Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Well Contractor Certification Program

(Well Drillers, GHEX drillers, Pump Installers and Well Pluggers)

  Laurie Sharp,
 Phone: 515-725-0284, Fax: 515-725-8202
Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0034


NOTE: After taking this last year to review the situation, we have seen a number of conferences and continuing education unit (CEU) opportunities resume, but with online or virtual attendance required. Due to these circumstances, the decision was made to reinstate CEU requirements for the current renewal period, 2020-2022. However, the required number of CEU credits for the 2020-2022 renewal period will be reduced by halfWell drillers will need to earn 0.8 CEUs (8 contact hours) and pump installers will need to earn 0.5 CEUs (5 contact hours) by March 31, 2022.

The CEU requirements for the 2022-2024 renewal period will return to normal (drillers – 1.6 CEU’s or 16 contact hours; pump installers – 1.0 CEUs or 10 contact hours).

Qualified and well-trained operators and contractors are a priority for the Iowa DNR. This page describes the certification process for Well Contractors relating to eligibility; applications, exams, continuing education (CEUs) and renewal. This page also summarizes the Well Contractor Certification requirements found in Chapter 82 of the Iowa Administrative Code (IAC).

The goal of the well contractor certification program is to ensure that professionals working on water wells have knowledge and experience necessary to understand how their activities affect the groundwater. The Water Supply Operation Section of Iowa DNR is responsible for administering the Certification Programs to assure that applicants meet the minimum standards of education and experience to become certified for Well Contractors.  The current certifications include water well driller; GHEX borehole driller; pump installer; and limited well plugger.




To become an Iowa DNR Certified Well Contractor an individual must:

  1. Meet the minimum education and work experience requirements of certification
  2. Complete a contractor application (542-1433) and pay applicable fees
  3. Pass a written test; Examination Process

 To retain certification, all well contractors must:

  1. Maintain a high level of work ethic and standards by performing all well services using at least the minimum appropriate standards for the service or area the service is performed.
  2. Submit all required well documentation to the Iowa DNR and/or their delegated local permitting authorities.
  3. Earn the appropriate minimum number of Continuing Education training Units (CEUs) during each two year certification cycle that starts on July 1st of even numbered years.  Note: All CEUs must be earned by March 31st of even numbered years. 
  4. Track earned CEUs and submit a record of earned CEUs to the Iowa DNR before or at the time of certification renewal.
  5. Notify the Iowa DNR of any change in address so that you will receive the certification renewal forms.



All CEUs must be acquired 90 days before the expiration date of the well contractor certification certificate (June 30th of even numbered years.)  This means that an Iowa DNR Certified Well Contractor must have all of the required contact hours earned by March 31st of even numbered years. All training submitted to the Iowa DNR for well contractor CEUs must be directly related to the subject matter of the certificate.  It is also important to understand that only 2 contact hours of safety training per 2 year certification cycle can be applied to meet the minimum CEU requirement.

The individual contractor is responsible for confirming that a course is eligible for CEU credit and that the course CEUs have been properly submitted to the department.

Certification Renewal:
Well contractor certificates expire on June 30th of even numbered years. Applications forms for renewal are mailed by the Iowa DNR to all currently certified well contractors 60 days before the expiration date of their certificate. Applications must be returned, with applicable fees, within 60 days of the expiration date. It is important that applicants notify the IDNR of any changes in their mailing address and business association.