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Plumbing Licensing Requirements: A State By State Guide

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Plumbing licenses are essential for protecting contractors and the public by ensuring that all work complies with the International Plumbing Code and local regulations. Excepting New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Wyoming, most states have a statewide licensing program for master plumbers and journeymen. However, even in areas that don't have this requirement, licenses may be necessary at the county or municipal level.

Although rules vary, journeyman plumbers typically have at least four years of training, and master plumbers must have five to eight years of work experience. Individuals who have completed a formal apprenticeship or vocational program may qualify for fast-track licensing programs, while those who have honed their skills on the job are often subject to additional requirements.

In addition to having anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 hours of work experience, plumbers must complete a rigorous exam. Many licensing boards also require contractors to submit surety bonds, proof of liability insurance, tax licenses, and other documents. The following guide outlines licensing requirements in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Plumbing Licensing Requirements by State

License requirements for plumbers are different for each state, starting with whether licenses are offered at the state, county, or city level. To learn more about plumbing licensing requirements in your state, select your state from the sidebar or scroll to find it below.

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Alabama Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in Alabama must have a license from the Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board. Journeyman and master plumbers may perform unsupervised work, but apprentices must have an on-site supervisor at all types. Applicants may qualify for one of the following credentials based on their plumbing experience.

  • Apprentice

    plumbers must complete a registration form, including proof of citizenship, and pay an annual renewal fee.

  • Journeyman

    plumbers or gas fitter candidates must have at least two years of experience as a state-registered apprentice to take the exam.

  • Master

    plumber applicants must have at least one year of certified journeyman experience to take this exam.

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Alaska Plumbing License Requirements

Alaska requires plumbers, including trainees, to register with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Mechanical Inspection division.

  • Trainee applicants must provide a completed application, color photograph, proof of apprenticeship, and letter from a sponsoring employer.

  • To take the exam and earn a Plumber Journeyman Certificate of Fitness, applicants must have at least 8,000 hours of commercial or residential experience, excluding maintenance work. Classroom training can be substituted for up to 1,000 hours of field experience.

  • Restricted plumbing licenses are available to professionals who install natural gas or fuel pipes and sewage lines or storm drains and meet certain other requirements.

Plumbers may also have to secure a Municipal Contractors License in cities such as Anchorage. Consumers and contractors should check with local authorities before beginning work.

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Arizona Plumbing License Requirements 

Plumbers in Arizona must have a license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. The state offers credentials for residential and commercial plumbers as well as dual specialists. Applicants need at least four years of hands-on or managerial experience to take the R-37, C-37, or C-77 Plumbing exam. In addition to taking a four-hour specialty trades exam, applicants must also pass the state's three-hour Statues and Rules Examination and complete the following steps:

  • Submit a completed application;

  • Consent to a background check;

  • Provide a government-issued ID;

  • Submit a recovery fund assessment;

  • Register as a business;

  • Pay any required fees; and

  • Secure a surety bond. 

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Arkansas Plumbing License Requirements

The Arkansas Department of Health, Plumbing & Natural Gas section requires apprentice, journeyman, and master plumbers to maintain a state license.

  • Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and be sponsored by a master plumber or participating in an apprenticeship to register as an apprentice.

  • To become a journeyman plumber, candidates must have at least four years of work or apprenticeship experience and pass the required exam.

  • The Master Plumber exam is open to applicants who have at least five years of plumbing experience or one year of Journeyman experience.

  • A Lifetime Plumbing license is available to retired professionals who are at least 65 years of age and have at least 12 years of experience as a master plumber. 

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California Plumbing License Requirements

In California, plumbers must be licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board. This credential is required for all jobs valued at $500 or more. Applicants must pass a specialty trade exam, a business and law test, and meet the following work experience requirements:

  • Applicants must have at least four years of journeyman-level experience in plumbing while working as contractors, foremen, supervisors, or owner-operators.

  • Academic credits acquired through a vocational school or apprenticeship can be substituted for up to three of the four years of work experience. College credits can be substituted for up to two years of experience. 

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Colorado Plumbing License Requirements

Colorado residents who work as plumbers, apprentices, or contractors must be licensed by the State Plumbing Board, which is part of the Division of Professions and Occupations. In addition to registering apprentices and contractors, the state offers three licensing options for residential, journeyman, and master plumbers who pass a practical and written exam and meet the following requirements:

  • Residential plumbers must have at least two years or 3,400 hours of work experience.

  • Journeyman plumbers must have at least four years or 6,800 hours of work experience.

  • Master plumbers must have at least five years or 8,500 hours of work experience. 

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Connecticut Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in the Nutmeg State must have a Journeyperson or Contractor license from the Department of Consumer Protection, Plumbing and Piping Work Examining Board. For each credential:

  • To qualify for the Journeyperson exam, applicants must provide a certificate from a qualified apprenticeship program or proof of equivalent experience.

  • To become an Unlimited Plumbing Contractor, individuals must have at least two years of journeyperson experience and pass an 80-question exam.

Licenses must be renewed annually by October 31st, and professionals must submit a renewal fee along with proof of continuing education. Exams are based on the International Plumbing Code and standards from Water Processing: Residential, Commercial, Light Industrial. 

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Delaware Plumbing License Requirements

Delaware Board of Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Examiners offers a Master Plumber license to qualified professionals. This credential is required for most plumbing installations and repairs and is available to applicants who pass an exam and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Individuals with two years of work experience and a Journeyman Certificate from a four-year apprenticeship may sit for the state's plumbing exam.

  • Candidates who have not completed a federally approved apprenticeship must have at least seven years of qualifying master-supervised work experience.

Employment records, including tax returns, may be used to prove work experience. Delaware plumbing licenses expire October 31st on even-numbered years. 

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District of Columbia Plumbing License Requirements

The District of Columbia Board of Industrial Trades registers apprentices and licenses Journeyman and master plumbers. Trainees who are enrolled in a qualified apprenticeship can register with no experience or education requirements. Licensed professionals must pass an exam based on the International Plumbing Code and International Fuel Gas Code in addition to meeting one of the following requirements.

  • Journeyman plumbers must have at least 8,000 hours of work experience acquired during a four-year apprenticeship or a degree in mechanical engineering with two years of work experience.

  • To become a master plumber, candidates must have at least four years of experience as a licensed journeyman. 

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Florida Plumbing License Requirements

Florida licenses Certified Plumbing Contractors with options for individual master plumbers and businesses. This mandatory credential is offered by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to applicants who are aged 18 or older and meet the following requirements:

  • Provide a financial statement;

  • Meet experience requirements;

  • Pass the required business and specialty exams;

  • Consent to a background check with fingerprints;

  • Secure a surety bond if required;

  • Submit proof of insurance; and

  • Pay the required fees.

Licensing Options

  • Individuals must also register with the county as a journeyman or master plumber. Registration requirements may vary by county.

  • Journeyman plumbers must have at least four years of apprenticeship experience or a combination of education and practical experience.

  • Master plumbers must complete a four-year apprenticeship and have at least two years of journeyman experience. 

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Georgia Plumbing License Requirements

In the Peach State, plumbers must have a license from the Georgia State Construction Industry Licensing Board, Division of Master Plumbers and Journeyman Plumbers. The state has a comprehensive application and examination process for professionals who want to earn one of the following credentials:

  • A Journeyman license is available to qualifying candidates with at least three years of plumbing experience.

  • The Class I Master Plumber license is available to licensed candidates who have five years of plumbing experience, including at least two years of journeyman experience.

  • An unrestricted Class II license is available to master plumber candidates with qualifying commercial or industrial work experience. 

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Hawaii Plumbing License Requirements

Hawaii licenses and regulates plumbers, including journey workers and masters, through the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Board of Electricians and Plumbers division. It also offers a Contractor's license for plumbers who want to perform contractual work. All plumbing licenses need to be renewed every three years.

  • To sit for the Journey Worker exam, applicants must have at least five years and 10,000 hours of qualifying work experience.

  • The Master Plumber credential is available to professionals who pass the required exam and have at least two years of Journey Worker experience.

Applicants must also provide personal documentation and information about any previous criminal offenses. 

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Idaho Plumbing License Requirements

The Idaho Division of Building Safety licenses apprentices, journeymen, and contractors through the Idaho Plumbing Board. It also offers several specialty licensing classifications.

  • Individuals aged 16 or older and learning the trade through an approved program can apply for a Plumbing Apprentice license.

  • Applicants can take the Journeyman Certification exam after completing a four-year apprenticeship and at least 576 hours of classroom training. Out-of-state candidates may need as much as eight years of work experience.

  • To apply for a Plumbing Contractor license, candidates must have at least 18 months of experience as a licensed journeyman, pass the exam, and submit a $2,000 surety bond. 

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Illinois Plumbing License Requirements

Illinois licenses approximately 8,900 plumbers, apprentices, and contractors through the Department of Public Health, Plumbing Program. The state even has a registration system for retired professionals.

  • To take the Licensed Plumber exam, applicants must have at least four years of apprenticeship experience and two years of training through a high school, vocational school, or technical college.

  • Apprentice plumbers who are aged 16 and are enrolled in an approved apprenticeship can apply for an Apprentice Plumber license.

  • Plumbers that provide services to the public must be licensed as a Plumbing Contractor. These entities must carry liability and workers' compensation insurance and meet other financial requirements. 

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Indiana Plumbing License Requirements

The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Indiana Plumbing Commission licenses apprentice and journeyman plumbers as well as plumbing contractors and corporations. Applicants for all license classifications must be at least 18 years of age and complete a comprehensive application.

  • Indiana's Apprentice Plumber license is for individuals currently enrolled in a four-year state-approved apprenticeship sponsored by a school or licensed contractor.

  • The state's Journeyman Plumber license is for professionals who have completed a four-year apprenticeship and passed an exam or have at least four years of trade experience.

  • Plumbing contractors must have completed a four-year apprenticeship and have four years of licensed experience as a journeyman.

  • Plumbers may also require a local contractor's license in some cities, such as Indianapolis. 

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Iowa Plumbing License Requirements

In Iowa, plumbers, excluding helpers, must be licensed by the Iowa Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board, which offers credentials for apprentice-, journeyperson-, and master-level professionals. To become licensed, applicants aged 18 or older must meet one of the following requirements and pass a standardized exam.

  • Apprentice applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and be enrolled in an approved apprenticeship backed by a licensed journeyperson or master.

  • To become a journeyperson, plumbers must have at least 42 months of apprenticeship experience.

  • To apply for a Master's license, applicants must have an equivalent out-of-state license or two-years of in-state journeyperson experience. 

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Kansas Plumbing License Requirements 

Kansas is one of a handful of states that don't have a statewide licensing board for plumbers. Regulatory requirements are left up to individual municipalities. Areas that license journeymen and master plumbers include:

  • Alma;

  • Kansas City;

  • Lawrence;

  • Manhattan;

  • Overland Park;

  • Topeka

  • Wichita;

  • Johnson County;

  • Sedgwick County; and

  • Wyandotte County.

Rules may vary at the local level, so individuals should consult their city's contractors licensing board or county commission for more details. In most cases, plumbers must meet the following requirements:

  • Pay an application licensing fee;

  • Submit proof of education or work experience;

  • Pass an exam based on the International Plumbing Code; and

  • Provide proof of insurance. 

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Kentucky Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in Kentucky must be licensed by the Department Of Housing, Buildings and Construction, Division of Plumbing. The state licenses master and journeyman plumbers who meet the following requirements, pass the appropriate exam, and submit a completed application along with any required fees. There's also a continuing education requirement.

  • An apprentice plumber can apply for a Journeyman Plumber license after completing two years of supervised work experience or one year of trade experience and a comprehensive code-related course.

  • To become a master plumber, applicants must have at least two years of supervised journeyman experience in the past five years. 

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Louisiana Plumbing License Requirements

The State Plumbing Board of Louisiana licenses journeyman, master plumbers, and tradesmen authorized to perform limited residential repairs. The state also requires that plumbers who bid on jobs valued at $10,000 or more have a Contactors license in addition to the Master Plumber credential.

  • To complete the Tradesman exam, applicants must be registered apprentices or have at least two years or 4,000 hours of plumbing experience.

  • The Journeyman license program requires a comprehensive written and practical exam and a four-year apprenticeship or five years or 8,000 hours of supervised work experience.

  • Master plumbers must have five years of experience as a licensed journeyman before applying for licensure and taking the exam. 

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Maine Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in Maine must be licensed by the Maine Office of Professional and Financial Regulation, Plumbers' Examining Board. Plumbers can be licensed as a journeyman, master, trainee, or journeyman-in-training. An exam and criminal background check are required for most licenses.

  • To apply for a Master Plumber license and take the exam, applicants must have one year and 2,000 hours of field experience as a licensed journeyman or four years and 8,000 hours of master-supervised plumbing experience.

  • Plumbers can qualify for the Journeyman exam after they have 4,000 hours of master-supervised experience as a licensed trainee or 2,000 hours of experience as a journeyman-in-training.

  • A Trainee Plumber license is available to plumbing assistants who are supervised by a journeyman or master plumber. It's valid for two years.

  • The Journeyman-in-Training credential is available to students attending a one-year plumbing course at the college level, have completed a two-year vocational program, or are in a government-approved apprenticeship. 

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Maryland Plumbing License Requirements

The Maryland Board of Plumbing is responsible for licensing plumbers statewide. Offering unlicensed plumbing services or failing to maintain the required insurance is a serious offense subject to hefty fines and up to six months of imprisonment. Additionally, some local jurisdictions, such as Baltimore County, have their own plumbing code. For all other areas, practicing plumbers must have one of the following licenses.

  • Individuals who are aged 16 or older and enrolled in an apprenticeship can register as an apprentice plumber.

  • Journey plumbers must have four years of apprenticeship experience and 7,500 hours of supervised work experience to sit for the exam.

  • Master plumbers must have at least two years of experience as a licensed journey plumber, including 3,750 hours of master-supervised experienced, to take the exam. 

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Massachusetts Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in Massachusetts must be licensed by the Division of Professional Licensure, Board of Registration of Plumbers and Gas Fitters. This requirement extends to apprentice, journeyman, and master plumbers.

  • Individuals must be aged 16 or older, pay a nonrefundable fee, complete the application, and provide a statement from a sponsoring master plumber to become a licensed apprentice.

  • Journeyman plumbers must have a high school diploma or GED, 550 hours of classroom training, and at least 8,500 hours of work experience before taking the exam.

  • Master plumbers must complete a 110-hour training course and pass a written and practical exam after at least one year of journeyman experience. 

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Michigan Plumbing License Requirements

In Michigan, master, journeyman, apprentice plumbers, and plumbing contractors are regulated by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Licensing division.

  • To take the Journey Plumber exam, candidates must have at least 6,000 hours and at least three years of apprenticeship or supervised work experience.

  • Prospective master plumbers must have at least two years and 4,000 hours of journeyman-level experience to take the exam.

  • A Plumbing Contractor license is available to certain companies and sole proprietorships owned by or represented by a licensed master plumber with at least five years of trade experience.

  • Trainee plumbers must register with the state within 30 days of beginning their apprenticeship. 

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Minnesota Plumbing License Requirements

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has several licensing options for plumbers operating in the state. Contractors must complete the application, secure a business license, and meet insurance requirements to qualify. Licenses must be renewed annually, and there's a continuing education requirement.

A contractor's license is required for all plumbing work performed in cities with more than 5,000 residents. In smaller communities, plumbing services may be provided by a restricted journeyman or master plumbers and employees supervised by a plumbing contractor.

  • Apprentices and other adults who perform no more than 1,750 hours of plumbing work per year can register as an unlicensed Individual for plumbing.

  • Journeyman plumbers must have completed a four-year apprenticeship or at least 7,000 hours of master-supervised work experience to sit for the state exam.

  • The Master Plumber credential is available to individuals who have at least one year of journeyman experience or five years of experience as a contractor. 

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Mississippi Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers working in Mississippi must apply for a Mechanical Contractor license and pass the State Board of Contractors exam. The state only requires a license for plumbers who complete jobs valued at $10,000 or more, and a commercial license is required for jobs over $50,000. However, local regulations may vary, and these credentials may be required to apply for building permits in some areas. Licenses are valid for one year. Contractors must also:

  • Take a Business and Law exam;

  • Provide three letters of reference, including a bank recommendation;

  • Submit proof of liability and workers' compensation insurance;

  • Provide documentation for tax purposes; and

  • Pass the board of contractors plumbing exam. 

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Missouri Plumbing License Requirements

Missouri has statewide plumbing-related regulations, but licensing is left up to individual counties and cities. State laws stipulate that communities with more than 15,000 residents must establish a plumbing board and certification system for master and journeymen plumbers. Some communities also offer an apprentice license.

To become a master plumber in a participating Missouri community, individuals must:

  • Be at least 25 years of age;

  • Have at least three years of experience as a licensed journeyman; and

  • Have the ability to manage all stages of plumbing design and installation.

To become a Journeyman plumber, individuals must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age

  • Have at least five years of experience as an apprentice

  • Have practical knowledge of plumbing and drainage systems

In certain areas, such as Jefferson City and Saint Charles County, plumbers must complete the following steps:

  • Submit a licensing application;

  • Pass a national exam approved by their municipality;

  • Pay a licensing fee and one-time processing fee;

  • Provide a current certification of liability insurance; and

  • Secure a personal surety bond.

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Montana Plumbing License Requirements

In Montana, plumbers must be licensed by the Department of Labor & Industry, Board of Plumbers, which is part of the Business Standards Division.

  • To become a journeyman, plumbers must have five years of work experience and pass the exam with a score of 70% or better.

  • To take the Master Plumber exam, applicants must have nine years of relevant work experience or four years of journeyman experience, including three years as a supervisor.

Journeyman and master plumbers must complete four hours of code-related continuing education every 12 months. Licenses are renewed annually on September 1st, and plumbers may also qualify for a temporary license before taking the exam. 

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Nebraska Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers operating in Nebraska do not need a license from the state, but they must register as a contractor with the Nebraska Department of Labor. Additionally, many counties and local communities have adopted the International Plumbing Code and require plumbers to pass an exam and meet other requirements. The state requires plumbers to be licensed in all metropolitan-class cities, including:

Municipal codes in Nebraska typically allow for reciprocity agreements between communities of a similar size. Individuals should contact appropriate authorities in their area before completing any work as local licensing requirements may vary. Usually, in areas with licensing requirements, building permits can only be pulled by a qualified master plumber. 

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Nevada Plumbing License Requirements

The Nevada State Contractors Board offers a Class C Specialty Contractors License for journeyman, master plumbers, and professionals in various trades. To qualify as a journeyman, applicants must have four years or 8,000 hours of apprenticeship experience. College-level training can be substituted for up to three of the four years. Master Plumbers must have at least one year or 2,000 hours of journeyman or foreman experience. Contractors must also:

  • Pass the appropriate board of contractor's exam;

  • Provide proof of workers' compensation insurance;

  • Submit a bond for the required amount (varies); and

  • Pay licensing and recovery fund fees. 

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New Hampshire Plumbing License Requirements

In the Granite State, plumbers starting at the apprentice level are licensed by the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Bureau of Building Safety & Construction, Mechanical Safety & Licensing Section. The state's apprenticeship program requires plumbers to complete 8,000 hours of practical experience along with 144 hours of classroom training each year, for a total of 576 hours to become a journeyman.

Plumbers can earn a master's license six months after becoming a journeyman. Plumbers must also secure a business license from the Secretary of State. As part of the licensing process, applicants must:

  • Pay a nonrefundable fee;

  • Provide a passport-sized photograph;

  • Include a copy of a state-issued ID;

  • Submit a copy of any current licenses;

  • Submit an affidavit of experience from a supervising plumber; and

  • Provide information about their current employer.

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New Jersey Plumbing License Requirements

In New Jersey, the Division of Consumer Affairs, State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers licenses apprentices, journeymen, and master plumbers. A journeyman plumber must have at least four years of training or work experience under a master plumber or supervisory journeyman or a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related discipline. Licensees must:

  • Secure a $3,000 surety bond;

  • Pass all required exams;

  • Meet ethical and moral standards;

  • Provide a criminal history; and

  • Meet continuing education requirements.

Individuals who have one year of journeyman experience and pass the required state exam can earn a Master Plumber license. 

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New Mexico Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in New Mexico are licensed by the Regulation and Licensing Department, Construction Industries Division, according to regulations established by the Construction Industries Licensing Act.

  • Journeyman must have at least two years of qualifying experience to apply for a Journeyman Plumber license.

  • Individuals with at least four years of plumbing experience can apply for an NM-1 Plumbing license.

Plumbers can install most water heaters, but an additional license is required for natural gas piping and gas-burning appliances. Additionally, applicants must pass the state's 100-question plumbing exam, submit a surety bond ranging from $500 to $5,000, and pay all required fees. 

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New York Plumbing License Requirements

The Empire State does not license plumbers, but many communities do, including Albany, Troy, and Rochester, as well as Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties and most parts of Long Island. At a minimum, applicants must:

  • Complete a license application for board approval;

  • Provide a detailed description concerning training and education;

  • Demonstrate at least five years of relevant, continuous work experience;

  • Pay an examination and licensing fee; and

  • Pass a standardized exam based on the International Plumbing Code.

Jurisdictions like New York City have additional education and work experience requirements, including at least one to two years of professional experience within the five boroughs. Individuals should check with their city and county for more information about the latest requirements. 

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North Carolina Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbing contractors, plumbing technicians, and restricted, limited plumbing contractors in North Carolina are licensed by the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.

  • To take the Restricted Limited Plumbing Contractors exam, applicants must have at least nine months or 1,500 hours of full-time experience, up to half of which can be substituted for academic training.

  • Plumbing technicians must have 18 months or 3,000 hours of full-time on-site work experience and pass a four-hour technical exam.

  • To become a licensed plumbing contractor, applicants must have two years or 4,000 hours of work experience. Up to half of these hours may be substituted for classroom training. They must also pass a plumbing code and business law exam. 

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North Dakota Plumbing License Requirements

Any person working as an apprentice, journeyman, or master plumber in North Dakota must be licensed by the State Plumbing Board and meet the state's continuing education requirement.

  • Apprentice plumbers earn work credits over five years. Individuals will also receive credit for completing a nine-month training program or acquiring equivalent work experience. In their fourth year, apprentices can perform unsupervised work.

  • To become a journeyman, an apprentice must have four years of trade experience and 7,600 hours of master-supervised work experience.

  • A journeyman with at least two years of licensed experience can apply to take the state's Master Plumber exam. 

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Ohio Plumbing License Requirements

Ohio plumbers who perform commercial work may need to be licensed by the Construction Industry Licensing Board, which is part of the Department of Commerce. To earn a Commercial Contractors license, individuals must have at least five years of plumbing experience or at least three years of construction experience if they're a registered engineer. Additionally, they must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;

  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident;

  • Consent to a state and federal criminal background check;

  • Pass the state's 100-question standardized plumbing contractor exam;

  • Carry at least $500,000 in contractor liability insurance; and

  • Pay any required application and exam fees. 

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Oklahoma Plumbing License Requirements

The Oklahoma Construction Industries Board is responsible for licensing and regulating plumbing contractors, journeymen, and apprentices. To become a licensed journeyman plumber, individuals must have at least three years of plumbing experience. Trade school students may substitute 500 hours of classroom training for one year of experience, up to a maximum of 1,000 hours. Plumbing contractors responsible for overseeing work performed by a journeyman or apprentice must have one additional year of experience. Additionally, plumbing contractors and journeyman must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age;

  • Pass the state's official plumber's exam;

  • Provide certification for at least $50,000 in general liability insurance; and

  • Submit a $5,000 surety bond payable to the board. 

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Oregon Plumbing License Requirements

Oregon allows licensed journeyman plumbers to complete all types of plumbing installations, alternations, and repairs. This credential is available through the Licensing Department of the Building Codes Division. To qualify, individuals must:

  • Have at least 576 hours of classroom training or have completed a qualifying four-year apprenticeship;

  • Provide proof of at least 3,850 hours commercial and 3,850 hours of residential work experience as an apprentice or journeyman;

  • Complete the state's license application and pay any required fees; and

  • Pass the state's 64-question, four-hour Journeyman Plumber exam.

It's important to note that an additional license is required for plumbers who install residential water heaters and certain solar-powered systems. 

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Pennsylvania Plumbing License Requirements

Pennsylvania does not have a statewide licensing board for plumbers, so requirements vary by city and county. In Allegheny County, for example, a registered master plumber must have at least four years or 8,000 hours of work experience achieved through an apprenticeship plus 576 hours of classroom training before they can sit for the exam. This credential is required to apply for a building permit. Contractors can register as a journeyman plumber two years into their apprenticeship. Other municipalities that license plumbers include:

This is not an exhaustive list of licensing standards or jurisdictions that have licensing requirements. Contractors and consumers should contact their local municipal office or building department for specific requirements before beginning work. Additionally, statewide licensing requirements have been proposed, and regulations may change at any time. 

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Rhode Island Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in Rhode Island must be licensed by the Department of Labor, according to requirements established by the state legislature and the State Board of Plumbing Examiners. To become a licensed Journeyperson, the applicant must:

  • Submit a completed application along with a nonrefundable fee;

  • Have at least four years or 8,000 hours of experience working as an apprentice;

  • Have at least 576 hours of classroom training or an associate's degree in engineering; and

  • Pass the state's standardized plumbing exam.

Professionals can apply to become a licensed master plumber after one year of experience working as a journeyperson. Additional certifications may be required for plumbers who install or service water filtration or irrigation systems. 

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South Carolina Plumbing License Requirements

South Carolina has state and local licensing requirements for plumbers. Plumbing contractors, the equivalent of master plumbers in other areas, are licensed by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. The Contractor's Licensing Board offers a Commercial Contractors license to qualifying individuals who pass the state's 80-question Plumber Examination as well as a business law exam. Contractors must:

  • Answer all questions on the licensing application;

  • Provide a financial statement and surety bond;

  • Pay the licensing and exam fee;

  • Submit an affidavit showing at least one year of relevant work experience;

  • Complete a credit and/or background check; and

  • Provide a $5,000 surety bond.

Local counties and cities may have specific requirements. Industry professionals and homeowners can contact the Municipal Association of South Carolina or their local building department for more information. Additionally, many cities require plumbers to apply for a local business license. 

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South Dakota Plumbing License Requirements

The South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation has licensing and training requirements for plumbing contractors, journeymen, and apprentices. Candidates must complete an application, pay the licensing fee, and pass the corresponding exam.

  • An apprentice with at least two years or 3,800 hours of work experience may complete some residential plumbing jobs without supervision.

  • A plumber can become a journeyman after completing a four-year apprenticeship.

  • A professional with at least six years of journeyman experience can apply to become a plumbing contractor.

Plumbers who install water treatment systems, sewer lines, and certain appliances must secure an additional license before completing that type of work. Local plumbing licenses are required in some cities, such as Sioux Falls. 

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Tennessee Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in Tennessee may require state or local licenses, depending on where they work, the types of services they perform, and the size of the jobs they complete. Most professionals apply to become a Limited Licensed Plumber or LLP. To earn this credential, tradespeople must:

  • Complete the official application;

  • Pass a criminal background check;

  • Have at least one year of documented plumbing experience;

  • Pass the state's Limited Licensed Plumber Exam; and

  • Pay the application and exam fee.

In certain counties, a contractor may become an LLP with less than one year of experience. These include Benton, Decatur, Dickson, Giles, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Humphreys, Lake, Lawrence, Lewis, Obion, Perry, Stewart, and Weakley counties.

Plumbers who want to bid on a job valued at more than $25,000 must apply for a Plumbing Contractor license from the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors. This license may also be required for jobs in certain areas. Many communities require plumbers to apply for a local tax license. 

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Texas Plumbing License Requirements 

The Texas Board of Plumbing Examiners offers a Journeyman and Master Plumber license and a Tradesman Plumber-Limited option for entry-level professionals. Tradesmen plumbers may perform supervised plumbing work and oversee apprentices. To earn this credential, individuals must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident;

  • Be an in-state apprentice or a credentialed out-of-state plumber;

  • Have at least 4,000 hours of plumbing experience;

  • Complete a 24-hour state-approved training course;

  • Pass the state plumbing exam; and

  • Pay any applicable fees.

Tradesman plumbers can become licensed journeymen if they have at least 8,000 hours of plumbing experience and have completed a 48-hour training course or are enrolled in a government-approved apprenticeship.

The Master Plumber credential is available to individuals who have had a Journeyman license for at least four years or have completed an apprenticeship and have at least one year of additional work experience. Licensed master plumbers must have a GED or high school diploma. 

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Utah Plumbing License Requirements

Utah offers four licensing classifications for journeyman, master plumbers, residential journeyman, and residential master plumbers. These professionals are regulated by the Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

  • A residential journeyman plumber must have at least three years of full-time work experience combined with 432 hours of classroom training or six years of apprenticeship experience. They must also pass the corresponding exam.

  • A residential master plumber must have at least two years of experience as a licensed journeyman or supervisor and pass the state's plumbing exam.

  • To sit for the Journeyman Plumber exam, applicants must have eight years of full-time apprenticeship experience or four years of apprenticeship experience combined with 576 hours of classroom training.

  • After two years of experience as a journeyman and supervisor, licensed professionals can apply for a Master Plumber license and take the exam. An associate degree can be substituted for one year of work experience. 

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Vermont Plumbing License Requirements

Anyone who wants to work as a plumber in Vermont must be licensed by the Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety. The state offers several licensure options depending on the applicant's level of experience.

  • Limited Licensure Specialist P1 and P2: This entry-level credential is for registered apprentices who have at least 2,000 hours of experience. Nonapprentice candidates must have 4,000 hours of work experience and 144 hours, approximately one year, of classroom training.

  • Limited Licensure Specialist P3: These professionals must have at least 4,000 hours of work experience and have completed a board-approved water treatment course.

  • Journeyman: This credential is available to plumbers who have completed a state-approved apprenticeship or have at least 12,000 hours of work experience (approximately three years).

  • Master: To become a licensed master plumber, individuals must have at least 12 months of experience as a Vermont journeyman or at least 14,000 hours of acceptable work experience. 

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Virginia Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in Virginia must be licensed by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board for Contractors. Contractors are licensed by specialty and by the size of the jobs they're allowed to take. The state offers plumbers a variety of qualification options through a combination of classroom training and on-the-job experience.

Journeyman applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have a journeyman credential in another state;

  • Have 10 years of practical experience;

  • Have seven years of experience with 40 hours of vocational training;

  • Have six years of experience and 80 hours of training;

  • Have five years of experience and 160 hours of training;

  • Have four years of experience and 240 hours of training;

  • Have an associate degree and two years of practical experience; or

  • Have a bachelor's degree and one year of experience.

Candidates with 10 years of work experience or one year of journeyman experience can apply for a Master Plumber license. Individuals must also consent to a background check, pass the state's licensing exam, and pay any required fees. 

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Washington Plumbing License Requirements

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries regulates more than 6,000 plumbers, 4,000 trainees, and 600 medical gas installers statewide. It offers multiple certifications for specialty plumbers and trainees. Most plumbers begin in the state's Trainee Program, which helps candidates aged 16 and older track their work experience until they're eligible for licensure.

  • Journey level plumbers may work on all types of building projects. These professionals must have at least four years or 8,000 hours of experience working under another certified journey level plumber as a trainee. At least half of this experience must be commercial or industrial.

  • Residential plumbers may install, maintain, and repair plumbing systems in noncommercial buildings with no more than three stories. These professionals must have at least three years or 3,000 hours of supervised work experience.

  • Residential service plumbers may repair, replace, or service existing plumbing systems in residential structures. These professionals must have at least two years or 4,000 hours of experience as a trainee. 

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West Virginia Plumbing License Requirements

Plumbers in West Virginia must be licensed by the Division of Labor. The state offers three certification programs for master plumbers, journeymen, and apprentices. To become a certified master plumber or journeyman, the applicant must pass a written exam and provide proof of work experience.

  • Plumber in Training: This certification is for individuals interested in performing plumbing work but have less than 8,000 of relevant experience.

  • Journeyman: This classification is for plumbers who have at least 8,000 hours of related experience and can train or instruct an apprentice.

  • Master: The Master certification is available to professionals with at least 12,000 hours of work experience who are capable of designing plumbing systems and instructing other professionals.

A license is required for installing water lines, drains, or vents, but it's not required for small projects, such as clearing clogs, replacing faucets, or connecting appliances. 

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Wisconsin Plumbing License Requirements

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services is responsible for licensing master and journeyman plumbers and registering apprentices. These licenses are required for all plumbing work except for minor repairs, such as faucet replacement and work completed on one's primary single-family residence.

To become a journeyman, individuals must:

  • Submit the application and exam fee;

  • Complete a qualifying apprenticeship;

  • Pass the state's Journeyman Plumber exam; and

  • Pay the four-year credential fee.

To become a licensed master plumber, individuals must:

  • Submit the application and exam fee;

  • Have at least 1,000 hours of journeyman experience or an engineering degree;

  • Pass the state's Master Plumber exam; and

  • Pay the four-year credential fee. 

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Wyoming Plumbing License Requirements

Wyoming does not have a statewide licensing system for journeymen or master plumbers. However, lawmakers have been trying to introduce a Plumbers Licensing Act and regulatory board since 2011. In many communities, licenses are required at the county or municipal level. Areas that currently have a licensing requirement include:

Contractors and consumers should contact their local building department for more details. In jurisdictions with a licensing program, plumbers must have adequate work experience, pass a comprehensive exam, pay a licensing fee, submit a surety bond, and provide proof of insurance. Plumbers that install gas lines are subject to additional licensing requirements.

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