The HVAC industry offers a rewarding career path, but most states require you to be licensed to work on heating and air conditioning units. Each state has its own requirements for applying for an HVAC license. If you are interested in pursuing HVAC training in Iowa, you must complete an educational or training problem before sitting for an exam. Learn how to get an HVAC license in Iowa.
Who Needs an HVAC License?
Iowa HVAC license requirements state that anyone who works in the HVAC field must work under a license. You may work under the license of another contractor while you learn the skills necessary and meet the educational requirements to sit for the HVAC license exam. Once you pass the exam, you may install, repair or replace any type of residential or commercial HVAC unit.
HVAC License Types in Iowa
There are several HVAC certification levels in Iowa. It is important to understand the differences so that you can plan accordingly to meet the requirements for the type of license you need.
You must be at least 18 years of age and registered in a program recognized by the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship. You must pass an exam for an apprenticeship license, but you are not permitted to do work without the guidance of a licensed journeyman or contractor,
To become a journeyman, you must complete a four-year apprenticeship program and pass the licensing exam for a journeyperson. This certification allows you to oversee one or more apprentices, but you must still work under the license of an HVAC contractor.
A master HVAC technician may supervise journeymen or apprentices in Iowa. To obtain this certification, you must sit for an exam after completing two years of work as a journeyman or obtaining a master-level license in another jurisdiction. If you hold a master-level HVAC certification in another jurisdiction, you may be able to forego a second exam. You will, however, have to submit an application and pay any fees associated with the license. At the master level, you can work indefinitely under the license of a contractor with no restrictions, but you are not permitted to run your own company.
A contractor’s license allows you to operate your own HVAC company. You must pass the contractor’s exam and register with the Iowa Division of Labor, which will issue you a Contractor Registration Number. You must provide the board with proof that you have a permanent place of business.
Service Technician HVAC Specialty
You may apply for a sublicense that gives you special certification in one of four fields. This certification provides you with specialized knowledge of sheet metal, HVAC systems, refrigeration, and/or Hydronics that could enhance your career. You may hold all four special certifications, but there is a separate fee and exam for each of them.
Iowa HVAC License Requirements
Obtaining an HVAC contractor license in Iowa takes several years because you must gain experience at each level before applying for a more advanced license. You must be at least 18 years of age to become an apprentice, and you must stay at this certification level for at least four years before you can apply for a journeyman’s license. At each certification advancement, you will need to pay a licensing fee, submit an application and sit for an exam before you can obtain the next HVAC license. An HVAC contractor is the highest licensing level available in Iowa.
All HVAC contractors in Iowa must provide proof of insurance when they apply for their licenses. The state also requires contractors to secure a surety bond before they can receive an HVAC license. Get a FREE, no obligation commercial insurance quote below:
Iowa HVAC Licensing and Registration Fees
Compared to other states, the cost of HVAC licensure in Iowa is low. However, you must pay the fees for your chosen apprenticeship program, which averages $2,000 for a four-year program in the state. For each license level, you must take an exam at Kirkwood Community College and pay a license and exam fee to the Iowa Plumbing & Mechanical Systems Board. You may pay with Mastercard, Visa, or Discover. Fees are subject to change at any time, but at the time of this writing, they are:
- Apprentice license: $50 for a three-year cycle. As with other license fees, this one is prorated depending on when you receive it during the license cycle.
- Journeyman license: $180
- Journeyman exam: $35
- Master License: $240
- Master Exam: $35
- Contractor license: $250
- Contractor Registration: $150
- Contractor exam: $125
Iowa HVAC License Education Requirements and Exam
You must be at least 18 and have completed school or earned a GED certificate to become an HVAC apprentice. Unlike many other states, Iowa does not allow you to complete an associate degree in lieu of an apprenticeship. All HVAC technicians must complete a four-year apprenticeship before they can apply for higher licensure.
HVAC License Exam Details
The Iowa PMSB provides HVAC license exams through Kirkwood Community College. The journeyman and master exams cost $35 each and the contractor exam is $125.
The journeyman exams each have 75 multiple-choice questions. You have four hours to complete the exam. The test covers a wide variety of topics you study during an apprenticeship, including:
- Combustion, venting, and gas piping
- Refrigeration terms and system operations
- Ducts, boilers, and electricals
- HVAC installation requirements
- HVAC safety, principles, and terms
The master exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions. You have five hours to complete the test, and it covers additional principles such as:
- Combustion air
- Appliances and equipment
- Exhaust and Vent
- Vents and chimneys
The contractor license exam covers all of the topics above. It also includes questions about Iowa HVAC restrictions.
HVAC Training Schools in Iowa
Iowa HVAC licensing regulations require you to complete an apprenticeship to begin your journey to earning an HVAC license, so you may not decide to pursue secondary education. However, if you want to develop a well-rounded knowledge of the HVAC industry before you start your career, there is one school with a program that is approved by HVAC Excellence. Scott Community College in Bettendorf, Iowa, has a 39-hour Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning program that can prepare you for a successful HVAC career in Iowa.
Great HVAC training can be found both in-person and online. Use our tool below to find additional programs near you.
Iowa License Application
You must pass a background check to get an HVAC license in Iowa. You must find the appropriate examination application on the PMSB website and submit it along with your exam fee. Once the board approves the application, you can schedule an exam time. Forms are primarily completed online, and if you need to submit a paper form for any reason, there is a $25 fee on top of the application, exam, and licensure fees.
Registration and Permitting Requirements
If you hold any type of contactor license in Iowa, including an HVAC certification, you must register separately with the Iowa Division of Labor. The registration fee is $150 in addition to licensure, exam, and application fees.
You must renew your HVAC license at the end of every three-year cycle. Iowa offers a 30% discount for renewals that are made on time.
HVAC Registered Contractor Requirements in Iowa
In Iowa, the term “general contractor” covers a wide variety of disciplines. An HVAC contractor must register with the board and hold a license that is updated every three years. However, there is no need to obtain a general contractor’s license. Anyone who performs more than $2,000 worth of HVAC work for someone else must hold a contractor’s license or work under the certification of another licensed contractor.
EPA Certification in Iowa
Section 680 of the Clean Air Act put EPA regulations in place to oversee the use of refrigerants in the HVAC industry. These federal-level regulations require all HVAC technicians to hold EPA certifications. You may choose any of the following EPA certification levels:
- Type I: You ma service appliances that use five pounds or less of refrigerant.
- Type II: You can service most commercial and residential HVAC units that use more than five pounds of refrigerant.
- Type III: You may work on any type of unit regardless of how much refrigerant it uses.
HVAC License Iowa FAQ
How Long Is My Iowa HVAC License Valid?
The Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board grants licenses that are valid for three years. Most jurisdictions end their cycle in June, so HVAC technicians must renew their licenses by the end of June every three years. Certain regions offer a grace period of up to one month, but if you do not renew your license within the allotted time frame, you may need to pay extra fees for the renewal.
Can I Use My Iowa HVAC License in The Other States?
Having an Iowa HVAC license does not allow you to legally work in other states. It may prove your eligibility to take the contractor’s exam in another state, but the license is not valid across state lines.
What Is the Projected Job Growth for the HVAC Industry in Iowa?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the HVAC industry to grow 4% by 2029. Due to Iowa’s widely varying temperatures, from warm summers to frigid winters, the HVAC industry is expected to grow by 19%.
Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
For additional questions about how to get an HVAC license in Iowa, contact the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board by filling out the online form or calling 1-866-280-1521.
There are many opportunities for HVAC training in Iowa, but obtaining a license to work independently requires numerous exams and certifications. These Iowa HVAC license requirements are in place to ensure you have the skills and knowledge to service residential and commercial HVAC units upon obtaining the license. Understanding how to get an HVAC license in Iowa can prepare you for becoming a licensed contractor.
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become an HVAC-R technician in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Iowa, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: