Iowa Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division
 
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Q: What is the proper way to bond Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST)?
A: Please refer to manufacturer’s installation instructions and review the following documents:
Direct Bonding of Standard (Yellow) CSST
2009 National Fuel Gas Code Excerpt
NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, 2011

Q: When is a permit/inspection required?
A: Electrical permits/inspections are required for all new installations and alterations unless ALL of the following conditions are met:

  • The Installation is performed by a licensed Electrical Contractor, Residential Electrical Contractor or their employees.
  • The installation does not in any way involve work within a new or existing switchboard or panelboard.
  • The installation does not exceed 30 amps.
  • The installation does not exceed 277 volts, single phase.

Q: I am a homeowner. Will I have to be licensed to wire my own house?
A: No, a license is not required for an owner of property performing work on the owner’s principal residence that qualifies for the homestead tax exemption, if such residence is an existing dwelling rather than new construction, and is not larger than a single-family dwelling. A new house will require the electrical work to be performed by a licensed Electrical Contractor or Residential Electrical Contractor. Inspections are required for all new electrical installations regardless of whether a license is required.

Q: What electrical code is adopted by the state?
A: Per Iowa Administrative Code 661-504.1, the provisions of the National Electric Code, 2011 Edition, published by the National Fire Protection Association are adopted as the requirements for electrical installations performed by licensed electricians.

Q: Do cities have to adopt the State Electrical Code?
A: Yes, the code that the Board adopts will apply to all electrical installations across the state. The codes that cities enforce cannot be less restrictive than the State Electrical Code.

Q: Will a city have the authority to make amendments to the State Electrical Code?
A: Yes, but the code that cities enforce cannot be less restrictive than the code that is enforced by the state.

Q: What types of electrical licenses can an electrician apply for?
A: The types of electrical licenses are - Electrical Contractor license, Residential Electrical Contractor, Class A Master Electrician, Class B Master Electrician, Residential Master, Class A Journeyman Electrician, Class B Journeyman Electrician, Residential Electrician, Apprentice Electrician, Special Electrician, and Unclassified Person.

Q: What is an Electrical Contractor license?
A: An Electrical Contractor license is for a person affiliated with an electrical contracting firm or business who is licensed by the Board as either a Master A or B electrician or employs a Master A or B electrician, and who is registered with the State of Iowa Division of Labor as a contractor.

Q: What is a Residential Electrical Contractor license?
A: A Residential Electrical Contractor license may be issue to a person who is licensed as a Master class A or B electrician, or a Residential Master and who is registered with the State of Iowa Division of Labor as a contractor. 

Q: If I am applying for an Electrical Contractor license or a Residential Electrical Contractor license, do I need to be registered as a contractor with Iowa Workforce Development?
A: Yes. All electrical contractors are required to be registered with the State of Iowa Division of Labor. For further details on contractor registration click on the link: http://www.iowaworkforce.org/labor/contractor.htm or call 515-242-5871.

Q: Will a surety bond be required to obtain an Electrical Contractor license or a Residential Electrical Contractors license?
A: No, a surety bond is not required by the state of Iowa at this time; however a local jurisdiction can require a surety bond in their jurisdiction.

Q: Will public liability insurance policy be required to obtain an Electrical Contractor license or a Residential Electrical Contractors license?
A: Yes, public liability insurance will be required by the licensing law. Per Iowa Administrative Code 661 –Ch. 502.7, any holder of an Electrical Contractor license or any holder of an electrician license who is not employed by a contractor and who contracts to provide electrical work shall maintain insurance coverage. The licensee shall maintain general and complete liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million dollars for all work performed. The Board shall be notified by the insurer if the coverage is not maintained.

Q: What is the difference between a Master's and a Journeyman's license?
A: A master electrician is a person having the necessary qualifications and technical knowledge to properly plan, lay out, supervise, and install electrical wiring and equipment for light, heat, and power.
A journeyman electrician is a person having the necessary qualifications to wire for or install electrical wiring and equipment.


Q: What is the difference between Class A and Class B?
A: The difference between a Class A license and a Class B license is that a Class A license will not have any restrictions placed on the license. A Class A license requires that the electricians meet the requirements of the Board for experience and that they have passed a written, supervised licensing exam. The Class B license is a license that will be subject to restrictions, since it does not require the passing of a supervised, written exam. A person who holds a Class B license may perform the work authorized by that license except in a political subdivision which, by local ordinance, has restricted or barred such work by a person who holds a Class B license.

Q: I have a license from another state. Will this license be accepted in Iowa?
A: Iowa has reciprocal agreements with Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota. Review Iowa's Reciprocal Licensing Agreements with other states.

Q: Is there a “grandfathering clause”?
A:  Yes, in Iowa Code sections 103.10 subsection 3 and 103.11 subsection 3 there are provisions for an electrician who is not licensed by a local jurisdiction, but who has been working as an electrician. The language of the law states that an applicant who can provide proof acceptable to the Board that the applicant has been working in the electrical business and involved in planning for, laying out, supervising, and installing electrical wiring or equipment prior to January 1, 1998 may be granted a Class B Master electrician license. Individuals who can prove to the Board that they have been acting as a journeyman electrician since January 1, 1998 may be granted a Class B Journeyman license. The Board will adopt rules establishing procedures relating to the restriction of a Class B license. Some local jurisdictions may restrict the work of Class B electricians, and require Class A electricians. A Class B Master or Journeyman electrician may become licensed as a Class A master or Journeyman electrician upon successful passage of the examination approved by the Board.

Q: I only wire houses. Is there a license for just residential wiring?
A: Yes, a Residential Master or a Residential Electrician can perform electrical work in a residence in which there are no more than four living units within the same building. These licenses will also allow residential electricians to wire accessory structures which are no greater than 3,000 square feet in floor area, not more than 2 stories in height, and on the same lot as the dwelling unit or units.

Q: What is a Special Electrician license?
A: A Special Electrician is a person that has the necessary qualifications, training, and experience in wiring of special classes of wiring, equipment or other installations. The Special Electrician license includes three endorsements. Each Special Electrician shall carry one or more endorsements. The endorsements are as follows:

Endorsement 1, “Irrigation System Wiring,” shall be included on a Special Electrician license if the licensee requests it and has passed a supervised examination approved by the Board, or has completed two years, or 4,000 hours, of documented experience in the wiring of irrigation systems.
Endorsement 2, “Disconnecting and Reconnecting Existing Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems,” shall be included on a Special Electrician license if the licensee requests it and has passed a supervised examination approved by the Board, or has completed two years of documented experience in the disconnecting and reconnecting of existing air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Note: An individual who holds a Master HVAC, Journeyperson HVAC, Master Refrigeration or Journeyperson Refrigeration license, issued by the Plumbing and Mechanical Board is not required to hold a license issued by the Electrical Examining Board in order to disconnect and reconnect existing air conditioning and refrigeration systems.
Endorsement 3, “Sign Installation,” shall be included on a Special Electrician license if the licensee requests that it be included. This endorsement does not authorize a licensee to connect power to a sign that has a voltage greater than 220V and an ampere rating greater than 20 amps. Initial installation or upgrading of the branch circuits supplying power to the sign shall be completed by a licensed Master electrician or by a licensed Journeyman electrician under the supervision of a Master electrician.

Q: How do I go about getting state sponsorship to take the Prometric examination for Master A, Journeyman A, Residential Master, Residential Electrician, Disconnecting and Reconnecting Existing Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems, or Irrigation system wiring?
A: State Sponsorship requirements include completion and submission of application and sponsorship forms to the State Electrical Examining Board. The forms can be found under the “Forms” tab on this website.

Q: Which version of the National Electric Code (NEC) is Prometric currently testing on?
A: As of January 1, 2012, Prometric is testing on the 2011 NEC. 

Q: Do I need to be a licensed electrician to work for an electrical utility company?
A: No, employees of municipal corporations, electric cooperatives, public utility corporations, rural water associations or districts, railroads, telecommunications companies, franchised cable television operators, or commercial or industrial companies performing manufacturing, installation, and repair work do not require an electrical license as long as the employee is acting within the scope of their employment.

Q: I work as a maintenance engineer for a school district or hospital. Do I need to become a licensed electrician to be able to continue working on electrical repairs for the school or hospital?
A: No, the Electrical Examining Board has defined Routine Maintenance as the repair or replacement of existing electrical apparatus or equipment of the same size and type for which no changes in wiring are made. The performance of routine maintenance in itself does not require a person to obtain or hold a license as an electrician or electrical contractor.

Q: I work as an electrician for a commercial or industrial facility. Do I need to become a licensed electrician to be able to continue working on electrical work for the facility?
A: No, according to Section 103.22 of Iowa Code 103 does not require a license for employees of commercial or industrial companies performing manufacturing, installation, and repair work for such an employer while acting within the scope of their employment.

Q: Will city inspectors be required to be certified by the state electrical board?
A: Yes, on and after January 1, 2009, a person appointed to act as an electrical inspector for the state shall obtain an inspector's certificate of qualification within one year of such appointment and shall maintain the certificate thereafter for the duration of the inspector's service as an electrical inspector.
On and after January 1, 2014, a person appointed to act as an electrical inspector for a political subdivision shall obtain an inspector's certificate of qualification within one year of such appointment and shall maintain the certificate thereafter for the duration of the inspector's service as an electrical inspector.

Q: How can I find out when inspector positions are available and how can I apply?
A: When positions become available, they can be viewed at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services Human Resources Enterprise website. The website can be accessed by the following link: http://das.hre.iowa.gov/state_jobs.html Keyword Search for “Public Safety.


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Created: 02-07-2006
Last Updated: 06-15-2012 (JGL)