Master Level Requirements
Note: All qualified Master applicants are eligible to work at all roles defined under Journeyperson duties in addition to the defined Master duties.
Definition of Master
"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.
A master who superintends the design, installation, or repair of plumbing, mechanical, HVAC-refrigeration, or hydronic systems shall be available to supervise journeypersons or apprentices as needed and may only provide such supervision in the discipline or disciplines in which the master is licensed. A master shall not knowingly supervise unlicensed persons who perform work covered under Iowa Code chapter 105 for which a board-issued license is required. A master shall not knowingly perform work covered under Iowa Code chapter 105 for an unlicensed contractor.
Contractor Relationship & Master of Record
A master may only be a master of record for one contractor in any particular discipline at any one time, except that a contractor or a master may seek prior board approval to serve as the master of record for more than one contractor in a particular discipline. An individual who possesses master licenses in multiple disciplines may be a master of record for multiple contractors so long as the individual is only a master of record for one contractor in any particular discipline at one time. (For example, an individual who hold a master plumbing and master mechanical license could be the master of record in the plumbing trade for one contractor and the master of record in the mechanical trade for a different contractor.)
A master who serves as a master of record for a contractor and who disassociates from the contractor must notify the board and the contractor of the disassociation, if notice was not previously provided, within 30 days from the date of disassociation, absent exigent circumstances.
Master License Requirements
Applicants must submit a post-examination licensure application after passing the master level discipline exam(s) and pay the appropriate license fee. General eligibility requirements for a master level license are listed below.
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must provide documentation of any criminal convictions. Applicants with a felony conviction will be subject to review by the board to determine eligibility for licensure.
- Pass the state of Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board master licensing examination for the applicable discipline. To be eligible to sit for the exam, you must have either 1) a master license in another jurisdiction; or 2) a journeyperson license with two years of work experience.
- Pay the master level licensing fee.
Steps to Obtain Master License
If you are applying for a master license on the basis of having either a master license in another state or jurisdiction or on the basis of having a journeyperson license with a minimum of two years of journey level experience, the steps in the process to obtain a master license are outlined below:
- First, submit an Exam Approval Application with a fee of $35 per trade discipline exam, either online or via a paper application. That form is found on our Examination page.
- Allow up to two weeks for a complete Exam Approval Application to be processed. Upon approval, you will be sent instructions on scheduling the examination through the board’s approved testing provider (Kirkwood Community College).
- Follow the instructions to schedule your examination with Kirkwood at one of the 15 different testing sites throughout Iowa. You will pay an examination fee directly to Kirkwood for each examination attempt (current fee is $95).
- After passing your examination, submit an application for Post-Examination Licensure. The license fee is prorated based on the length of time the license will be valid for.
In May 2016, the board approved its first reciprocity agreement with the South Dakota State Plumbing Commission. The agreement allows persons who obtained their license on the basis of written examination to obtain a similar license without having to pass another exam in the other state. This means that if you obtained a South Dakota plumbing license on the basis of written examination, you can submit an application for reciprocity to obtain an Iowa plumbing license without passing another examination for the state of Iowa. You must agree to abide by all other Iowa laws and rules. The reciprocity agreement applies only to the journeyperson, and master plumbing license requirements. To apply for an Iowa license on the basis of reciprocity, submit the application either online or via the paper application (link at bottom of page). You must include a copy of your South Dakota license and a certificate of good standing/license verification from the South Dakota Plumbing Commission. You must also have a non-Iowa resident address at the time your application is submitted.
If you are an Iowa plumbing license holder seeking reciprocity with South Dakota, your Iowa license must have been issued on the basis of written examination (persons who were grandfathered into Iowa license requirements are not eligible). Contact the South Dakota State Plumbing Commission for information about the South Dakota license and application forms. If you need written verification of your Iowa license for South Dakota, submit a written request to our office along with a check or money order for $20, which is the Iowa license verification fee.
See the Fees link for details.
Reciprocity Application Use this form only if you have a plumbing license in South Dakota that was issued on the basis of written examination.