HVAC Tech Classes in Iowa (Top Schools)

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The Hawkeye state has experienced high demands for HVAC technicians in recent years.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that 2,920 HVAC technicians had been employed in May 2021.

This increase in the workforce has resulted in more competitive and higher average annual salaries.

On this page, you’ll learn important information about becoming an HVAC technician in Iowa.

HVAC Programs in Iowa

In the HVAC industry, education, practical training, and field experience matter.

So in order to have the technical skills and knowledge, you’re encouraged to enroll in an approved HVAC program.

The table below lists some of the accredited HVAC schools you can consider in Iowa.

9 HVAC Schools in Iowa

School NameAddress
Ashworth College6625 The Corners Pkwy NW #500, Norcross, GA 30092
Des Moines Area Community College2006 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny, IA 50021
Hawkeye Community College1501 E. Orange Road, Waterloo, IA 50701
hvacredu.net (Online Training)P.O. Box 77, Heron, MT 59844
Kirkwood Community College6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406
North Iowa Area Community College500 College Drive, Mason City, IA 50401
Northeast Iowa Community College-Peosta Campus10250 Sundown Road, Peosta, IA 52068
Scott Community College-Belmont Campus500 Belmont Road, Bettendorf, IA 52722
Western Iowa Technical Community College4647 Stone Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51102

How to Get Licensed in Iowa

The state requires HVAC professionals at all levels to be licensed before they can provide HVAC services.

This will be overseen by the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board (PMSB).

Here are the licenses you can apply for:

  • Apprentice
  • Journey Level
  • Master Level
  • Contractor
  • Service Technician HVAC Specialty
  • Hearth Systems Specialty

Application Requirements for Licensure

To obtain a license, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Apprentice
    • Must be at least 18 years old and a high school graduate or GED equivalent
    • Must be enrolled in an apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Apprenticeship
    • Certification of working under the supervision of a licensed HVAC journeyman or master
    • Provide documentation of any criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession with a full explanation
    • Complete and submit the license application form and pay the applicable fees
  • Journey Level
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Provide documentation of any criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession with a full explanation
    • Must meet one of the following evidence:
      • Proof of completing at least 4 years of practical experience as an apprentice AND successfully passing the Iowa journeyperson exam for the chosen trade discipline
        • Effective January 1, 2010, the required experience must be from the apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Apprenticeship
      • Proof of possessing a master-level license in the same discipline from another jurisdiction
    • Complete and submit the license application form and pay the applicable fees
  • Master Level
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Provide documentation of any criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession with a full explanation
    • Successfully pass the state of Iowa master licensing exam for the chosen trade discipline
      • Exam eligibility, either of the following:
        • Holds a journeyperson license with at least 2 years of trade experience
        • Holds a master-level license in the same discipline from another jurisdiction
    • Complete and submit the licensure application form and pay the applicable fees
  • Contractor
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Provide documentation of any criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession with a full explanation
    • Provide evidence for the following:
      • Contractor registration with the Iowa Division of Labor
        • Valid unemployment insurance number, even if you have no employees
        • Workers’ compensation insurance certificate
        • For out-of-state contractors only – $25,000 surety bond
      • Public liability insurance with a minimum of $500,000 coverage
      • Surety bond with a minimum of $5,000
      • Master of Record
    • Complete and submit the licensure application form and pay the applicable fees
  • Service Technician HVAC Specialty
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Provide documentation of any criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession with a full explanation
    • Proof of NATE certification or equivalent board-approved training
    • Complete and submit the licensure application form and pay the applicable fees
  • Hearth Systems Specialty
    • Must be at least 18 years old
    • Provide documentation of any criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession with a full explanation
    • Proof of National Fireplace Institute certification or equivalent board-approved training
    • Complete and submit the licensure application form and pay the applicable fees

Taking the Licensure Exam

PMSB requires journey and master license applicants to successfully pass the exam for their chosen trade discipline.

The exams will be administered by Kirkwood Community College.

To apply for the exam, you must first get approval from PMSB.

Only then can you schedule your exam with KCC.

Once you pass, submit the post-exam licensure application to PMSB.

Here are the other details about the exam that you should know about:

  • It’s an open-book exam where you can bring approved reference materials
  • Passing rate is 75%
  • Exam content
    • Journeyperson HVAC/Refrigeration with Gas – 75 questions to be completed in 3 hours
      • HVAC principles, terms, administration, and safety
      • HVAC installation requirements
      • Venting, combustion, gas piping
      • Boilers, ducts, electricals
      • Refrigeration, terms, system operations
    • Master HVAC/Refrigeration with Gas – 100 questions in 4 hours
      • HVAC principles, terms, administration
      • HVAC installation
      • Venting, duct, combustion air
      • Gas piping
      • HVAC electrical
      • Boilers, exhaust, and fire protection
      • Refrigeration term system, operation

Renewal Requirements

Your license will expire every 3 years.

To renew, you must submit to PMSB the following:

  • Complete and submit the renewal application form and pay the applicable fees
  • Complete the continuing education requirements
    • Apprentice – N/A
    • All other licenses – 8 CE hours
  • Provide documentation of any criminal convictions related to the practice of the profession with a full explanation

EPA Certification

Any HVAC technician who works with refrigerants is required to have the EPA Section 608 Technician Certification.

This ensures you have the competencies to service and dispose of these harmful chemicals.

To learn more, check out our guide to the EPA certification.

Potential Salary

HVAC technicians are not only highly sought after, but they earn good wages as well.

Per BLS, you can potentially earn an average of $53,560 annually as of May 2021.

Of course, experience plays a key role in determining your salary.

If you’re an entry-level, your salary can reach up to $36,110 annually.

Meanwhile, if you’re an expert already, you can receive more than $75,960 annually.

The table below shows the salaries in 10 of Iowa’s cities for your reference.

Annual Salary Range:
$36K
$53K
$75K

Average Salary of HVAC Techs in Iowa

City NameSalary
Des Moines$44,906
Cedar Rapids$44,252
Davenport$44,134
Sioux City$38,878
Waterloo$42,242
Iowa City$43,887
Council Bluffs$44,179
Dubuque$43,772
Ames$44,485
West Des Moines$44,906
* Salary information last updated 2022
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