Plumbers are one of the few professions closely regulated by the United States. Nearly every state has requirements that professionals have to meet in order to practice in that state. But while the requirements can sometimes be the same throughout each state, requirements, and exams can be different throughout each state. Becoming a plumber can be very difficult as you have to go through years of training and schooling in order to get a license, so you will have to follow certain rules and regulations or otherwise lose your license.
So to help you become a better plumber and get your license, here is a guide on licensing requirements in different states. This list will go over everything that you need to know before you get your license and everything afterward.
Getting a plumber’s license in Alaska is quite easy. Unlike most states that require prior means of education, there are other requirements that you will have to fulfill in order to qualify for the license. Moreover, you will have to get a license from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Here is what you need for each license:
You will need a state license in order to work in Alabama, for which you will have to contact the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board. Other than that, here are some of the requirements.
Applying for a plumbing license Arkansas is quite simple. In order to get a Journeyman license, you will need 4000 hours’ worth of experience, and to get a Master’s license, you will need 5000 hours or a year of experience as a journeyman. And then, you can apply for a plumbing contractor’s license, for which you will have to pass the Contractor’s Law and Business exam.
For Arizona, there are a lot of different licenses, each for a different purpose. You can get either a residential license, commercial license, or a dual license that covers both commercial and residential. You receive your license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. For both of these licenses, you will have to show at least 4 years of experience and will have to both a trade exam as well as a business exam to qualify for the license.
In order to work in Colorado, plumbers require a state license. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, State Plumbing Board, awards different licenses for different purposes, each of which requires a different exam.
In order to be a plumber in the state of California, you first need a state contractor’s license. You can get this from the Department of Consumer Affairs, Contractors State License Board. In order to qualify for a journeyman license, you will need 4 years of experience. To get a contractor’s license, you will need an extra 4 years of experience as a journeyman as well as pass a business, law, and trades exam. You will also need almost $15000 in a bond.
To work in Delaware as a Plumber, you will first need a master license awarded by the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation. This will allow you to install, design, repair, construct, alter, and modify pipes and similar apparatus for gas and water supplies. In order to get that master’s license, you will need a Journeyman certificate, for which you will need to complete an apprenticeship program. Other than the apprenticeship program, you will also need at least two years of experience under the supervision of a master plumber. You can also apply for the apprenticeship by-pass exam, for which you will need seven years of experience under the supervision of a licensed plumber. You need to pass both exams to receive a Master’s license.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation provides licenses to plumbers. In order to qualify for the license, you will need to give proof of four years of experience, which can be substituted for education. You will have to pass an exam, as well as possess property damage, public liability, and workers’ compensation insurance.
The Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board, Division of Master and Journeyman Plumbers are responsible for statewide licensing in Georgia. So in order to work as a plumber in the state of Georgia, you will first need to receive a license from there.
Much like other states, Plumbers need to have a license in order to work in the state of Hawaii. Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Professional and Vocational Licensing, Board of Electricians and Plumbers awards licenses to plumbers.
Idaho has very strict rules for plumbing licenses that it awards through the Idaho Division of Building Safety. And with this tight regulation, they have various plumbing licenses, each with their purpose.
Although plumbers in the state of Kansas don’t need a state license to operate as a plumber, there are other requirements that different cities have. So be sure to check the local requirements of your city before you start working, to avoid any further problems.
Unlike most states, Mississippi does not have many regulations for aspiring plumbers. Instead, plumbers looking to work on much bigger plumbing projects worth $10,000 (residential) and $50,000 (commercial) will require a contractor’s license. Plumbers working on projects smaller than those who do not require any license on a state level but will have to check at the local level. To get a contractor’s license, they will have to pass an exam, after which the MS State Board of Contractors will award them with a contractor’s license.
Minnesota has multiple licenses available to plumbers, each with their different requirements. And as a plumber, you will need a license in order to work, a license that the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Construction Codes and Licensing Division provides.
Missouri Is one of the few states that does not have any plumber licensing requirements on a state level. However, you should check with local city requirements, as each city may have its plumbing requirements. So be sure to check these before you start working.
Nevada, much like other states, provides statewide licensing for plumbers. The Nevada Board of Plumbing Examiners provides these licenses to plumbers willing to work in Nevada.
Journeyman License: You will need to complete four years of a recognized apprenticeship program or will need 8,000 hours of experience as an apprentice plumber. You will also have to pass an exam.
Master License: In Nevada, you can get a Master License if you have a journeyman license for at least a year and have 2000 hours of experience as a journeyman license. You will also have to pass an exam.
Depending on the work that you will be doing as a plumber, you may or may not require a license. IF you are working as a regular residential or commercial plumber, you do not require a license on the state level. But this may vary depending on the city. That said, you will need a license if you work as a contractor on projects that are more expensive. The Nebraska Department of Labor provides licenses for different plumbing contractors.
In New Jersey, Plumbers looking to work will first have to get their license. The Division of Consumer Affairs’ State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers tests and provides licenses to applicants. Applicants need to have a master’s license in order to find work, which makes the journeyman phase a certificate, not a license.
You will first need to pass an apprenticeship program, which can be as long as four years, and require a year’s worth of experience as a Journeyman plumber. You also have to be over the age of 21 in order to receive your master’s license.
While it is true that New York does not have any plumbing requirements at a state level, cities have very strict requirements for their plumbers. So it is best if you check on the local requirements of the city that you live in. Operating without a license in certain cities can lead to serious repercussions. Some counties also have their own laws regarding plumbing licensing.
North Carolina is one of the many states that provides a statewide license to plumbers willing to work there. Plumbers there receive their license from the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. There is only a single license in North Dakota, and it’s one that you can easily get by showing proof of two years of experience in plumbing. You can also replace years’ worth of experience with technical or academic training. But since this will be a contractor’s license, it means that you need to pass a business and law exam other than the usual trade exam.
To work as a plumber in North Dakota, you will first need a license, one that you can get from the North Dakota State Plumbing Board. North Dakota is also one of the many states that provide various licenses to plumbers with different specialties.
Working as an individual plumber in the state of Ohio, you do not require a license of any kind. And while there are local requirements that plumbers have to meet in their cities or counties, at a state level, there are no individual licenses for plumbers. However, that is not to say there are no licenses at all. Individual plumbing jobs or jobs under a certain price range do not require a license, but plumbers will need a contractor’s license for commercial jobs. You will need five years of experience as a plumber and about three years of experience in the construction industry.
Like many states in the US, you will first need a state license to work in Oregon. The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Building Codes Division, distributes licenses to plumbers looking to work in Oregon. In order to get a journeyman license, you will have to complete an apprenticeship program and have a total of 576 hours of classroom training as well as 3,850 hours of commercial and 3850 hours of residential experience.
Plumbers looking to work in Pennsylvania will not have to get a state license to work, as there is no state license. That said, there are still requirements that plumbers will have to meet in specific cities. So it is always best for plumbers to check their local requirements before starting their work.
In order to work as a plumber in Rhode Island, you will need a statewide license. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, Division of Workforce Regulation and Safety, Professional Regulations Unit awards these licenses to plumbers.
Plumbers willing to work in South Carolina will first have to get a license to work either a residential or a commercial job. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Residential Builders Commission provides these licenses to plumbers. To qualify for a plumbing specialty contractor, you will need at least a year of experience, and you will have to pass an exam.
The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, the Plumbing Commission, offers statewide licenses to plumbers in South Dakota. Similar to other states, South Dakota also has different licenses for plumbers, each with its requirements.
In Tennessee, plumbers need to have a statewide plumbing license in order to work throughout the state. Depending on the type of license that you are getting, the requirements can differ greatly. Moreover, the TN Department of Commerce and Insurance, Board for Licensing Contractors, provides licenses to plumbers.
Utah, similar to most states, also requires plumbers to hold a statewide license to work. The Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing provides these licenses, but the requirements for each license are very different.
Virginia also offers state licenses to plumbers willing to work there. Plumbers receive their licenses from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, and each license has an exam that you will first have to pass.
To work here, you will need a State license awarded by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. For a journeyman license, you will need over 8000 hours of experience over four years under supervision. Four thousand of those hours should be in industrial or commercial plumbing. A Special residential license requires over 6,000 hours over the course of six years of experience as a residential plumber.
Plumbers in West Virginia need to hold state licenses in order to work there. These plumbers receive their license from the West Virginia Division of Labor, and the different licenses have different requirements. Journeyman Licenses require you to pass an exam and at least 8,000 hours of experience. For the Master’s license, you will need to pass an exam and at least 12,000 hours of experience.
In Wisconsin, similar to other states, plumbers need a license to work there. They receive statewide license Department of Safety and Professional Services, Division of Professional Credentialing Processing.
Plumbers in Wyoming can work without having a statewide license seeing how there is none. Although there is no state requirement for plumbers, there are still local requirements that plumbers may have to meet before you can operate in that city or county. So it is best to check local requirements before working in your city.
This information that we have provided is to be used as a service, and should not be taken as legal advice. Instead, you should always refer to professionals about the rules and regulations about each state and where you should work. Furthermore, this information is up-to-date and has not seen substantial changes.
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