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author RocketCert Staff
date 12.13.2022

Working with plumbing and mechanical systems is a great way to earn a living in Iowa, where the average salary for a licensed HVAC mechanic is over $53,000 — and earning potential rises based on experience, specialization, overtime, location, and other factors.

Whether you’re interested in plumbing, mechanics, HVAC, Hydronics, or ducting, obtaining a mechanical license allows you to pursue a lucrative profession and eventually be able to work for yourself.

How do you go about becoming a licensed mechanic in Iowa?

Who Issues Licenses and What Are the Requirements?

Mechanical licenses are issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board (PSBM), which is tasked with managing licensing and regulation for professionals working in the fields of plumbing, mechanics, HVAC, sheet metal (i.e., ducting), and Hydronics.

Licensing levels include apprentice, journeyperson, and master. What is required to obtain each license?


In order to become a plumbing/mechanical apprentice, you must be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. You’ll have to apply for an apprentice license from the PMSB and enroll in an apprenticeship program that is registered with the Office of Apprenticeship under the U.S. Department of Labor.

An apprenticeship program is four years in duration and must be completed under the supervision of a licensed journeyperson or master.


In order to move to the next level and obtain a journeyperson mechanical or plumbing license, you’ll have to pass the journey-level license exam. In this position, you’ll still have to work under the direction or in the employment of a licensed master in your field.


Once you become a licensed journeyperson, you’ll need an additional two years of work experience — under the direction, supervision, or employment of a licensed master — in order to become a master yourself. You’ll then have to pass the master-level exam.

At this point, you can work for licensed contractors or you can become a contractor by registering with the Iowa Division of Labor, applying for a contractor license, and obtaining the required insurance and bonding.

The Importance of Exam Prep

During your years of apprenticeship, you’ll learn a lot about your chosen profession and become prepared to do your job once you obtain a journeyperson license (and a master or contractor license down the road). With that being said, hands-on training is not the same as test prep, and you must be prepared to pass your licensing exam.

This is where a journeyperson and master mechanical licensing and exam prep course can help. With convenient online courses available on all of your devices and a self-paced format, you have the best opportunity to prepare for your upcoming exam in a way that fits your lifestyle.

Operating as a Journeyperson or Master Mechanic in Iowa

Once you’ve obtained your mechanical license in Iowa, it will remain valid for three years. You are required to complete a minimum of eight hours of continuing education before you can renew your license.

With the Journeyperson and Master Mechanical Licensing & Exam Prep course from RocketCert, you’ll not only gain an expert education that includes lifetime access to your training but you’ll also enjoy our no pass, no pay policy with test prep designed to ensure you pass your exam the first time. Explore our courses today.