Published on: July 25, 2022 Water lines and gas lines are the most crucial components of every building, and the plumbers in the industry need to be very responsive to maintain the wellness of such plumbing systems. Plumbing faults can hamper peace of mind and risk the safety of residents or people working in a building. Therefore, people seek licensed plumbers to hand over critical repair, replacement, or maintenance jobs. Suppose you want to become an independent plumber or start a plumbing business. In that case, you will need a plumber certification or license to become skillful and eligible for offering services to clients legally. Plumbing is a highly skilled trade, and you must approach the rightful certification steps to acquire the license to operate with plumbing systems. Table of Content What is a Licensed Plumber? How to Get a Plumber Certification? How Much Does it Cost for Plumber Certification? FAQs FieldCamp Is Being Leveraged By The Plumbing Contractors What is a Licensed Plumber? A plumber qualified with all the educational requirements, internships, apprenticeships, and skills backed by certification are called licensed plumber. A plumber license is essential in some regions, cities, or countries for the individuals to legally operate their services. The licensed plumber is a tradesperson with official state or country permits for installing and repairing water supply pipes, heating systems, gas lines, and working with other aspects of plumbing systems. These individuals have pursued the education and skills to work with plumbing systems of both residential as well as commercial properties. The journey of acquiring a plumber license also teaches individuals to pick the right materials for the job and give accurate estimates to clients. What is a licensed master plumber? A licensed master plumber is also known as a plumbing contractor who holds the eligibility to run a plumbing business. It is the professional tradesperson entitlement which is the superior level in plumbing. They upgrade their journeyman plumber license to a master plumber license by clearing the state-level examination after gaining a certain amount of work experience in the field. The master plumber license has weightage over the journeyman plumber license. On acquiring the master plumber license, you get the higher authority to supervise the team of journeymen during the work execution. Apart from that, just like the usual plumbers, a licensed master plumber has the necessary skills to install and maintain water and gas pipelines. But, beyond working in the field, they also have the skills to draw the blueprint for an entire plumbing system. The master plumber license holders are responsible for working closely with the architects and contractors to install the plumbing systems in newly constructed buildings. They design the plumbing systems and guide the journeymen to do the installations with their assistance. How to Get a Plumber Certification? The plumbing licenses are available for individuals who have the knowledge of where to start the journey. The plumbing trade demands utmost dedication, time, and effort. To acquire a plumbing or a plumbing contractor license, you must decide your pathway accordingly. For a journeyman plumbing license, the requirements and criteria are different from that of a master plumber license. So, let’s start with what is important for you to acquire a journeyman license for commercial or residential plumbing, following which the additional necessities for a master plumber’s license or plumbing contractor license will be stated: Acquiring Certification for Journeyman Plumbing License: Step 1: Get the prerequisite educational qualifications The plumber apprentice program and practical training come secondary. The first crucial necessity is getting the right education to build a strong foundation in pursuing a residential or commercial plumbing license. The high school diploma course followed by the coursework at community college can help you get into a competitive plumber’s apprentice program or some technical college to become a certified plumber. Step 2: Find an apprenticeship program You are not qualified to sit for a state license exam without participating in some plumbing apprenticeship program. You must take the plumbing apprentice program for around 4 to 5 years. The time period for acquiring an apprentice license might vary depending on your state. The good thing about being an apprentice plumber is that you will be earning money in the program. But at the same time, you must attend trade school to prepare for the state license examination. The trade school will most likely help you search for an apprenticeship program. But not all schools do that, as some want you to take the hassle of finding a plumbing apprentice program. Irrespective of who helped you get going with an apprenticeship program, you will be entitled to work under a master licensed plumber. Being an apprentice plumber is to learn the job responsibilities and skills needed to carry out the various services. The skills essential for a journeyman plumber are: Knowledge of working with water systemsProblem-solving natureEffective communicationBasic mathematicsPhysical fitness Customer servicePrecision working ethicsManual dexterity The licensed master plumbers will help you with guided teaching and several opportunities under their projects to advance your skills over the competition. Do some research to learn about the licensed master plumber under whom you are doing an apprenticeship program. Some US states might demand you to be a registered plumbing apprentice to sit for the state license exam. You can consult the licensing agency of your state to get a confirmation on this requirement. Step 3: Qualify for the state plumber license exam Every US state has different requirements for an aspiring journeyman plumber and even an aspiring master plumber. You need to check with the licensing agency of your state about the requirements. For instance, some states ask you to produce character testimonies, insurance proof, apprenticeship proof, and school transcripts. A fee is specified for the aspiring plumbers to sit for the plumbing license examination. This fee is charged by the agency to compensate for processing and administering the test. Step 4: Take the state journeyman license exam Apply for the state journeyman plumber license exam and wait for the board to verify that you meet all their requirements. Once your candidature is verified, you will be called, and a time will be scheduled for you to take the examination. A plumber license exam is mostly scheduled on a monthly or bi-monthly basis across various locations around your state. You will be given the option to choose the date and location, so pick the option that seems convenient for you. You need to study hard and keep practicing the theoretical concepts. Along with that, you must also revise the practical skills you learned while acquiring your plumber apprentice license. If you have understood the plumbing concepts, the test will seem quite easy. Complete the exam within a limited time period and make sure to give maximum correct answers. You need to pass this examination to get the journeyman plumber license. Step 5: Obtaining the certification or plumbing license If you pass the examination, you will be notified through a call or an email. After that, you will be issued a unique plumbing license ID. You are now a certified plumber and ready to take up high-paying jobs within the plumbing industry and explore your opportunities. What are additional requirements essential for being a licensed master plumber? The biggest difference between individuals with a journeyman plumbing license and a master license is that the journeyman plumbers will be working in the field, whereas the master plumbers can run a plumbing contractor business and supervise the journeymen. For being a master plumber, there are a few additional factors and considerations that you should emphasize. Here is a brief elaboration on them all: 1. Education: The process of becoming a master plumber will need an additional 2 to 5 years of advanced learning of the plumbing trade. Just like the usual plumbing license, the master license aspirants also complete the schooling, take an apprenticeship program and gain practical experience. A master plumber can take any plumbing work while being recruited under a company or independently to keep gaining experience. Apart from that, they keep on learning more skills necessary for a master plumber to possess, such as installing complete plumbing systems, preparing plumbing blueprints, and renovating bathrooms. The master plumber or plumbing contractor must continue his/her education through courses even after acquiring the contractor license. 2. Experience level: The master plumbing license aspirants are requested to have the internship certification and at least four years of field experience to sit for the respective examination. The master plumber trade is the top tier of all the plumbing stages. Therefore, a candidate needs to fulfill a lot of criteria before becoming a master certified plumber. 3. Examination demands: A master plumber license aspirant will appear in an exam where the test on building codes and business law will be conducted. It will determine the ability of an individual to draft plumbing contractors and handle complex plumbing installations. Apart from that, the master plumber examination will also test the skills of an individual to perform plumbing work on gas lines and other complex projects. 4. Skills needed: Along with all the skills that a journeyman plumber needs, the master plumber will also need business management, leadership, and communication skills to start and run their own company. They must also have skills such as drawing blueprints of plumbing systems and overcoming installation problems that a journeyman plumber cannot. How Much Does it Cost for Plumber Certification? A journeyman plumber earns a salary from $29,680 to $89,720 in a year, which varies with respect to experience and skills. The median or average salary for an individual with a journeyman plumbing license is $50,620 per year in the United States. An individual with a master plumbing trade license is a licensed contractor now. They own their businesses and are earning higher profits every year. But master plumbers working by a company as a supervisor or team leads earn an average of $60,339 per year in the United States. Master-licensed plumbers earn the most in San Francisco, with around $90,507 per year. The highest pay for a master plumber can go up to $309,485 per year. A Plumbing Business Software That Helps You Save up to 95% of your time Automate 90% of your daily operations Generate and track reports in a few clicks Start Your Free Trial No credit card details required FAQs Is becoming a plumber worth it? You don’t get the opportunity to earn while you learn in all of the career paths. But when you are a plumber trainee under an apprenticeship program, you will be paid for the job you do under a master plumber. After graduation, you have high-earning opportunities to ensure financial stability and job security, as plumbing demands will never fade away. Where do the plumbers make the most money? The plumbers make the most money in San Francisco with an average of $106,100 per year, followed by Fairbanks, Kankakee, Chicago, and Pittsfield, with earnings that range from $90,980 to $94,280 per year. How long does it take to obtain a plumbing license? You will need to complete two years in a plumbing trade school to obtain the educational certifications. After that, you need to be a plumber trainee in an apprenticeship, which will take around 2 to 5 years to complete. You can obtain an apprenticeship alongside studying at trade school to save a few years of your career. You can then appear on the state license exam and get your unique license ID. Now, work as a journeyman plumber to gain work experience of 4 years or more before you sit for the master plumber licensing examination. FieldCamp is Being Leveraged By The Plumbing Contractors The master license holders are keen to start their own plumbing business, but most are unaware of what it takes to manage their business operations in 2022. Even though you have all the business management skills, you still need to digitize your operations in 2022 to ensure that you don’t waste your precious time on manual tasks. With FieldCamp, you can schedule your plumbing job requests seamlessly and assign your team members according to their availability. FieldCamp can help you track your employees in real-time during working hours. You can respond to customer queries and inquiries directly through the portal. FieldCamp allows you to create an invoice and send it directly to the customer for reviewing and processing the payment. FieldCamp enables you to process your payments and keeps track of dues and cleared bills. To learn about FieldCamp in more detail, you should take a 7-day FREE trial of it right away. For any more queries related to its features, you can always talk to our team of expert consultants. Author Bio Gaurang Bhatt Gaurang Bhatt is a techie in himself with an ability to solve problems technically and present solutions in the form of a product. He is one of the pioneers to curate FieldCamp with his 15+ years of knowledge and expertise in providing solutions to home service industries. Gaurang aims to overcome challenges faced by service business owners through software solutions and blogs. Sign up for weekly updates from Fieldcamp.