Learning a trade, such as plumbing, can set you down a rewarding career path. Homeowners and business owners will always need trained, certified professionals to help with their pipes, drains, and other plumbing fixtures. Working as a professional plumber can provide you with job security, a chance to help people, and the opportunity to work with your hands day after day.
And yet, training and certification to become a plumber aren’t as easy as simply enrolling in college or university. There are actually several steps you’ll need to follow before you can start practicing as a plumber in the State of Colorado. Here is an overview.
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The Importance of Getting a Plumbing License
The first thing to mention is that, if you wish to work in residential plumbing or even commercial plumbing, you’ll need to get a plumbing license. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that, when you achieve your license, the state plumbing authorities will be more likely to provide you with work opportunities. Along the same lines, it’s required that you have a plumbing license to get jobs with most commercial plumbing companies.
But more than anything else, pursuit of a state plumbing license is a great way to prove to yourself and to your potential employers and clients that you know what you’re doing, and have both the aptitude and the expertise to do first-rate work across different plumbing projects.
How to Get a Master Plumbing License in Colorado
It’s important to be licensed as a residential plumber, then… but how are plumbing licenses earned in the State of Colorado?
First, there are some general qualifications that must be met:
- To be licensed as a residential plumber, you must verify two years of practical plumbing experience. This works out to 3,400 hours.
- To be licensed as a journeyman plumber, you must prove four years of practical experience. In other words, a journeyman plumber license means you must have 6,800 hours of practical experience behind you.
- The next step up from journeyman plumber is master plumber. To gain this distinction, it is required that you have 60 months of full-time plumbing experience, or 9,780 hours of practical experience.
No matter which level of licensure you’re seeking, you must have the requisite number of hours of practical work to prove yourself. In addition, you must submit information about your plumbing experience before you can be qualified as a journeyman plumber, residential plumber, or master plumber. More specifically, here is what you must do if you wish to have an examination by letter:
- It is required that you submit an Affidavit of Experience form, a legal document confirming your training and experience as a plumber in Colorado. Specifically, your Colorado employer or former employers (including other master plumbers or plumbing contractors) must validate that you have accrued the necessary hours of experience.
- If you previously worked as a plumber outside Colorado and have a license in another state, you can submit the out-of-state license to the State of Colorado. This can expedite the process and help you to more quickly earn your Colorado plumbing license. However, you will still need to file that Affidavit of Experience; this document is always required if you wish to get your Colorado plumbing license.
Something else to note is that, as you submit all of this information and await the decision about your Colorado plumbing license, you can also apply for a temporary work permit. This will give you a 30-day window where you can legally practice plumbing installation in the state as you wait to hear whether you will become licensed. Note that there is only one 30-day work permit offered to each applicant.
Once you submit your details, including information about being a plumbing apprentice or working in another state, you will receive a handbook and information about when you can sit for the written exam. This exam is offered in a multiple choice format, and mostly focused on plumbing regulations and codes unique to Colorado. You will need to obtain a score of 70 percent or higher in order to get your license at the residential or journeyman level. A score of 75 percent is needed if you wish to become a master-level plumbing professional.
In addition to delivering the required information and getting licensed by letter, you also have the option to become licensed by endorsement. This works a little bit differently than examination by letter, though there are still a few steps you must do. This is a process mostly designed for those who have their license somewhere other than Colorado, and who can prove that they have gone through a comparably rigorous examination period. Some of the needed steps include:
- Verifying completion of an apprenticeship program/working as a plumbing apprentice in some other part of the country.
- Verifying completion of a state-administered examination.
- Submitting a copy of your out-of-state plumbing license.
One final note is that, in addition to seeking a license as a professional plumber, you may also wish to seek registration as an apprentice. This is a requirement for anyone who is currently working in an apprenticeship system, which means that, though you do not have a license in plumbing, you are contracted as an employee of a local plumbing company, and are allowed to work on projects alongside other plumbing pros. This can be ideal for getting the training you need to eventually sit for the examination.
Take the First Steps Toward Getting Your License
As you consider the steps toward becoming a plumbing professional, remember that it may take some time; depending on the level of licensure you seek, you may need 3,400 hours, 6,800 hours, or even the full two years of experience in the field. And of course, you will need to complete ample training before you feel comfortable sitting for the examination.
PHCEid.org advocates for all Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electrical contractors to properly denote their license status for public awareness. This helps bolster the integrity of the trade industry. Contact us to learn more.
Advocate for Licensing
PHCEid.org is an advocate for the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electrical contractor to properly identify their licensed status for public awareness. Professional Contractors have the license or certification to work in homes and businesses. Without the proper certification and licensing to become a skilled trades professional, it compromises the integrity of the trade industry.
The contractors listed on the PHCEid.org website are licensed or certified according to the codes and laws set forth by each governing state and/or entity. Licensed Contractors work in compliance with local and state codes set forth by their governing trade industry board. Get more information at PHCEid.org or call 844-954-2367 today!