How to obtain a wireman’s license

September 17th, 2012, Published in Articles: Vector

by Nick du Plessis, P&T Technology

A practical guide to obtaining a wireman’s licence and a look at the standards involved in the process.

An electrician with a license, known as a “registered person”, has applied to the Department of Labour (DoL) and has demonstrated his knowledge, skills and ability to conduct verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of the electrical installations for which he has been registered. The registered person is permitted to issue a Certificate of Compliance (CoC), which proves that the electrical installation is compliant.

There are three categories of registered person permitted to issue CoCs: electrical tester for single phase; installation electrician, and master installation electrician.

Electrical tester for single phase

This is an electrician who has been registered as an electrical tester for single phase in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of electrical installations supplied by a single-phase electricity supply at the point of control, excluding specialised electrical installations.

Installation electrician

An electrician who has been registered as an installation electrician in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of any electrical installation, excluding specialised electrical installations.

Master installation electrician

This is an electrician who has been registered as a master installation electrician in terms of regulation 11 (2) for the verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of any electrical installation.

Three options

There are three options for each of the registration types – practical knowledge, theoretical knowledge and knowledge of statutory requirements – and each contains criteria or conditions that the applicant must comply with before applying for registration.

A criterion for persons applying for registration as installation electricians is that they must have a trade qualification as either an electrician; an electrician (engineering); an electrician (construction); a millwright (electro-mechanical); a lift mechanic, or the Electric: Chemical Electrical NQF
level 4 qualification issued by the Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA).

The next step is to submit documentary proof of having complied with industry standards on inspection, testing and certification of three phase industrial or commercial installations prescribed by the ESETA.

These standards require that an assessor, registered with the ESETA, assesses applicants to ensure that they have the ability to interpret the codes of practice in various electrical installations.

Applicants will also have to use test instruments and inspection reports to demonstrate that they are familiar with these, and evaluate a CoC against an electrical installation correctly.

Once the assessor has found the applicant to be competent, the details are sent to the ESETA, which will then issue the applicant with a letter for the DoL to this effect.

Theoretical qualifications

The minimum theoretical qualifications for registration as an installation electrician is an N3 certificate issued by the Department of Education, with a minimum pass mark of 40% in mathematics, engineering science, and electrical trade theory or electro-technology. Also acceptable is a Grade 12 certificate with a minimum pass mark of 40% in mathematics, science, and a technical/electrical subject. This may include an N3 subject.

Legislation, health and safety

Finally, the applicant must submit proof of knowledge of the legislation and relevant health and safety standards applicable to electrical installations by passing the subject Installation rules as administered by the Department of Education through a further education and training campus or college.

There are two examinations for this subject and the applicant must achieve a minimum of 50% for each. Although it is not a prerequisite to write them simultaneously, the second paper must be passed within twelve months of passing the first. However, if the applicant obtained more than 75% in any of the examinations, they will be permanently exempted from having to rewrite that examination.

Contact Nick du Plessis, P&T Technology, Tel 011 827-4113,

  • nosakhele Yobo

    Do I have to go to school or tertiary to obtain wiremans licence

    • Bridgett Mmadi

      to obtain your theoretical qualifications you need to write the installation rules examinations via an FET college, and you also need to obtain your N3 certificate with an FET college and you also need to be a competent electrician with a trade certificate which you can obtain through learnerships or engineering skills training centers, then you can get an assessor to assess your knowledge on the subject at hand, then you can submit all your documents to the DoL to get certified.

  • Bruce Rainbird


    Ive done my trade testtest back in the 80’s & passed all electrical subjects for the trade test with distinction. Im an industrial electrician. Where can I do a training course on practical as well as theory to get my wiremans licience?

  • Tnash Gunha

    good day

    Hie, I want to enquire on how on can apply for a wireman licence in
    your country. I am a recent qualified electrical class 1 artisan who
    did apprenticeship with delta beverages in Zimbabwe from 1 august 2012
    to 1 august 2016.. currently I am in Zimbabwe and that’s my
    nationality and I want to come and further my career as a journeyman
    in your country. With all the jobs I am googling on the internet they
    require one to have a wireman’s licence. I would want to enquire on
    how I can get to apply for it in your country and the process I for

    I would appreciate your favourable response with regard to my issue
    considering that I am a foreigner

    Thank you in advance

  • Maditau Tebogo Mohk

    High im a newly qualified Technician (Electrical Engineering -Heavy current) and Electrician. My question is how do i go about to apply for a wireman’s license?

  • Msizi Hlubi

    Hi, I am a qualified Millwright with 7 years experience, do I still need to write the Installation rules paper 1 and 2 to do a wiremen’s license, please advise.

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