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Apply for your license online: iowaelectrical.gov

Paper application:License Application

License Application Instructions

 

The Electrician Licensing program requires electricians to be licensed after January 1, 2008, and offers several licensing categories. Those beginning the electrical industry will apply for the Unclassified Person or Apprentice license, each with its particular restrictions. Special Electrician licenses are available for individuals performing very specific types of electrical installations. Those operating as Residential Electrical Contractors or Electrical Contractors must possess a Residential Electrical Contractor license or an Electrical Contractor license which requires them to maintain a minimum of $1 million liability insurance, and be registered with the Iowa Division of Labor (Iowa Workforce Development) as a contractor.

Overall, the most common licenses held by electricians are the Residential Electrician, Residential Master, Journeyman and Master licenses. Those electricians who have taken a Board-approved proctored exam in recent years could be eligible for a Class A Journeyman license or a Class A Master license. Those who have been in the electrical business for years, but have never taken an exam are also given consideration, and they are eligible for a Class B license in their particular categories. Administrative Rules Chapter 502.2 provides detailed licensure requirements.

For commercial and industrial manufacturing facilities that have maintenance electricians on staff who perform electrical installations within the scope of their employment, provisions were made in Iowa Code 103 to enable these facilities to apply for permits without licensed electricians or an Electrical Contractor license. Please click on the “Forms” tab on the left-hand side, and click on the “Non-Contractor Access” form.

Licensing instructions and applications are available on-line at:

 

 

Unclassified Person

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defines an Unclassified Person as “any person, other than an apprentice electrician or other person licensed under this chapter, who, as such person’s principal occupation, is engaged in learning and assisting in the installation, alteration, and repair of electrical wiring, apparatus, and equipment as an employee of a person licensed under this chapter, and who is licensed by the board as an unclassified person.”

The Unclassified Person license is for those who wish to assist licensed electricians with electrical installations, but do not desire to participate in an Apprentice training program. This person shall be licensed as an Unclassified Person by the Electrical Examining Board if they are employed continuously for more than 100 days. For the purposes of determining whether a person has been “employed continuously” for more than 100 days under Iowa Code 103, employment shall include any days not worked due to illness, holidays, weekend days, and other absences that do not constitute separation from or termination of employment. This license-type must have direct, personal, on-the-job supervision by a person actually licensed to perform such work, and be employed by the same employer.

 

 

Apprentice Electrician

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defines an Apprentice Electrician as “any person who, as such person’s principal occupation, is engaged in learning and assisting in the installation, alteration, and repair of electrical wiring, apparatus, and equipment as an employee of a person licensed under this chapter, and who is licensed by the board and is progressing toward completion of an apprenticeship training program registered by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the United States Department of Labor. For purposes of this chapter, persons who are not engaged in the installation, alteration, or repair of electrical wiring, apparatus, and equipment, either inside or outside buildings, shall not be considered apprentice electricians.”

Apprenticeship is a system of learning while earning, and “learning by doing.” It combines on-the-job training with related and supplemental instruction at school. Originating in medieval times, today it is utilized chiefly in the skilled crafts such as the building trades. Each program operates under apprenticeship training standards agreed to by labor and/or management in accordance with State and Federal laws, under which a person works with a skilled worker and gains on-the-job skills. Apprentice training programs can be sponsored by individual employers, joint employer- and labor-groups, and/or employer associations.

Today, electrical apprenticeship is a formal training process registered through the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship (DOL/OA). In the classroom and electrical labs, apprentices learn the theoretical aspects of the electrical trade. On the jobsite, they are able to apply this training in their daily work under the supervision of skilled and licensed electricians. This combination of technical and practical skills produces a competency and pride that leads to a true electrical craftsman.

Upon completion of the program, these well trained electricians will join the ranks of the electrical trade as a journeyman electrician, master electrician and/or electrical contractor.

 

Special Electrician

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defines a Special Electrician as “a person having the necessary qualifications, training, and experience in wiring or installing special classes of electrical wiring, apparatus, equipment, or installations which shall include irrigation system wiring, disconnecting and reconnecting of existing air-conditioning and refrigeration, and sign installation, and who is licensed by the board”.

The Electrical Examining Board has created three special endorsements that authorize the licensee to engage in the limited class of work specified on the license. All work done by such licensee is subject to inspection as required in Chapter 103.23. A person who holds such license is not required to obtain an electrical contractor license in order to apply for an electrical permit to install electrical work within the limitations of the license. However, such person must be registered with the state of Iowa as a contractor pursuant to chapter 91C and maintain $1,000,000 contractor liability insurance. The three endorsements are: 

Irrigation System Wiring
This endorsement authorizes the installer of center-pivot type irrigation systems to service and install all wiring from the electrical service to the irrigation equipment. The electrical service must be installed by an electrical contractor. To qualify, the applicant must have either passed a supervised examination approved by the Electrical Examining Board, or have completed two years, or 4,000 hours of documented experience in the wiring of irrigation systems.

Sign Installer
This endorsement authorizes the licensee to connect power to a sign, as long as the voltage does not exceed 220 volts; and the amperage does not exceed 20 amperes. Any new or up-graded branch circuit installation supplying power to the sign shall be done by an electrical contractor. 

Disconnect and Reconnect of Existing Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems
This endorsement authorizes the licensee to disconnect and reconnect any existing air- conditioning or refrigeration system. Any new or up-graded branch circuits for such equipment must be installed by an electrical contractor. To qualify, the applicant must either have passed a supervised examination approved by the Electrical Examining Board, or have completed two years of documented experience in the disconnecting and reconnecting of existing air-conditioning and refrigeration systems.

NOTE: An individual who holds any of the following licenses issued by the plumbing and mechanical systems board established pursuant to Iowa Code section 105.3 is not required to hold a license issued by the Electrical Examining Board in order to perform disconnection and reconnection of existing air- conditioning and refrigeration systems:
1. Master HVAC.
2. Journeyperson HVAC.
3. Master refrigeration.
4. Journeyperson refrigeration.

 


Residential Electrician

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defines a Residential Electrician as “a person having the necessary qualifications, training, experience, and technical knowledge to perform a residential installation”.

The Residential Electrician license is issued to qualified electricians who wire dwelling units. Residential electrical work is defined in Administrative Rules Chapter 551 as “electrical work in a residence in which there are no more than four living units within the same building and includes work to connect and work within accessory structures, which are structures no greater than 3,000 square feet in floor area, not more than two stories in height, the use of which is incidental to the use of the dwelling unit or units, and is located on the same lot as the dwelling unit or units”. Exams are required for this type of licensure.

 

Residential Master

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defines a Residential master as “a person having the necessary qualifications, training, experience, and technical knowledge to properly plan, layout, and supervise the performance of a residential installation”.

A Residential Master Electrician is a person who has been a licensed as a Special Residential Electrician, Residential Electrician, or Journeyman Electrician. They usually supervise several electricians and are responsible to assist in the design and layout the electrical system of a residential project. The Residential Master Electrician usually has the authority to apply for electrical permits, and can normally only be with one electrical contracting company at any one time.

Journeyman Electrician

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defines a Journeyman Electrician as “a person having the necessary qualifications, training, experience, and technical knowledge to wire for or install electrical wiring, apparatus, and equipment and to supervise apprentice electricians and who is licensed by the board.”

The Journeyman Electrician has the experience and ability to perform the various stages of the electrical project, from the underground utilities to the finished product. They may supervise apprentices and unclassified throughout the project, and during the on-the-job training of most electrical apprentices.


Master Electrician

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defined a Master Electrician as “a person having the necessary qualifications, training, experience, and technical knowledge to properly plan, lay out, and supervise the installation of electrical wiring, apparatus, and equipment for light, heat, power, and other purposes and who is licensed by the board “.

A Master Electrician is a person who has been a licensed Journeyman for at least a year and has decided to take his or her career to the next level. They usually supervise several Journeyman electricians on larger jobs, and are responsible to assist in the design and layout the electrical system of the project. The Master Electrician may have the authority to apply for electrical permits, and can normally only be with one electrical contracting company at any one time.

 


Residential Electrical Contractor

A Residential Electrical Contractor license may be issued to a person who is licensed as a Class A or Class B Master Electrician or a Residential Master electrician, or who represents a company who employs them, and who must show proof and maintain general and complete operations liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million for all residential work performed which requires electrician licensing, and be registered with the Iowa Division of Labor (Iowa Workforce Development) as a contractor pursuant to chapter 91C.

 

 

Electrical Contractor

Chapter 103 of the Iowa Code defines an Electrical Contractor as “a person affiliated with an electrical contracting firm or business who is, or who employs a person who is licensed by the board as either a class A or class B Master electrician and who is also registered with the state of Iowa as a contractor pursuant to chapter 91C.”

An Electrical Contractor is a business person or firm that employs electricians to help design, install, and maintain electrical systems. An Electrical Contractor license may be issued to a person who is licensed as a Class A or Class B Master Electrician, or who represents a company who employs them, and who must show proof and maintain general and complete operations liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million for all work performed which requires electrician licensing, and be registered with the Iowa Division of Labor (Iowa Workforce Development) as a contractor pursuant to chapter 91C.

Buildings today are defined by their electrical and mechanical systems as much as by their design and materials. To the user, a building’s “environment” is shaped by lighting, climate control and communication networks. The heart and brain of a building are its internal systems. Electrical Contractors perform specialized construction work related to the design, installation, and maintenance of these electrical systems in which they have developed expert knowledge. Whether high-voltage power transmission or low-voltage lighting, Electrical Contractors ensure that these systems work in a safe, effective, and environmentally-sound manner, while integrating sustainable construction practices into their operations.

 

 

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Created: 02-07-2006
Last Updated: 06-25-2013 (JGL)
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