How to Become an Electrician in Iowa

How to Become an Electrician in Iowa


As an electrician, you will have to deal with a number of situations and problems. The job comes with a lot of responsibility but with the right amount of training and education, you can deal with any issues that come your way. This is why there are certain education and licensing requirements for this profession. This article looks at the process of becoming an electrician in Iowa.

The first step is getting a high school diploma or any form of a GED because without that you cannot enroll in an electrician training school or get an apprenticeship which is a very important certification and is required in order to succeed in this field. Once you get your diploma you must start looking for an apprenticeship without which you will probably not be taken seriously in the electrician’s community.

The apprenticeship period can last anywhere between three to five years depending on the program duration and the best way to get one is to contact an organization that deals specifically in them such as the Iowa Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Center or the Des Moines Electrical Apprenticeship Training Trust. You should also enroll in electrician training schools to get knowledge that will benefit you in your career as an electrician; you should also try to get a good understanding of the National Electric Code (NEC) during this period. These schools also help provide apprenticeships so you can contact them in this regard too. You will also need to supply your own tools for your apprenticeship.

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The next step is getting a license without which you cannot work as an electrician in Iowa. There are a number of license options available including the journeyman electrician, master electrician, electrical contractor and special electrician. There are four different types of special electrician licenses which are:

  • Wiring Irrigation Systems
  • Disconnecting and Reconnecting Existing Refrigeration and Air Conditioning systems
  • Sign Installer
  • Residential Electrician

You can apply for these licenses if you do not meet the requirements of a regular license and have specialized skills in one of the above-mentioned areas. You must fill the relevant application form, get approval, pass an exam by getting at least 75% marks to get your license.

There are two types (Class A and Class B) of journeyman and master electrician licenses. The work experience requirements are the same for both types but some of the significant differences between the two types are as follows, so you can choose the one that suits you better.

Class A requires that you pass an exam whereas for class B you must have practical work experience. Class A has no limitations while Class B has some for the specific license. Additionally you can get the Class B license first and then take the exam for Class A and pass it.

The electrical contractor license is available for anyone holding an active master electrician license and is registered with the labor services division of Iowa workforce development. You must maintain liability insurance, fill an application and get it approved to get this license.

The licenses are provided by the State Fire Marshal (SFM) division of Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS). You can visit their website to find out more about the different licenses requirements, the fees, the application procedure and other relevant details. Iowa does not have reciprocity agreements with any other state. Additionally all the licenses must be renewed every three years.

As soon as you get the license you want, you can work anywhere easily in Iowa as an electrician. There are a number of lucrative opportunities in this field awaiting you.

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