Electrical Technology

Gain hands-on electrical technology experience while earning an Associate in Applied Science degree. As the demand grows for quality electricity, so does the need for qualified electricians. Industry trends show that the need for electricians in the workforce will increase by 20% over the next 10 years.

Our program prepares you to enter the workforce as an electrician helper, in which you will be under the supervision of a Journeyman or Master Electrician. You’ll acquire 2,080 hours of on-the-job training right here at Iowa Lakes, contributing toward the typical 8,000 hours required by most states of an apprentice electrician before they may take the electrical examination.

Get real experience and training on power generation, electric motors and controls, renewable energy power systems, HVAC controls and programmable logic control systems. You’ll also learn about the National Electrical Code and how to perform electrical work within the residential, commercial and industrial electronics sectors. By studying our broad curriculum, you’ll develop both core and specialized skills in electrical technology.

If you want a challenging and rewarding career with room to advance, then our Electrical Technology program may be a great fit for you. Develop the skills needed to be an electrician in our two-year program.

PSEP (Postsecondary Electrical Program) approved through the Electrical Licensing and Inspection Program, State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Department of Public Safety. Electrical Apprenticeship Training Program, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, United States Department of Labor approved.

Faculty Contact

Doug Zemler
Assistant Professor, Electrical Technology Instructor / Coordinator
712-362-8376 Ext: 8376 | dzemler@iowalakes.educreate new email

Program Details


DEGREE: Associate in Applied Science (76 credits)

CAMPUS: Estherville


Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $32,940

Average Salary: $55,190

Projected Employment Growth: 10%

Special Certifications Available

What you'll learn

In the Electrical Technology program at Iowa Lakes, you will learn how to:1

  1. Install electrical components and equipment.
  2. Interpret electrical blueprints, diagrams, and schematics.
  3. Diagnose issues with electrical components and equipment.
  4. Employ electrical wiring codes and regulations in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
  5. Perform daily tasks utilizing electrically safe work practices according to OSHA standards and the NFPA 70E Electrical Safety in the Workplace.
  6. Determine wiring for control, instrumentation, communications and power systems in residential, commercial and industrial applications.

1The What You’ll Learn section of our website provides a description of Learning Outcomes for students who successfully complete all requirements for obtaining an Electrical Technology Associate in Applied Science degree from Iowa Lakes Community College.


Term 1

Credits: 2

An introduction to the NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®. The course covers Chapters 1 and 2 of the Code, including the struc­ture of the Code, requirements of electricians, and basic wiring and protection.

Credits: 4

Electrical Theory I is an introduction to basic electrical theory and components that make up electrical circuits. Direct Current and Alternating Current will be introduced and basic laws for voltage, current and power relationships will be presented in lecture and laboratory format. Course content will include, but not be limited to basic circuits, electrical components and their applications. Hands-on reinforcement of theory covered during lecture is prac­ticed in lab.

Credits: 4

This course is designed to introduce students to residential wiring. Discussion topics will include safety, planning, using residential building plans, calculating loads, and wiring methods. Lab settings will require the student to use hand tools and wire circuits. The National Electrical Code will be used in depth to determine the requirements used for residential wiring. We will be using hand and power tools in the labs for wiring practices and installations.

Credits: 1

Fundamentals, principles, and practices involved in producing and reading blueprints utilized in the different sectors of the renewable energy industry with a focus on basic blueprint reading.

Credits: 1

A study of the careers available within the renewable energy sec­tor, with an emphasis on analyzing renewable energy industries as related components of a dynamic system. Students will also learn about drafting cover letters, creating resumes, interviewing, and networking.

Credits: 3

Technical Math includes operations with real numbers, use of fractions, ratios, measurement conversion, algebraic equations, functions, geometry, and right angle trigonometry. Applications are designed around situations students may encounter in industrial settings

Credits: 3

This course is designed to prepare students for the oral and writ­ten communication situations in the working world. The major ar­eas of study include technical communication principles, oral com­munications, composing technical documents, and using Standard English. Writing projects require the use of a word processing program; therefore, computer experience is recommended.

Term 2

Credits: 2

A continuation of the NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®. The course covers Chapters 3 and 4 of the Code, including wiring methods, materials, and general equipment.

Prerequisites: ELE 155 – NEC I

Credits: 4

Electric Theory II consists of instruction that will build upon experi­ence gained in Electric Theory I. Students will be introduced to advanced concepts of electrical theory.

Credits: 3

This course introduces students to commercial wiring. It begins with the planning of the commercial installation by using blue­prints, layout, and calculations. They will be required to calculate load for branch circuits, feeders and the electrical service. Wiring methods, luminaires, motors and overcurrent protection will also be covered. The National Electrical Code requirements will be used and explained to understand how they are applied to com­mercial installations. The labs will consist of bending conduit and use hand tools for wiring methods and practices.

Prerequisites: ELE 181 – Residential Electric/Electronics Systems

Credits: 3

Introduction to Sustainable Energy Resources is designed to provide a basic understanding of energy, current trends in energy consumption, and the role of sustainable energy resources in today’s society. Topics covered will include matter and energy laws, the history of energy usage by humans, the categories of energy resources, and the environmental problems currently be­ing caused by energy consumption.

Credits: 3

The basic fundamentals of business. Basic business and economic concepts and terminology; management, marketing, finance, human resource management, accounting and other business areas.

Credits: 3

This course discusses motor controls, components, operation, and service. Students will learn electric relay control of AC and DC motors along with troubleshooting motors in an industrial application.

Term 3

Credits: 6

Students will complete their internship (practicum) through job contact experience to improve their readiness to enter their chosen field and focus them on the advanced training in their second year prior to graduation. A minimum 3-page, APA format­ted synopsis of their experience is required upon completion of the internship.

Term 4

Credits: 2

An introduction of the NFPA 70E® Electrical Safety in the Work­place and NFPA 70B® Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance documents. Technicians are required to do preventive maintenance on electrical equipment and to do it safely. These documents will be used to discuss how this is to be accomplished in the workplace.

Credits: 4

Electric motors & generators is an introduction to types of motors and generators that are used today. The characteristics of Direct Current and Alternating Current motors and generators will be dis­cussed and demonstrated through lecture and hands on labora­tory sessions.

Prerequisites: ELE 119 – Basic Electricity I

Credits: 2

A continuation of the NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®. The course covers Chapters 5 and 6 of the Code, including special occupancies and equipment.

Prerequisites: ELE 156 – NEC II

Credits: 3

Comprehensive introduction to components, circuits, instruments and control techniques used in industrial systems.

Prerequisites: ELE 136 – Basic Electricity II

Credits: 3

Power Generation and Transmission will serve as an introduction to the generation of electrical power with a wind turbine genera­tor, moving that power through a local transmission system to a substation where a customer will purchase the generated power. This course will cover all aspects of working with components of a high voltage transmission system.

Credits: 3

An introduction to HVAC systems, with an emphasis on electri­cal and mechanical fundamentals skills, including AC and DC electricity; electrical power supplies and wiring materials; meter operations; mechanical math and measurement; fasteners; and PVC assembly.

Prerequisites: SER 124 – Industrial Safety

Credits: 1

This course presents the skills required to organize and prepare an estimate for a trade’s project.

Term 5

Credits: 2

A completion and review of the NFPA 70® National Electrical Code®. The course covers Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of the Code, including special conditions, communications systems, and ap­plicable tables to the Code.

Prerequisites: ELE 158 – NEC III

Credits: 4

Introduce students to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s), primarily the Siemens S7-200 processors, the Siemens LOGO smart relay processor and the Bachmann M1 Controllers. The course will provide students with experiences in the following: Numbering systems associated with programming and addressing PLC’s Hardware and software familiarization associ­ated with PLC’s Using programming instruction sets to create and edit ladderlogic programs Troubleshooting techniques using a PLCTroubleshooting techniques using a schematic and drawings

Credits: 3

This class will deal with the wiring aspects and electrical compo­nents of industrial installations. Modern industrial plants require technicians to be knowledgeable in high voltage, medium voltage, and low voltage systems. Systems from the substation, overcur­rent protection, conductors, capacitors, and power quality will be discussed. Wiring methods and practices for hazardous locations will be taught in the class also.

Prerequisites: ELE 354 – Commercial Electric/Electronics Systems

Credits: 3

Students are given the opportunity to apply human relations concepts and evaluate experience and observations. Social skills required in various occupational settings will be developed, emphasizing how appropriate personal attitudes lead to social and business success.

Credits: 4

Foundational training in local area networking technology, pro­tocols and installation procedures. Introduction to supervisory control and data acquisition for industrial networks.

Prerequisites: ELT 732 – Introduction to Industrial Instrumentation