How Do I Find the Right Electrical Continuing Education in California?

If you’re an electrician in the state of California, you most likely already know that you need to periodically renew your electrician certification. And whether you’ve renewed before or you’ve simply done your homework, you also know you need to complete a certain number of electrical continuing education hours before renewing. 

But they can’t just be any hours from any school. The state has certain requirements about the number of hours you take, what you study during those hours, and the educational institution that administers them. To find out everything you need to know to make sure you’re taking the right electrical continuing education for your California certification, keep reading. 

How many electrician continuing education hours are required?

To renew your electrician certification before it expires every three years, California requires 32 hours of continuing education for electricians. But don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you’ll be spending 32 hours in a classroom. Instead, you can complete your electrical continuing education class online. Start well before your renewal application is due and you can take your time completing your California electrical certification online classes from the comfort of your own home. 

Plus, getting started with plenty of time before your renewal date ensures you don’t end up with a lapsed certification. Not only does this make it illegal for you to work since you won’t have an active license, but the process of renewing your certification once it’s expired is a lot more involved and twice as expensive. We’ll go into more detail about renewing expired certifications later in this article. 

Does any California electrical certification continuing education class count toward my hours?

No. You need to take your electrician education classes from a school that the state has approved. California has quite a few approved continuing education providers that they work with who are under contract with a California public educational institution.

Let’s take 1 Attempt, also known as TradesmanCE.com, for example. Not only are they listed on California’s Department of Industrial Relations website as an approved continuing education provider, but they also show proof on their own website. At the bottom of their California electrician continuing education webpage, you can find a PDF showing their approval from the state. 

It’s worth double-checking that whichever school you choose for your electrician continuing education online classes is California-approved. If it’s not, the state will reject your application for renewal and you’ll have to start over, taking classes from an approved electrical continuing education provider. 

What will I learn during my electrical continuing education hours?

The state works with its approved continuing education providers so that you get classes that will be useful to you while also helping you better serve your customers. Some of the things you can learn when you take your California electrician continuing education online include:

  • Any recent changes to the National Electrical Code
  • A review of relevant OSHA requirements
  • High-voltage safety procedures
  • Things that will help you grow your business, including:
    • Liability & risk management
    • Marketing & sales
    • Business contracts

In short, your electrician continuing education is designed to be useful to the work you do every day. Completing the required classes every few years keeps you informed about the latest changes to the electrical code and OSHA requirements so you can avoid penalties, keep your workplace safe, and continue to serve your customers with quality work. 

What do I do after I’ve completed my California electrical certification online classes?

When you finish your 32 hours of electrician continuing education, your education provider will issue you a certificate showing that you’ve completed your classes. With that in hand, you’re ready to complete your Renewal Application for Electrician Certification

(Quick refresher: you have to complete this application, along with your 32 hours of electrician education, every three years for California electrical certification renewal.)

The renewal application is a simple one-page document. Other than filling in some basic information like your name and your driver’s license or state ID number, completing the application is as simple as checking some boxes. 

Specifically, if you’re renewing your California electrician certification before its expiration date, you check three boxes in Section I. The boxes denote that:

  • You’re including $100 for your renewal fee (make the check out to “DIR-Electrician Certification Fund”)
  • You’ve completed the required 32 hours of continuing education (you’ll need to write down your school name and city)
  • You’ve met the 2,000 electrical work hour requirement, meaning you’ve worked that many hours in the industry in the last three years

Check those boxes and sign your application. Send it, along with your $100 fee and the certificate showing you’ve completed your electrical continuing education, to:

DIR-Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement

Attn: Electrician Certification Unit

PO Box 511286

Los Angeles, CA 90051-7841

The state’s Electrician Certification Unit (ECU) will respond to your applications within 30 days of their receiving it. 

How do I go about California electrical certification renewal if I missed my expiration date?

Not sure about the current status of your electrician certification? The state offers an online Electrician Certification Search you can use to find out. And you don’t even need a previous certification number to use it. You can use your last name and driver’s license number to find yourself.  

California accepts certification renewal applications as long as they’re postmarked on or before the date on which your certification card expires. But if you use the above search tool and find out that you’ve missed that deadline, the process for renewing your certification is different. 

Instead of completing electrical continuing education, you need to retake the electrician certification exam you took to first get certified. To get started towards certification renewal, fill out Section II on the Renewal Application for Electrician Certification and submit it with the $200 fee to retake the exam. 

 

Clearly, it’s a lot easier to renew your California electrician certification before its expiration date. And the key to that process is finding and completing the right electrical continuing education hours. Get started with the hours you need today.