In the state of Washington, whether you want to install a sophisticated power distribution system or a simple limited energy camera, you need to be properly certified. Specifically, that means working with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) to not just get your electrical certification — but also to maintain it.
Whether you’re a general journey or specialty electrician, a master electrician, or an electrical administrator, that means taking certain steps every three years. To help you on your way, we built this step-by-step guide to maintaining your electrical certification with the Department of Labor & Industries.
First up, you need to make sure you don’t miss your renewal deadline and let your current certification expire.
Happy birthday to you: your certification expires every three years on your birthday. To make sure your renewal doesn’t get in the way of your birthday festivities, you might want to put a reminder on your calendar a couple of months in advance so you have plenty of time to knock out all of the steps.
The state should also mail you a renewal reminder about 30 days before your deadline, so keep your current address on file with L&I. That said, your renewal is due whether you get the reminder or not.
Don’t get lax here. If you miss your birthday deadline, your renewal fee literally doubles. If you miss it by more than 90 days, you’ll have to retake the electrical certification test.
Before you can even be eligible to renew, you need to complete this step. State law requires that all electrical administrators, master electricians, and electricians (general journey level or specialty) get 24 hours of continuing education (CE) during each three-year renewal cycle. Those hours need to have a specific breakdown, too:
Before you stress out about taking three days off to go sit in some classroom, you should know that L&I has approved certain CE providers to offer these hours online and on-demand.
If you’re not sure how many CE hours you’ve completed this renewal cycle, you can use the state’s Verify tool.
If you have any outstanding or unpaid citations, you’ll need to pay them before you’ll be able to renew your certification.
You have three options here. If you’re keen to do things in person, you can renew at your local L&I office. Bring your completed renewal application and the renewal fee.
Alternatively, you can submit your renewal via mail. Here’s the application. Fill it out and mail the appropriate renewal fee back to:
Department of Labor and Industries
P.O. Box 44460
Olympia, WA 98504-4460
If you go this route, the renewal fees are as follows:
You can save yourself a little bit of money by renewing online here. If you choose that option, the fees are:
Remember, this all assumes that you get your renewal in on time. Miss the deadline and you’ll have to pay twice as much.
If you run into any issues with your renewal process, you can contact L&I at ElectricalProgram@Lni.wa.gov or (360) 902-5269.