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Continuing Education

Iowa law requires members of every licensed or regulated profession to obtain continuing education as a condition of license renewal. (See Iowa Code section 105.20 and chapter 272C)  For each plumbing and mechanical systems board license, the basic requirement is at least 8 hours of classroom instruction during each three-year licensing term.  For a course to be valid, both the instructor and the course must be pre-approved by the board.  Visit the "Training" link on our website to find a list of upcoming courses.  Be advised that not all instructors choose to list their courses on our training calendar, so other courses may be available in your area.  You can contact your closest community college, trade union or association, or other local instructor to find out if other courses may be available.  Please see the information below for additional details concerning continuing education requirements, as well as information about submitting an application for instructor or course approval.

Course Survey

Please complete a brief survey about your CEU course experience.

Hours Required

Single License

Plumbing, HVAC/R, Hydronics, Sheet Metal, Mechanical, or Specialty

2 hours safety (Iowa Occupational Health & Safety)

2 hours code (applicable plumbing or mechanical code)

4 hours discipline (must be in current license discipline only)

8 TOTAL HOURS

Multiple Mechanical Licenses (If not combined into a single license)

Combination of 2 or more licenses in mechanical trades (HVAC/R, sheet metal, & hydronic systems)

4 hours safety (Iowa Occupational Health & Safety)

2 hours mechanical code

8 hours discipline (from one or any combination of discipline licenses held)

14 TOTAL HOURS

Multiple Licenses - Plumbing & Mechanical

Combination of 1 plumbing license and 1 or more mechanical licenses

4 hours safety (Iowa Occupational Health & Safety)

2 hours mechanical code

2 hours plumbing code

8 hours discipline (from one or any combination of discipline licenses held)

16 TOTAL HOURS

Up to half of the total hours required can be completed through online courses that have been prior-approved by the board.  See the training calendar link on the board-website for a list of these courses.

Mechanical & Specialty Licenses

  • Mechanical trades include HVAC/refrigeration, sheet metal, and hydronic systems. If you have combined a separate HVAC/R license and hydronics license into a single mechanical license, then you only need 8 hours of continuing education for that single license.  If you have not combined the licenses, you would need 14 hours of continuing education to renew both licenses. If you also have a plumbing license, you would the maximum number of hours, which is 16.
  • Disconnect/reconnect – follow requirements for plumbing license;
  • Hearth Systems – follow requirements for mechanical license;
  • Service Tech HVAC – follow requirements for mechanical license (HVAC trade); and
  • Private school or college maintenance – considered a sublicense of whatever discipline(s) in which the licensee actually practices.

No continuing education hours are required for apprentice licenses or medical gas piping certification.  Persons with a medical gas certification must ensure they maintain current certification and must maintain brazer qualification.

Exemptions & Extensions

A licensee shall be exempt from the continuing education requirements for the following reasons:

  • For the first renewal of a person who was licensed as an apprentice in Iowa and successfully passed the examination and became licensed as a journeyperson in Iowa;
  • For periods the licensee served honorably on active duty in the military;
  • For periods the licensee resided in another state or district having continuing education requirements for the discipline and the licensee met all requirements of that state or district;
  • For periods the licensee was a government employee working in the licensee’s specialty and assigned to duty outside the United States; and
  • For periods the licensee was absent from the state but engaged in active practice under circumstances approved by the board.
  • For the first renewal of a person who obtained a specialty, journeyperson, or master license with less than one year remaining in the continuing education compliance period (applies to NEW licensees only - does not apply to individuals who renew late or reinstate a lapsed license).  This exemption shall apply only to the licensee's first renewal of that license and only to each license that was issued with less than one year remaining in the continuing education complaince period.

Licensees may also apply for a permissive full or partial exemption for individual cases of exceptional hardship or extenuating circumstances, such as a physical or mental disability or illness.  Documentation is required and additional conditions may be imposed.  Board rules state that permissive exemptions shall only be granted in the most exceptional and extraordinary of circumstances.

The board may also, in individual cases involving hardship or extenuating circumstances, grant an extension of time within which to fulfill the minimum continuing education requirements.  There must be documented circumstances beyond the control of the licensee which prevent attendance at required activities.  All requests must be made prior to the license expiration date.

Finding Courses

Visit the "Training" link on our website to find a list of upcoming courses.  Be advised that not all instructors choose to list their courses on our training calendar, so other courses may be available in your area.  You can contact your closest community college, trade union or association, plumbing or mechanical supply shop, or other local instructor to find out if other courses may be available.  The "Training" link also has a list of board-approved online courses and board-approved instructors that can provide courses.

Reporting Continuing Education

Continuing education is reported at the time of license renewal.  The renewal application requires licensees to enter the board-approved course number, course name, and course date for all classes.  You must also indicate the course topic (e.g. safety, code, HVAC, etc.) and the number of hours awarded.  This information can be found on the certificate of attendance that was provided to you at the end of each course. It is very important that you maintain a file of all continuing education courses attended. The board does not maintain individual files for every licensee listing the courses you took – we CANNOT tell you what courses you took.  You must ask the course instructor or sponsor for this information.While instructors do submit rosters to our office, these rosters are used to audit and verify attendance for courses and hours self-reported by you at the time of license renewal. If you lose copies of your proof of attendance certifications, you should contact the course sponsor/instructor.  

Instructor & Course Requests for Approval

All instructors and courses must be prior-approved by the board.  In general, courses must be related to the professional competency of the licensee; pertain to subject matter that integrally relates to the practice of the discipline; be conducted by approved instructors; and cover product knowledge, methods, and systems of one or more of the following: (1) theory and technique of a specific discipline; (2) current Iowa plumbing or mechanical code; or (3) standards comprising the current Iowa Occupational Safety & Health Act.  The packets and individual forms listed below contain additional details and instructions on submitting requests for approval of instructors and continuing education courses.  Please allow a minimum of 4 weeks for all instructor and course application reviews. If your application is incomplete or the committee request additional information, the process could take up to 8 weeks.

Board approval of instructors and courses is valid for a three-year period.  Prior to expiration a renewal form must be submitted.  If the instructor qualifications have changed or the course content has changed, a new application for approval must be submitted.

Instructors are required to provide all licensees with a certificate of attendance.  Course rosters must also be submitted within 30 days of the course.

Form Packets

All Available Forms

Completed forms should be submitted to one of the following:

Via Email (Preferred):

Please submit your questions using our online Contact Us Form

Via Mail:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Via Fax:

(515) 281-6114