Copyright

Plumbing Certification Requirements

A state license is a required credential for plumbing professionals. Get some quick facts about the training and experience necessary to qualify for a plumbing license.

View 2 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Plumbers are technically skilled individuals with expert knowledge of pipe systems, sewage removal and septic tanks. Though requirements vary between states, plumbers are generally expected to possess substantial field experience and pass state-approved exams to obtain certification or licensure. Most train through apprenticeship programs that offer classroom instruction and on-the-job learning, although a few attend community colleges or vocational schools. Applicants to these programs need a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Required Training2- to 5-year apprenticeship programs are most common
Licensing Requirements Pass examination on skills and local plumbing codes; experience requirements vary by jurisdiction
Job Outlook for Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters21% (2012-22)*
Median Salary for Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters $50,180 (2013)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Information for Plumbers

Before earning plumbing certification, candidates must complete between two and five years of experience earned through apprenticeships or training courses. Training through community colleges, technical schools and vocational programs offers the most comprehensive education. Accreditation and educational standards of apprenticeship programs are maintained by industry-related unions, such as United Association of Journeymen and the Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. Non-union training courses are also provided by some companies that rely heavily on a steady supply of competent plumbers, such as heating and cooling contractors and fire sprinkler installers.

In addition to on-the-job training, apprenticeship programs require a minimum classroom commitment of 144 hours every year. Students must demonstrate extensive knowledge of drafting, local safety regulations and mathematics. Aspiring plumbers must also be able to handle materials and tools safely, identify different kinds of pipes and install various plumbing fixtures. Applicants to an apprenticeship program or training course have to possess a high school diploma and might need to pass a drug test.

Licensing Requirements

There are no national licensing requirements for plumbers. Professional practice in any state requires an official licensure issued by the appropriate agency, usually the local Department of Labor and Industry. While states can grant reciprocal recognition of plumbing licenses, most localities force plumbers to qualify for licensing usually through examination. States generally have plumbers renew their licenses every two years.

Additional specialty certification might be necessary for specific types of plumbing work. Many states have laws mandating official certification for water conservation and work on gas lines. Earning a specialty certification requires experience and examinations. These certifications are administered by state agencies or non-profit organizations and must be renewed periodically through continuing education courses or testing.

Show me popular schools

Related to Plumbing Training

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
List of Free Plumbing Courses and Classes

See our list of free plumbing courses and classes. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find...

Top Schools for Plumbing

Learn about the top schools for plumbing, through which students learn how to install and repair pipes for commercial and...

Online Plumbing Certification Information

Plumbers install and fix pipes that carry water, gas and sewage. These workers are typically required to obtain licensure, not...

Schools for Aspiring Plumbing Inspectors

Plumbing inspectors assess the installation and operation of drinking water and chemical processing and waste disposal systems....

Schools with Plumbing Technology Programs: How to Choose

Popular Schools

  • School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Ohio (1 campus)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor in Construction Management
    • Associate
        • Associate in Construction Technology

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New England Institute of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Plumbing Technology
      • Electrical Repair and Maintenance
      • Vehicle Repair and Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • Missouri (2 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Vatterott College include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Construction Management and Trades
        • Electrician
        • Plumbing Technology
      • Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Refrigeration Maintenance
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics