I am an electrician in michigan. I’v been doing it for 12 years. I started out with the idea that if i worked hard and learned that i would someday own my own business. If i really worked hard, i could have a reputation as the best electrician in the county. Guess what? I do. But that does not help me much. My problem is with the state of michigan bureau of construction codes, electrical division.

They give the exams, that electricians take to determine if they should be licensed or not. I’v taken several over the years. they are extremely hard. I’v taken courses in college and taken inspector taught courses, studied video taped instructional videos and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars enrolling in one seminar after another. I also studied the national code book over and over. After all this i continued to fail the exams. I wasn’t the only one. in our small area in the northern part of the state, very few people pass. It seems though, that the union electricians in the cities pass very quickly and easily.

I began to suspect fraud, when i began talking to other examinees about strange scoring and other small occurances. Everyone i talked to had some sort of suspician. I had no proof so didn’t much think anything of it. then last fall……..i went in for the test. I had studied very hard. twelve years experience under my belt. I got my exam…looked at it….looked again……there must be some mistake! I finally got the easy test! that elusive exam that everyone talked about, the test that was like childsplay, compaired to the other two exams.

I didn’t get cocky over this. I began to answer the questions by finding the questions and answers in the national code book, word for word. I double checked the questions for tricks, i double checked my answers and double checked to make sure my lines lined up! I triple checked everything before i finished and left feeling great. I knew that i had found at least 80% of the answers word for word from the book. even though i could have answered them in my sleep!

A month later i recieved my results….I needed a 75% to pass, i recieved a 53%.. No way! I have thought it through very thouroughly. I don’t want to make a fool of myself I wouldn’t press this if i wasn’t sure of myself! I contacted the bureau of construction codes, they said they’d check it by hand. They send a letter saying , yep, they were right! Like i’d take their word for it if i believed they’d committed fraud in the first place! I have contacted my representative,……. nothing……i emailed the governor….bingo! He informed the director of the electrical division to allow me to review my test. That’s all i wanted….proof! I called him to set up a time to meet.

He YELLED at me!! told me that no one looked at his books. That he had no idea how i’d gotten this far, no one had before. he asked why i thought i’d passed. I told him about the 80% word for word in the code book thing. “well, just because you found the answer in the code book doesn’t mean it’s the right answer we’re looking for . sometimes the right answer is the one that I think is best” He admitted to fraud, but I didn’t record the conversation, so i had no proof.

What i did have was the proof i needed to know that if anyone looked into his files of the exams, especially mine, they would find fraud! good electricians being denied what they’d worked for for years! Bad electricians getting licenses to burn down your house!The system stinks! If your booksmart you get a license to do a hands on job and if your able to do the job but can’t regurgitate facts from a book two inches thick then you can’t work?

An electrician should be judged and scored by the way he wires something….don’t you think? And why is it that in a state exam , you can’t have it immediatly scored by a computer as you walk out of the examination room? Why do they need to take them and keep them for a month before you get your grade. could they be tampering with them? I’v been told by other state employee’s to keep my mouth shut and the next time i take the test, i’ll pass, they guarentee! what is that if not more proof of fraud! I want my license, but fairly! I am due to take another exam in a few months and don’t feel comfortable doing it , knowing that i passed it months ago.

If they proved me wrong, by allowing a review of my exam, why wouldn’t they?? why keep everything hush hush? Because this is a huge case of fraud. and my law is a little rusty, but if it is fraud, and the fraudulent exam results are sent through the main, isn’t each and every case now a federal offense?? if so, then there is your motive for keeping me from seeing my exam! – Anne