Getting an Alabama plumbing license is a requirement to work on plumbing jobs in the state of Alabama. If you’re wondering how to become a plumber in Alabama, read on to learn the steps you need to take to start your career.
Plumbers in Alabama must obtain licenses before performing any kind of work. Even apprentice plumbers must be licensed by the state.
Types of Plumbing Licenses in Alabama
There are three levels of plumbing licensure in Alabama:
- Apprentice plumbers licenses
- Journeyman plumbers licenses
- Master plumbers licenses
All it takes to be licensed as an apprentice is an application for state certification and the payment of the relevant fees.
Journeyman plumbers are required to have two years of experience as apprentices before they can take the test, get licensed, and start practicing their trades on their own.
Master plumbers must have an additional year of experience with journeyman licenses before they can apply to take the exam.
Cost to Get a Plumbing License
The cost to get a plumbing license in Alabama varies based on the level of professional license an applicant is pursuing. Apprentices only need to pay an initial $25 registration fee and, if applicable, $25 renewal fees.
Journeyman and master plumbing licenses both require paying non-refundable examination fees of $110 and $160, respectively, plus initial certification and, if applicable, renewal fees.
The initial certification fee for a journeyman plumber is only $50, as is the renewal fee. The master plumber’s license initial certification and renewal fees are $150.
Applicants should also keep in mind that because the examination fees for both of these levels of plumbing licenses are non-refundable, they will have to pay extra for taking the exam repeatedly.
Journeyman license exams can be taken only after an applicant has completed an approved training program, obtained a relevant degree, or worked for a minimum of two years as a registered apprentice under a licensed plumber. The applicant must submit proof of completion of the required prerequisites along with an application and the exam fee. Once they are approved, the applicant will receive an Exam Eligibility Notification and will have 30 days from the date of the approval to take the exam.
The process for applying to take the master plumber license exam is the same. Both of the exams are administered by PSI Testing Services, and in both cases, the plumber has 90 days from the successful completion of the exam to apply for certification.
The difference is that the journeyman exam consists of just 70 questions and must be completed within three hours, while the master plumber exam has 100 questions to be completed within four hours. The master plumber exam also includes a section on laws and rules not present in the journeyman exam. Both exams include questions on:
- Plumbing fixtures
- Industry terminology
- Traps, cleanouts, and interceptors
- Water distribution
- Planning and analysis
- Drainage requirements
- Vent requirements
Both exams are also open book, which means that test-takers can bring copies of the International Plumbing Code, Mathematics for Plumbers and Pipefitters, the Rules of the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, and Chapter 37 of the Alabama Code: Plumbers and Gas Fitters.
Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in Alabama?
Plumbing licenses are issued by the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board.
Alabama issues plumbing certifications for each level of experience and training. Plumbers can also obtain certifications from national organizations like the NITC or the ASSE.