Plumbing Contractor License Requirements By State

November 10, 2021
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How To Get A Plumbing License


Before you can get your plumbing contractor license, there are several steps you’ll need to follow. When you decide you want to pursue plumbing as a career, your initial goal will be either applying for a plumbing program at your local college or securing an apprenticeship with a licensed master plumber. 


You will typically work as an apprentice plumber for 2 to 4 years, or graduate from a 4-year program before you can take your next step: applying for a journeyman plumbing license. While there are a few states that do not require state contractor plumbing licenses, the majority of U.S. states and major U.S. cities want every professional plumbing contractor held to a standard quality of work and education. To this end, those states require potential journeyman plumbers to take an exam before becoming officially licensed. If your state does not require an official plumber’s license, check into local certifications before starting your plumbing activities.


On the application form, you will be asked to provide proof of your education or work history. Other states may require insurance bonds or fingerprinting before accepting the application. All exams and licensing come with fees. Consider it an investment into your future as a professional and licensed plumber. 


As a licensed journeyman plumber, you may have the opportunity to further your career by applying to become a master plumber. This will come after several more years of experience as a journeyman plumber, often with continuing education courses or even other contractor licenses such as business, residential, commercial, or even electrical. Plumbing contractor requirements vary from state to state, but below, we’ve gathered the requirements for each state to ease your acquisition or transition into a professional plumbing career.



How Much Does A Plumbing Contractor License Cost?


Multiple aspects contribute to the cost of becoming a licensed plumbing contractor. The first of which would be the necessary schooling, though some can be mitigated by an apprenticeship. After that, there is the cost of the exam, some practical, some online or proctored. Then, you will need to pay the actual licensing cost. For most states, the necessary exam and the plumbing licensing fees vary according to what type of work each state license covers as well as how many years the license is valid and whether you own a business. You can generally expect to put down around $300 on average as the total for both - but up to as much as $600 in some states. 


Plumbing License Renewal


Of course, an active plumbing contractor license is only valid for so long. Some states require licensed plumbers to renew annually while other states require only every two or even three years. These renewal costs are only the cost of the licensing fee; generally less than $250 per year for a contractor plumbing license. Some states may also require the completion of continuing education courses before your contractor license can be renewed. That information can be found on your state’s website.


License Changes For Plumbing Contractors

Many states now make use of an online portal for the licensing process. You can log in with either a license number or your personal information on your state’s website and access this portal to renew your license or make changes to your license. These include changes to your business or things like address changes or name changes such as after marriage. If your state has an online portal, we have included the link to it below. Otherwise, we have linked the necessary forms with their costs. Other states may simply require plumbing contractors to contact their main state license board by email to request a change to their license. For most states, any fee required was minimal ($25 or less). 


If you need to transfer your license across state lines as you move or grow your plumbing company, you’ll want to check which states have reciprocity agreements. Check our guide to plumbing license reciprocity for more details.


Plumbing License Replacements


Similarly, you may find yourself in need of a replacement plumbing license. Many states offer this service through their online portals as well, but some may require the plumbing contractor to contact the state license board directly. This service is likely to include a processing fee generally from $15-$50 though some states offer duplicate or replacement licenses at no cost. Check with your state’s website in our list of plumbing contractor’s license requirements by state below to determine the requirements.



Plumbing License Requirements By State


There is a lot of information out there for plumbing contractors and it can be difficult to find both accurate and up-to-date requirements and resources for your specific state’s plumbing contractor license requirements. This is especially true for those of you looking to continue your plumbing business in a new state, but don’t worry! We’ve gathered all the basic information for you, and laid it out below in a state-by-state comparison. Below, you will find your state’s licensing board and the cost of contractor licenses and exams. And with that, best of luck with your plumbing career!



Alabama

State Certification Authority: Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board

License Cost: $150

Requirements:  $160 state exam fee, one-year certification as a journeyman

Application: You can find the plumbing contractor application here

Renewal: Renew through the online portal annually

Renewal Cost: $150 annually

Changes: Contact the board

Replacement: Can be replaced with a written statement and $25 


Alaska

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

License Cost: $200

Requirements: Alaska requires a $50 exam fee for a plumber contractor license, plus verifications of hours necessary for each license type.

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $200

Changes: Submit this form and necessary fees

Replacement: See above form


Arizona

State Certification Authority: Arizona Registrar of Contractors

License Cost: $380-$480

Requirements: Arizona requires the following from plumbers: exam ($106-$116), background check, bond, fees, ID, and signatures.

Application: Here with $100,

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $480, Log-in here

Changes: Submit this form for address or this form for a name change

Replacement: Log-in here


Arkansas

State Certification Authority: Arkansas Dept. of Health, Plumbing and Natural Gas Division

License Cost: $100 filing

Requirements:  Exam ($75-$125), 4-5 years of plumbing experience, hold a journeyman level license for one year, licensing fee.

Application: Form here

Renewal: Annually

Renewal Cost: $75-$200

Changes: Change address here

Replacement: Contact Dept. of Health, Plumbing and Natural Gas Section


California

State Certification Authority: Contractors State License Board

License Cost: For a California plumbing license, you’ll need to pay an initial license fee of $200 with an added fee of $75-$150 additional classifications.

Requirements: California contractors have some of the most intense license requirements in the construction industry: C-36 license (you can learn more about c-36 requirements here), four years plumbing work experience, $15,00 bond, fingerprinting and background check, business, and law exam, and a plumbing trade exam $330

Application: Form here

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $410

Changes: Submit this form 

Replacement: $12


Colorado

State Certification Authority: Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Agencies, State Plumbing Board

License Cost: $100-$140

Requirements: Apprentice for two-five years, application fee ($120-$140), state exam, and fee ($75) to become a licensed contractor

Application: Apply online here

Renewal: Odd-numbered years, Feb 28th, log-in here

Renewal Cost: $100-$140

Changes: Submit this form for a name change. For other changes, log in here

Replacement: N/A


Connecticut

State Certification Authority: Connecticut State Dept. of Consumer Protection

License Cost: $90-$150

Requirements: To become a licensed plumbing contractor in Connecticut, you’ll need to complete an Apprenticeship and exam, which costs $65.

Application: Submit the Occupational Trade License Application

Renewal: Annually, Oct 31st, log in here

Renewal Cost: $120-$150

Changes: Follow instructions here

Replacement: Contact the Occupational and Professional Licensing board here


Delaware

State Certification Authority: Delaware Division of Professional Regulation

License Cost: $153

Requirements:  Certificate of Completion, 2-5 years of plumbing experience, exam, and fee ($153)

Application: Apply online here

Renewal: Oct 31st of even years, Log-in here

Renewal Cost: $153

Changes: Log-in here

Replacement: Log-in here


Florida

State Certification Authority: Florida Dept. of Business and Professional Regulation

License Cost: $135

Requirements:  Exam ($80), four years plumbing work experience, fingerprinting, insurance, certification fees ($149-$249)

Application: Print form here

Renewal: Every two years, August 31st

Renewal Cost: $209

Changes: Log in here for changes

Replacement: See above


Georgia

State Certification Authority: Georgia Board of Construction Industry

License Cost: $30.00, $267 exam fee

Requirements: 5 years plumbing work experience with at least 2 years as a licensed journeyman plumber for both class I and II plus commercial/industrial plumbing experience for class II. Pass the exam with a score of at least 70%. References from 3 licensed plumbing contractors.

Application: Apply here

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $75

Changes: Can be submitted here at no cost

Replacement: Can be submitted here at no cost


Hawaii

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Professional and Vocational Licensing Division

License Cost: $102-306 depending on the year

Requirements: To obtain a plumbing contractor’s license, you’ll need 2-5 years of experience with verification forms, plus an application fee ($40).

Application: Printable application here

Renewal: Every three years, June 30th

Renewal Cost:  $306

Changes: Follow instructions here for name or address change

Replacement: Log-in here


Idaho

State Certification Authority: Idaho Division of Building Safety

License Cost: $22.50- $108

Requirements:  Meet Idaho statutes, application and fee ($22.50 - $50), two and a half to four years of plumbing experience, state exam ($75), and $2000 compliance bond

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Annually

Renewal Cost: $21.60 for a journeyman plumber, $108 for plumbing contractor license renewal

Changes: Contact the nearest office for details

Replacement: See above


Illinois

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Public Health

License Cost: $175-225

Requirements:  4 years experience in the plumbing trade, state exam, and $175-$225 to become a licensed contractor

Application: Submit this form and necessary fees

Renewal: Annually April 30th

Renewal Cost:$100, Log-in here 

Changes: Name, address. 

Replacement: Submit this form and $50. 


Indiana

State Certification Authority: Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Plumbing Commission

License Cost: $30-$100

Requirements: For a plumber license in Indiana, you’ll need to fill out the application and submit the $50 fee. Other requirements include four years experience in the plumbing trade, notarized Affidavit of Experience in Plumbing Trade, and trade exam ($30-$50).

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Every two years submit this form

Renewal Cost: $30-$100

Changes: Log-in here

Replacement: See above


Iowa

State Certification Authority: Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board

License Cost: $50-$240

Requirements:  For a plumbing contractor license in Iowa, you’ll need to complete the exam ($35) and application, which has a fee ($25). 

Application: Follow these instructions

Renewal: Every three years

Renewal Cost: $50-$240

Changes: Log in here or use this form

Replacement: $20


Kansas

No state-level licensure requirements, check requirements on the local level.


Kentucky

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Housing, Buildings, and Construction

License Cost: $60-$250

Requirements:  Submit application and fees, exam, four years plumbing experience

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Submit this form annually

Renewal Cost: $60-$250

Changes: Log-in here 

Replacement: See above


Louisiana

State Certification Authority: State Plumbing Board of Louisiana

License Cost: $75 after exam cost

Requirements:  Five years of experience or 8000 hours to become a licensed plumbing contractor, plus an exam ($135), application, and fees.

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Annually

Renewal Cost: $100

Changes: Contact the board here 

Replacement: Submit this form and $20 fee


Maine

State Certification Authority: Plumbers’ Examining Board

License Cost: $200 

Requirements:  Fees ($25), exam, criminal background check ($21), four years experience to become a certified plumbing contractor

Application: Submit this form or login here

Renewal: Every two years, submit this form

Renewal Cost: $200

Changes: Log-in here

Replacement: See above


Maryland

State Certification Authority: Maryland Dept. of Labor

License Cost: $35-$70

Requirements:  Four years of experience as a plumber, exam, fees

Application: Log in here

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $35-$70

Changes: Log-in here or email, no fee

Replacement: See above, possible fee


Massachusetts

State Certification Authority: Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters

License Cost: $40

Requirements: After the application has been processed, plumbing contractors need to apply online for the journeyman exam or master plumber exam. Both exams cost $100.

Application: You can use the online booking portal here or mail this application

Renewal: Renewals must be completed online here. Licenses must be renewed biennially, or every even year on May 1st.

Renewal Cost: $52.00 for journeymen, $78 for a master plumber.

Changes: You can make changes online here. Name changes are $27; address changes are $17.

Replacement: Duplicate licenses cost $17 per license. 


Michigan

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

License Cost: $300 for master plumber license

Requirements:  Three years experience, trade exam, and fees

Application: Submit this form 

Renewal: Annually for journeyman license, every three years for master, log-in here

Renewal Cost :$40 for journeyman license, $300 for master

Changes: Log in here and follow these instructions

Replacement: Log-in here


Minnesota

State Certification Authority: Dept of Labor and Industry

License Cost: $55

Requirements: To become a certified plumber, Minnesota requires the following: $50 application fee, 7000 hours plumbing experience, exam, apprenticeship program

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Every two years, follow instructions here

Renewal Cost: $43-$73

Changes: Submit this form

Replacement: Follow instructions here


Mississippi

State Certification Authority: Mississippi State Board of Contractors

License Cost: $50 for residential plumbing contractors, $400 for a commercial plumbing license.

Requirements:  Exam, fees, certificate of liability insurance coverage in case of property damage

Application: Submit this form and required documents

Renewal: Annually, submit this form

Renewal Cost: $100 for residential, $400 for commercial

Changes: Submit this form

Replacement: $50 


Missouri

No state plumbing contractor licensing requirements for plumbers to perform work, check requirements locally.


Montana

State Certification Authority: Montana Board of Plumbers

License Cost: $170-$280

Requirements:  Experience Verification affidavit, verification of licensure, $100 application fee and $170 license fee, practical and written exams, five years experience.

Application:  Submit this form for journeyman and this form for master plumber licensing

Renewal: Annually

Renewal Cost: $160-$265

Changes: Log-in here

Replacement: See above


Nebraska

No state-level contractor license, check local requirements.


Nevada

State Certification Authority: Nevada Board of Plumbing Examiners Journeyman and Master Plumber

License Cost: $300

Requirements:  Exam ( $125 -$205), four years of experience, affidavit of experience, fees

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Submit this form, every two years 

Renewal Cost: $600

Changes: Submit online here

Replacement: Submit this form and fees


New Hampshire

State Certification Authority: New Hampshire Division of Fire Safety

License Cost: $190-310

Requirements:  Four years experience in the plumbing trade, exam and $100 fee, apprenticeship position

Application: Submit the form here

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $180-$300

Changes: Log-in here

Replacement: N/A


New Jersey

State Certification Authority: State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers

License Cost: $100

Requirements:  Work experience certification, trade exam, $100 application fee, four years experience or bachelors degree

Application: Available online, log in here

Renewal: Every two years, log in here

Renewal Cost: $160

Changes: Log-in here

Replacement: See above


New Mexico

State Certification Authority: New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department

License Cost: $30

Requirements:  Two-four years of experience, exam ($68.88) and fees, bond for $500-$5000 

Application: Submit this form and fees

Renewal: Annually

Renewal Cost:  $50

Changes: N/A 

Replacement: N/A


New York

State Certification Authority: No state license requirements, info below for New York City licensing 

License Cost: $200

Requirements:  Written ($525) and practical ($350) exam, background check, seven years experience, or bachelor’s degree in related technology

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Every three years

Renewal Cost: $325

Changes: Log-in here

Replacement: Submit this form and $50 fee


North Carolina

State Certification Authority: State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors

License Cost: $125, plus a $25 application fee

Requirements: An exam is required, which costs $100 ($25 application fee and $75 for the exam).

Application: You can submit your application here.

Renewal: Contractors’ licenses must be renewed annually. You can renew your license here.

Renewal Cost: $125

Changes: You can make changes here through the online booking portal.

Replacement: Not mentioned; contact the board.


North Dakota

State Certification Authority: North Dakota State Plumbing Board

License Cost: $100-$200

Requirements:  Four years experience and 7600 hours under the supervision of a licensed master plumber, exam ($25-$35), 

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Annually, Dec 31st

Renewal Cost: $75-$165

Changes: Contact here for requested changes

Replacement: see above


Ohio

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Commerce

License Cost: Exams and fees totaling $163

Requirements:  To become a licensed plumbing contractor in Ohio, you’ll need five years of plumbing experience, exam ($138), fees ($25), carry $500k liability coverage, background check

Application: Exam application here

Renewal: Annual, log-in here

Renewal Cost: $60

Changes: Submit this form and $25 fee

Replacement: Contact here for replacement request


Oklahoma

State Certification Authority: Oklahoma Construction Industries Board

License Cost: $75-$330

Requirements:  Three years plumbing experience, exam, signed affidavit

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Annually, Submit this form

Renewal Cost: $75-$200

Changes: Submit this form

Replacement: Submit this form


Oregon

State Certification Authority: Building Codes Division

License Cost: $100

Requirements: Four-year apprenticeship program or 8000 hours work experience and classroom training required to become a certified plumber

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Every three years, Log-in here 

Renewal Cost:  $450

Changes: Change address here

Replacement: Contact the Building Codes Division for replacement requests


Pennsylvania

No state licensing requirements but contractors can check local regulations here.


Rhode Island

State Certification Authority: Division of Professional Regulation

License Cost: $147- $315

Requirements:  Four years of on-the-job training in the plumbing trade, exam, application

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $75- $240

Changes: N/A

Replacement: N/A


South Carolina

State Certification Authority: Contractor’s Licensing Board

License Cost:  $350

Requirements:  Two years of experience from a plumbing contractor, trade exam and application fee, surety bond

Application: Submit this form

Renewal: Every two years

Renewal Cost: $350

Changes: Submit this form, no fee.

Replacement: Not listed online; contact the board directly.


South Dakota

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Labor and Regulation

License Cost: A plumbing contractor will need to pay an examination and license fee of $205-$375 depending on license categories. You can find more information on the website here.

Requirements: Contractor requirements differ across license categories. You can find more information about licensing requirements for plumbing, sewer and water, and other specialties here

Application: You can find the application here.

Renewal: You can renew your license online using the online portal here at the end of September of every year. It requires 4-hours of continued education.

Renewal Cost: Feeds range from $55-$275 for journeymen and restricted license plumbers.

Changes: Notify commission.

Replacement: Not listed online; contractors must contact the commission directly for more information.


Tennessee

State Certification Authority: Department of Commerce and Insurance

License Cost: Varies depending on requirements locally for LLC but a CMC or CMC-A license costs $250.

Requirements: To perform work for projects of $25,000 and up, you’ll need a contractor’s license. Otherwise, you’ll be able to do work as a limited licensed plumber (LLP). Some cities may not even require an LLP. For an LLP license, you’ll need to pay $75 and pass the exam, which costs $57. 

Application: You can complete the LLP license process here and contractor license here.

Renewal: Must be renewed every two years here.

Renewal Cost: $200 for contractor, $50 for LLP.

Changes: You can request changes using these forms or the online portal.

Replacement: Unknown, contact board directly.


Texas

State Certification Authority: Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

License Cost: Licenses cost $35-$175, depending on your license type. You can read more about contractor licensing types here.

Requirements: Licensing in Texas requires an exam. Master’s fee is $175, tradesmen limited is $36, and a journeyman is $40.

Application: You can find the appropriate application under its licensing type here.

Renewal: Licenses must be renewed every three years.

Renewal Cost: $35-$75

Changes: You can make changes through the online booking portal. Learn more here.

Replacement: No fee mentioned but you can make changes online following these instructions.


Utah

State Certification Authority: Dept of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing

License Cost: $116.00 processing fee.

Requirements: Before applying for licensure, you’ll need to complete the necessary plumbing exams. For example, Residential Master Plumbers are required to take two exams: the Utah RJP Theory Exam and Utah Residential Plumber Practical Exam. You can find information about both here. 

Application: You can find the plumbing application here or use the online portal here.

Renewal: You must renew your license every even year on November 30th. You’ll need to complete 12 years of continued education for each licensing period. You can renew through the licensing portal here.

Renewal Cost: $69

Changes: Name changes require a $10 reprint fee. Your address, meanwhile, can be updated through the online portal here.

Replacement: Unknown; likely requires a $10 reprint fee after contacting the board.


Vermont

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety

License Cost: $90-$120, plus $50 per specialty field. 

Requirements: For both journeyman and master plumbers, exam fees are the same: $65 for pen and paper, $100 for computer exams.

Application: You can submit an application using this form.

Renewal: You must renew your plumbing license every two years. You can use the web portal here.

Renewal Cost: $90-$120 with $50 per specialty field and $10 for license certificate.

Changes: You’ll need to notify the department directly to report a change of address using this form.

Replacement: You can get a replacement here, which costs $20.


Virginia

State Certification Authority: Dept of Professional and Occupational Regulation

License Cost: $75 application fee

Requirements:  There's a $100-125 exam fee.

Application: You can find the application here.

Renewal: Contractors must renew their license every two years here and will need to complete three hours of continuing education.

Renewal Cost: $90

Changes: Use the online service portal.

Replacement: Unknown, you’ll need to contact the licensing board for more information.


Washington

State Certification Authority: State Dept. of Labor and Industries

License Cost: $139.10

Requirements:  You’ll need a $6,000 bond, $250,000 general liability insurance.

Application: Contractors can find the plumbing application here.

Renewal: You can renew your license here. Licenses expire 24 months after the day they were issued.

Renewal Cost: $45 - $121 with 8hrs of continued education classes required for contractors.

Changes: You can change your address through the online portal or by contacting the licensing authority directly. For name changes, you’ll need to contact the board directly.

Replacement: Replacements cost $20.


West Virginia

State Certification Authority:  West Virginia Division of Labor

License Cost: $75 for both master and journeyman licenses.

Requirements: Any plumbing contractor who performs work on projects over $2,500 must take and pass a business and law exam in addition to the master plumber exam.

Application: You can apply here.

Renewal: See your certification card for your individual renewal date. You can renew through the online portal here.

Renewal Cost: $75.00

Changes: Not mentioned; contact the local licensing board.

Replacement: Unknown; contact the local licensing board.


Wisconsin

State Certification Authority: Dept. of Safety and Professional Services

License Cost: $180 

Requirements: Wisconsin requires contractors to take an exam with a $30 exam fee plus a $20 application fee.

Application: You can use this application to request a state contractor’s license.

Renewal: Renewal requires an additional 24 hours of continued education and you can either renew online or by mailing in an application. You can learn more about the process here.

Renewal Cost: You can find your renewal cost here. Renewal dates are based on the type of license you have.

Changes: Unknown; contact the board directly.

Replacement: Unknown; contact the board directly.


Wyoming

No state contractors licensing requirements, check local government requirements.


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