Justification for Adoption of Electrician Licensing Administrative Rules

JUSTIFICATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RULE ADOPTION
Electricians
16 TAC Chapter 73, amendments §§73.10, 73.20, 73.24, 73.25, and 73.80

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 73, §§73.20, 73.24, 73.25, and 73.80, regarding the Electricians program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the February 2, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 499). The rules will not be republished.

The Commission also adopts amendments at 16 TAC Chapter 73, §73.10, regarding the Electricians program, with changes to the proposed text as published in the February 2, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 499). The rules will be republished.

The adopted rules implement House Bill 1698, 85th Legislature, Regular Session (2017), which created the journeyman industrial electrician license. The adopted rules add a definition, application and renewal fees, continuing education requirements, and address eligibility and waiver of examination requirements for the journeyman industrial electrician license. The adopted amendments are necessary to implement House Bill 1698.

The adopted amendment to §73.10 adds the definition “journeyman industrial electrician.”

The adopted amendments to §73.20 require an applicant for the journeyman industrial electrician license to submit documentation proving the required amount of on-the-job training.

The adopted amendments to §73.24 allow waiver of the examination requirement for journeyman industrial electricians when applicable.

The adopted amendments to §73.25 require four hours of annual continuing education for journeyman industrial electricians.

The adopted amendments to §73.80 create an application and renewal fee for the journeyman industrial electrician license.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rules were published in the February 2, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 499). The deadline for public comment was March 5, 2018. During the 30-day public comment period the Department received comments from twenty-one interested parties. The public comments received are summarized below.

Comment--One commenter asked how the proposed rules would affect electricians who work at power plants.

Department Response-- This question will be addressed in an upcoming frequently asked questions document. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter expressed approval of the proposed rules.

Department Response --The Department appreciates this comment. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to the comment.

Comment--Two commenters expressed opposition to the creation of a journeyman industrial electrician license on the basis that the license is unnecessary.

Department Response --The journeyman industrial electrician was created by statute, and the Department must implement it. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter expressed concern that the Department would waive an examination requirement for the journeyman industrial electrician license.

Department Response --The Department has no plans to waive the examination requirement for this license. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One person requested an update on the status of his license application.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Licensing Division for a response. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter recommended statutory changes including repeal of the journeyman industrial electrician license.

Department Response --The Department has no authority to enact statutory changes. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter inquired whether and when the Department would begin inspecting chemical plants, oil refineries, and other similar facilities.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Division of Regulatory and Program Management for possible inclusion in a frequently asked questions document. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter inquired whether a journeyman industrial electrician must work under a master electrician or electrical contractor.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Division of Regulatory and Program Management for a response. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter expressed disapproval of the journeyman industrial electrician license and stated his concern that he would have to maintain two separate licenses.

Department Response --Although the comment was not clear, the Department believes the commenter’s concern was that in order to perform electrical work at an industrial location, he would have to hold a journeyman industrial electrician license in addition to a journeyman electrician license. That is not the case. A person holding a journeyman electrician license would not be required by law to obtain a journeyman industrial electrician license in order to perform electrical work at an industrial location. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter requested expansion of the categories of persons eligible for the journeyman industrial electrician license.

Department Response --The scope of the journeyman industrial electrician license is fixed by statute, and the Department has no authority to enact statutory changes. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter asked whether he would be required to obtain a journeyman industrial electrician license.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Division of Regulatory and Program Management for a response. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter requested that the Department waive the examination requirement for persons with lapsed licenses.

Department Response --The Department appreciates this comment. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter asked for clarification of the exemptions outlined in Texas Occupations Code Section 1305.003.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Division of Regulatory and Program Management for a response. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter inquired about how to renew his license.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Licensing Division for a response. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter inquired whether the journeyman industrial electrician license only applied to work covered by the National Electrical Code.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Division of Regulatory and Program Management for a response. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter asked whether persons performing electrical work in refineries and chemical plants would be required to obtain a journeyman industrial electrician license.

Department Response --This comment was forwarded to the Division of Regulatory and Program Management for a response. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

Comment--One commenter suggested changes to the rules governing residential appliance installers.

Department Response --This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rules. The Department did not make any changes to the rules in response to this comment.

The Electrical Safety and Licensing Advisory Board (Advisory Board) met on March 22, 2018, to discuss the proposed rules and the public comments received. The Advisory Board recommended adopting the rules with one minor editorial change.

At its meeting on March 27, 2018, the Commission adopted the rules as recommended by the Board.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1305, which authorize the Commission, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1305. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

§73.10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Assumed name--A name used by a business as defined in the Business and Commerce Code.

(2) Business affiliation--The business organization to which a master licensee may assign his or her license.

(3) Employee--An individual who performs tasks assigned to him by his employer. The employee is subject to the deduction of social security and federal income taxes from his pay. An employee may be full time, part time, or seasonal.

(4) Employer--One who employs the services of employees, pays their wages, deducts the required social security and federal income taxes from the employee's pay, and directs and controls the employee's performance.

(5) Filed--A document is deemed to have been filed with the department on the date that the document has been received by the department or, if the document has been mailed to the department, the date a postmark is applied to the document by the U.S. Postal Service.

(6) General Supervision--Exercise of oversight by a master electrician on behalf of an electrical contractor, or electrical sign contractor, or by a master sign electrician on behalf of an electrical sign contractor of performance by all classes of electrical licensees of electrical work bearing responsibility for the work's compliance with applicable codes under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1305.

(7) On-Site Supervision--Exercise of supervision of electrical work or electrical sign work by a licensed individual other than an electrical apprentice. Continuous supervision of an electrical apprentice is not required, though the on-site supervising licensee is responsible for review and inspection of the electrical apprentice's work to ensure compliance with any applicable codes or standards.

(8) Electrical Contractor--A person, or entity, licensed as an electrical contractor, that is in the business of performing "Electrical Contracting" as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(5).

(9) Master Electrician--An individual, licensed as a master electrician, who on behalf of an electrical contractor, electrical sign contractor, or employing governmental entity, performs "Electrical Work" as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(11).

(10) Journeyman Electrician--An individual, licensed as a journeyman electrician, who works under the general supervision of a master electrician, on behalf of an electrical contractor, or employing governmental entity, while performing "Electrical Work" as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(11).

(11) Electrical Apprentice--An individual, licensed as an apprentice who works under the on-site supervision of a master electrician, journeyman electrician, or residential wireman, on behalf of an electrical contractor or employing governmental entity performing "Electrical Work" as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(11).

(12) Electrical Sign Contractor--A person, or entity, licensed as an electrical sign contractor, that is in the business of performing "Electrical Sign Contracting" as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(9).

(13) Master Sign Electrician--An individual, licensed as a master sign electrician, who, on behalf of an electrical sign contractor, performs "Electrical Sign Work" as defined in paragraph (18).

(14) Journeyman Sign Electrician--An individual, licensed as a journeyman sign electrician, who works under the general supervision of a master electrician or a master sign electrician, on behalf of an electrical sign contractor, while performing "Electrical Sign Work" as defined in paragraph (18).

(15) Residential Wireman--An individual, licensed as a residential wireman, who works under the general supervision of a master electrician, on behalf of an electrical contractor, or employing governmental entity, while performing electrical work that is limited to electrical installations in single family and multifamily dwellings not exceeding four stories, as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(13).

(16) Maintenance Electrician--An individual, licensed as a maintenance electrician, who works under the general supervision of a master electrician, on behalf of an electrical contractor, or employing governmental entity while performing "Electrical Maintenance Work" as defined in paragraph (17).

(17) Electrical Maintenance Work--The replacement, or repair of existing electrical appurtenances, apparatus, equipment, machinery, or controls used in connection with the use of electrical energy in, on, outside, or attached to a building, residence, structure, property, or premises. All replacements or repairs must be of the same rating and type as the existing installation. No improvements may be made that are necessary to comply with applicable codes under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1305. Electrical maintenance work does not include the installation of any new electrical appurtenances, apparatus, equipment, machinery, or controls beyond the scope of any existing electrical installation.

(18) Electrical Sign Work--Any labor or material used in manufacturing, installing, maintaining, extending, connecting or reconnecting an electrical wiring system and its appurtenances, apparatus or equipment used in connection with signs, outline lighting, awnings, signals, light emitting diodes, and the repair of existing outdoor electric discharge lighting, including parking lot pole lighting. This also includes the installation of an electrical service integral to an isolated sign and/or outline lighting installation.

(19) Work Involved in the Manufacture of Electrical Equipment--Work involved in the manufacture of electrical equipment includes on and off-site manufacture, commissioning, testing, calibration, coordination, troubleshooting, evaluation, repair or retrofits with components of the same ampacity, maintenance and servicing of electrical equipment within their enclosures performed by authorized employees, or authorized representatives of electrical equipment manufacturers and limited to the type of products they manufacture.

(20) Electrical Sign Apprentice--An individual, licensed as an electrical sign apprentice who works under the on-site supervision of a master electrician, a master sign electrician, or a journeyman sign electrician, on behalf of an electrical sign contractor performing "Electrical Sign Work" as defined by this chapter.

(21) On-the-job Training--Training or experience gained under the supervision of an appropriate licensee, as prescribed by Texas Occupations Code Chapter 1305, while performing electrical work as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(11).

(22) Residential Appliance Installer--An individual, licensed as a residential appliance installer, who on behalf of a residential appliance installation contractor, performs electrical work that is limited to residential appliance installation including residential pool-related electrical installation and maintenance as defined by Texas Occupations Code, §1305.002(12-b).

(23) Residential Appliance Installation Contractor--A person or entity licensed as a residential appliance installation contractor, that is in the business of residential appliance installation including pool-related electrical installation and maintenance as defined by Texas Occupations Code §1305.002(12-d).

(24) Residential Appliance--Electrical equipment that performs a specific function, and is installed as a unit in a dwelling by direct connection to an existing electrical circuit, such as water heaters, kitchen appliances, or pool-related electrical device. The term does not include general use equipment such as service equipment, other electrical power production sources, or branch circuit overcurrent protection devices not installed in the listed appliance or listed pool-related electrical device.

(25) Offer to perform--To make a written or oral proposal, to contract in writing or orally to perform electrical work or electrical sign work, to advertise in any form through any medium that a person or business entity is an electrical contractor, electrical sign contractor, or residential appliance installation contractor or that implies in any way that a person or business entity is available to contract for or perform electrical work, electrical sign work, or residential appliance installation work.

(26) Electro Mechanical Integrity--The condition of an electrical product, electrical system, or electrical equipment installed in accordance with its intended purpose and according to standards at least as strict as the standards provided by the National Electrical Code, the manufacturer's specifications, any listing or labeling on the product, and all other applicable codes or ordinances.

(27) Journeyman Lineman--An individual who engages in electrical work involving the maintenance and operation of equipment associated with the transmission and distribution of electricity from the electricity's original source to a substation for further distribution.

(28) Journeyman Industrial Electrician--An individual who engages in electrical work exclusively at a business that operates a chemical plant, petrochemical plant, refinery, natural gas plant, natural gas treating plant, pipeline, or oil and gas exploration and production operation.

§73.20. Licensing Requirements--Applicant and Experience Requirements.

(a) An applicant for a license must submit the required fees with a completed application and the appropriate attachments:

(1) Applicants for Master Electrician, Master Sign Electrician, Journeyman Electrician, Journeyman Sign Electrician, Residential Wireman, Journeyman Lineman, Maintenance Electrician and Journeyman Industrial Electrician licenses must submit documentation proving the required amount of on-the-job-training.

(2) Applicants for contractor's licenses must submit proof of general liability insurance and either workers' compensation insurance or a certificate of authority to self insure, or a statement that the applicant has elected not to obtain workers' compensation insurance pursuant to Subchapter A, Chapter 406, Labor Code, with the initial and renewal applications.

(3) Applicants for contractor's licenses must submit proof of ownership of the business entity and provide documentation of the sponsoring master licensee in a manner prescribed by the department.

(4) An applicant for a journeyman lineman license must submit documentation proving the required amount of training in an apprenticeship program or the required amount of experience as a journeyman lineman.

(b) An applicant must complete all requirements within one year of the date the application is filed.

(c) For purposes of this chapter, 2,000 hours of on the job training shall be the maximum that may be earned within one year.

(d) Each applicant must meet the applicable eligibility requirements as set forth in Texas Occupations Code, §§1305.153 - 1305.1618.

§73.24. Licensing Requirements--Waiver of Examination Requirements.

(a) An applicant who is licensed in another state that has entered into a reciprocity agreement with Texas regarding licensure of electricians, sign electricians, journeyman linemen, journeyman industrial electricians, or residential appliance installers may obtain an equivalent license in Texas without passing the examination, provided that all other licensure requirements are met, as defined by Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 1305.

(b) The examination requirement is waived if, based upon acceptable proof, the executive director determines that the provisions of §73.21(b) are met.

(c) Acceptable proof of an applicant's qualifications must be presented on a form prescribed by the department that:

(1) certifies completion of the required hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician or master sign electrician as appropriate, or

(2) is completed by the municipality or region in which the applicant was licensed for at least one year.

§73.25. Continuing Education.

(a) Terms used in this section have the meanings assigned by Chapter 59 of this title, unless the context indicates otherwise.

(b) For each renewal, an electrical apprentice, electrical sign apprentice, journeyman electrician, master electrician, journeyman sign electrician, master sign electrician, residential wireman, journeyman lineman, maintenance electrician, or journeyman industrial electrician must complete four hours of continuing education in:

(1) the National Electrical Code, as adopted under Title 8, Occupations Code §1305.101, or the current version of the National Electrical Code, as approved by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA);

(2) state law and rules that regulate the conduct of licensees; and

(3) safety as defined in the National Fire Protection

Association (NFPA) 70E. (c) In lieu of taking four hours of continuing education as required in §73.25(b), an electrical apprentice or electrical sign apprentice may enroll in a department-registered apprenticeship training program.

(d) In the case of timely renewal, the continuing education hours must have been completed, or enrollment must have occurred in a department-registered apprenticeship training program, within the term of the current license. For a late renewal, the continuing education hours must have been completed, or enrollment must have occurred in a department-registered apprenticeship training program, within one year prior to the date of renewal.

(e) A licensee may not receive continuing education credit for attending the same course more than once.

(f) A licensee shall retain a copy of the certificate of completion for a course for one year after the date of completion. In conducting any inspection or investigation of the licensee, the department may examine the licensee's records to determine compliance with this subsection.

(g) To be approved under Chapter 59 of this title, a provider's course must be dedicated to instruction in:

(1) the National Electrical Code, as adopted under Title 8, Occupations Code §1305.101, or the current version of the National Electrical Code, as approved by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA);

(2) state law and rules that regulate the conduct of licensees; and

(3) safety as defined in the National Fire Protection

Association (NFPA) 70E. (h) To register an apprenticeship training program with the department, a program must:

(h) To register an apprenticeship training program with the department, a program must:

(1) file a completed application in a form approved by the department;

(2) provide proof to the department that the program is:

(A) recognized by the Texas Workforce Commission or the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;

(B) registered with the United States Department of Labor; or

(C) a competency-based standardized craft-training program that meets the training program standards of the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship; and

(3) pay the required application fee shown in §73.80.

(i) A department-registered apprentice training program must maintain the following documents for 24 months after a participant is no longer enrolled in the program:

(1) participant's program application;

(2) proof of participant's program completion;

(3) participant's leave of absence, resignation or termination; and

(4) other documentation effecting participant's enrollment.

(j) A department-registered apprentice training program must submit to the department proof of a participant's change in enrollment status within two days of the change. The proof must be in a form approved by the department.

(k) A department-registered apprentice training program must comply with the requirements of the Act and this chapter and must maintain the requirement of subsection (h)(2).

(l) A department-registered apprentice training program must annually notify the department, in a form approved by the department, of its intention to continue as a registered program.

(m) A department-registered apprentice training program must immediately notify the department if it ceases to be registered. The notice must be in a form approved by the department.

(n) The provisions listed in subsections (b), (c), and (d) are effective for electrical sign apprentice licenses that expire on or after September 1, 2012, and all other licenses, that expire on or after September 1, 2010.

§73.80. Fees.

(a) Application fees:

(1) Master Electrician--$45

(2) Master Sign Electrician--$45

(3) Journeyman Electrician--$30

(4) Journeyman Sign Electrician--$30

(5) Journeyman Lineman Electrician--$30

(6) Residential Wireman--$20

(7) Maintenance Electrician--$20

(8) Electrical Contractor--$110

(9) Electrical Sign Contractor--$110

(10) Electrical Apprentice--$20

(11) Electrical Sign Apprentice--$20

(12) Residential Appliance Installer--$30

(13) Residential Appliance Installation Contractor--$110

(14) Apprentice Training Program Registration--$95

(15) Journeyman Industrial Electrician--$30

(b) Renewal fees:

(1) Master Electrician--$50 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $45 for licenses

expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(2) Master Sign Electrician--$50 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $45 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(3) Journeyman Electrician--$35 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $30 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(4) Journeyman Sign Electrician--$35 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $30 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(5) Journeyman Lineman Electrician--$30

(6) Residential Wireman--$25 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $20 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(7) Maintenance Electrician--$25 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $20 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(8) Electrical Contractor--$115 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $110 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(9) Electrical Sign Contractor--$115 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $110 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(10) Electrical Apprentice--$20

(11) Electrical Sign Apprentice--$20

(12) Residential Appliance Installer--$40 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $30 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014

(13) Residential Appliance Installation Contractor--$115 for licenses expiring before February 1, 2014; $110 for licenses expiring on or after February 1, 2014.

(14) Journeyman Industrial Electrician--$30

(c) Late Renewal Fees. Late renewal fees for licenses issued under this chapter are provided under §60.83 of this title (relating to Late Renewal Fees).

(d) Revised/Duplicate License/Certificate/Permit/Registration fees:

(1) All licenses except as set out below--$25

(2) Electrical Apprentice--$20

(3) Electrical Sign Apprentice--$20

(4) Residential Wireman--$20

(5) Maintenance Electrician--$20

(e) All fees are non-refundable.

This agency hereby certifies that the adopted rules have been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on April 2, 2018.


Brian E. Francis
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation