TN Electrical License

 
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:56 AM   #1
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TN Electrical License


For a few years, I've thought of getting an electrical license. Here, a contractors license requires financial review, and I assumed I wouldn't be able to get past that. We've got a home improvement license which is no test / financials so I've been sticking to doing that kind of work.

Everybody I know does home improvement it seems, and it's pretty cut-throat competetive. Most people I know are just getting in enough work for themselves, but none of them do electrical and they'd use me but obviously I've got to get a license.

I'm thinking I could do pretty well doing things like adding receptacles / lights, fixing broken stuff (I'm pretty good at troubleshooting), and things like that.

I didn't realize, that I could form an LLC, and the LLC being the one whos name the license is in, would have to pass financial review, not me personally. I was beside myself when I figured this out - excited, and felt pretty dumb for not figuring it out sooner

So the other requirements, are a trade and business law test. Business law should be pretty easy, but I'm worried about the trade test. I'm not sure what all is going to be on it so I'm not sure what to study.

Can anybody give me any ideas / pointers on what to study? What kind of questions are on the test? Any good prep courses out there?

There is also an experience / reference bit on the application, but I think the electrician I worked for would help me out there listing jobs I've worked on and reference. I'm not even sure it's required, I know people that have zero trade experience or education in the field (or sense for that matter) that got contractors licenses.
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Old 11-24-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
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Re: TN Electrical License


This is what i found looking up your State:
Tennessee

Code

Installations must conform to State Fire Marshall Regulation No.15, which incorporates the latest edition of the National Electrical Code. Local jurisdictions may adopt more stringent requirements.
Enforcement

State Fire Marshal is empowered to require inspection of any electrical installation. Metropolitan areas have code departments for licensing, permitting, and inspection. Rural areas use the State Department of Insurance for permitting, and state inspectors for inspection.
Licensing

The Board for Licensing Contractors requires an electrical contractor’s license for any project exceeding $25,000 which must be obtained prior to offering to engage, bid or contract. A Limited Licensed Electrician’s License (LLE) is required for electrical projects less than $25,000, except where counties have their own licensing and inspections.
Contractors

Applicants are required to pass the business law and electrical contractor (CE) exam with a minimum score of 70%. In addition, submit their completed application listing their equipment, experience and reference, with a financial statement prepared by CPA/LPA with a reviewed or audited opinion. Subsidiaries must submit their parent company financial with a Guaranty Agreement. License limits are based 10% lesser of the applications working capital and net worth.
Electricians

Applicants are required to submit their application and pass the LLE examination. Contractors holding a Tennessee electrical contractor’s license are exempt from the LLE license.
FeesApplicationExaminationRenewal Contractors$150.00$45.00$200.00/2yr Electricians$50.00$45.00$50.00/2yr Reciprocity

Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Michigan.

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Old 11-24-2011, 02:08 PM   #3
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Re: TN Electrical License


If i were you i would try and at least take the test for the LLE if your only doing Home improvement work. I doubt you would exceed the $25k limit for electric with improvements to a home, unless it were a very big home and needed everything replaced.
I am sure others may have better advice and i feel limited to what i can say as i am not licensed myself. I can say i worked for a licensed electrician for 6yrs and then worked on the side for myself for a good 4yrs before starting my business. For me every day is a learning experience and i pay attention to what is said here and other forums to further learn what i can. The internet obviously is great for learning, anytime i have a question myself i just google and do some research. Reading and understanding the material is a must. Fortunate for me i took basic electric classes in school many moons ago and for some reason i had the foresight to take business law classes, i was also lucky enough to have very good teachers. I have wanted to go back to a trade school to get licensed but i put myself in a lot of debt starting this business, went through a divorce and i am still paying child support for a child from an older relationship so this keeps me broke. I am 40yrs old and new to being a business owner, how many more yrs it will be before i can go back to school i do not know, if ever? For here in NY i do not need to be licensed but here are the requirements if i were to be:
Licensing

Master Electrician

Needs a Bachelor of Arts in engineering, plus 3.5 years under a licensed electrician, or vocational school plus 5.5 years under a licensed electrician, or 7.5 years under a licensed electrician.


The only chance i have that is quick and easy is the vocational school and 5.5yrs under a licensed electrician. The only problem i may face is i was never on the books when i worked for him, it was always cash money.

Last edited by woodchuck2; 11-24-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: TN Electrical License


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchuck2 View Post
If i were you i would try and at least take the test for the LLE if your only doing Home improvement work. I doubt you would exceed the $25k limit for electric with improvements to a home, unless it were a very big home and needed everything replaced.
I am sure others may have better advice and i feel limited to what i can say as i am not licensed myself. I can say i worked for a licensed electrician for 6yrs and then worked on the side for myself for a good 4yrs before starting my business. For me every day is a learning experience and i pay attention to what is said here and other forums to further learn what i can. The internet obviously is great for learning, anytime i have a question myself i just google and do some research. Reading and understanding the material is a must. Fortunate for me i took basic electric classes in school many moons ago and for some reason i had the foresight to take business law classes, i was also lucky enough to have very good teachers. I have wanted to go back to a trade school to get licensed but i put myself in a lot of debt starting this business, went through a divorce and i am still paying child support for a child from an older relationship so this keeps me broke. I am 40yrs old and new to being a business owner, how many more yrs it will be before i can go back to school i do not know, if ever? For here in NY i do not need to be licensed but here are the requirements if i were to be:
Licensing

Master Electrician

Needs a Bachelor of Arts in engineering, plus 3.5 years under a licensed electrician, or vocational school plus 5.5 years under a licensed electrician, or 7.5 years under a licensed electrician.


The only chance i have that is quick and easy is the vocational school and 5.5yrs under a licensed electrician. The only problem i may face is i was never on the books when i worked for him, it was always cash money.
Thanks for researching things! I do so appreciate people around here! I'm not looking at this in the short term at all, I just started a new job today working for probably the single best home improvement company in the area to work for. I'm not looking to leave any time soon. I do want to get licensed regardless for a number of reasons. What if something happens, and my position goes away? I just started with them - so anything could happen. It happened when I worked for the bank with next to no notice. Stuff occurs, and I don't ever want to be caught with my pants down again. Also, if I'm a licensed CE, I could bring more to the table with the company I'm with now. I want to be an irreplaceable asset, and I haven't had that in a few years. It sucks to be disposable! What if I just find out that I'm not cut out to work for someone else? I've worked for myself for so long it's kind of a hard pill to swallow. Even the last job I took doing sales for another company I didn't have much of anybody to answer to other than my paycheck.

Here's the problem with the LLE: The Home Improvement license is like a GC license, but no test, and a 25k limit. It's accepted in 9 counties, Shelby being one of them (Memphis is in Shelby County) These are the counties that do their own inspections vs the state coincidentally.

The LLE USED to be no test (now it's skill test only), and just like a HI license, except it's only valid in places where the local governments DON'T do their own inspections, so in Shelby county, it does me no good.

HI license, good only in these 9 counties. LLE and LLP, good everywhere BUT these 9 counties. Fked up I know, but that's the way it is.

The limit for a CE is based on financial review. I can get 25k by default, and I'd probably never exceed that. With a CE, I could partner with another CE, and combine limits too.

I am well aware of the requirements, and all that - the only thing that I didn't realize until recently, is that I could form an LLC or corp that would be applying for the license, and I'd be the qualifying agent to pass the skill, and business law test.

Here, we go by 2005 NEC, and 2003 IBC. I know to get these code books, and study them. What I want to know, is what kind of questions to expect - like electrical theory. I was a comp science major, EE minor in college so I probably know the formulas for what they are going to ask, but it's been a long time.

I'm thinking about just taking the skill test to see what is on it, but I think if I fail it, I can't take it again for 3-6 months or something. I know I probably won't pass it the first time, but if I'm going to give it a whirl, it's not going to be a joy ride, it's business time!
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Old 11-24-2011, 07:37 PM   #5
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Re: TN Electrical License


Also, you are mistaken about reciprocity. The LLE is not reciprocated at all, neither is the LLP or the Home Improvement license.

While Memphis borders Arkansas and Mississippi - I'd only work in Mississippi. I can get to West Memphis AR in about 20 min, but it's a rathole. DeSoto county MS on the other hand is pretty decent.

In Mississippi, I can do up to 7500 (home improvement) with NO license, and up to 75k with their HI license - but no new construction like additions I can convert attic / garage space, but can't do additional footprint basically (That's MS, not TN). Here it's 2500 without a license, 25k with HI license, and regular contractors license over that.

Licensing requirements I know. It's passing the tests I'm iffy on
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:21 AM   #6
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Re: TN Electrical License


I would just ask one of your local guys who is licensed of what is on the test. I am sure electrical theory is on it, most likely some math for load calcs, voltage drop for wire size, code questions and you may even face questions on the types of 3-phase. I am sure someone else will come along with better answers, i am guessing as to what i would expect on a test.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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Re: TN Electrical License


Looks like tests are administered by PSI.

http://candidate.psiexams.com/bullet...lletinurl=.pdf
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: TN Electrical License


I took the lle test. I didn't pass lol. It is more than residential. You also need to know about three phase, and transistors. Know your load calculations!
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:52 PM   #9
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Re: TN Electrical License


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Looks like tests are administered by PSI.

http://candidate.psiexams.com/bullet...lletinurl=.pdf
They are indeedy. I could be mistaken, but I believe that the test is the same for a CE as an LLE. LLE doesn't require business law test though.

Business law should be a no-brainer.

The only local guys I know took the test 20+ years ago.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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Re: TN Electrical License


I bought the mike holt training coarse. It was about $800. I'm planning on taking the test as soon as I can dedicate a full month to study.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:06 PM   #11
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Re: TN Electrical License


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I took the lle test. I didn't pass lol. It is more than residential. You also need to know about three phase, and transistors. Know your load calculations!
Surely you meant transformers.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:14 AM   #12
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Re: TN Electrical License


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I took the lle test. I didn't pass lol. It is more than residential. You also need to know about three phase, and transistors. Know your load calculations!
I do know about transformers and 3 phase. Load calcs I've always used tables, but it can't be that difficult. I assume you can bring a calculator?

The only thing I haven't wrapped my head around is that power distribution is 3 phase, so it's 120 degrees between phases so it's baffling how you get single phase to be 180 degrees like the basic textbooks show. I'm thinking it's really 120 out of phase, and they show it 180 for simplicity in explaining. I'd like to hook up a scope to it to find out for sure, but nobody I know has an oscilloscope From what I understand, single phase is two hots and a neutral from the transformer, which would put it at 120 degrees. I've worked on plenty of 3 phase, but mostly 208, not much 480. Nothing different other than voltages though.

Some of the people that have wanted to dish me out work are light commercial anyway. My uncle's cabinet guy has a shop that's got 208, and a lot his equipment has 3 phase motors. You should see this guy's planer, I don't know how he moved that thing in there without a forklift. Kind of makes me think of Tim Allen's gas powered garbage disposal
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:48 AM   #13
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Re: TN Electrical License


The easiest way to pass to the test is to take the course offered by American Contractor Exam Services. They will walk you through everything that will be on the test. The first day you will spend the first half of the day in business law, the second half of the day you will spend in the electrical prep. The second day you will be all electrical prep. You can buy the code books from them and they come tabbed and highlighted with what is on the test. It is like they spoon feed what is on the test to you. This is how I did it and it made it really easy. The only problem with the Tennessee CE Lic. is some areas want you to have a city lic also. This is in areas like metro Nashville, Murfreesboro. I dont know if Memphis is the same way. Good luck.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:24 PM   #14
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Re: TN Electrical License


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I do know about transformers and 3 phase. Load calcs I've always used tables, but it can't be that difficult. I assume you can bring a calculator?

The only thing I haven't wrapped my head around is that power distribution is 3 phase, so it's 120 degrees between phases so it's baffling how you get single phase to be 180 degrees like the basic textbooks show. I'm thinking it's really 120 out of phase, and they show it 180 for simplicity in explaining. I'd like to hook up a scope to it to find out for sure, but nobody I know has an oscilloscope From what I understand, single phase is two hots and a neutral from the transformer, which would put it at 120 degrees. I've worked on plenty of 3 phase, but mostly 208, not much 480. Nothing different other than voltages though.

Some of the people that have wanted to dish me out work are light commercial anyway. My uncle's cabinet guy has a shop that's got 208, and a lot his equipment has 3 phase motors. You should see this guy's planer, I don't know how he moved that thing in there without a forklift. Kind of makes me think of Tim Allen's gas powered garbage disposal
Yeah I don't know understand everything obviously. All I know how to do is wire houses and thats all I want to do. You should know ohm's law also. Actually I took it twice. The first time I got 4 out of five on the conductor questions and got 1 out of 5 on the conduit and boxes questions. The second time was just the opposite and I needed one more question to pass. You can either take the nec handbook or the code book in with you and a reg calculator and you need 2 id's. The only thing is that you never know what you missed exactly. Unless you take a review but even then you only get to look at what you missed and you are not allowed to take any notes out with you. I am gonna get the dewalt electrical contractors exam review for the 2005 nec and am not going to take it again till i do more studying.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:34 PM   #15
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Re: TN Electrical License


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The easiest way to pass to the test is to take the course offered by American Contractor Exam Services. They will walk you through everything that will be on the test. The first day you will spend the first half of the day in business law, the second half of the day you will spend in the electrical prep. The second day you will be all electrical prep. You can buy the code books from them and they come tabbed and highlighted with what is on the test. It is like they spoon feed what is on the test to you. This is how I did it and it made it really easy. The only problem with the Tennessee CE Lic. is some areas want you to have a city lic also. This is in areas like metro Nashville, Murfreesboro. I dont know if Memphis is the same way. Good luck.
Good point! Memphis is not gonna except the lle, because they have their own local inspectors and do not use the state instectors, but you can use it in the smaller surrounding cities. Nashville has their own license if you don't hav the CE. Their license requires 3 years working for an electric company and then a test i believe, but if you have a CE no problem, you can work where you want.

How much experience did you have when you filled out your application for your CE. I wired for a GC and not an electrical company and am not even sure if they will accept my experience to get a CE. Have you heard of someone passing the test and not allowing them to get their licence because of experience?
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:34 PM   #16
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Re: TN Electrical License


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Good point! Memphis is not gonna except the lle, because they have their own local inspectors and do not use the state instectors, but you can use it in the smaller surrounding cities. Nashville has their own license if you don't hav the CE. Their license requires 3 years working for an electric company and then a test i believe, but if you have a CE no problem, you can work where you want.

How much experience did you have when you filled out your application for your CE. I wired for a GC and not an electrical company and am not even sure if they will accept my experience to get a CE. Have you heard of someone passing the test and not allowing them to get their licence because of experience?
I have my CE and metro Nashville still requires you to get a lic. from them and so does Murfreesboro. It is just a way to get into our pockets and get more money. When I got my CE I thought i was all set but they have their own way of doing things. It should be illegal but who is going to stop them. If they did the same thing with driver lic. there would be hell to pay from the public.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:51 PM   #17
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Re: TN Electrical License


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Good point! Memphis is not gonna except the lle, because they have their own local inspectors and do not use the state instectors, but you can use it in the smaller surrounding cities. Nashville has their own license if you don't hav the CE. Their license requires 3 years working for an electric company and then a test i believe, but if you have a CE no problem, you can work where you want.

How much experience did you have when you filled out your application for your CE. I wired for a GC and not an electrical company and am not even sure if they will accept my experience to get a CE. Have you heard of someone passing the test and not allowing them to get their licence because of experience?
We are inspected by Shelby County - it's not like I can go to the burbs and use the LLE. It's not worth it to me over the difference in a business law test, and having to form an LLC to pass financials, or I'm sure the guy I work for now would be happy to have me QA for him. From where I'm standing an LLE doesn't get me anything.

The local licenses are a money grab. You're licensed? Ok, now pay here to work in this township!

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