A license is required prior to securing a permit and performing work in the following trades:

  • Electrical - A homeowner may take out a permit to do electrical work in her or his own home. The electrical work must be associated with a repair or remodel (i.e., not construction of a new home). A homeowner's electrical permit is only issued to a person who passes the Home Owner's Electrical Exam.
  • Fire Alarm
  • Fire Sprinkler
  • Heating, Venting, Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Plumbing - A homeowner may take out a permit to do plumbing in her or his own home. The plumbing must be associated with a repair or remodel (i.e., not construction of a new home). A plumbing permit may be issued to a homeowner who demonstrates her or his competency to the building official.
  • Sewer and Water

Only Master electricians, Master plumbers, and Master HVAC contractors may pull permits.

There is no license required to work as a General Contractor.


Electrician Licensing Requirements

No person shall be issued a permit for electrical work within Iowa City unless the person holds a Master A Electrician's license issued by the State of Iowa, except as permitted by a Homeowners Electrical Exam.

No person shall perform unsupervised electrical work within Iowa City, with or without compensation, unless the person holds a Master A Electrician's license issued by the State of Iowa except as permitted by a Homeowners Electrical Exam.

There shall be a properly licensed person (Master A, or Journeyman A or B, or Residential Master Electrician) present at all locations and at all times where work requiring a license is being performed. At least one licensed person shall be present for every three (3) unclassified persons. The licensed person must be an employee of the permit holder.

Homeowners Electrical Exam

A permit may be issued to the owner of an existing owner-occupied single-family dwelling, pursuant to a valid certificate of occupancy and used exclusively for residential purposes, to do any work regulated by this article in connection with said dwelling and accessory buildings. The owner must personally purchase all material and perform all labor in connection with the permit. All work shall comply with this article.

Applicants for a homeowners permit shall pass the designated exam before the work has taken place and a permit has been issued.

Exception: The home owner's test may be waived, if the applicant is a duly licensed electrician in the State of Iowa with a minimum of a Journeyman status, and the legal property owner and occupant of the home.

Permit application and testing information

  • The property owner shall schedule a time to take the Home Owner's Electrical Exam at City Hall, 410 E. Washington Street.
  • The test covers the currently adopted National Electrical Code.
  • The questions will be over the first three chapters of the National Electrical Code.
  • The applicant shall take the test in the Building Services office.
  • The applicant is allowed one hour to take the test and is required to score a minimum of 75 percent.
  • The applicant will be provided with a copy of the currently adopted National Electrical Code and no other materials will be allowed in the testing area.
  • In the event that the applicant does not pass the test, s/he will be required to wait a minimum of three (3) weeks before taking the exam again.
  • All applicants will have the opportunity to take the exam three (3) times. If a passing score is not achieved after the third exam, a licensed electrician will have to take out the electrical permit.
  • The applicant shall provide a telephone number or email address where s/he can be notified of the test results.
  • After passing the exam the applicant is required to fill out an Electrical Permit application. A detailed drawing describing the electrical work is required with the submittal of a building or electrical permit application.

Fire Alarm Installer Requirements

No person shall work as a Fire Alarm Installer or perform maintenance on fire alarm systems unless the person holds a Fire Alarm license issued by the State of Iowa.

There shall be a properly licensed person present at all locations and at all times where work requiring a license is being performed. At least one licensed person shall be present for every three (3) laborers. Such licensed person must be an employee of the permit holder

Licensing ordinance - This webpage points to the City Code of Iowa City. For licensing, please reference Title 17, Chapter 11.


Fire Sprinkler

Fire Inspection System Installer and Maintenance Worker

No person shall work as a Fire Protection System Installer or perform maintenance on fire sprinkler systems unless the person holds a Fire Protection System Installer license issued by the State of Iowa.

There shall be a properly licensed person present at all locations and at all times where work requiring a license is being performed. At least once licensed person shall be present for every three (3) laborers. Such licensed person must be an employee of the permit holder.

Licensing ordinance -This link points to the City Code of Iowa City. For licensing, please reference Title 17, Chapter 11.


Heating, Venting, Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Master HVAC with Gas, Refrigeration, and Hydronic Requirements

No person shall plan for, layout, supervise or perform work as a Master HVAC with gas, refrigeration, or hydronic systems contractor within the city of Iowa City unless the person holds a Master License issued by the State of Iowa.

Journeyman HVAC with Gas, Refrigeration, and Hydronic Requirements

No person shall work as a Journeyman HVAC with gas, refrigeration, or hydronic system contractor within the city of Iowa City unless the person holds a Journeyman License issued by the State of Iowa.

Hearth Systems Specialty License

No person shall perform work in the installation of gas burning and solid fuel appliances, or their venting systems, log lighters, gas log sets, fireplace inserts, and freestanding stoves, within the city of Iowa City unless the person holds a Hearth Systems Specialty License issued by the State of Iowa.


Master Plumber/Gas Requirements 

No person shall plan for, lay out, supervise or perform plumbing work within the City, with or without compensation, unless the person holds a master plumber's license issued by the State of Iowa.

Licensed Persons To Be On-Site

There shall be a properly licensed person present at all locations and at all times where work requiring a license is being performed. At least one licensed person shall be present for every three (3) laborers. Such licensed person must be an employee of the permit holder. 

Journeyman Plumber/Gas Requirements

No person shall work as a Journeyman Plumber within the City unless the person holds a Journeyman Plumber's license issued by the State of Iowa.

Licensed Persons To Be On-Site

There shall be a properly licensed person present at all locations and at all times where work requiring a license is being performed. At least one licensed person shall be present for every three (3) laborers. Such licensed person must be an employee of the permit holder. 
 

Licensing ordinance - This webpage points to the City Code of Iowa City. For licensing, please reference Title 17, Chapter 11.


Sewer and Water Service

Sanitary Sewer And Water Service Installer

No person shall work as a sanitary sewer and water service installer within the City unless the person holds a sanitary sewer and water service installer's license issued by the City or holds a plumbing license (Journeyman or Master) issued by the State of Iowa.

Sanitary Sewer And Water Service Installer Criteria

A sanitary sewer and water service installer's license shall be issued to every person who successfully passes the examination approved by the Board of Appeals. (Exam written and administered by H.I.S., testing times shall be scheduled accordingly.)

Licensed Persons To Be On-Site

There shall be a properly licensed person present at all locations and at all times where work requiring a license is being performed. At least one licensed person shall be present for every three (3) laborers. Such licensed person must be an employee of the permit holder.