Any person or business performing electrical work in the State of Iowa must hold a license. Licenses are issued by the Iowa Electrical Examining Board of the Department of Public Safety’s State Fire Marshal Division.
As part of the licensing process, the Board asks that contractors meet the requirements for education, training and/or employment, and pass an examination based on their chosen license classification.
License Types, Classifications and Endorsements for Electrical Contractors in Iowa
The Iowa Electrical Examining Board offers the following license types, classifications and endorsements to Electrical Contractors:
- Unclassified Person License
- Apprentice Electrician License
- Electrical Contractor License
- Residential Electrician License
- Residential Electrical Contractor License
- Residential Master Electrician License
- Master Electrician License
- Class A Master
- Class B Master
- Journeyman Electrician License
- Class A Journeyman
- Class B Journeyman
- Special Electrician License
- Sign Installer
- Irrigation System Wiring
- Disconnect & Reconnect of Existing Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems
Apprentice and Unclassified Person Licenses are for individuals who wish to learn the electrical industry by assisting in the installation of electrical wiring, apparatuses and equipment. Both license types are required to work under the direct supervision of a licensed individual under the same employer. Apprentice License applicants must be enrolled in an apprentice training program, approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.
All Residential licenses are limited to working on residences of 4 living units or less; including accessory structures, which may be not more than 2 stories and 3,000 square feet of floor space.
Electrical Contractor and Residential Electrical Contractor licenses are for businesses and firms. The person holding this license type must also hold or employ someone who holds a Class A or B Master Electrician license.
Class A licenses require that the individual pass an exam. These licenses do not have restrictions.
Class B licenses do not require the individual to pass an exam. However, these license classes are subject to restrictions. For example, some subdivisions have local ordinances that bar Class B licensees from working on their property.
All Master-level licenses are for individuals who have the training, experience and knowledge to plan, lay out, supervise and install electrical wiring, apparatuses and equipment; and apply for electrical permits. Master licenses are able to act as the responsible party and oversee the work of an Electrical Contractor, as well as supervise Journeyman Electricians.
*Master-level licenses are restricted to overseeing one electrical company at a time.
Journeyman licenses are for individuals with the training, experience and knowledge to install electrical wiring, apparatuses and equipment under the supervision of a Master Electrician. They are also able to supervise Apprentices and Unclassified Persons.
Special Electricians working in the Sign Installer category are limited to working on signs of 220 volts or less and 20 amps or less.
For more information about the license types, classifications and endorsements offered, call the Board at:
Process to Obtain an Electrical Contractor License in Iowa
- Contractors must meet the requirements for their chosen license classification, including education, training and/or work experience
- Contractors must prepare and submit an application to the Board, along with all the required documents and fees.
- If an examination is required, contractors must submit a Sponsorship request in order to gain approval to take the exam
- Contractors must take and pass an exam related to their chosen license classification (when required)
- Upon passing the exam, contractors must pay a license fee in order to receive their license
- Upon renewal, some classifications are required to attend continuing education courses.
Work Experience, Education, Training and Other Requirements
In order to gain approval to take the exam, or to receive a license, all license types and classifications are required to meet various requirements of the Board:
- Unclassified Persons- must obtain a license from the Board within 100 days of becoming employed.
- Apprentice Electricians- must prove that they are enrolled in an apprentice training program, working toward completion, including 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom training. Apprentice programs must be approved by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training of the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Electrical Contractors and Residential Electrical Contractors- are required to be registered as a contractor with the Iowa Division of Labor; and prove that they hold or employ someone who holds a Master Class A, Master Class B or Residential Master Electrician License.
- Residential Electricians- must have at least one year of work experience as a licensed Special Electrician with a residential endorsement; or have at least 6,000 hours of electrical experience as an Apprentice. The Board also accepts other combinations of work experience, education and training.
- Residential Master Electricians- must hold a Residential Electrician or Journeyman-level license and have 2,000 hours of work experience; or hold a Special Electrician license with a residential endorsement and have 4,000 hours of work experience.
- Master Electricians (A and B)- must have at least 1 year of experience as a Journeyman licensed in Class A or B; or the applicant must currently hold a Class B Master Electrician license; or have 16,000 hours of work experience as a Master Electrician of which 8,000 hours are since 01/01/1998.
- Journeyman Electricians (A and B)- must prove that they have completed an approved apprenticeship training program or an approved post-secondary electrical program through a community college with at least 6,000 hours of on-the-job training and 2,000 hours of classroom training; or have 16,000 hours of work experience as a Journeyman Electrician, of which 8,000 hours are since 01/01/1998.
- Special Electricians-must be registered as a contractor with the Iowa Division or Labor. Those applying for the Irrigation and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration categories must prove at least 2 years/4,000 hours of work experience within their specialty.
In order to prove education and training, contractors are required to submit the following with their application (as required):
- Proof of apprenticeship enrollment/ completion certificates
- Official transcripts
- Copies of degrees and other related certificates
In order to prove work history, contractors are required to provide:
- Name of all current/previous employers
- Employer address and phone number
- Dates of employment
- Job Title
- Duties performed
- Number of hours worked
Contractors are also required to provide 3 references. Acceptable references include persons within the electrical industry, such as:
For more information and questions about the requirements for each classification, call the Board at:
Visit the links below:
Preparing and Submitting an Application
For a copy of the license application, please visit:
For a copy of the application instructions, please visit:
The application instructions contain a helpful chart that lets each classification know which portion of the application they must complete.
Incomplete applications are not processed. Be sure to answer all questions and provide all required items. Type or print clearly in blue or black ink.
Applications must be signed and all affidavits must be signed and notarized.
All attachments must be submitted on plain paper, sized 8 ½ x 11. Fasten all documents together using a paper clip. Do not use stapes.
Place the required fee on top of the application. The Board accepts payment in the form of check or money order, made payable to, “Iowa Electrical Examining Board.”
Contractors must pay the appropriate license fee, based on the month and year in which they are applying:
- Apprentice and Unclassified Persons- up to $20
- Journeyman (A and B); Residential Electricians and Special Electricians- up to $75
- Electrical Contractors; Residential Electrical Contractors, Master Electricians (A and B) and Residential Master Electricians- up to $375
To view a schedule of fees, please visit:
If the contractor is required to take the exam, they must wait until they have passed the test to pay their licensing fee. Upon passing the exam they must contact the Board for instructions for paying the fee and obtaining their license.
All Electrical Contractor and Special Electrician applicants are responsible for registering as a contractor with the Iowa Division of Labor. They are also responsible for holding and maintaining $1 million in contractor liability insurance.
Electrical Contracting businesses are also responsible for providing the following information on their application:
- Name and information for the Master Electrician responsible for overseeing their business
- Iowa Division of Labor Contractor Registration Number
- Federal Tax Identification Number/ Employer Identification Number
- Certificate of Liability Insurance
Submit the completed application, along with all the required documents and fees to:
Electrical Examining Board
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
For more information about the application or application process, contact the Board at:
The Examination Process
The following license types are responsible for taking and passing an exam based on their chosen classification:
- Master Electricians (A only)
- Residential Master Electricians
- Journeyman Electricians (A only)
- Residential Electricians
- Special Electricians (Irrigation and Air Conditioning/ Refrigeration only)
In order to gain approval to take the exam, candidate must submit the Testing Sponsorship Request Form. This form may be submitted along with the license application, or the applicant may submit the form 1 month before they are ready to take the exam.
For a copy of the form, please visit:
Instructions for the sponsorship request form are found at the link below:
Once the Board approves the contractor’s testing sponsorship, they will issue an authorization letter, containing an authorization code. This code is needed at the time the contractor registers for the test.
The Board holds a contract with PSI Services to administer the exam.
The PSI Candidate Information Bulletin contains all the information needed to register for and prepare for the exam, including the exam registration form, a list of suggested references and content outlines.
To download a copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin, please visit:
Applicants may register for the exam ONE of the following ways:
- Online- go to the PSI website and follow the link for new user registration: PSI Exams Online
- By Phone- call PSI and use their automated system 24 hours a day. Representative are standing by to assist callers during regular business hours:
- Fax- when registering by fax, allow 4 business days for processing. Fax the registration form and payment information to:
- By mail: allow approximately 2 weeks for processing when submitting the exam registration form by mail. Complete the exam registration form from the Candidate Information Bulletin. Mail the registration form and payment to:
PSI Licensure: Certification
3210 E Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
The cost to take the exam is $95
PSI accepts payments in the form of:
- Cashier’s Check or Money Order may payable to“PSI.”
- Visa or Mastercard when applying online or by phone or fax
Once PSI accepts the exam registration form, it is the applicant’s responsibility to call PSI to schedule their exam. To schedule an exam, call PSI at: (800) 733-9267
Testing Centers are located in:
- De Moines
- Cedar Rapids
- Sioux City
- Council Bluffs
On the day of the test, examinees should arrive at least 30 minutes for before their scheduled test to allow time for check-in. They are also required to bring 2 forms of identification, including:
- A government issued photo id with the examinee’s signature; such as a driver’s license or passport
- Another form of identification with the examinee’s name and signature; such as a credit card or debit card.
Contractors are required to pass the exam with a minimum score of 75%. Scores are issued same-day, before the contractor leaves the testing center.
The contractor’s authorization letter and code is good for a period of 6 months, and allows the contractor 2 attempts to pass the exam.
If the contractor does not pass the exam on the second attempt, they must contact the Board to gain authorization to take the exam again.
Upon passing the exam, the contractor must contact the Board for further instructions to obtain their license, including paying the license fee.
For more information about the exam or examination process, contact PSI at:
Visit: Electrical Examinations
How Long is an Iowa Electrical Contractor License Valid?
Most electrical license types and classifications are good for a period of 3 years in the State of Iowa. This includes:
- Journeyman Electricians (A and B)
- Residential Electricians
- Special Electricians
- Electrical Contractors
- Residential Electrical Contractors
- Residential Master Electricians
- Master Electricians (A and B)
Apprentice Electricians and Unclassified Person licenses are good for a period of 1 year.
In order to stay current and up-to-date in the changing industry, all contractors on a 3-year license cycle are required to obtain 18 hours of continuing education units (CEUs) in order to renew. Of the 18 hour requirement, 6 hours must be related to the most current National Electric Code.
All continuing education courses must be approved by the Board. For more information about continuing education, please visit:
For a list of approved continuing education providers, please visit the links below:
For more information about license renewal, please contact the Board by calling:
Table of Fees
|Fee||What is it For?||When is it Due?|
|$20||License Fee and Renewal Fee for Apprentices and Unclassified Persons (subject to proration depending on month and year)||Upon submitting the license application and every year upon renewal|
|$75||License Fee and Renewal Fee for all Journeyman (A and B), Residential Electricians and Special Electricians (subject to proration depending on month and year)||Upon submitting the license application, passing the exam and every 3 years upon renewal|
|$375||License Fee and Renewal Fee for all Electrical Contractor, Residential Electrical Contractor, Master Electrician (A and B) and Residential Master Electricians (subject to proration depending on the month and year)||Upon submitting the license application, passing the exam and every 3 years upon renewal|
|$95||Examination Fee||Upon registering for the exam|