Iowa Contractor License Courses, Classes & Exam Prep

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Overview & Benefits

Obtaining a Contractor's License in Iowa

All contractors in Iowa who wish to perform construction work register with the State. Specifically, they must register with the Iowa Division of Labor Services. If you plan on earning more than $2,000 per year as a contractor, you will need to go through the registration process.  

There are a few individuals who do not have to register. For example, those who make less than $2,000 per year from construction work are exempt from the registration process. If you are only working on your own property or real estate, you also do not have to register. You’ll have to get yourself listed as a contractor with the Iowa Division of Labor Services in most other cases.  

For specific trade licenses, you can check the IDED website at

The Benefits of Having a Contractor’s License in Iowa

Every state has different laws when it comes to the contractor’s license for construction workers. Before you perform any construction work, you need to ensure that you have the proper licensing. This preparedness will ensure the safety of yourself and your clients. Plus, you will be more likely to experience long-term success in your line of work.  

Once you obtain your license, your earning potential will skyrocket. You’ll no longer be limited to small-scale jobs like door framing, grouting, and caulking. Instead, your customers will enlist you to build and renovate entire structures. If interested, you can even apply for additional licenses that will allow you to complete specialty electrician and plumbing work. Your earning potential also will increase because clients are more likely to spend their hard-earned money on a licensed contractor than an unlicensed handyperson.  

When you obtain a contractor’s license, you also build your credibility. When you pass the proper exams, you will demonstrate advanced knowledge and expertise in your field. Your clients will have faith in your abilities to perform the job efficiently and safely. Plus, they’ll be more likely to recommend you to your friends, and you can grow your business even more!

Some contractors are wary of going through the licensing process. They often view it as a significant investment of both their time and money. However, you should consider securing your license as an opportunity for long-term growth. Once you complete the licensing application and pass the appropriate exams, you will prove to be a contractor worth hiring. 

If you take the time to invest in your skills and expand your knowledge, clients will notice. When clients pick between an unlicensed odd-jobber and a qualified contractor, they’ll choose the latter a thousand times over. Clients are willing to pay more for someone who has dedicated their time and resources to perfecting their craft. 

What's on the Exam?

What You Can Expect From Us

When it comes to obtaining your contractor’s license, there are two primary steps: submitting a license application and passing your specific exam. No matter where you are, you can benefit from professional help. At Contractor Training Center, we have helped thousands of entrepreneurs get the licenses they need to thrive.  
Preparing for a contractor’s exam can be time-consuming and stressful if you attempt to do it on your own. Rather than risk going into your exam unprepared, you can rest assured by enlisting the help of our training resources. Our materials will guide you through every step of the process, no matter where you want to do business in Iowa.  

Our exam prep is available for the ICC W11, W12, and W13 exams. We offer extensive prep classes as well as books and tabs to help you prepare extensively. Our materials are never patronizing. Instead, we provide you with pertinent information in an accessible and engaging way. We strive to make it as easy as possible to recall information when it comes time for you to take your exam. When you take advantage of our resources, you’ll ace your necessary exams and be able to start working as a qualified contractor in no time. 

The exams for contractors in Iowa are mostly open-book, so having our materials on hand will help you immensely. Plus, our prep classes will help you retain pertinent information, so you won’t waste valuable test time searching for every single answer.  
Our team takes pride in our high first-time pass rate, so you will likely be on your way to working as a licensed contractor the first time around. However, we will stand by you if you need to retake any exam. We have additional resources available so that you can determine the information that you need to review. Plus, we allow you to retake the prep class that you purchased for free until you earn a passing score!  

As long as you have the drive to earn your contractor’s license, we will help you obtain it! Call us today to get started!  

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License Requirements

How To Get A Contractor’s License In Iowa

Step 1: Visit The Contractor Registration Department 

To get started, you will need to visit the Contractor Registration Department of the Iowa Division of Labor. Their website is here:

On this page, you can view and download a copy of the registration and application. You also can request an application by sending an email to

Step 2: Complete The Registration Process 

Fill out the registration application entirely and send it to the Iowa Division of Labor. As you are completing the process, you will need documents like a federal ID and your unemployment insurance number. You also will need to include payment for the $50 application fee.  

Some contractors will require additional information. If you have any employees, you should attach your Worker’s Compensation Insurance certificate. Employers with an office located outside of Iowa will need to file a bond. 

Step 3: Decide What Type Of License Your Business Needs  

Every city or county has slightly different requirements. For example, we provide the following national ICC exams, accepted in Council Bluffs, Iowa: 

ICC F11 General Building Contractor A Exam 

This exam tests contractors’ knowledge of the demolition, improvement, repair, construction, and alteration of any building or structure.  

See More

ICC F12 Building Contractor B Exam 

This exam deals with construction work related to alterations, reconstructions, demolitions, and additions.  

See More

ICC F13 Residential Building Contractor C Exam 

This exam tests contractors’ knowledge of the construction of single or multiple residential units following building codes.

See More 

Which Exam Should You Take?      

It depends on the type of work you want to perform and the license you wish to obtain. The F12 and F13 exams expose you to more management-centric information. The F11 exam focuses more on the basics of construction. Determine your personal goals when deciding on which exam to take.  

At Contractor Training Center, we have the resources, tabs, prep materials, and everything you need to study—and pass—your exams with success. Contact us today to get started!

Step 4: Take The Exam 

Once you have decided on the exam to take, you need to study for it and sit in on it! We offer exam prep courses, books, tabs, and book and tab bundles so you have access to all of the information you’ll need.  

Exam Times And Date 

Pearson VUE proctors the exams conducted by the ICC. PRONTO also administers these tests online. You can take the exam from any secure location as long as you have access to high-speed internet.  

Preparing For The Contractor’s Exam 

When preparing for the contractor’s exam, you may feel overwhelmed. Studying for your contractor’s exam can feel similar to preparing for the SATs or another type of standardized test. There is a lot of information you have to learn and retain if you want to pass. Here at Contractor Training Center, we offer you comprehensive exam prep that will help you pass with flying colors! 

We provide courses on most exams offered in Iowa. Any class that you purchase will come with pre-recorded lectures. You can review these helpful study tools as often as you like up until your exam date. They help you pace yourself so that you can adequately absorb all of the information you’ll need to know. These pre-recorded materials also come with practice questions and highlight instructions to help every student learn at their own pace. 

Our team also offers reference manuals and texts for soon-to-be contractors in Iowa. We sell these official materials on our website so that you can use them on your open-book exams. Whenever you order a book bundle, we do our best to ship it out within one to two business days. This way, you can complete the licensing process as soon as possible and get out into the work field! 

We can provide you with pre-highlighted and pre-tabbed books and manuals to save you valuable time and effort as you study. We have book bundles for every Iowa ICC exam to equip you for any question that shows up on your exam! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the licensing process

Is a contractor's continuing education required within the state of Iowa?

At this time, continued education is not a requirement for renewing your registration. However, you will need to renew your registration every year. The renewal process is identical to the registration process, so you won’t need to complete any extra steps. 

Can I use the NASCLA accredited commercial contractor licensee in Iowa

No. This license will not suffice for contractors in Iowa. You should research the appropriate licenses that you will need in your particular county or city.  

Does the state of Iowa require the general commercial contractor license if I want to be registered?

Yes, you must have the General Commercial Contractor license to operate as a registered business.

Does the state of Iowa have reciprocity with any other states?

No. If you want to work in a different state, you will need to go through the contractor’s license registration process with that particular State. Make sure to check in with local county regulations so that you don’t unintentionally cross any legal boundaries.  

How do I register my construction company in Iowa

You can register your construction company with Iowa’s Office of the Secretary of State.

Its office is: 
Office of the Secretary of State
First Floor, Lucas Building 321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319 

Feel free to visit its website or reach out to its staff by calling (515) 281-5204.

How do I look up a company in Iowa or see if a company name is available to register?

Use the following link to see if your company name is available in Iowa Entity Search. 

Contact Contractor Training Center Today

Once you have decided to start pursuing your contractor’s license, we are ready to help! Contractor Training Center is available to help you with every part of the process, from applying to passing your exam. We have all of the materials necessary so that you can get started with building a name for yourself. Call us today so you can establish yourself as a reputable contractor in Iowa! 

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