obtain iowa plumbing license

How to become a licensed plumber in the state of Iowa

There are many tiers of plumbing available to you should you decide to become a plumber in Iowa. Whether you choose to be an apprentice, journey-level, or master plumber, there is a process to gaining your license and obtaining experience on the job. The Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board is the governing authority over plumbing licensure in the state of Iowa. Anyone doing paid work as a plumber in the state must have a license issued by the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board.

Types of Licensure

Apprentice Plumber

An apprentice plumber is someone who is working toward the completion of an apprenticeship in the plumbing trade. Anyone whose primary occupation is plumbing work, but is not a “helper,” journeyperson, or master plumber, is considered an apprentice. An apprentice plumber must work under a licensed journeyman or master plumber for all jobs.

Journeyperson Plumber

A journeyperson plumber is someone whose primary occupation is plumbing, is licensed by the state of Iowa as a plumber, and is not a master plumber. A journeyperson plumber must always be supervised by a master plumber. They cannot knowingly work for an unlicensed contractor by law, nor can they knowingly supervise unlicensed persons by law. A journeyperson plumber may oversee and supervise apprentice plumbers, but can only do so if he or she is also being supervised by a master plumber.

Master Plumber

A master plumber is anyone whose primary job is plumbing and works to design, install, and repair plumbing systems. Master licensure is the highest license level in the state of Iowa. A master plumber can supervise both journeyperson and apprentice plumbers, but cannot knowingly work for an unlicensed contractor nor knowingly supervise an unlicensed journeyperson or apprentice plumber.

 

Plumbing license requirements in the state of Iowa

Apprentice Plumber License Requirements

To be eligible for an apprentice plumbing license, you must submit an application either online or via a paper application. Your application submission is to prove that you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and EITHER a high school graduate OR have a GED equivalent of a high school diploma
  • You must provide any and all documentation of criminal convictions related to the profession of plumbing
  • You will need to pay the application fee
  • You will need to certify that you are working under the supervision of a licensed journeyperson or master plumber
  • You must be enrolled in an apprentice program that is registered with the US Department of Labor

Journeyperson Plumber License Requirements

To be eligible for a journeyperson plumbing license, you must submit an application online or via a paper application. You must pay the licensing fee for plumbing as well. Your application will prove that you meet all the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must provide documentation of any and all criminal convictions
    • If you have a felony conviction, your application will be subject to review by the board for eligibility
  • You must meet one of the following requirements
    • Provide evidence of completing at least four years of practical experience as a plumbing apprentice and proof of passing the journeyperson examination
      • Your experience must be from an apprenticeship program registered with the US Department of Labor
    • OR Provide evidence that you possess a master plumbing license from another state

Master Plumber License Requirements

To be eligible for a master plumbing license, you must submit an application that proves you meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must provide documentation of any criminal convictions, and a felony conviction will subject your application to review by the board to determine your eligibility for licensure.
  • You must pass the state of Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board master licensing exam
  • You must pay the master licensing fee

 

Obtaining a plumbing license in the state of Iowa

Path to obtaining an apprentice plumbing license

In order to apply for a plumbing license, you must be enrolled in an apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Labor of the United States. When you apply, you will be asked for your apprentice ID as well as your sponsor ID. You can contact the Department of Labor or your sponsor for instructions on how to get that information if you don’t already have it.

Path to obtaining a journeyperson plumbing license

In order to qualify for a journeyperson license, you will need four years of experience prior to 2010, or you will need to have completed an apprenticeship program. Then, you can apply with the following steps:

  1. Submit an exam approval application along with your $35 application fee.
  2. Await for your approval, after which you will be sent instructions on how to schedule your exam with the board’s approved testing provider
    1. Approval may take up to two weeks
  3. Schedule your exam and pay the $99 exam fee
  4. Pass your exam
  5. Submit an application for post-examination licensure

If you already hold a master license from another state, you can submit a “Journey by Master” application instead of the usual journeyman application form with an exam.

Path to obtaining a master plumbing license

If you have a master license in another state, or you have a journeyman license with two years of experience, you can follow these steps to obtain your master plumbing license:

  1. Submit an exam approval application with your $25 application fee.
  2. Await approval of your application, after which you will be sent instructions on how to schedule your examination with the board’s approved testing provider
    1. Approval can take up to two weeks to process
  3. Schedule your exam, and pay your $95 exam fee
  4. Pass your exam
  5. After you pass, submit your post-examination licensure application and pay your license fee

Currently, the only state with reciprocity in Iowa is South Dakota. If you hold a master plumbing license from South Dakota, you can apply to obtain a master plumbing license from Iowa without having to sit for and pass the master plumbing exam.

 

Helpful links

Application forms: https://idph.iowa.gov/regulatory-programs/pmsb

Application instructions: https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/72/INSTRUCTIONS_NEW_Individual.pdf

Notable plumbing trade schools in Iowa

Kirkwood Community College
Cedar Rapids, IA
Duration of Program: 35 credits

Phone: 319-398-4983

 

Hawkeye Community College
Cedar Falls, IA

Duration of Program: 144 training hours

Phone: 319-296-429

 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *