Most electricians will have to obtain state-issued licenses by April 1 to continue their trade in Wisconsin.
Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday signed Assembly Bill 683, which sets new standards for electricians who seek to get master’s or journeymen licenses, and would require those who are registered as various other types of electricians to work under the supervision of a master or a journeyman.
The rules originally were to go into effect April 1, 2013, but state lawmakers extended the deadline by a year to work on exemptions meant to protect jobs.
The Senate and Assembly passed an amended version of the bill Feb. 18. The changes pertained mostly to exemptions granted in both the original version of the bill and some in previously adopted electrician-licensing laws. The original version of AB 683, for instance, would exempt electricians born before 1955 and with 15 years of experience; the amended version will exempt those born before 1956.
Another change will require electricians go through an apprenticeship of at least three years to get a journeyman’s license. The original bill had required an apprenticeship lasting at least four years.
Other exemptions in AB 683 would apply to electrical workers in factories, to those who work on electrical signs and to volunteers doing electrical work for nonprofit groups such as Habitat for Humanity. Other provisions of the bill are meant to ensure that Wisconsin can reach a reciprocity agreement with Minnesota and other states. Such an agreement would make it easier for Wisconsin electrical workers to obtain electrician licenses in those places.