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Definition of Journeyperson

"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.

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Supervision Requirements

A journeyperson must work under the supervision of a master licensed in the discipline of the work being performed in the design, installation, and repair of plumbing, mechanical, HVAC-refrigeration, or hydronic systems.  A journeyperson shall not knowingly perform work covered under Iowa Code chapter 105 for an unlicensed contractor.  A journeyperson who superintends one or more apprentices may only provide such supervision in the discipline(s) in which the journeyperson is licensed and only while performing work for the same contractor licensed under Iowa Code chapter 105.  A journeyperson shall not knowingly supervise unlicensed persons who perform work covered under Iowa Code chapter 105 for which a board-issued license is required.

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General Journeyperson Requirements

To be eligible, file an application (online or via a paper application) and pay the appropriate licensing fee for each trade discipline you are seeking a license in.  Application requirements 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.
  • Must meet one of the following requirements:
    • Provide the board with evidence of having completed at least four years of practical experience as an apprentice AND proof of successfully passing the Iowa journeyperson examination for each trade discipline requested. Beginning January 1, 2010, the four year of practical experience required must be from an apprenticeship training program registered by the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship.OR
    • Provide evidence that the applicant possesses a master level license in the same discipline from another jurisdiction.

If you are applying for a journey license on the basis of having a master level license in another jurisdiction, you may submit the application for a journey license either online or using the application form below.  If you need to sit for the examination, please see the Examination page on our website.  You must first submit an Exam Approval Application, schedule and pass the test, then submit a Post-Examination Licensure Application. If you have already completed your exam, please visit the link for post-examination licensure.

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Steps to Obtain License

If you are applying for a Journeyperson license on the basis of four years of experience prior to 2010 or completion of an apprenticeship program, the steps in the process are outlined below:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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 $99).
  4. 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.

If you are applying for a Journeyperson license on the basis of having a master license in that same trade from another state or jurisdiction, use the links at the bottom of this page to submit either an online application or Journey by Master paper application form.

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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.  Applications can be submitted either online or via the paper application available at the bottom of this 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 you submit your application.

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.

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Fees are prorated based on the length of time the license is issued for.  All licenses expire June 30, 2020, and every three years thereafter.  Please see fees page for specific details.

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