How to Become a Licensed Plumber in NC

Updated on February 10, 2020

Licensed Plumber NC
Plumbing Parts

Are you looking for a career that offers a lot of job security? Consider becoming a plumber. Homeowners often need trained professionals to keep their water supplies working. And business owners need plumbers for similar reasons. All communities have pipes and sewage lines, requiring maintenance from plumbers.

Table of Contents

To find long-term success as a plumber, you’ll need to get licensed. Requirements for a plumbing license vary from state to state. Today, we’ll look at becoming an official plumber in North Carolina. We’ll address:

  1. Are plumbers required to get licensed in the State of North Carolina?
  2. How much does it cost to get a plumbing license in North Carolina?
  3. What is the process for getting a North Carolina plumbing license?

Let’s take those questions one at a time.

1) Are Plumbers Required to Get Licensed in North Carolina?

In the State of North Carolina, anyone who works as a plumber must have a license. Anyone who “engages in the work of plumbing” must have a North Carolina plumbing license. This is according to the law. Anyone taking on a project that exceeds $30,000 may need extra licensing. In particular, these individuals need a general contractor license.

2) How Much Does it Cost to Get a Plumbing License in North Carolina?

Getting a North Carolina state plumbing license requires a small expense. The initial application fee is $25. From there, applicants must sit for an exam. The cost of the exam may be up to $100. The initial license is $125. Renewal of the license is also $125.

There are many books and study supplies that plumbers may get to prepare for their exam. These items come with some extra costs. These materials can be very helpful, and are worth pursing. They are not mandatory.

3) What is the Process for Getting a North Carolina State Plumbing License?

To get a plumbing license, you’ll need to sit before the State Board of Examiners. There are several steps you must complete before that can happen. Here is a quick guide to the process of passing the State Board.

Hone Your Skills

The best place to begin is with some simple home projects. You can gain plumbing expertise by taking on some jobs around the house. Put your skills to the test. Be sure this is an area where you want to pursue a license and career.

Get Your Hours

To apply for the plumbing exam, you first need a certain number of hours on the job. The licensing board will not let you sit for the exam without 4,000 hours of plumbing experience. There are two ways you can get this experience.

First, you can get all of it by working as an apprentice. Apply for on-the-job training with a master plumber. Once you get 4,000 hours in this role, you can pursue the plumbing license.

Second, you can enroll in technical school. Take classes that relate to plumbing. This experience can translate into 2,000 of your required hours. You will still need an apprenticeship to get the remaining 2,000 hours. There is no way to sit for the plumbing exam without having an apprenticeship.

Study Your Reference Materials

On top of your on-the-job experience, you’ll also need some study time. The Board of Examiners in NC will have questions about local regulations. These questions might include topics like fire sprinkler procedures. They may also touch on codes and ordinances. Anything required to legally complete a plumbing heating project is fair game.

You won’t necessarily know all your codes from an apprenticeship. That’s why you need to get the right reference materials. Start by getting the Laws and Rules book from the State Board of Examiners. You can get this from

Apply for Your Plumbing Exam

You can request an application packet from the North Carolina State Board. Fill it out and send it back in, along with the fee. This is required before you may sit for the exam.

You must verify your hours of on-the-job work with a licensed plumbing professional. In NC, the best way to do this is to submit a signed document from your plumbing master. More information is available in the packet.

Choose Your Exam

There is more than one form of North Carolina plumbing license. You must specify to the North Carolina State Board which type of license you’re interested in.

A Class I license will allow you to work on commercial, industrial, and residential plumbing projects.

A Class II license only permits you to handle residential work.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. It’s purely a question of which kind of plumbing heating professional you wish to become.

Take the Exam

Pick a day to schedule your exam with the Licensing Board. It’s best to set aside an entire morning. The state exam may take up to four hours to complete.

Bring your reference book with you for the exam. The test is open-book. Having that manual will be helpful if you forget your fire sprinkler codes come exam day!

Also bring your exam fee to the test.

To become a licensed plumbing professional, you will need to score 70 percent or higher.

Enroll in Continuing Education Credits

In the State of North Carolina, ongoing education is required. This means you must take six hours of extra classes each year. This is a requirement for renewing your license. It also helps keep your skills as current as can be.

Learn More About Passing Your Exam

By passing your exam, you’ll do more than show off your fire sprinkler knowledge. You’ll prove that you have what it takes for success as a plumbing professional. The examination process may seem daunting. Once it’s over with, you’ll be ready for a thriving career. Start planning your path toward a North Carolina plumbing license right away. Once you are licensed, get listed in a directory. And, don’t forget certification marks.

Advocate for Licensing 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 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 or call 844-954-2367 today!

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