A Complete Overview Of The Journeyman Electrician Test

Journeyman Electrician Test

Embarking on the journey to become a licensed journeyman electrician culminates in one significant challenge: acing the journeyman electrician exam. This benchmark test, rooted almost entirely in the National Electrical Code (NEC), stands as the final hurdle for electricians aiming to secure their professional future.

Given the exam’s heavy reliance on the NEC, thorough preparation is not just recommended; it’s essential to ensure you’re fully prepared to pass. Simply put, failure to dedicate adequate study time will likely result in not passing the exam.

Requirements for Journeyman Electrician Certification

Before embarking on the preparation journey, it’s crucial to understand what it takes to qualify for the journeyman electrician test. Each state may have its unique set of eligibility criteria, but generally, candidates must have completed a certain number of hours of electrical work experience and formal education or apprenticeship training. The application process involves submitting proof of these qualifications along with any required fees.

Eligibility Criteria

Typically, candidates must have accumulated 4-5 years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed electrician or have completed an apprenticeship program. This hands-on experience is vital, as it ensures that candidates have not only theoretical knowledge but also practical skills.

To see if you qualify to take your state’s Journeyman Electrician Exam, see our Journeyman Electrical Licensing Requirements by State page.

Application Process

The application process can vary from state to state but usually involves filling out an application form, providing documentation of work experience and education, and paying an examination fee.

You can find the application form for your respective state here.

How To Prepare For The Journeyman Electrician Test

Preparation is key to passing the journeyman electrician test. This involves a combination of studying technical materials, understanding the NEC, and practicing with simulated practice tests.

Study Materials and Resources

There are numerous study guides, textbooks, and online resources available specifically designed for journeyman electrician test preparation. These materials cover electrical theory, code requirements, and practical scenarios that candidates may encounter on the test.

Elevate Your Skills with Our Journeyman Electrician Course

Unlock your potential at Ultimate Electrician’s Guide, where we provide an all-encompassing, in-depth online course tailored to ace your journeyman state exam. Dive into the NEC with our chapter-by-chapter guidance, enriched with hundreds of practice questions and numerous timed simulation exams, ensuring you’re primed to excel. Our course is self-paced, offering the flexibility to start your journey whenever you’re ready.

Check It Out!

Free Practice Tests and Exam Simulators

Are you ready to gauge your readiness for the journeyman electrician test? Dive into our free practice tests to see where you stand. Start with our quick 5-question quiz to get a snapshot of your knowledge. Have your codebooks ready and see how well you can navigate through the questions.


Free Journeyman Electrician Practice Exam

Try out your knowledge of the NEC (National Electrical Code) with this free NEC practice test! Be sure to have your codebook ready.

1 / 5

A 4 ¹¹⁄₁₆ square box that is 2 ⅛ deep can hold a maximum of __ 12 AWG conductors.

2 / 5

GFCI protection is not permitted at carnivals, circuses, and fairs for _____.

3 / 5

For a 100 amp service utilizing 3AWG copper conductors, what is the minimum required size for a copper grounding electrode conductor?

4 / 5

Boxes and fittings shall be _______ when installed in a Class III location.

5 / 5

Reinforcing bars for use as a concrete-encased electrode can be bonded together by the usual steel tie wires or other effective means.

Your score is

The average score is 49%


If you’re looking for a more comprehensive review, take advantage of our longer, still free, timed practice test. This 15-question quiz is designed to give you a well-rounded review, covering a broad range of essential topics you’ll encounter in the full-length exam. This exam assess your understanding in key areas including:

  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Wiring Methods
  • Equipment for General Use
  • Special Occupancy
  • Special Equipment
  • Special Conditions
  • Electrical Theory
  • Sizing Motor Feeders
  • Sizing Motor Branch Circuits / Overloads
  • Grounding and Bonding Sizing
  • Load Calculations
  • Ampacity Calculations
  • Box Fill
  • Pull Box Sizing
  • Overhead Clearance

Understanding the NEC: The Foundation of Your Journeyman Electrician Exam Prep

NEC exam practice test

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the bedrock of electrical safety, guiding the design, installation, and inspection of electrical systems. Integral to the journeyman electrician exam, the NEC tests candidates on their ability to apply its safety standards effectively in the field. Mastery of the NEC is crucial for passing the exam, as it covers essential topics from wiring protection to grounding and bonding, reflecting the code’s comprehensive approach to ensuring electrical safety.

Understanding the NEC goes beyond exam preparation; it’s a commitment to the highest safety standards in the electrical industry. As candidates study the NEC, they not only prepare to ace the journeyman exam but also embrace a career built on safety, excellence, and adaptability.

For a deeper dive into the NEC’s rich history and its pivotal role in the electrical profession, we encourage you to watch our video below, which traces the code’s evolution and its impact on the industry. This journey into the NEC’s past enriches your study experience, highlighting the legacy and continuous innovation that journeyman electricians are part of today. This video is one of the many videos and lessons of our full journeyman exam prep course.

NEC Adoption By State

Understanding which version of the National Electrical Code (NEC) your state has adopted is crucial for journeyman electrician test preparation. The NEC is updated every three years to reflect the latest in electrical safety, technology, and knowledge. However, adoption of the new NEC version by each state isn’t automatic or simultaneous. States choose when and if to adopt a new version, with some states currently using editions that are several cycles old.

When a state adopts a certain version of the NEC, that version becomes the basis for electrical standards in that state, including licensure exams for electricians. Therefore, knowing which NEC edition to study is a critical step in your preparation for the journeyman electrician test.

Below is a breakdown of NEC adoption by states, illustrated with a map of the US showing what states have adopted which version of the NEC.

NEC Adoption By State

Key Topics Covered in the Journeyman Electrician Test

The journeyman electrician test encompasses a wide range of topics, from electrical theory to specific code requirements. Understanding these key areas is crucial for a successful outcome.

Electrical Theory

Understanding electrical theory is the cornerstone of a journeyman electrician’s expertise. This segment delves deep into the principles that govern the behavior of electricity, including Ohm’s law, circuit analysis, motor theory, and more.

A robust grasp of these concepts is not only essential for passing the journeyman electrician test but also forms the foundation for safe and effective electrical work. Topics such as alternating and direct current behavior, understanding electrical circuits, and the relationship between voltage, current, and resistance are thoroughly examined.

National Electrical Code

The National Electrical Code (NEC) forms the backbone of the journeyman electrician test, setting the gold standard for electrical safety and installation practices across the industry. A thorough understanding of the NEC, its structure, and efficient navigation through its sections is not just an advantage—it’s essential.

journeyman electrician test

The NEC is a complex and highly technical codebook, often described as dense and challenging to comprehend, particularly for those not familiar with its legalistic language and intricate details. It’s crafted in a manner akin to legal documents, which can be daunting and requires time to become accustomed to its terminology and presentation style.

For those aiming to pass the journeyman electrician test, mastering the use of tables for specific calculations is crucial. Knowing which tables to reference for load calculations, conduit fill, and wire sizing, among others, and how to read these tables accurately, is indispensable. The NEC’s tables and articles are central to understanding the requirements for safe electrical design and installation.

It’s important to note that the journeyman electrician test is an open book exam, leveraging the NEC as a reference. However, this does not imply the exam is straightforward. The ability to quickly locate relevant information and interpret it correctly under exam conditions is a skill developed through practice and familiarity with the codebook.

Depending on the testing center and location, candidates may be allowed to bring their own NEC codebook or be supplied with one during the exam. If you’re permitted to bring your own, utilizing NEC navigation tabs can significantly enhance your ability to swiftly find necessary sections. These tabs act as a roadmap through the NEC, allowing for quicker referencing and minimizing the time spent searching for specific rules or guidelines.

Attempting to decipher the NEC for the first time on the day of your exam is a strategy fraught with risk. We highly recommend enrolling in a course designed to not only familiarize you with the NEC but to also teach you strategies for its effective use during your exam. At Ultimate Electrician’s Guide, our course is meticulously structured to ensure you become proficient in navigating the NEC, understanding its complex language, and applying its standards to real-world electrical scenarios. This preparation is pivotal, ensuring that when exam day arrives, you’re not just ready, but confident in your ability to succeed.

OSHA Safety

free journeyman electrician exam practice test

Safety is a pivotal component of the Journeyman Electrician Test, notably in states like California. Questions in this section are often based on specific safety handbooks, such as the Cal-OSHA Safety Handbook, covering less than 10% of the exam but critical for both passing and practical application.

This segment is open book, allowing candidates to reference the handbook during the test. Yet, familiarity with its contents and layout before the exam day can significantly boost efficiency and confidence. Reviewing key safety protocols and emergency procedures is advisable, ensuring quick access to vital information and reinforcing a safety-first approach in professional practices. Understanding these safety standards is crucial, enhancing exam performance and emphasizing the commitment to high safety standards in electrical work.

Strategies for Success on Test Day

2020 NEC exam

Success on test day requires more than just knowing the material; it also involves test-taking strategies and mental preparation.

Time Management

With a limited amount of time to complete the test, managing your time effectively is crucial. Prioritize questions based on difficulty and familiarity, and don’t spend too much time on a single question. If you come across a difficult question, mark it and come back at the end with any remaining time you may have.

Reading and Understanding Questions

Carefully read each question and understand what is being asked before attempting to answer. Look out for keywords and phrases that might indicate the correct approach to solving the problem. At the same time, look out for questions that add extra information that are not relevant to actually solving it; these are purposely designed to confuse you.

Memorizing Key NEC Tables

A crucial strategy for acing the Journeyman Electrician Test involves familiarizing yourself with the most commonly referenced tables in the National Electrical Code (NEC). Knowing the location of these tables allows you to quickly reference them during the exam, saving valuable time and reducing stress.

The quicker you can recall the location of these tables, the more time you will save navigating the NEC. Note that the table below is based on the 2020 NEC.

Working Spaces For Electrical EquipmentTable 110.26(a)(1)
Standard Amp Ratings For Fuses and Inverse Time Circuit
Sizing the Main Bonding Jumper250.102(c)(1)
Sizing Equipment Grounding Conductor250.122
Minimum Cover Requirements for Buried Conductors, Cables,
and Raceways
Conductor Applications and Insulation Ratings310.4(a)
Conductor Ampacity of Insulated Conductors310.16
Ampacity Adjustment Factors for More Than Three
Current-Carrying Conductors
Ambient Temperature Correction Factors for Conductors310.15(b)(1)
Minimum Volume For Standard Metal Boxes314.16(a)
Volume Allowance Required per Conductor For Box Fill314.16(b)
Calculating Full Load Current of Motors430.250
Conductor PropertiesChapter 9, table 8
Conduit Fill and tubing fillAnnex C

Free Flash Cards

Interested in studying the above tables? We’ve put together a free Quizlet flashcard set to help you prepare!

Preparing in this manner ensures you’re not just ready to tackle the Journeyman Electrician Test but also equipped to do so with efficiency and confidence.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

After helping hundreds of electricians pass their journeyman electrician test, we’ve seen it all. From the last-minute cram sessions to the overconfident test-takers, here’s the lowdown on the most common slip-ups and how you can dodge them to ensure your success.

Not Studying Enough

The Mistake: Underestimating the breadth and depth of the journeyman electrician test is all too common. Some folks think a quick skim of the material or relying solely on their on-the-job experience will cut it.

How To Avoid: Create a realistic study plan that covers all the test topics, and stick to it. Dedicate a set number of hours each week to study, focusing on both your weak areas and the key concepts of the NEC. Don’t just read—practice with quizzes and flashcards.

Ignoring the NEC

The Mistake: Overlooking the critical role of the National Electrical Code (NEC) in the exam is a serious oversight. Approaching the exam without a solid grasp of the NEC’s structure and contents can severely hinder your performance. Imagine trying to find your way through this comprehensive codebook for the first time under exam conditions—it’s likely to end in frustration.

How to Avoid: Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the NEC. Dedicate daily time to explore and understand its framework, and practice swiftly finding the sections and information you need. To strengthen these skills, consider participating in a course designed to enhance your ability to navigate the NEC efficiently. This preparation is key to confidently tackling the exam.

Skipping Practice Tests

The Mistake: Many candidates skip taking full-length practice exams under timed conditions, missing out on the chance to simulate the test day experience.

How to Avoid: Regularly take practice tests to build your stamina and get used to the pressure of working against the clock. Analyze your performance to identify areas needing improvement. This strategy not only boosts your confidence but also helps you manage time effectively during the actual exam.

Overlooking Practical Application

The Mistake: Focusing too much on theory and neglecting the practical application aspects, such as calculations and interpreting diagrams, can trip you up on test day.

How to Avoid: Balance your study time between theory and practical exercises. Work on sample calculations, and practice reading and understanding various electrical diagrams and schematics. The more hands-on practice you get, the better prepared you’ll be.

Poor Time Management

The Mistake: Running out of time is a common issue. Some test-takers spend too much time on difficult questions, leaving insufficient time for ones they could answer.

How to Avoid: Practice time management during your study sessions and practice exams. Learn to quickly decide whether a question is worth spending time on or if you should skip it and come back later. Develop a strategy for allocating your time based on the structure of the test.

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