How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Rhode Island

Table of Contents

Rhode Island requires plumbing licenses for all industry professionals, from apprentices, master plumbers and even underground utility contractors. Learn more about how to become a licensed plumber and how to start working plumbing jobs in Rhode Island.

Types of Plumbing Licenses in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has four types of plumbing licenses:

  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman
  • Master
  • Underground Utility Contractor

Getting the an apprentice plumbing license requires only a high-school diploma and a valid driver’s license. This license can be applied for directly through companies or sponsors offering apprenticeship programs.

Plumbers in Rhode Island must spend a minimum of five years as apprentices getting on-the-job training and prove they have completed 576 hours of classroom instruction at an institution approved by the Department of Labor and Training.

To become a journeyman plumber, an apprentice must complete their training and have an Apprenticeship Completion Form filled out by their employers and submitted to the DLT.

Once that happens, they must take and pass the journeyman plumber examination to obtain a journeyman license.

Master plumbers in Rhode Island hold the most advanced licenses and perform the majority of plumbing installation and repairs.

They must take the master plumber exam and can only do so after five years of proven work experience, including one year as a licensed journeyman plumber.

The fourth type of plumbing license in Rhode Island is a specialized underground utility contractor license. This license allows plumbers to work on septic jobs that involve underground irrigation.

Getting this license does not require previous experience, but candidates must pass an open-book exam.

Cost to Get a Plumbing License in Rhode Island

There is no cost to obtain an apprentice license in Rhode Island.

However, getting a journeyman plumbing license requires paying a $75 application filing fee plus a $72 license fee. There is also a $72 license renewal fee that must be paid every two years, if applicable.

Getting a master plumbing license is more expensive. The application filing fee is still $75. However, the licensing fee is more expensive at $240, plus $240 for renewals every two years.

Getting an underground utility license requires paying three different fees. The first is a $50 processing fee for the pre-license application. The second is a $180 application fee for taking the exam. The third is a $200 licensing fee.

Licensing Exams

Journeyman, master, and underground utility plumbing licenses all have exam requirements.

The journeyman plumbing examination consists of 50 multiple-choice questions covering the BOCA International Plumbing Code and State Building Code SBC-3.

Subjects found on the exam include:

  • Terminology
  • Calculations
  • Materials
  • Joints and connections
  • Fixtures
  • Traps and cleanouts
  • Hangers and supports
  • Indirect waste piping
  • Sanitary drainage
  • Water distribution
  • Venting
  • Cross connections

The master plumbing license covers the same subject areas.

The underground utility contractor exam is open book and covers the installation, repair, and replacement of underground utilities such as water mains, sewer lines, and storm drains.

Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in Rhode Island?

Plumbing licenses in Rhode Island are issued by the Plumbers and Irrigators branch of the state’s Department of Labor and Training.

Additional Plumbing Certifications

The state of Rhode Island doesn’t issue any additional certifications.

However, plumbers can pursue professional certifications through national organizations like the NITC and the ASSE to prove their competence.

Can I Transfer a Plumbing License to Rhode Island?

Rhode Island offers plumbing license reciprocity to out of state plumbers. While there is no stated policy, the state makes can allow license transfers or waivers for exams, fees, and experience requirements.