How do I get a Journeyman License?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2020
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To get a journeyman license, it is important that you first learn the guidelines for obtaining such a license in your area. In many cases, getting licensed will require a combination of formal education, apprenticeship, and an examination. Most times, a journeyman license will allow you to work unsupervised for a company, but in most areas it will not allow you to start your own business.

The first step in getting your journeyman license is to check into local trade or technical schools. In many cases, these colleges will offer training in electrical, plumbing, and other trades that may require licensing. The length of time you will have to study your trade in order to get a certificate or take your licensing exam may vary based on location. The average is one or two years, but some areas may require a four year college degree.

If you can't find any schools that offer the programs you need, you may want to check with your local building department to determine what steps need to be taken in order to get your license. In some cases, you may need to attend a specialized school. These are not always available in all locations, so you could have to travel in order to attend. Other areas may only require an apprenticeship program.


An apprenticeship program option may be advised when formal schooling is not available or not required to get a journeyman license. This means that you will work under a licensed professional as an assistant or helper for a certain period of time in order to learn the trade firsthand. Some apprenticeships are full-time paid positions, while others may only require you to work once a week for little or no pay. The average time for an apprenticeship to last is between one and two years. Oftentimes, a journeyman electrician will also undergo an apprenticeship to get his master electrician's license.

Once all classes and apprenticeships are complete, the final step in obtaining a journeyman license is to take an examination. This is required by all applicants in order to become a licensed professional. Specialized classes may be offered to help you study for this test. If not, there is generally a manual you can purchase and study before testing is set to take place.

Should you fail your test on the initial try, you can likely take it again after a certain amount of time has lapsed. The number of days or weeks between attempts will vary based on your location. If you are training as an apprentice, you may talk to your local builder's association to find out when and where testing will take place, as well as any other rules and regulations you may need to know in order to get and maintain your license.


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