Supervising Electrician License

A licensed supervising electrician has demonstrated knowledge about the installation, alteration, repair, and maintenance of electrical equipment and apparatus under the Chicago Electrical Code. A licensed electrical contractor must be owned by or employ at least one licensed supervising electrician and a licensed supervising electrician must either perform or supervise and direct all electrical work done by the electrical contractor.

Supervising electrician licenses are issued by the Department of Buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a supervising electrician license required?

To be licensed in the City of Chicago, an electrical contractor must be owned by or employ at least one supervising electrician.

All electrical work performed by an electrical contractor must be performed by a licensed supervising electrician or by employees working under the supervision and direction of a licensed supervising electrician.

A supervising electrician may not be the primary supervising electrician for more than one licensed electrical contractor.

Are there different types of supervising electrician licenses?

Yes, a supervising electrician’s license type corresponds to the examination(s) which that individual has passed.

There are currently two types of supervising electrician examinations: general and low voltage. Before 2018, additional specializations were offered.

Who may obtain a supervising electrician license?

Supervising electrician licenses are issued to individuals who have experience installing, altering, repairing, and maintaining electrical wires, equipment, and apparatus and have passed a written examination.

What is required to obtain a supervising electrician license?

To obtain a supervising electrician license, individuals must pass a written examination demonstrating they have satisfactory knowledge and technical training to perform or supervise the work of installing, altering, repairing, or maintaining electrical wires and apparatus under the Chicago Electrical Code.

A study guide for the supervising electrician examination is available on the Continental Testing Services web site

To be eligible to take the written examination, an individual must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have at least 2 years’ experience installing, altering, repairing, and maintaining electrical wires, equipment, and apparatus, or equivalent experience, under the direct supervision of a supervising electrician or equivalent person

An applicant’s work experience must be verified by letters from their supervisors.

How do I apply for a new supervising electrician license?

Continental Testing Services processes supervising electrician license applications and administers written examinations on behalf of the Department of Buildings.

Applications are submitted through the Continental Testing Services web site

Applicants who have failed the supervising electrician examination must wait at least 6 months before reapplying.

How do I renew an existing supervising electrician license?

Existing supervising electrician licenses are renewed through the Department of Buildings web portal.

A supervising electrician license cannot be renewed if it has been expired for 3 or more years. Individuals who were previously licensed as supervising electricians and are ineligible to renew may apply for a new license if they meet the qualifications.

How much does a supervising electrician license cost?

These fees apply to supervising electrician licenses:

Fee Type Amount
Examination Fee (per exam) $150.00
Initial License Fee $150.00
Renewal Fee (per year) $150.00

How long is a supervising electrician license valid?

A supervising electrician license is valid for one year from issuance or renewal.

Ordinances and Rules 

Municipal Code of Chicago, Chapter 4-292: Supervising Electricians

This information is provided to help you better understand licensing requirements in the City of Chicago. It may not reflect all conditions, limitations, or exceptions that may apply to a particular situation and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. To the extent the information on this page differs from the Municipal Code of Chicago or applicable rules, the ordinance or rule controls.