Plumbing is one of the most regulated trades in the United States. Virtually all states have licensing requirements for master and journeyman plumbers. Having undergone several years of practical training and study, you want to ensure that you abide by the regulations in your state to help grow your plumbing business. Your journeyman plumber license is just as crucial as your insurance in securing a job.
Licensed plumbers are always in high demand. Residential plumbers work with homeowners, handling all kinds of plumbing emergencies. On the other hand, commercial plumbers are trained to fix and install large fixtures and pipes in hotels and office buildings. No matter your specialization, all plumbing contractors should have years of experience and training before becoming licensed journeymen plumbers. If you want to know the requirements of becoming a journeyman plumber, this article is designed for you.
5 Steps To Getting Your Journeyman Plumber License
Step #1: Obtain Your High School Diploma or GED Equivalent
The first and most crucial step in becoming a licensed journeyman plumber is completing your education. High school graduates stand a good chance of enrolling in a plumbing apprentice program because the mathematics, applied physics, and English skills they learn will help them take and pass the plumbing aptitude test. But if you haven’t completed your high school diploma, a GED certificate can be accepted in most plumbing apprentice programs. A GED certificate is not mandatory when pursuing a plumbing course, but it is crucial for securing a job and boosting your resume.
Step #2: Find a Plumbing Apprenticeship Program
Joining a plumber apprenticeship program is the next step towards skyrocketing your plumbing career. Once you identify a local union or other apprenticeship programs, ensure that you meet their initial requirements. It would help if you worked under the guidance of a master plumber who would pay you during an apprenticeship program.
Other apprenticeship programs include a minimum legal age of 18 years and a valid driving license. After you have been accepted into an apprenticeship program, you will operate under the guidance of a master or journeyman plumber for a couple of years. Typically, this is between 4 and 5 years, which can combine online plumbing courses and on-the-job training.
Step #3: Complete the Number of On-the-Job Training and Classroom Hours
Each apprenticeship program will have a minimum number of classroom and work hours required to become a licensed journeyman plumber. These requirements vary from one state to another, so ensure that you check your state’s requirements. Generally, most states expect you to complete at least 2000 work experience annually and another 250 classroom hours.
You can get discouraged, wondering if it is going to take forever for plumber training. The good news is that some online plumbing courses can help you learn the ins and outs of trade within six months or less.
Step #4: Apply For Your Journeyman Plumber Exam
To become a licensed journeyman plumber, you must complete an online license application. Once your high school diploma or GED equivalent is complete, you should use it for a journeyman’s plumber exam. Inquire from your state’s department of labor or local unions to know where you can take the exam. If you did an apprenticeship via a private plumbing company, you would be required to obtain an affidavit that confirms you met your state’s requirements and can sit the exam. If you have not done any apprenticeship or on-the-job training, you cannot sit for the journeyman’s plumber exam.
Step #5: Get Your Journeyman Plumber’s License
Upon passing your journeyman plumbing exam, you will be given a state license related to plumbing alongside a journeyman plumber certification. This license will open new opportunities for you and must be renewed annually. But you will have to pay a nominal fee to keep your certificate valid.