California Electrician Continuing Education
Our California electrical CE courses are approved to satisfy your continuing education requirements. Our company is registered as 1 Attempt (At Your Pace Online) with the ECU.
Complete the continuing education to renew your CA electricians license today. All of our courses include the most current 2020 NEC code content, and can be completed At Your Pace Online to help you meet the state's requirements. Once you finish your class you will have an official certificate of completion to save for your records.
32-Hour Package for California Electricians
Save on our 32-hour package for California electricians. This package includes:
- 2020 NEC Review
- Electrical Safety (NFPA 70E: 2021)
2020 NEC Review
This 24-hour course covers changes made to Chapters the 2020 National Electrical Code® during the 2017-2020 code review cycle. It includes an in-depth look at:
• The code review process, how the NEC is organized, code-wide changes, and new Articles for 2020;
• Chapter 1 [General];
• Chapter 2 [Wiring & Protection]
• Chapter 3 [Wiring Methods & Materials]
• Chapter 4 [Equipment for General Use];
• Chapter 5 [Special Occupancies];
• Chapter 6 [Special Equipment];
• Chapter 7 [Special Conditions];
• Chapter 8 [Communications Systems];
• Chapter 9 [Tables]; and
• Informative Annexes;
This course is approved for California electricians.
Electrical Safety (NFPA 70E: 2021)
This course covers 8 hours working safely with electricity, per the standard of electrical safety: NFPA 70E. This course uses video, images, charts, and slides to give a comprehensive view of how to best use NFPA 70E to make working with electricity as safe as possible.
This course is approved for California electricians.
California Electrical License Renewal CE Requirements and Deadline Summary
- In the state of California, electricians are required to obtain 32 hours of electrical continuing education.
- CE is required every 3 years prior to license renewal.
- Electricians need to have worked 2,000 hours during the renewal period.
While other states differentiate between electrical licenses via the “journeyman” and “master” designations, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) handles things differently. Here, you might be a general electrician (the closest to a master electrician in other states), a residential electrician, a fire/life/safety technician, a voice data video technician, or a non-residential lighting technician. No matter which certification you hold, though, you’re still subject to the DIR’s renewal requirements.
Your California electrician certification renewal timeline
As we just mentioned, your California electrician certification is good for three years. Keep an eye on that expiration date, though, since the timing can get away from you with the long lag between renewal dates. We recommend putting a recurring reminder on your calendar to start your renewal process at least a month before your certification expires.
If you want to get a jump on renewal early, you can. In fact, the State of California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) says you can renew up to 1 year prior to [the] expiration date as long as your 32 hours of continuing education is completed. (More on the required continuing education in a moment.)
The DIR also cautions that you might not get a reminder notice so it’s up to you to stay on top of your process. Look at your certification card, find your expiration date, and write it down so you don’t miss your mark. If you do, your renewal fee doubles from $100 to $200 and you have to retake the certification exam.
The CA electrical certification renewal process for the following types of electrical licenses:
Residential Electrician, Fire/Life/Safety, Voice Data Video (VDV), Certified General Electrician, Certified General Contractor, C-10 Contractor, Lighting Technician, and General Electrician
Complete 32 hours of continuing education
Before you can renew, you need to finish 32 hours of continuing education in the category relevant to your certification. You don’t necessarily need to go to a classroom to take these hours, fortunately. The DIR has approved specific providers, including TradesmanCE, where you can take your CEU online.
Make sure you take your hours from a DIR-approved provider or they won’t count toward your renewal. When you consider a provider, check for approval (for example, scroll to the bottom of this page to see the approval letter from the DIR).
When you finish your hours, your provider issues you a Certificate of Completion. Use this as proof you’ve finished your hours when you submit your renewal.
Work the required number of hours
In order to renew, you need to have worked at least 2,000 hours in the industry in the last three years. But at just 50 full-time work weeks, you should easily cover that base if you regularly work as an electrician.
Complete your renewal application
Once your hours are finished, you can complete the one-page Renewal Application for Electrician Certification. It’s a fairly straightforward form. You just need to fill in your basic personal information and check a few boxes and you’re good to go.
Pay your renewal fee
When you send in your renewal form, send in the renewal fee, too. It’s $100 and you can make your check or money order out to “DIR - Electrician Certification Fund.”
Complete those four steps and send in your renewal form before your certificate expires. When you do, you’ll have no trouble keeping your California electrician certification current.
'Why should I care about maintaining my California electrician certification? Can’t I just renew it after it expires?'
You can renew your certification if it expires, but you’ll have to take the certification exam again and your fee literally doubles. Not great, right?
To make matters worse, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement’s Electrician Certification Unit (ECU) regularly releases a report showcasing some telling statistics about that exam.
Between January 1 and August 7, 2019, the ECU had over 10,000 people apply for certification as an electrician. Even so, only about half of them were authorized to take the certification exam that you need to become a card-carrying electrician. That’s because there are requirements you need to meet to be approved to take that exam, including a minimum number of hours of experience in the industry.
So, already, only about half of people are getting through the first phase of getting their electrical certification or renewing an expired certification without a hiccup. And the 5,000+ people who were approved to take their exam still have to schedule it and pass it. And with only 3,650 of 5,323 authorized exams in the first 7+ months of 2019, scheduling seems to be a challenge.
But that’s not the hardest part. The statistics show that passing the exam doesn’t come easy. Across the board, electrical exams in California have a pass rate of just 55%. That means that, roughly speaking, for every two people who take the exam, only one will pass.
The likelihood of passing gets better or worse depending on your certification type. As of August 2022:
- General electrician certification exams have a pass percentage of 56%
- Residential electrician certification exams have a pass percentage of 31%
- Fire/life safety technician certification exams have a pass percentage of 61%
- Voice data video certification exams have a pass percentage of 60%
- Non-residential lightning certification exams have a pass percentage of 39%
Those odds aren’t great. You probably remember the stress from getting your certification in the first place.
And if you let your license expire, you’re back on the hook to go through that whole process again. Theoretically, you should meet the criteria to at least get the exam scheduled. But are you confident you could pass it on your first try?
Clearly, renewing your electrician certification once it’s expired isn’t an easy process. If you have yours and it’s active, keeping it that way saves you the stress and hassle of having to retake the certification exam.
What happens if I miss the renewal deadline for my CA electrical certification?
If that last section didn’t put enough pep in your step to get your cert renewed in time, buckle up. You’re about to navigate the hurdles we just outlined.
In an attempt to make what could be a major headache a little easier, let’s talk about each task you need to check off to get your license back.
#1: Send in the renewal application
At least this part isn’t too bad. It’s the same one-page renewal application with which you’re probably already familiar. The difference is that you need to check box (4) under Section II indicating that you’re renewing an expired certification. (At least they give you the opportunity to specify your language of choice for the exam.)
#2: Pay the doubled fee
The exam isn’t the only bad part about letting your California electrical certification expire. The fee to retake the exam and renew your expired certification is $200. If it seems like a lot, it is. That’s double the $100 renewal fee if you keep your card active.
Make your check payable to “DIR-Electrician Certification Fund.”
#3: Pass the exam
Assuming everything goes through with your application to renew your expired cert, you’ll get an eligibility notice from the state. You then need to schedule your exam with PSI (the company that administers the tests for the DIR) via their website or by calling (888) 818-5831. To schedule online, go to this webpage, choose “California” from the jurisdiction dropdown menu, and then choose “CA Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.” From there, click the exam and language applicable to you.
On the top-right of the webpage you get sent to, you should see a button with a PDF logo that says “Download Candidate Information Bulletin.” Click it and read through the bulletin. It will give you lots of helpful info like what to expect, what to bring with you on the day of your exam, and exam prep tips.
The DIR’s test info page is also useful. It has sample questions and more tips to help you on the day of your exam. At the very bottom of that page, they give an outline of each exam, too.
If you don’t pass, don’t panic. Wait 60 days, then send in this application to retake the test along with the $100 exam retake fee. Since you’ll be more familiar with the exam format, it should be easier this time.
And next time around, make sure you mark your calendar to renew your certification on time and save yourself all of this hassle.