Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Labor & Workforce Development Committee

HB 2254

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Concerning telecommunications work experience for purposes of eligibility toward limited energy specialty electrician certification.

Sponsors: Representatives Manweller, Sells and Johnson.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Allows, until July 1, 2015, certain telecommunications workers to apply unsupervised work experience towards meeting the requirements for a limited energy system specialty electrician certificate of competency.

Hearing Date: 1/23/14

Staff: Joan Elgee (786-7106).


An electrical contractor license is required to engage in the business of installing or maintaining wires or equipment to convey electric current, or equipment to be operated by electric current. A general electrical (01) contractor license allows the licensee to engage in all aspects of the electrical business. Electrical contractor specialty licenses include limited energy (06) and telecommunications (09). By rule, the scope of 06 work is restricted to low-voltage circuits and includes telecommunications, certain alarms, and lighting control systems.

To work as an electrician, an individual must have a journey level or specialty electrician certificate of competency, which is granted after the applicant passes the appropriate examination. The specialty certificates mirror the specialty contractor licenses. To take the journey level examination, an applicant must work in the electrical construction trade for at least 8,000 hours. For the limited energy specialty certificate, an applicant must work in the specialty for at least 4,000 hours to take the examination.

To obtain the necessary work experience to become a journey level or specialty electrician, an applicant must obtain an electrical training certificate, and in general, trainees must work under the supervision of a journey level or the appropriate specialty electrician.

Engaging in the business of installing or maintaining telecommunications systems requires a telecommunications contractor (09) license. General electrical or limited energy specialty contractors may also engage in telecommunications work. Individual worker certification is not required for telecommunications work.

An administrative hearing decision held that work performed on cables that carry both data and low voltage electricity, such as power over Ethernet devices, are outside the scope of 09 work and requires an 06 electrician.

The Department of Labor and Industries (Department) issues licenses and certificates of competency and otherwise administers the regulation of electricians and electrical work.

Summary of Bill:

Before July 1, 2015, telecommunications workers who obtain a training certificate may apply unsupervised work experience towards obtaining the required work experience to take the examination to become a limited energy system (06) specialty electrician. The work experience must have been obtained while the worker was employed by a general electrical (01) or limited energy system specialty (06) contractor. The applicant receives one hour credit for every two hours of work. Evidence of the work experience must be submitted in the form of an affidavit prescribed by the Department.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Requested on January 15, 2014.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.