HB 2253

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.

C 156 L 14

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning telecommunications installations.

Sponsors: Representatives Manweller, Sells, Johnson and Ryu.

House Committee on Labor & Workforce Development

Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor


Electrical Contracting: General.

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 contractor license allows the licensee to engage in all aspects of the electrical business. Electrical contractor specialty licenses include the limited energy (06) specialty. 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 generally must have a journey level or specialty electrician certificate of competency. 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 (06) 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.

Electrical Contracting: Telecommunications.

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

"Telecommunication systems" are the structured cabling systems between the local service provider and the customer's premises structured cabling system. "Telecommunication systems" include premises switching equipment, fiber optic, and other limited-energy interconnections associated with telecommunications systems or appliances. Excluded are horizontal cabling used for certain fire protection and alarms and lighting control systems. Telecommunications systems may interface with other building signal systems, including security and alarms, within telecommunications closets or at extended points of demarcation.

An administrative hearing resulted in a decision that work performed on cables that carry both data and low voltage electricity, such as power over Ethernet devices, is 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 and telecommunications.


The definition of "telecommunications systems" is modified to include premises switching equipment providing operational power to the telecommunications device and power distribution associated with telecommunications systems. A rule stating that horizontal cabling for a telecommunications outlet, necessary to interface with other systems including security and alarms outside of a closet, is telecommunications work is placed in statute. Lighting, in addition to lighting control systems, is excluded from "telecommunications systems."

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 or limited energy (06) specialty 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.

Votes on Final Passage:







(Senate amended)




(House concurred)


March 31, 2014 (Section 1)

June 12, 2014