Good news, California electricians. Your certification lasts three years, much longer than most other states. That means you only have to worry about renewing your certification every thousand days or so. That said, the long gap between each renewal period can make it easy to forget that you have to do work to keep your certification current. Fortunately, we’ve built this guide to teach you — or refresh your memory on — the California electrician certification process.
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.
Now that you know when to renew, let’s talk about how to renew. First things first, you need to complete the required continuing education hours.
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, some of whom offer classes 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.
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.
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.
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.