3. Wave Shape
2) What is the MINIMUM bending radius for a power and control tray cable with a metallic shielding?
1. Six times the overall diameter of the cable
2. Eight times the overall diameter of the cable
3. Ten times the overall diameter of the cable
4. Twelve times the overall diameter of the cable
3) The working space in front of fire or electrical equipment may be used to store
2. electrical panels.
3. fluorescent lamps.
4. janitorial equipment.
4) Surface nonmetallic raceways that have limited smoke-producing characteristics shall be
1. listed for the purposes.
2. approved for use.
3. permitted to be so identified.
4. suitable for installation.
5) What is the MAXIMUM number of branch circuit conductors permitted in a recognized wiring method between luminaries connected together on a single phase 120/240 volt system?
1. 2 conductors
2. 3 conductors
3. 4 conductors
4. 5 conductors
6) In what location are disconnecting means NOT required for individual luminaries with fluorescent double ended lamps and ballasts?
1. Dwelling unit
7) The top of a 12 inch deep wall cabinet, installed in a room with electric space heating cables embedded in the ceiling, shall be below the ceiling no less than
1. 3 inches.
2. 6 inches.
3. 12 inches.
4. 18 inches.
8) Non-heating leads from fixed outdoor electric deicing and snow melting embedded resistance heating panels shall be permitted to be protected by
1. electrical non-metallic tubing.
2. non-metallic rigid conduit.
3. grounding sheath.
4. cable armor.
General Electrician Answer Key
If you do not have enough hours to qualify to take the exam you can register with the DIR as an electrical trainee. You must also show proof of enrollment with a state approved school. Here you can find the application.
With your application, you will need to submit a fee of $175. This payment can be made in a check or money order.
$100 exam fee
$75 administrative fee
Check, or money order must be made out to DIR-Electrician Certification Fund
Fees are non-refundable
Getting your electrical certification can be a straightforward process if you follow these instructions and take the time to prepare yourself for the examination. It is no secret that skilled electricians are in ever increasing demand. I have known electricians that have held the electrical certification their entire careers and made substantial amounts of money being a key employee to a C-10 electrical contractor. There are an unlimited amount of opportunities available for those that take the time to invest in themselves and their education. For more information on getting an electrical certification or becoming a C-10 electrical contractor, subscribe to our email list.