Preparing for the Wisconsin Electrical Journeyman Exam
By: Nate Bortz | Sep 22, 2023
In Wisconsin, registered electricians or electrical construction apprentices who want to take the next step in their careers must pass the Journeyman Electrician Exam. The exam is an important part of the licensing process because it ensures applicants not only understand how to install, repair, or maintain electrical wiring but also why they must follow state codes and national regulations.
Wisconsin Journeyman Electrician Exam Overview
The journeyman credentialing exam includes 100 questions based on information from the following sources:
- Wis. Admin. Code § SPS 305
- Explains state definitions for all types of electricians, their responsibilities, and their certification requirements.
- Wis. Admin. Code § SPS 316
- The Wisconsin Electrical Code – Details general definitions, enforcement methods, permit requirements, installation standards, and other general requirements. Also included are the state’s changes, additions, or omissions to the 2017 NEC.
- 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC)
- The nationally accepted benchmark for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards. Wisconsin currently uses the 2017 edition.
Scheduling the exam is part of the Journeyman application. To pass the exam and become certified, you must score at least 70%. This Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) page describes the exam procedures in detail, but here are some fast facts:
- No internet-based devices (phones, tablets, smartwatches) are allowed into the exam room.
- Arrive 30 minutes early and remember to bring your photo ID, a signed Honesty Agreement, number 2 pencils, reference materials (see below), and a nonprogrammable calculator.
- Your exam results will arrive in the mail within 21 calendar days of the exam date.
- If you fail, the results letter also includes instructions for scheduling another exam.
If you’re getting worried about memorizing all the material linked above, breathe easy. Because the exam covers so much, it’s open book. During the exam, DSPS allows any reference material that’s bound together – meaning you can bring loose-leaf paper for taking notes or printed pages of code only if stored in a binder. There’s also no limitation on highlights or ink marks.
But just because it’s an open book exam, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t study the reference material and prepare for the exam. Remember, the exam tests your understanding of electrical code, concepts, and theory. Questions can be complicated and highly technical, expecting that you not only know how to do something from your on-the-job experience, but that you also understand why things are done a specific way.
Additionally, if you skip exam prep, you could waste precious time flipping through reference materials trying to remember where to find a particular code or requirement. This is why effective study techniques and exam prep tools are so important; they can help you know what to review and give you the confidence to pass your exam. Speaking of studying…
WI Journeyman Exam Prep Tool and Study Techniques
If you’d like to spend less time wading through hundreds of pages of code to review what you need to learn for the exam, consider JADE Learning’s Wisconsin Electrical License Exam Prep. This exam prep program is a state specific online study tool that covers all the codes mentioned above. The exam prep offers a choice of two proven resources: a comprehensive study guide and a simulated practice test.
The study guide includes 21 fully illustrated and narrated modules created by experienced instructors that teach you everything you’ll find on the exam. Topics covered include the state codes, material from the 2017 NEC, math and theory, installation requirements, and more!
For an accurate representation of the exam experience, try our simulated practice tests. They’re included in the comprehensive study guide or available as a standalone purchase. The practice tests include hundreds of questions based on the state codes and NEC and are formatted in the same way as the exam.
Taking the simulated practice tests can also help you curb test anxiety. Replicate the testing environment by taking our practice test in a quiet room with your pre-marked study material and no phone (it’s not allowed in the exam room). Use a stopwatch to monitor how long it takes you to complete the practice test. This can help you discover what areas you need to review and make sure you can finish the test within the four-hour time limit.
Interested in this time-saving study guide? Visit the exam prep page to learn more.
Other Study Techniques
While they’ll likely take more time and effort, here are some other ways you can effectively prepare for your certification exam:
- Read through and review all reference material the exam uses. Purchase a copy of the 2017 NEC here. We also recommend printing these PDF copies of the Wisconsin Administrative Codes:
- When studying the reference material, underline or highlight anything you need help remembering so it’s easier to find during the exam.
- While studying, try writing your notes or explanations of exam concepts by hand to help with recall.
- Only study for 45 to 50 minutes at a time to help stay concentrated.
- Try explaining exam topics to friends or family. If you can explain something correctly in your own words to someone, that’s a sign that you understand it yourself.
Ready to take the next step in your electrician career? Don’t let exam anxiety stop you! Simplify your study time with our online comprehensive study guide. Or test your knowledge with the simulated practice tests. No matter how you choose to study, taking the time to prepare will help you walk into the exam room with confidence.
State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. (n.d.). DSPS Credential Checklist. Retrieved from https://dsps.wi.gov/Documents/DSPSCredentialChecklist.pdf
State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. (n.d.). Journeyman Electrician Exam Information. Retrieved from https://dsps.wi.gov/Pages/Professions/JourneymanElectrician/Exams.aspx
State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. (n.d.). Trades Credentialing Examination Information. Retrieved from https://dsps.wi.gov/Pages/Professions/TradesExaminationInformation.aspx
State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. (n.d.). Journeyman Electrician License Information. Retrieved from https://dsps.wi.gov/Pages/Professions/JourneymanElectrician/Default.aspx
State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. (2023, August 31). Instructions for Journeyman Electrician Application. Retrieved from https://dsps.wi.gov/Credentialing/Trades/fm3106.pdf