As an electrical professional in Pennsylvania, you face a somewhat complex situation. While other states have one set licensing process for all electrical pros, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) handles things differently. While they apply the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) throughout the state — which includes a chapter on electrical systems, components, etc. — there’s no statewide electrical licensing requirement.
That said, most electrical professionals will need to go through some sort of licensing or certification process. If you’re an electrical contractor, you’ll probably need to get a license, but you’ll get it from your local jurisdiction, not the state. If you’re an electrical inspector, you’ll need to work with L&I to get and maintain UCC certification.
As we said, it’s a little bit complicated. We wrote this guide to help you navigate the requirements to maintain the right certification or license for electrical work in PA.
Whether you’re a UCC-certified residential electrical inspector (11), electrical inspector (19), or electrical plans examiner (25), you need to complete continuing education (CE) hours every three years. Specifically, you need 15 hours of CE for each certification category listed on your card, with a max of 45 hours.
For each 15 hour chunk that you need, five hours need to focus specifically on your certification category (i.e., electrical work). The other ten hours can be on building trades in general.
Additionally, for your CE hours to count, you need to take them from an L&I-approved provider.
Now, here’s the good news. You can take the 15 CE hours you need online at your own pace. This gives you the flexibility to work on them whenever you want from any location that works for you.
When you finish your hours, hang onto the certificate of completion. To renew your UCC certification, you’ll need to mail that in, along with the completed renewal application and the appropriate fee.
Each local jurisdiction handles electrical contractor, master, and journeyman licenses on their own. That said, it’s fairly likely that you’ll need to mirror the state’s electrical inspector process by getting some CE.
Specifically, you’ll need CE to renew your electrical license in:
Most local jurisdictions require eight CE hours in order to renew (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia both have eight-hour requirements, for example). That said, it’s important to look into your local rules to understand what you need to do to keep your license current.
The good news? When local jurisdictions require CE, they generally let you take it online.
Just like CE requirements, the fee and renewal application vary by location. Do some digging to make sure you understand your specific steps to renew your electrical license by the applicable deadline.
Ultimately, maintaining an electrical license or certification isn’t overly easy in Pennsylvania. But taking your CE online (if it’s required of you) can help to simplify the process a little.