As safety measures are always coming up, plumbers should keep abreast with updates regarding building codes. This allows being aware of any changes to ensure that you can keep homes or businesses compliant with local rules and regulations.

It is, therefore, necessary for plumbers to obtain trade qualifications from a recognized institution and undertake internships under the guidance of a master plumber. This is very important since any plumbing malfunction may be fatal. It may lead to significant health and safety hazards to occupants and the community. 

Anyone who requests a plumber gets peace of mind knowing you have a license. How can I get a plumbing license varies by jurisdiction across the U.S. A plumbing license offers a professional regulation for everyone in the trade. Failure to comply with industry standards or demonstrates incompetency may have their licence revoked or suspended. 

The licensing body for plumbers has a grievance system where people may file complaints against a plumber for cases including fraud and incompetency. 

When to get your plumbing license

When considering becoming a plumber, you must join a training program offered by a reputable institute. Afterwards, you have to become an apprentice plumber to get hands-on training. From here, you learn how to get a journeyman plumbing license. After gaining more plumbing experience, you become a master plumber. 

A master plumber with a license generally has a lot of experience and plumbing knowledge. You may become a master plumber specializing in particular plumbing fields like residential dwellings or gas fitting. The state licensing board registers all plumbers before they undertake an apprenticeship. 

It will be hard to find paying jobs knowing how long does it take to get your plumbing license.  Read on to discover how to get your plumber’s license. 

Get The Necessary Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pursuing a plumbing career requires acquiring a General Educational Development (GED) or high school diploma. High school is a wonderful moment to develop an interest in a plumbing career. It is a great time to learn the industry’s soft skills, including problem solving and communication. 

Afterwards, you have to attend a plumbing trade institute. Getting formal training in the industry allows for gaining and advancing plumbing skills. Check available technical schools offering formal plumbing training programs. The program duration determines how long does it take to get a plumbing license.

The plumbing programs potentially cover topics including:

  • Water supply systems
  • Drainage systems
  • Venting
  • Piping
  • Fittings 
  • Valves 
  • Maintenance skills

Get Training And Necessary Experience

After getting a GED certificate or high school diploma, the next step is to understand how to become a certified plumber. Some vocational schools offer plumbing programs that teach the basics of the job. Undertaking this will give you an edge when applying for an apprenticeship. 

The course usually covers regular duties and responsibilities for plumbers. Additionally, you will learn the regulations regarding building codes and safety in your state. After completing pre-apprenticeship training, you become ready to apply for an apprenticeship. Becoming an apprentice plumber will require working under a master plumber for intensive hands-on training. 

Functions of Apprentice Plumbers 

Working on how to get plumbing certified involves becoming an apprentice plumber. Then you discover how to get a journeyman plumbing license and eventually a master plumber license. An apprentice plumber has duties including 

  • Assessing clients’ problems.
  • Assist the master plumber in undertaking appropriate repairs.
  • Install gas, water, and drainage piping for new construction projects.
  • Being up to date with industry rules and regulations.
  • Working on residential and commercial plumbing projects. 

What makes a good Apprentice Plumber

You need patience and attention to detail to become a great apprentice plumber. Becoming an apprentice is a wonderful learning opportunity when considering becoming a master plumber. Being a team player and open communication is key since you have to work under a master plumber.

You’ll have to communicate regularly with the master plumber to learn how to repair existing plumbing systems, install large pipes, follow blueprints, and meet building codes.

Duration of an apprenticeship program

Being an apprenticeship plumber comes with training for particular hours annually. Additionally, you’ll have to shadow and practice your skills while the master plumber supervises. Working independently as an apprentice plumber is only after passing the apprenticeship requirements. 

Finishing an apprenticeship program portrays having the necessary experience and qualifications to offer plumbing service. How soon you pass the mandatory exam will determine how long to get plumbing license and begin taking on jobs independently.

Learn the requirements for obtaining a plumbing license

Now it’s time to understand the requirements to get a plumbing license in your state. Here is what you need to know regarding how to become a licensed plumber in every state. 


Performing any plumbing work in this state requires a plumber’s license. Getting one requires contacting the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examination Board. This board gives licenses for an apprentice, journeyman, and master plumbers. 


All plumbers should register with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development before doing any work. The department issues licenses for journeyman and master plumbers in the state. 


To perform any plumbing work in the state requires obtaining a license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. This issues out licenses for residential and commercial plumbing for every trade after passing an exam. 


Any person, company, partnership, or other entity that offers plumbing services should have a plumbing license. Those who work on their residential or agricultural facilities don’t need a license. The Department of Health’s Plumbing and Natural Gas section handles issuing plumbing licenses. 


You need a contractor plumbing license to bid for residential, commercial, or public plumbing projects worth more than $500. Becoming a licensed plumbing contractor requires passing the business and law exam and the California plumbers exam.


A license is necessary to handle asbestos removal, plumbing services, electrical services, and trade in pesticides. No state license is available for general contractors. You may need an additional license depending on your location in the state. 


A plumbing license is necessary to handle public plumbing projects, well drilling, piping, and irrigation systems. You need a pipefitting and plumbing license to undertake plumbing and piping projects. Constructing wells, installing and repairing pumps require a Well Drillers and Well Casing License.


Any person, company partnership or other business entity that handles plumbing and related installations need a plumbing license. Only those who handle DIY projects on their private  property don’t need this license. The Delaware Division of Professional Regulation under the   Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Examiners issues the plumbing license. 

Washington DC 

You need a license from the Board of Industrial Trades to handle plumbing jobs in DC. The board administers and enforces regulations in the industry. This board also oversees refrigeration, electricians, air conditioning technicians, steam and related operating technicians. 


Here, you need a Certified Contractor, Specialty License and Registered Contractor to offer plumbing services. Bidding on plumbing projects requires having a contractor license. Independent registered plumbers get licenses from their county or city while the state issues licenses to contractual plumbers.

Becoming a licensed general contractor requires passing the Florida plumbing examination. You also have to pass the finance and business exam. 


All electrical, air conditioning, and plumbing tradesmen need a license to operate in the state. Obtaining a plumber’s license is after passing the Georgia Plumber’s examination. The Board of Construction Industry issues the plumber’s license. 


Plumbers need a license to work in this state. How long does it take to become a licensed plumber in Idaho depends on how soon you pass the plumbing exam from the Division of Building Safety. The plumbing license covers unlimited residential and commercial plumbing projects. However, it doesn’t cover boiler or fuel gas systems. 


A license is necessary to offer plumbing services in the state. Getting a plumbing license requires passing an examination from the Department of Public Health or  City of Chicago.


You need a license from the Plumbing Commission to offer plumbing services in the state. The commission offers an exam outsourced from the International Code Council (ICC). 


Working as a plumber requires a license from the Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board. The Department of Health is responsible for approving all applications for a plumbing license. 


There’s no requirement to have a contractor plumbing license in this state. However, you may need a local license depending on your area of operation. Licensed plumbers have to abide by the guidelines in the  International Plumbing Code established by the ICC.


Anyone to work as a journeyman or master plumber requires a license. The Division of Plumbing of the State Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction awards the licenses after passing an exam.


A plumbing license is necessary to handle any electrical, HVAC, or plumbing work worth more than $10,000. You may become an apprentice plumber at 16 years in Louisiana. 


You need a license to handle plumbing and related installation services. The Department of Professional and Financial Regulations – Plumbers’ Examining Board handles applications for the plumbing license. 


Anyone who wishes to offer plumbing and gas services in the state should have a plumbing license. The Board of Plumbing issues the licences for journeyman plumbing /gas fitters and the master plumbers/gas fitters. 


Plumbers, landscapers, electricians, construction supervisors, and home improvement tradespeople need licenses. The Division of Professional Licensure issues the mass plumber license. 


Working as a residential contractor requires having a license. The same applies to electricians and plumbers. Individual municipalities are responsible for enforcing guidelines and regulating the industry. 


A license is necessary to work as a journeyman or master plumber in the state. The Department of Labor and Industry issues the licenses. This is after verifying that you have appropriate training and knowledge to offer safe and legal plumbing services. 


Residential plumbers handling projects worth more than $10,000 must have a license. Commercial plumbers need a license to handle projects worth more than $50,000. All plumbers must apply to get appropriate permits for every job. The contracting authority is the Mississippi Board of Contractors.


Any person who wishes to offer plumbing services in a town or city with a population of over 15,000 should have a license. Issuing contractor licenses is at the city or county level. 


To offer plumbing services requires having a C-1 Plumbing and Heating Contractor License or a C1D License from the Contractors Board. You have to pass an exam from the Board of Plumbing Examiners to get a license. 

New Jersey

Plumbers who wish to work in this state need a state license. You have to pass a state exam to get a license. Although working as a journeyman plumber doesn’t require a license, you must register with the state. 

New Mexico

It is illegal to offer contracting services without a license. The Mechanical Bureau Construction Industries Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department inspects the plumbing and electrical trades. It also enforces codes, licensing, and standards in the industry. 

New York

All plumbers need registration by the Secretary of State. Any other licensing is at the local level. According to Article 4 of the General City Law, local entities are responsible for regulating the plumbing industry. You must pass an exam to obtain the certificate of competency before offering any plumbing services. 

North Carolina

A license is necessary to offer plumbing services. The state requires a general contractor’s license for residential or commercial construction if the project is more than $30,000.


To become a licensed plumber in Ohio, you must pass an Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board exam. This board is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce.


Applicants have to pass a plumber’s exam to receive a license from the Construction Industries Board.


The Construction Contractors Board issues licenses for anyone who wishes to offer services in the construction industry involving improving real property. 


A license is necessary to offer plumbing services in the state. You may get the journeyman plumber license or master plumber license. You must be at least 21 years old to apply for a master plumber license and pass an exam. 

South Carolina

To work as a plumber requires having a residential license. Alternatively, a commercial license is necessary to bid on residential, commercial, and public plumbing projects worth more than $5,000. You have to pass an exam to get the license. 


You need a license to offer plumbing services worth more than $25,000. However, small projects below $25,000 require obtaining a limited plumber license. 


A state license is necessary to offer plumbing, HVAC, and electrical services. Fortunately, a residential construction license doesn’t apply anymore at the state level. You have to pass a plumber exam to get a license. 


You need a journeyman or master plumber license to offer plumbing services. The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing issues the license. And, you have to pass an exam to become an approved plumbing contractor in Utah. 


You need a license to work as a journeyman plumber, master plumber, or plumbing contractor. This requires passing two exams to meet the requirements of becoming a journeyman or master plumber. 


The Department of Labor and Industries registers anyone who wishes to offer plumbing services. A plumbing license in Washington covers water supply, sanitary drainage, natural gas pumping, and storm drainage. 


Any person who wishes to offer plumbing services must obtain a license. The Safety and Buildings Division in the Department of Safety and Professional Services issues the licenses. However, you must pass an exam. 

Pass The Exam

Perhaps you’re now thinking how long does it take to become a certified plumber? After working hard for the past four years,you now have the experience and knowledge to take your plumbing career to another level. It is time to understand how to get master plumber license after undertaking an exam. 

Although the exam may differ in each state, the examination generally covers:

  • Installing plumbing systems
  • International Fuel Gas Code
  • International Plumbing Code
  • Water supply systems
  • Examining Board of Plumbers regulations 
  • Basic and advanced repair and maintenance of plumbing systems
  • Management of plumbing projects 
  • Plumbing terminology
  • Storm drainage systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Plumbing rules and regulations

How to sit for the master plumber exam

You have to understand the registration requirements for the exam. These may include an application, declaration of citizenship, and state of experience. Prepare to pay an application fee, exam fee, and credentialing fee after passing the exam. 

Your municipality will give you a bulletin with information on how to become a master plumber after taking the exam. The bulletin will give a breakdown of the test content and passing score. 

Basics of the plumber’s exam

The location for the test is likely to be a testing facility, college, or university. Each location has different requirements making each exam to be unique. The exam includes 100 to 120 questions with a duration of 3 to 4.5 hours.

The exam may be an open book or a closed book. Delivery of the exam is by computer with options for special consideration. You have to register for the exam by applying to the authority responsible for licensing plumbers in your state. 

On acceptance of your application, you receive guidelines for registering for the exam. This process varies by state and municipality. The exam cost ranges from $30,000 to $103,000, while additional fees may include an application fee, testing center fee, and credentialing fee. 

Exam results 

You receive results after completing the exam. When you get a passing score, you get a score report. Alternatively, those with a non-passing score get a detailed report showing their strengths and weaknesses. 

You may do the exam again. However, you have to check your state’s policy regarding how many times you may retake the exam. Some states allow two to three times while considering a particular period to pass before doing the exam again. 

Regular License Confirmation

After passing your master plumber’s exam, you get a license certificate and number. You will use these to show potential clients that you’re licensed. You may do this by displaying it in your office and on your website. 

Potential clients are likely to confirm whether you’re licensed by checking your website or through the state’s online records. The plumbing license is different from a business license. Clients are likely to ask for copies of these before hiring your plumbing services. 

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