On July 7, 2020, Governor Jared Polis signed SB20-120 Apprentice Examinations and Professional Licenses. The new law, which took effect on September 14, 2020, requires electrical apprentices and plumbing apprentices to take a license examination, if they have been registered for at least six years with either the State Electrical Board or the State Plumbing Board. Electrical apprentices must take the exam every three years. Plumber apprentices must take the exam every two years. If any apprentice fails to pass the license examination in two consecutive periods, the qualified apprentice may request an exemption. 

The law requires employers to remove individuals no longer employed as apprentices from the apprenticeship program and to notify the appropriate board. It also requires a registered plumbing or electrical contractor, apprenticeship programs registered with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and a state apprenticeship council recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor that employs apprentices to report the number of practical training and classroom hours of each apprentice, as well as the name and contact information of each apprentice, to the respective board. 

In addition, DORA and the Department of Labor and Employment, in consultation with the State Electrical Board and the State Plumbing Board, must conduct research to determine what barriers exist in the preparation and taking of the licensing examinations for apprentices for whom English is a second language and provide any findings to the General Assembly by January 1, 2021.

Special Notice to Electrical and Plumbing Apprentices

As mentioned above, the new law requires electrical and plumbing apprentices to take a licensure examination if the apprentice has been registered with DORA for at least six years. Below are the timeframes for apprentices to start taking the licensure examinations:

Electrical Apprentices – Beginning January 1, 2021, electrical apprentices who have been registered for at least six years must take the Journeyman Electrician’s examination at least once within each three-year renewal period for electrician licensees. Specifically, each electrical apprentice must test once within each of the following timeframes and continue to test during each future three-year licensing renewal cycle: January 1, 2021 to September 30, 2024 and October 1, 2024 to September 30, 2027.