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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become an Apprentice Electrician?

Answer:  The best way to become a Licensed Electrician in the State of Iowa is to complete an apprenticeship program approved by the US Department of Labor (DOL) as a Registered Apprenticeship Program.

How do I get into an apprenticeship program?

Answer:  Choose Excellence First!


Request an Application Request Form:

The Application Request Form provides you with all the information you need regarding the documentation that is required to begin the application process. It also informs you of the basic qualification requirements for our program and the specific area of jurisdiction. A copy of the Request Form can be picked up at the IBEW Local 704 office located at 1610 Garfield Ave., Dubuque, Iowa. This form must be signed, dated and returned with any required documentation to begin the next step in the process.

You may also access the Request form under the "How to Apply" heading at the top of the page. Application Request Forms can also be mailed individually by contacting our Training Director, Greg Willging at

Application: Upon receipt of the Application Request Form, and verification of the supporting documentation, you will be sent an official application.   Please pay close attention to the instructions included on the form.  All the requirements on this form must be completed for your application to be considered valid and complete.  You  must provide at a minimum the following: 

  •  a copy of a current valid drivers license.

  • must be a high school graduate, or have a GED/HiSED diploma.

  •  a copy of your high school or GED/HiSED transcripts (the transcripts must verify that      you have satisfactorily completed one year of high school algebra with a passing grade and graduated high school)     

  • must have completed one year of high school algebra or one semester of college algebra with a passing grade, pre-algebra does not qualify.

  • must provide a copy of at least a Silver Certificate on the NCRC exam.

Question:  How do I schedule myself for a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) aptitude exam?

Answer:  The NCRC Testing Center is in downtown Dubuque at Northeast Iowa Community College, Dubuque Education Center, located at 700 Main Street, Dubuque, IA. 

In order to registered to take the test, please call NICC Testing Center at (563) 557-8271, ext. 251. 


Question:  I obtained NCRC Silver Certificate!  What happens now?

Answer:  You will receive notification/invitation by mail informing you of the date, time, and locations for your oral interview. Please ensure you read the notification letter carefully, anyone not able to attend the scheduled time can re-schedule and interview at a later date.  However, in most cases that date is undetermined at the time of the original interview date and could be months later.


Question:  I did not pass the aptitude test, what happens now?

Answer:  You will receive a notification informing you that you did not meet the minimum required test score.  If you choose to attempt to test again you may do so, however, you will not be able to test again for six (6) months after the date of the failed test.

Question:  When do I have the oral interview?

Answer:  Once you have received notification from the Dubuque Electrical Apprenticeship Office that you have passed the aptitude test; another letter will follow informing you of the date, time, and location of your interview.  In some cases the interview information may be included in the aptitude test results notification letter.


Question:  How long is the oral interview?

Answer:  The actual oral interview lasts from ten to twenty minutes.


Question:  After the interview what happens?

Answer:  After each applicant’s interview the committee scores the applicant, the average

of all the scores will be used to determine where the applicant is placed on a Two-Year list.  All applicants will be placed on the two- year list in the order of their interview score and remain on the list for two years or until  they are selected.  The two-year list contains the score and name of all applicants who qualify for apprentice selection after completion of the interview stage of the selection process.


Question:  When will I know the results of the oral interview?

Answer:  The office will need some time to process the interview results.  As soon as the results have been determined, the Dubuque Electrical Apprenticeship Office will notify you of your interview score.  This may take a week.  You will only be told what your interview score is, you will not be told where you rank on the two year list.


Question:  When will I start the apprenticeship?

Answer:  First and foremost, there must be enough work to necessitate the hiring of apprentices.  Contractors will request apprentices based upon need.  The top applicant on the list will be contacted.  A certified letter will be sent on the date of first contact.  The applicant will have 10 days from the date of the letter to accept the offer or the offer will be withdrawn.


Question: What happens after I am offered an apprenticeship?

Answer:  When the applicant accepts the offer they will be immediately scheduled for a drug screen test, and, upon passing the drug screen test, will be given further instructions in preparation for being assigned to a contractor to begin work.


Question:  What happens if I don’t pass?

Answer:  When an applicant does not pass their drug screen test they are contacted and notified by certified mail that the offer is rescinded.  They are removed from the two-year list and must start the application process from the beginning.


Question:  What happens if I can’t start the apprenticeship when it is offered to me?

Answer:  The applicant will have 10 days  from the date of the certified letter to accept the apprenticeship offer and 14 days from the date of acceptance to start work in the program.  If an applicant cannot meet the program starting date requirements the offer will be rescinded.  The applicant will be dropped from the two year list and the next applicant on the list will be offered the open position.


When an applicant is dropped from the two-year list for any reason they must start the application process from the beginning, as if they never applied for the apprenticeship before.  Depending upon when you interviewed, the selection process may still be months

away.  Most committees select apprentices in late spring and only one time per year.



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