Licensure and Specialty Licensure Requirements
The Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board was established to license and regulate those working in the plumbing and mechanical systems (hydronic, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal) trades. The board also issues specialty licenses, contractor licenses, and medical gas piping installation certification. The mission of the board is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by licensing qualified individuals who provide services to consumers and by fair and consistent enforcement of state law.
Anyone working in the state of Iowa in the plumbing and mechanical systems trades, or contracting for services in these trades, is required to be licensed by the board. Exemptions to the licensure requirements are located in Iowa Code section 105.11. Click on the Iowa Code link on the left side of this page to download a copy of chapter 105. If you are seeking a military exemption to initial or renewal licensure requirements, please contact the board office at 1-866-280-1521.
Please click on the menu to the left to see specific requirements for each of the license levels and specialty trades.
"Contractor" means a person or entity that provides plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal or hydronic systems services on a contractual basis and who is paid a predetermined amount under that contract for rendering those services
"HVAC" means heating, ventilation, air conditioning, ducted systems, or any type of refrigeration used for food processing or preservation. "HVAC" includes all natural, propane, liquid propane, or other gas lines associated with any component of an HVAC system.
"Hydronic" means a heating or cooling system that transfers heating or cooling by circulating fluid through a closed system, including boilers, pressure vessels, refrigeration equipment in connection with chilled water systems, all steam piping, hot or chilled water piping together with all control devices and accessories, installed as part of, or in connection with, any heating or cooling system or appliance whose primary purpose is to provide comfort using a liquid, water, or steam as the heating or cooling media. "Hydronic" includes all low-pressure and high-pressure systems and all natural, propane, liquid propane, or other gas lines associated with any component of a hydronic system. For purposes of this definition, "primary purpose is to provide comfort" means a system or appliance in which at least fifty-one percent of the capacity generated by its operation, on an annual average, is dedicated to comfort heating or cooling.
"Mechanical systems" means HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal, and hydronic systems.
"Medical gas piping" means a permanent fixed piping system in a health care facility which is used to convey oxygen, nitrous oxide, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, helium, medical air, and mixtures of these gases from its source to the point of use and includes the fixed piping associated with a medical, surgical, or gas scavenging vacuum system, as well as a bedside suction system.
"Medical gas system installer" means any person who installs or repairs medical gas piping, components, and vacuum systems, including brazers, who has been issued a valid certification from the national inspection testing certification (NITC) corporation, or an equivalent authority approved by the board.
"Plumbing" means all potable water building supply and distribution pipes, all plumbing fixtures and traps, all drainage and vent pipes, and all building drains and building sewers, storm sewers, and storm drains, including their respective joints and connections, devices, receptors, and appurtenances within the property lines of the premises, and including the connection to sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and domestic water mains. "Plumbing" includes potable water piping, potable water treating or using equipment, medical gas piping systems, fuel gas piping, water heaters and vents, including all natural, propane, liquid propane, or other gas lines associated with any component of a plumbing system.
"Refrigeration" means any system of refrigeration regardless of the level of power, if such refrigeration is intended to be used for the purpose of food processing and product preservation and is also intended to be used for comfort systems. “Refrigeration” includes all natural, propane, liquid propane, or other gas lines associated with any component of refrigeration.
"Sheet metal" means heating, ventilation, air conditioning, pollution control, fume hood systems and related ducted systems or installation of equipment associated with any component of a sheet metal system. "Sheet metal" excludes refrigeration and electrical lines and all natural gas, propane, liquid propane, or other gas lines associated with any component of a sheet metal system.
The following definitions of licensure levels are specified in Iowa Code chapter 105.
"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.
"Journeyperson" means any person, other than a master, who, as a principal occupation, is engaged as an employee of, or otherwise working under the direction of, a master in the design, installation, and repair of plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal, or hydronic systems, as applicable.
"Master" means any person who works in the planning or superintending of the design, installation, or repair of plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal, or hydronic systems and is otherwise lawfully qualified to conduct the business of plumbing, mechanical, HVAC, refrigeration, sheet metal, or hydronic systems, and who is familiar with the laws and rules governing the same.
Note: A helper as defined below is not required to be licensed under Iowa Code chapter 105.
"Helper" means a person engaged in general manual labor activities who provides assistance to an apprentice, journeyperson, or master while under the supervision of a journeyperson or master.