Journeyman’s License Is Not Worth The Ink That Is Smeared In Your Wallet!
Recently, Ron Fuller, Chief Electrical Inspector for the
State of Washington, acting on his own authority, gutted the integrity of the
Journeyman Electrician license that many of you have worked so hard to earn.
Some of you might be thinking, “That’s a pretty strong
statement, Greg; how do you back that up?”
What if I were to tell you that a trainee could legally work
without ever being supervised by any journeyman, for 8000 hours for a residential electrical contractor, take a test, and become a licensed
Washington State 01, Commercial Journeyman Electrician!?
You would probably say, “No way! That can’t be true! The
Washington State legislature clearly wanted electricians to be trained by other
journeymen. That’s why they put things like ‘one-to-one journeyman to trainee
ratio’ and ‘limits on the amount of specialty work’ that trainee can apply to
his commercial journeyman’s license in the RCW. The legislature wanted to
protect the worker, the customer, and the public from untrained charlatans
claiming to be electricians from installing shoddy electrical work.”
You might even say, “Greg, you’re a liar! Just last week a
trainee I know was written up and had to pay a fine because he was working on a
job by himself without supervision of Journeyman!”
And what I would say to you is: “It is still illegal for a
Washington State resident to work unsupervised in the state of
Washington. And, you still cannot get a Commercial 01 license
without having at least 4,000 hours of experience doing commercial work, with a
maximum of 4,000 hours in a specialty, if your work experience comes from the
State of Washington.
“However, if you come from the State of Texas and
have never worked under the supervision of a journeyman and have never
had any experience working on a commercial project, but you still want a
Washington State license -- no problem!”
It is now easier to get a Washington State journeyman electrician’s
license if you live in Texas than it is if you’re a tax-paying resident of
This outrageous undermining of the will of our State’s
legislature is the absurd actions of one guy, Ron Fuller, our State’s Chief
Electrical Inspector. For some reason beyond all logic, our ‘chief’ has decided
that it benefits the citizens of the State of Washington to have a reciprocity
licensing agreement with the State of Texas!
And, he is completely against signing a conditional
licensing agreement with our two bordering States of Idaho and Oregon, whose
standards are actually equal or greater to ours and where a reciprocity
agreement would actually benefit electricians who are citizens of the
State of Washington.
Instead, he has chosen to undermine the will of the Washington
State legislature and sign a reciprocity agreement with the State of Texas, a
state which requires almost nothing from workers to demonstrate that
they are safe, competent electricians.
So, what is my advice to trainees in the State of Washington who
are threatened with a fine for working unsupervised by an inspector? Simply reply that if a Texan doesn’t need
supervision to learn the electrical trade well enough to get a Washington State
license, why should a tax-paying citizen of this state? Take you ticket to the
electrical board and fight it since they recently voted to uphold Ron Fuller’s
circumvention of our law.