Topic:
OCCUPATIONS (GENERAL); TRAINING PROGRAMS; OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING; ADULT EDUCATION; LEGISLATION;
Location:
LICENSING; OCCUPATIONAL TRAINING;

OLR Research Report


August 3, 2006

 

2006-R-0455

CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR
ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS, AND CARPENTERS

By: Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst

You asked (1) if Massachusetts requires retired electricians, plumbers, and carpenters to take continuing education courses to keep their licenses, (2) if 2006 Connecticut legislation exempted retired plumbers from continuing education requirements, and (3) for a comparison of the Connecticut and Massachusetts continuing education requirements for electricians.

SUMMARY

Massachusetts, like Connecticut, requires licensed electricians to take continuing education courses before license renewal. There is no exception for a retired, license-holding electrician in either state.

Massachusetts does not require licensed plumbers to take continuing education courses or require carpenters to be licensed.

The Connecticut legislature did not exempt retired, license-holding plumbers from continuing education requirements in 2006. Instead, it capped the number of continuing education hours that state regulations may require plumbers to take at seven hours every two years. Prior to the 2006 act, DCP regulations required: unlimited plumbers to take nine hours every year, limited contractors and unlimited journeypersons to take six hours every year, and limited journeypersons to take three hours every year.

Both states require electricians to take an average of seven hours of continuing education every year. Both states require electricians to study the state electrical code. Massachusetts has additional requirements for non-resident electricians. A Connecticut electrician who does not meet his requirements may not renew his license and thereby loses his ability to practice his trade. A Massachusetts electrician who does not meet his requirements must take additional courses. If he fails to meet his requirements for three consecutive years, he is subject to review by the licensing board. Both states have exemptions for proven cases of individual hardship. The allowable reasons in Massachusetts seem to be limited to medical causes while Connecticut's seem to be broader.

Copies of both states' regulations are enclosed.

RETIRED ELECTRICIANS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts, like Connecticut, does not have a special set of licensing requirements for retired electricians. Consequently, if an individual holds an electrician license, he must meet continuing education requirements unless he qualifies for a hardship exemption. In both states, the fact that one is retired and holds a license to engage in electrical work does not qualify an individual for an exemption.

CONNECTICUT'S 2006 LEGISLATION

During the 2006, the legislature relaxed the continuing education requirements for plumbers. The act limits the hours of continuing education that Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) regulations may require of plumbers to seven every two years (PA 06-49). If there are significant changes to the building code that relate to plumbing, the act allows the commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) to increase the requirement. Prior to the 2006 act, DCP regulations required: unlimited plumbers to take nine hours every year, limited contractors and unlimited journeypersons to take six hours every year, and limited journeypersons to take three hours every year.

CONNECTICUT AND MASSACHUSETTS REQUIREMENTS COMPARED

The electrical licensing boards of both states have adopted regulations establishing the requirements for continuing education (Regs. Conn. State Agencies 20-344d-1 and 237 CMR 17.01 and 17.02).

Table 1: Continuing Education Requirements

 

Connecticut

Massachusetts

Hours

Electricians must take at least seven hours of continuing education courses each year before license renewal.

Electricians must take at least 21 clock hours of continuing education every three years before license renewal. The average annual requirement is seven hours.

Content

The following areas of study, with an emphasis on recent changes or updates, are acceptable: licensing or business law and regulations applicable to the electrical trade, the current State of Connecticut Building Codes and Standards applicable to the electrical trade, construction safety, and any areas recommended by the commissioner or the Electrical Work Examining Board.

Resident electricians must take 15 of the 21 required hours on the current electrical code and other rules, regulations, and topics. Non-resident electricians must take 15 of the 21 required hours on the current electrical code in the jurisdiction in which they reside and six hours on the Massachusetts amendments to the National Electrical Code or on Massachusetts rules and regulations.

Penalty

An electrician who fails to meet his continuing education requirement cannot renew his license. Holding a current, valid license is required to engage in the trade.

An electrician who fails to meet his continuing education requirement must take an additional 21-clock hour course for each renewal cycle for which he is delinquent. Each such course must be provided by a different instructor. A licensee who fails to meet his requirement for three consecutive renewal cycles is subject to licensing board review and approval and may choose to be re-examined.

Exemptions

An electrician is not required to take the continuing education courses if he (1) is renewing his license for the first time or (2) can show to the DCP commissioner that there is a bona fide health or other individual hardship.

An electrician is not required to take the continuing education courses if he (1) receives his first license within four months or (2) can show hardship based on illness, disability, or other medical condition.

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