How to Get a Plumbing License in Your State?

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From repairing a leaking pipe to clearing the blockage in your kitchen sink, there are several circumstances when you might need to call a plumber.

According to the research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plumbers are in high demand and are anticipated to have solid employment prospects until 2030 and perhaps beyond that too. However, maintaining the efficiency of our valuable plumbing systems necessitates a sizable team of skilled plumbers, and that is why plumber training cannot be compromised.

In the US alone, there are around 480,600 certified and licensed plumbers. Since 2016, this $100 billion business has increased by an average of approx. 3.0% annually and will continue to grow.

With the constantly growing demand, if you are looking forward to starting a plumbing business, it is one of the finest options.

But what are the prerequisites to becoming a plumber, and is a license necessary to become one? In this blog, we will go over everything you need to know regarding the state-specific criteria on how to get a plumbing license. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

Plumbing License Explained

A plumbing license is a credential that enables you to work as an independent contractor and start your own plumbing business. The license enables a professional to install, fix, or maintain different plumbing systems.

A plumber who is licensed shows that he has completed the training and testing necessary to execute his plumbing service lawfully in their city or county.

Types of Plumbing Licenses

Depending on local and state regulations, there are various types of plumbing licenses available. The majority of states provide three separate plumbing license levels. These licensing levels determine the kind of job you are permitted to do.

  • Apprentice: An apprentice can work in a restricted capacity for a journeyman or master plumber.
  • Journeyman: It is an entry-level license that enables the plumber to operate on their own but under the guidance of an expert.
  • Master: It is the highest license level that enables holders to manage subordinates, get project permits, or operate their own plumbing business.

These licenses are normally governed and issued by a particular state-specific board.

General Requirements for a Plumbing License

There is a considerable commonality in the general criteria despite the variation across different states:

Basic requirements:

  • Hold a high school diploma or a GED.
  • 4-5 years of plumbing apprenticeship experience

Your state could also:

  • Impose a requirement for prior job experience
  • Demand an exam for a plumbing license
  • Require documentation of work history together with references from experts
  • Obligate you to register your plumbing company with the state where you now reside
  • Demand a surety bond and business insurance

How to Get a Plumbing License for Different States?

Each state in the United States has its own requirements for plumbing licenses. If your state doesn’t offer a state-wide license requirement, you need to check the license requirement at the local level.

We will help you remove the doubts and queries about license procurement in the plumbing industry and help you earn a plumbing contractor’s license with finesse. We have selected the top states and their plumbing license requirements.

Alabama

To execute different plumbing operations within Alabama, you must obtain a plumbing license from the state’s Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board.

Journeyman license:

  • To become a licensed plumber, you also need plumbing apprentice certification by passing the journeyperson licensing exam.
  • The board requires you to complete at least two years as an apprentice by working under the guidance of a licensed master plumber or completing the apprenticeship training program.

Master plumber’s license:

  • For this, you need to have a year of experience working as a journeyman plumber and pass an exam too.

You must pay $110 plus $30 annually for your commercial or residential plumbing license. Next, for a master plumber’s license, a $160 charge and a $125 renewal fee are required.

Alaska

You must get a license from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development in order to practice plumbing in Alaska. Basically, three primary categories of plumbing licenses exist in Alaska:

  • Journeyman license: Without a professional journeyman plumber’s license, you won’t be able to perform professional plumbing repair work.
    Alaska requires a minimum of 8000 hours of lawfully gained work experience for a journeyman plumber.
    You can also get the license if you have completed over 1,000 hours of related in-class experience.
    Additionally, passing a plumbing exam is necessary.
  • Plumber gas license: You need to provide documentation of 4,000 hours of work experience, out of which a minimum of 2,000 hours must have been in the installation of a fuel gas pipe. You can replace 500 hours of work experience with related education.
  • Plumber utility license: You must provide evidence of 1,000 hours of work experience installing water, sewer, or storm lines. However, you may be able to make up to 125 hours of related education count in place of experience.

Arizona

If you want to work as a plumber in Alaska, you need to contact the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. The registrar has the power to issue residential and commercial licenses, dual licenses, or both.

You have the liberty to perform plumbing work for both commercial and residential buildings if you hold a dual license.

  • Special residential contracting license (Plumbing R-37) – It enables the setting up and upkeep of fire safety, sewer systems, and water and gas pipe systems.
  • Specialty commercial contracting license (Plumbing C-37) – It permits the installation, reworking, and maintenance of all plumbing inside the boundaries of properties.
  • You need at least four years of work experience to obtain both licenses. Also, you need to pass both a business exam and a trade exam.

Arkansas

Plumbers must get a state license in this state in order to practice. The license is given out by the plumbing and natural gas division of the Arkansas Department of Health.

  • Journeyman license: A minimum of a year’s work experience is required for a journeyman plumber license, and there is a $75 exam cost and an annual renewal charge. The apprentice examination costs $25.
  • Master license: A master plumber license requires a minimum of five years of professional experience, a $125 test fee, and a $200 annual renewal fee. 

California

In California, you need a contractor’s license to perform your work as a plumber. The Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors State License Board grants the C-36 classified Plumbing Contractor licenses.

Basic Requirements:

  • If the project cost exceeds $500 in California, a bidding procedure and a license are required. One must pass the California master plumber’s test and business and legal examinations to get a license. 
  • You would next need to apply for a contractor’s license and have four years of experience as a journeyman plumber.
  • Once you pass the exam, you must also pass the criminal background check performed by the Contractors State License Board and file a $10,000 bond to complete the overall requirements.

Colorado

Before you may begin working as a plumber in Colorado, you must get a state plumbing license from the State Plumbing Board of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. The state offers three types of plumber licenses: a journeyperson plumber license, a residential plumber license, and a master plumber license.

  • A residential plumber license enables you to perform residential plumbing jobs like repairs, pipe fittings, and installations. You can qualify for the residential license by working under a master plumber for two years (3,400 hours).
  • A journeyman plumber license enables you to perform commercial and residential plumbing jobs. You need a minimum of four years (6,800 hours) of experience in the plumbing industry and must qualify for the plumbing exam. You need to submit an affidavit of eligibility to complete the overall process.
  • For a master’s plumber license, you must have five years or 60 months (9,780 hours) of work experience.

Connecticut

You must get a plumbing and pipefitting license from the Connecticut State Department of Consumer Protection in order to practice plumbing in the state. 

The state offers two types of plumbing licenses:

  • Unlimited journeyperson plumber license: It enables you to work as an apprentice plumber and understand plumbing systems under the supervision of a licensed plumbing contractor. You need a high school diploma or complete a series of training courses and then pass the qualifying exam.
  • Unlimited plumbing contractor license: To work as a plumber by acquiring an unlimited plumbing contractor license, you require two years of experience as an unlimited journeyperson plumber. 

Note: To apply for a journeyman’s plumber license, you must have completed an apprenticeship or show confirmation of an equivalent amount of work experience.

Delaware

The type of work you want to conduct will determine whether you require a master plumber’s license to practice in Delaware.

You must get a license from the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation if your plans involve designing, installing, building, replacing, servicing, repairing, altering, or changing pipes, fixtures, and perhaps other similar water or gas apparatus.

  • If you have already obtained a journeyman certificate, you must provide documentation that you have successfully completed an apprenticeship program and have worked under the supervision of a master plumber for at least two years. Additionally, you will have to pass a test.
  • If you don’t have a journeyman certificate, however, you must demonstrate that you have at least seven years of experience working under the supervision of a master plumber who is certified. The test for the Apprenticeship By-Pass is thereafter available.

Florida

Florida requires that you have a license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in order to practice as a licensed plumber.

Basic requirement:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to apply for the trade, business, and finance tests. 
  • You would also need to produce a financial and credit report that is no older than a year old, as well as four years of trade-related job experience.

Georgia 

Plumbing licenses must be obtained from the Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board, Division of Master and Journeyman Plumbers, by Georgia-based plumbers. The primary categories of plumbing licenses that are offered are as follows:

  • Journeyman plumber license: You need three years of relevant plumbing experience to qualify for a journeyman plumber license. 

The state has two different classifications of master plumbers in Georgia.

  • Master plumber class one license: You can qualify for a master plumber license class one if you have a minimum of five years of experience and two years’ experience as a journeyperson plumber.
  • Master plumber class two license: And if you want to qualify for the master plumber class two license, you need the same experience as class one but with a specific experience with industrial or commercial plumbing.

Hawaii

You must have a license from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Professional and Vocational Licensing, Board of Electricians and Plumbers in order to practice plumbing in Hawaii. The two most common licenses for plumbers in Hawaii are as follows:

  • Journey worker plumber license: For a journey worker plumber license, you must show documentation of five years and 10,000 hours of plumbing experience that complies with the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC).
  • Master plumber license: For the master plumber license, you must demonstrate two years of experience working as a certified journeyman plumber.

Idaho

The Idaho Division of Building Safety issues state licenses to plumbers in Idaho.

There are various licenses available for plumbers, but you can only obtain one if you satisfy all of the requirements for that license.

  • Plumbing apprentice: Registration with the state is required but no license is required.
  • Plumbing journeyman: To become a plumber in Idaho, you must pass a trade test and finish a four-year program that has been recognised by the board. You need four years of experience working as an apprentice under the guidance of a journeyman plumber who is competent in order to become eligible for the journeyman plumber’s certificate of competency.
  • Plumbing contractor: Evidence of two and a half years of work experience as a qualified journeyman plumber, as well as passing a test, are required for plumbing contractors.
  • Specialty plumbing apprentice: You must be hired by and work for a licenced speciality contractor in just the same specialty category as plumbing. You have to have finished or be registered in an authorized training program.
  • Specialty plumbing contractor: For this license, you require evidence of passing an exam as well as two and a half years of experience working as a journeyman in the specialty category.

Illinois

Before beginning their profession in the state of Illinois, plumbers must get a plumbing license from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The two primary licenses that plumbers can obtain are:

  • Apprentice plumbers license: You must demonstrate that you have sponsorship from an Illinois-licensed plumber or that your apprenticeship has been approved in order to get an apprentice plumbers license. Additionally, you must clear the plumber licensure test within six years of finishing your apprenticeship.
  • Plumbing contractors license: To qualify for this license, you must possess a plumber apprentice license for at least 4 years and have finished at least 2 years of high school, including an authorized course. Additionally, you’ll have to clear an exam.

Indiana

If you want to provide your services as a plumber in Indiana, you must have a license issued by the Plumbing Commission of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. The primary licensing categories you can register for are as follows:

  • Plumbing apprentice: You just need to register with the state.
  • Journeyman plumber license: 
    • Obtaining a journeyman plumber license requires four years of training and submission of an application through an authorized apprenticeship school.
    • Additionally, you’ll have to clear a practical test. 
    • You must have a current out-of-state plumbing license and offer proof of four years of professional experience if you’re registering via a plumbing trade.
  • Plumbing contractor license: To obtain this license, you must enroll through a recognised apprenticeship program and finish four years of training. Additionally, you’ll have to clear a practical test.

Iowa

A state license issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Plumbing, and Mechanical Systems Board is required if you want to practice as a plumber in Iowa. The primary categories of licenses offered are as follows:

  • Apprentice license: In order to qualify for an apprentice license, you must:
    • Be at least 18 years old,
    • Have completed your high school education,
    • Be enrolled in an apprenticeship program that has been authorized, and
    • Be working under the direction of a master plumber or journeyman.
  • Plumber journeyman: Plumber journeyman license requirements include:
    • Completing at least 4 years of a certified apprenticeship program. 
    • Passing the journeyperson test.
    • You’ll need to be employed under the guidance of a qualified master plumber. 

Alternatively, you  can possess a master’s-level license from another country that satisfies the demands for this license.

  • Master plumber license: To obtain this license, you must have passed the master licensing test and either have two years of relevant work experience while having a journeyperson license, or you must already hold a master license in another jurisdiction.
  • Plumbing contractor license: To obtain this license, you must demonstrate that you have a surety bond and the state of Iowa’s business insurance. Additionally, you must enroll with the Iowa Division of Labor as a contractor.

Kansas

Only a few Kansas communities, including Johnson County, Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita, and other nearby regions, need a plumbing license. 

Besides paying the price, you will need to apply for the license with copies of your ID and driving license. You must pass the apprenticeship program and obtain the apprentice plumber license before becoming a licensed plumber.

Kentucky

In order to provide plumbing services in Kentucky, you must have a state license issued by the Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction, Plumbing Division

The two primary licensing categories include the following:

  • Journeyman plumber license: To obtain a journeyman plumber license, you must pass a trade exam and have two years of professional experience as a plumber.
  • Master plumber license: To obtain this license, you must hold a journeyman license and pass an examination.

Louisiana 

To practice as a plumber in Louisiana, you must hold a state license issued by the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana. The two primary categories of licenses are as follows:

  • Journeyman plumber license: You must successfully complete an authorized apprenticeship program and clear a trade exam in order to obtain a journeyman plumber license. In addition to renewing your license each year, you must also fulfill continuing education requirements through an accredited program.
  • Master plumber license: You must hold a Louisiana journeyman plumbing license and clear a trade exam to qualify for the master plumber license.

You must obtain a commercial plumbing license from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors if the total value of the plumbing service that you provided exceeds $10,000. For this license, you must pass a business, trade, and law test.

Maine

In order to operate as a plumber in Maine, you must get a license from the Plumbers’ Examining Board. The two primary categories of licenses are:

  • Journeyman plumber license:
      • You must show that you have at least two years and 4000 hours of experience installing plumbing as a licensed trainee plumber. 
      • This experience should be under the supervision of a certified master plumber. 
      • Alternatively, you can show that you have completed at least 2,000 hours of supervised work as a licensed journeyman-in-training during the last four years. 
      • Additionally, you’ll have to successfully complete a test.
  • Master plumber license:
    • To obtain a master plumber license, you must show that you have at least 2,000 hours and a year of experience installing plumbing. 
    • Alternatively , you could be a licensed trainee plumber with at least 8,000 hours and four years of work experience installing plumbing. For this option, a qualified master plumber must be supervising you.

Maryland

To operate as a plumber in Maryland, you must have a state plumbing license. The primary licencing categories include:

  • Plumber apprentice: All it needs to become a plumber apprentice is that the person needs to be at least 16 years of age.
  • Journeyman plumber license: To obtain this license, you must have held an apprenticeship license for a minimum of 4 years and give documentation of 7,500 hours of training under the supervision of a master plumber. Additionally, you’ll ought to clear a test and undergo a backflow prevention device training for at least 32 hours.
  • Master plumber license: To qualify for this license, you must have had a journeyman’s license for at least two years and provide documentation of 3,750 hours of training under the supervision of a master plumber. Additionally, you’ll also have to successfully complete a test.

Massachusetts

In order to practice plumbing in Massachusetts, you must obtain a state license that is issued by the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters.

There are mainly three types of licenses:

  • Apprentice plumber license: The only requirement for this license is that you must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Journeyman plumber license: To obtain this license, you must have completed at least 8,500 hours of licensed apprenticeship training under the supervision of a licensed master plumber or another journeyman plumber who operates under the guidance of a master plumber. In addition, you’ll also be required to clear a test and finish at least 550 hours of study in plumbing.
  • Master plumber license: To obtain this license, you must have had a journeyman plumbing license for at least a year, finish 100 hours of advanced theory relating to plumbing in a recognized program, and successfully pass a test.

Michigan

In order to practice, plumbers in Michigan need a state license. Based on his or her preferences and interests, a plumber can select from a variety of licensing categories offered by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

  • Journeyman plumber license: The minimal work experience needed for the journeyman plumber license is 6,000 hours over a minimum period of three years as a registered plumbing apprentice. Additionally, you’ll have to successfully complete a test.
  • Master plumber license: To obtain the master plumber license, you should be at least 18 years of age and have a minimum of 4,000 hours of experience working as a journeyman plumber over a period of 2 years or longer. Additionally, you’ll have to pass a test.

Minnesota

The Construction Codes and Licensing Division of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry issues licenses to plumbers. The two primary categories of licenses are:

  • Journeyman plumber license: Documentation of at least 7,000 hours of work experience, including 2,000 hours spent installing drains, waste vents, and fixtures, 1,000 hours spent installing fixtures, and 2,000 hours spent installing water distribution systems, is required. You also need to pass an exam.
  • Master plumber license: You need to pass a test, show documentation of 1,750 hours of work experience, and have a journeyman license in addition to 12 months of work experience.

Mississippi

  • You must get a contractor’s license from the Mississippi State Board of Contractors and successfully clear an examination if you plan to conduct any home plumbing work worth more than $10,000 or any commercial work worth more than $50,000. 
  • Check with your local government norms and rules for any additional license requirements if the value of the plumbing task you’re completing is less than $10,000 or $50,000, respectively, for residential or commercial projects.

Missouri

In Missouri, a plumbing license is not required to operate as a plumber. You should, however, confirm this with your local authorities since they can demand particular permissions.

Montana

To operate as a plumber in Montana, a license must be obtained from the Board of Plumbers of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

There are basically two kinds of licenses:

  • Journeyman license: You must provide documentation of your completion of a recognized apprenticeship program and five years of work experience to get a journeyman license. Additionally, you’ll have to clear an exam.
  • Master plumber license: A licensed journeyman should have four years of work experience, three of which must be spent under the supervision of a licensed master plumber. Additionally, you should pass an exam and provide notarized affidavits verifying your nine years of expertise.

Nebraska

In Nebraska, a plumbing license is not required. You should, however, confirm this with your local authorities since they can demand particular permissions.

Nevada

The Nevada Board of Plumbing Examiners issues two separate licenses to plumbers in Nevada, where it is necessary to have a state license in order to work.

  • Journeyman plumber license: Obtaining a journeyman plumber license requires completing a four-year accredited, state-registered apprenticeship program. Alternatively, you could pass a test and have 8,000 hours of plumber work experience.
  • Master plumber license: You must have had a journeyman plumber license in Nevada for at least one year (2,000 hours) and successfully complete to qualify for the master plumber license.  

If you want to work as a plumbing contractor, you must pass a test, have a plumbing and heating contracting license from the Nevada State Contractors Board. Also, you must be able to demonstrate that you’ve worked for 4 years in the last 10 years.

New Hampshire

You must possess a state license in one of the following licencing categories in order to practice plumbing in New Hampshire:

  • Apprentice license: You must be at least 16 years old and enrolled in an authorized apprenticeship program to be eligible for an apprentice license.
  • Journeyman license: To obtain a journeyman license, you must be at least 17 years old, successfully finish an apprenticeship program, and clear an exam.
  • Master plumber: You must pass an exam in addition to having a journeyman plumber license for at least six months.

New Jersey

  • In order to practice as a master plumber in New Jersey, you must get a license from the State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers, Division of Consumer Affairs
  • You must be at least 21 years of age, have successfully completed a 4-year apprenticeship programme, and have one year of work experience as a journeyman plumber.
  • Another choice is to have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, plumbing, or sanitary engineering from an authorized university together with a year of experience working as a journeyman plumber.
  • A test including a trade portion, a practical part, and a business and legal component must be passed in order to obtain the license.

New Mexico

  • You must complete 144 hours of classroom time to become an apprentice and get the plumbing apprenticeship certificate. 
  • The journeyman license can be applied for after four years and 8,000 hours of experience. The license is issued by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.
  • New Mexico’s plumbers must pass the written and practical exams to complete the professional licensing process.

New York

In New York, there are no state-mandated licensure requirements for plumbers.

However, you must check with the local authorities for any rules and regulations before you start working because certain cities and counties have rigorous local restrictions.

North Carolina

Plumbers in North Carolina are required to hold a state license issued by the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors in order to provide plumbing services

Only those who can prove two full years of work experience—with the option to replace up to half of that experience with technical or academic training—and clear a trade exam, along with business and legal exams, will be granted a license.

North Dakota

You must get a license from the North Dakota State Plumbing Board in order to practice plumbing in the state. The primary categories of licenses offered are as follows:

  • Apprentice license: You must be 18 years of age to register for an apprentice plumber’s license, and you must do it within 30 days of beginning your profession.
  • Journeyman license: Obtaining a journeyman plumber license requires four years of experience as well at least 7,600 hours under the guidance of a master plumber who is licensed. Additionally, you’ll need to clear a test.
  • Master license: To obtain this license, you should be 21 years of age, have completed at least 3,400 hours of journeyman plumber work (2 years), and successfully complete an exam.

Ohio

In Ohio, you can do plumbing work without a state license if you’re an individual. However, you must get in touch with the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board if you want a commercial plumbing contractor license. 

You must have a minimum of 5 years of working experience and 3 years of business experience to qualify for this license. In addition to this, you are also required to pass a test and have general liability insurance for your business.

Oklahoma

You need a license from the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board to practice plumbing in Oklahoma. The most common licenses available to you are as follows:

  • Plumbing apprentice: The only requirements for a plumbing apprentice are state registration and working under the direction and supervision of a journeyman or contractor.
  • Journeyman license: 
    • To qualify for a plumbing journeyman license, you must be at least 18 years of age and have three years of  working experience under the supervision of a plumbing contractor. 
    • It is possible to substitute 500 hours of an authorized plumbing school curriculum for one year of experience, as well as finishing a minimum of 1,000 hours of an approved program and two years of working experience.
    • Additionally, you also have to clear an exam.
  • Plumbing contractor license: 
    • You need to be at least 18 years of age and have worked under the supervision of a plumbing contractor for three years. 
    • Additionally, you have the option to take a minimum 1,000-hour authorized plumbing study program in place of the required two years of experience. 
    • One year of experience can be replaced by a plumbing education program that has been authorized and has at least 500 hours. A test is also required.

Oregon

In order to operate as a plumber in Oregon, you must have a state license, which you can obtain through the Building Codes Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services

  • You must have a four-year degree from an approved apprenticeship program under your belt in order to obtain a journeyman plumber’s license. 
  • Alternatively, you can prove that you have 3,850 hours of work experience in residential and commercial areas as a journeyman plumber or apprentice plumber, in addition to 576 hours of formal education. 
  • Additionally, you’ll have to clear a test.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, a plumbing license is not required. You should; however, confirm this with your local authorities since they can demand particular permissions.

Rhode Island

You must get a plumbing license from the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Professional Regulations Unit, if you want to practice plumbing in the state.

The two primary categories of licenses are:

  • Journeyman license: To qualify for this license, you must have at least 4 years of working experience as a plumber and 576 hours of recognized education. Additionally, you’ll need to clear a test.
  • Master license: A journeyperson license and at least five years of prior plumbing experience are prerequisites for the plumber master license. In addition to passing the test, your journeyperson license must have been in good standing for at least a year.

South Carolina

Plumbers must have a license from the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Residential Builders Commission in order to work in the state. To apply for a residential license, you would need to pass the business and law exam and have one year of experience; for a commercial plumbing license, you would need two years of experience.

South Dakota

Only those with a state license granted by the Plumbing Commission of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation are eligible to work as plumbers in South Dakota.

You must meet the following prerequisites for a plumber’s license in order to obtain one:

  • Plumber apprentice: After passing the test, individuals with two years’ worth (3,800 hours) of working experience for a plumbing contractor can provide their services to single-family buildings without being supervised in their third and fourth years.
  • Journeyman license: Journeyman plumber candidates must have a minimum of 1,900 hours of work experience each year over the course of four years as an apprentice. Up to a maximum of five years, they are permitted to replace one year of experience with two years of military service. They also need to pass a test.
  • Plumbing contractor license: A minimum of six years of experience in the field of plumbing, with at least two of those years spent functioning as a plumbing contractor or plumber, is required to get a license for a plumbing contractor. You also need to pass a test and have worked in the plumbing industry for a minimum of 1,900 hours annually.

Tennessee

The Board for Licensing Contractors of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is responsible for issuing plumbing licenses in Tennessee. 

You could additionally require a local license, based on the value and type of plumbing repair you’re undertaking. The primary plumbing licenses available in Tennessee are as follows:

  • Limited licensed plumber license: If the cost of your service is under $25,000 and there aren’t any local regulations, you must obtain a limited licensed plumber license. Additionally, you’ll have to pass a test.
  • Plumbing contractor (CMC or CMC-A classification): If the value of the project is more than $25,000, you must obtain this license. Additionally, you’ll have to demonstrate that you have three years of plumbing expertise and pass a test.

Texas

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners is where Texas plumbers must obtain their license. The primary categories of available licenses are as follows:

  • Journeyman license: 
    • A high school graduation or its equivalent is required for this license.
    • You must be licensed in Texas as a plumber’s apprenticeship or as a tradesman plumber. 
    • Alternatively, you can already be listed as a master or journeyman plumber in some other state. A 48-hour authorized training course must be completed, along with passing a test.
    • If you are not already certified as a journeyman plumber or master plumber in some other state and have less than 8,000 hours of plumbing experience.
  • Master plumber license:
    • A high school graduation or its equivalent, a current journeyman plumber license from Texas or some other state, and a minimum of four years of work experience are requirements for this license. 
    • Another alternative is to hold a journeyman plumber license in Texas or some other state, have had the license for at least a year, have successfully completed an authorized training course, and be licensed in that state. 
    • Or, have a journeyman license for  a minimum of four years and hold a license as master plumber in some other state. 
    • Alternatively, you could also hold a journeyman license for at least a year, have successfully completed an authorized training course, and hold a master plumber license in another state. Clearing a test is also required.

Utah

Plumbers in Utah must get a license from the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing of the Utah Department of Commerce.

The following are the main categories of plumbing licenses:

  • Journeyman plumber license:
    • In order to apply for a journeyman plumber license, you must have finished at least 6,000 of the 8,000 required training hours while a registered apprentice. 
    • The apprentice hours must be finished over the course of at least four years since you must provide documentation of the last 2,000 hours of training in order to obtain a license. 
    • Alternatively, you must have a minimum of 16,000 hours (8 years) of  work experience in plumbing under the direction of a qualified master plumber or licensed journeyman plumber.
  • Residential journeyman plumber license: 
    • For this license, you must have finished an authorized apprenticeship and have acquired at least 6,000 hours of apprentice training over a minimum period of three years. 
    • As an alternative, you can show documentation of 12,000 hours (6 years) of working experience as a plumber under the direction of a certified plumber. 
    • Additionally, you’ll have to pass a test.
  • Master plumber license: 
    • To qualify for this license, you must have a minimum of two years of experience working as a certified journeyman plumber as well as at least two more years as a certified journeyman supervisor. 
    • Your supervisory work experience may be reduced by one year if you can demonstrate that you have also earned a higher education degree. 
    • Additionally, you’ll have to pass a test.
  • Residential master plumber license:
    • For this license, you must have a minimum of two years of experience working as a licensed residential journeyman plumber and also a minimum of two years of work experience supervising residential journeyman plumbers. 
    • Additionally, you’ll have to pass a test.

Vermont

Plumbers in Vermont are required to hold a state license issued by the Division of Fire Safety of the Department of Public Safety. The two primary categories of licenses are:

  • Journeyman license: If you want to become a journeyman plumber, you must have:
    • A completion certificate from the Vermont State Apprenticeship Council, 
    • A credentialed statement of license from another state, 
    • Documentation that you completed an apprenticeship program in another state, or
    • Provide documentation of 12,000 hours of plumbing lessons, training, or experience,
    • Clear an exam.
  • Master plumber license:  To obtain a master plumber license, you must: 
    • Have held a Vermont journeyman license for at least one year, 
    • Have held a license in some other state for at least one year at the same level as a Vermont journeyman, or 
    • Be able to demonstrate that you have 14,000 hours of plumbing-related lessons, training, and experience,
    • Clear an exam.

Virginia

In Virginia, in order to practice as a plumber, you must hold a license issued by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

Any of the following licenses requires passing an exam and fulfilling certain prerequisites.

  • Journeyman plumber license:
    • In order to obtain a journeyman plumber license, you must demonstrate that you have four years of work experience as a plumber and an extra 240 hours of formal training. 
    • If you have more than four years of  work experience, then you could be able to replace up to 200 hours of training, with one year of experience being equivalent to 80 hours of lessons.
    • Another choice is to demonstrate that you have two years of relevant work experience and a certificate issued or associate’s degree in plumbing from a two-year authorized institution. 
    • An additional choice is to demonstrate that you have worked as a plumber for a year and have a bachelor’s degree in engineering from a recognised institution. 
    • The last alternative is to show proof of ten years of prior plumbing expertise.
  • Master plumber license: A journeyman plumber license or 10 years of work experience are requirements for becoming a master plumber.

Washington

You must get a license from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in order to practice plumbing in Washington. The two primary categories of licenses are:

  • Journeyman plumber license:
    • To qualify for a journeyman plumber license, you must have worked as a trainee plumber for at least four years and 8,000 hours. 
    • Additionally, you’ll require a minimum of 4,000 hours and at least two years of work experience, both in commercial as well as industrial installations.
  • Specialty residential plumber: You must have at least six years and 6,000 hours of experience operating as a residential plumber under the supervision of a licensed plumber.

West Virginia

In order to practice plumbing in West Virginia, you must receive a license from the state’s Division of Labor. The two primary categories of licenses are:

  • Journeyman plumber license: To obtain a journeyman plumber license, you must have a minimum of 8,000 hours of experience working as a plumber and also clear an exam.
  • Master plumber license: To obtain this license, you must have a minimum of 12,000 hours of experience working as a plumber and also clear an exam.

Wisconsin

To practice as a plumber in Wisconsin, you must have a license. Through the Division of Professional Credentialing Processing of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, the following licenses may be obtained:

  • Journeyman plumber license: 
    • To become a journeyman plumber, you have to pass a test after finishing a recognized apprenticeship program. 
    • For out-of-state candidates to be eligible, they may require five years of work experience as a journeyman plumber.
  • Master plumber license: 
    • In Wisconsin, you must have 1,000 hours of experience working as a journeyman plumber during the previous three years in order to get this license. 
    • As an alternative, you can obtain this license if you complete an engineering degree at a recognized university. 
    • Also, you’ll have to pass a test.

Wyoming

In Wyoming, a plumbing license is not required to operate as a plumber. You should, however, confirm this with your local authorities since they can require particular permissions.

How Long Does It Take to Obtain a Plumbing License?

Based on the state or jurisdiction you plan to operate in and the kind of certification you’ll require, being a licensed plumber often takes four to five years

To find out what qualifications you need to meet in order to become a licensed plumber, verify with your state’s, city’s, or county’s regulatory body.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Licensed Plumber?

Depending on the location you work as a plumber and the state-level criteria to be certified, the cost of obtaining a plumbing license might vary greatly.

The price breakdown for obtaining a plumbing license is as follows:

Particulars Cost
For jurisdictions that demand formal education (in-class instruction or certifications) Between $800 and $3,000
For jurisdictions that need an associate’s degree Between $3,000 and $23,000
For jurisdictions that mandate you finish an apprenticeship program Between $0 and $1,000
Annual or biennial licensing cost for plumbing Between $15 and $250
Licencing cost as a master plumber As much as $500

To find out what is necessary to obtain a plumbing license and how much it will cost, be sure to check with the local city or municipality.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Who may obtain a plumber license?

    Plumber licenses are issued to those plumbers who have hands-on experience as a plumber and have cleared their written and practical exams.


  2. When to renew a plumber’s certificate?

    The certificate mentions the renewal date, but on an average, you can renew it 45 days before it is due.


  3. What grounds does the board have to cancel my license?

    The answer varies from state to state, but a few possible causes include fraud, carelessness, and refusal to comply.


  4. Does having a plumbing license boost your prospects for income?

    Your income potential does rise if you have a plumbing license. You can take on bigger tasks and eventually make more money if you have your license. An average plumber makes $54,605 annually.

    However, as you gain knowledge and advance in your licensure level, that average rises. Master plumbers typically make 18% more than journeymen plumbers, while journeymen typically make 53% more than apprentice plumbers.

Manage Your Plumbing Business Finances With InvoiceOwl

Now that you understand the licensing requirements of the top states in the country, it’s time to fulfill the licensing requirements demanded by your state.

Once done, deliver a quality customer experience and earn great revenue to boost overall profit for your business.

But to ensure that you remain profitable and manage your expenses and other cash flow scenarios, you must integrate professional financial management software.

InvoiceOwl is the leading estimating and invoicing software that helps businesses streamline their financial business operations and improve the cash flow of their plumbing business.

For your ease, InvoiceOwl also provides a plumbing invoice template to help you send accurate invoices to your clients quickly.

Through our software, your account payable team can automate the cross-checking processing and easily find the required financial document in the business ecosystem. You can get a transparent view of the financial operations that boost your presence and decision-making.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the Founder of InvoiceOwl and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.

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