28/02/2024 2:05 AM


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Understanding the Oregon Electrical License Exam

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The Oregon Electrical License Exam (OEL) is a state-mandated exam that contractors must pass to become licensed electrical contractors in Oregon. The OEL is an important step toward becoming a licensed electrical contractor and requires preparation and dedication. This article aims to provide an overview of the OEL, its content, and strategies for success.

Overview of the Oregon Electrical License Exam

Types of Exams Offered

The OEL has different content for contractors specializing in different areas of electrical work. Four types of exams are offered:

General journeyman electrician

Limited residential electrician

Non-residential maintenance electrician

Non-residential sign electrician

Exam Format and Structure

The OEL consists of general electrical knowledge, National Electrical Code (NEC), and Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC). The exam is computer-based and consists of multiple-choice questions. The number of questions varies depending on the type of exam.

Exam Topics and Content

The general electrical knowledge section covers electricity and circuits, safety, and installation procedures. The NEC section covers wiring requirements, installation methods, and code requirements. The OESC section covers specialty topics such as solar energy systems, lighting systems, and fire alarm systems.

Exam Preparation

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the OEL, you must meet specific requirements such as completing a state-approved apprenticeship program or having equivalent experience.

Exam Registration Process

After meeting eligibility requirements, you must register for the exam through the Building Codes Division website. You must pay an application fee and provide documentation to support your eligibility.

Exam Study Resources

You can utilize study resources such as textbooks, practice exams, online courses, and study groups to prepare for the OEL. Choosing study resources that covers well all exam content areas is essential.

Exam Content

General Electrical Knowledge and Safety

This section covers basic concepts related to electricity, like Ohm’s law; circuitry; grounding; safety procedures; tools used in electrical work; reading blueprints; understanding schematics; etc.

Electrical Theory and Calculations

This section tests your understanding of mathematical concepts related to electricity, like voltage drop calculations; power factor calculations; series-parallel circuits calculations; etc.

National Electrical Code (NEC)

This section tests your knowledge about NEC codes related to wiring methods & materials; conductors & cables; grounding & bonding; overcurrent protection devices & circuit breakers/fuses; etc.

Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC)

This section tests your knowledge about OESC codes related to alternative energy sources like solar power or wind power systems installations, fire alarm systems installations, lighting systems installations, etc.

Strategies for Success

Time Management Tips

It is essential to manage time effectively during the exam by allocating enough time for each question based on its difficulty level.

Exam-Taking Strategies

Please read each question carefully before answering it. Eliminate incorrect answers first before selecting one from the remaining options. Use common sense if you don’t know an answer but remember that guessing may only be helpful sometimes.

Stress Management Techniques

Stress management techniques like deep breathing or visualization techniques can help calm nerves during test-taking.

Post-Exam Procedures

Exam Results And Score Reports

You will receive your score report immediately after completing the exam if you pass it successfully. If unsuccessful, then re-examination fees apply.

Retake Policies And Procedures

If you fail any part(s) of the exam, then you can retake it after 30 days from the last attempt date by paying re-examination fees again.

Next Steps For Successful Candidates

Successful candidates will receive their license within 10 business days after passing all parts of their respective exams.


In conclusion, obtaining an Oregon Electrical License requires passing a challenging state-mandated exam known as the Oregon Electrical License Exam (OEL). This article provided an overview of what this exam entails and tips on how best to prepare yourself for success when taking it! Remember that with hard work comes great rewards – so don’t give up until you have achieved what you set out for yourself! Good luck.