Apprentice Licensure

The information below outlines the requirements for licensure as an apprentice. Note that apprentices in the plumbing and mechanical systems trade disciplines must both be enrolled in a recognized United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship program AND licensed with the board. The apprentice license covers all plumbing and mechanical systems trades. In other words, only one apprentice license is needed to practice any of the trade disciplines.

Definition of Apprentice

"Apprentice" means any person, other than a helper, journeyperson, or master, who, as a principal occupation, is engaged in working as an employee of a plumbing, mechanical, HVAC-refrigeration, sheet metal or hydronic systems contractor under the supervision of either a master or a journeyperson and is progressing toward completion of an apprenticeship training program registered by the office of apprenticeship of the United States Department of Labor while learning and assisting in the design, installation, and repair of plumbing, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal, or hydronic systems, as applicable.

Supervision Requirements

An apprentice may only perform work covered under Iowa Code chapter 105 under the supervision of a master or journeyperson.  An apprentice shall not knowingly perform work for an unlicensed contractor. 

The Department of Labor (DOL) specifies a ratio of one apprentice to one journeyperson to have a registered apprenticeship program, unless a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) specifies otherwise.

Apprentice Requirements

To be eligible applicants must submit an application either online or via a paper application and meet the following requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old and a high school graduate or GED equivalent;
  • Must provide documentation of criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession, which shall include a full explanation from the applicant;
  • Pay appropriate fees;
  • Must certify applicant is working under the supervision of a licensed journeyperson or master in the applicable discipline; and
  • Must be enrolled in an applicable apprentice program which is registered with the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship and provide the department with the United States Department of Labor sponsorship agreement information found in the indenture agreement. This includes Apprentice Identification Number, Apprenticeship Start Date, Sponsor Program Number, and Sponsor Name & Address.


  • Note:  License fees are normally pro-rated based on the length of time the license is issued (all new licenses expire on June 30, 2017).  Between July 2016 and December 2016, the apprentice license fee is $16.65.  However, be aware that the online apprentice application is currently charging the full $50 apprentice fee.  As an alternative, applicants may complete the online apprentice application without paying the online fee and submit a separate check to our office for the correct amount.  Include a note that the fee is for an apprentice application entered online and include your contact information.  You will not be charged the $25 paper application fee IF you enter the apprentice application online and submit payment by check or money order separately.  However, if you want to pay by credit card, you will be charged the full $50 fee. 


  • Online Application If this is your first application with the board, you must first register and create an account.  The image below shows you where to go on this page to create an account for the first time.

Paper Application