How to Become a Licensed Plumber in South Dakota

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Almost all states require extensive training and licensing before a person can repair, maintain, and install plumbing systems, and South Dakota is no exception. While it can take years to earn a South Dakota plumbing license, it gives a person in-demand skills that will last a lifetime.

Licensing Requirements for Plumbers in South Dakota

South Dakota requires that all plumbing professionals have licenses.

The state issues licenses for apprentices, journeymen, and contractors, with additional requirements in effect for water and sewer contractors, water softener installers, appliance installers, irrigation specialists, and mobile home plumbers.

Plumbing License Types in South Dakota

South Dakota issues several types of plumber’s licenses: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Contractor Licenses. Here are the details of each of these plumbing licenses in South Dakota.

Apprentice License

As with many states, an apprenticeship is the first step to a plumbing career in South Dakota. A candidate needs a GED or high school diploma and a valid driver’s license to earn an apprenticeship, which allows them to work under the supervision of a journeyman or contractor.

To start, the candidate must fill out an application with the name of their supervisor and pay a $10 fee.

When an apprentice has two years or 3800 hours of experience, they may work unsupervised during the third and fourth years if they’ve passed a state exam.

Apprentice licenses include a $10 yearly renewal fee and a four-hour continuing education requirement.

Journeyman License

After completing an apprenticeship, a candidate can earn their journeyman license.

New journeymen must have four years of apprentice experience, file an application, and pay a $205 license and exam fee.

Furthermore, applicants must offer written statements from past and present employers with dates and hours worked, as well as the scope of work performed.

Contractor License

Master plumbers, who are also known as contractors, perform advanced work such as water system installation while overseeing journeymen and apprentices.

Contractors must have a deep knowledge of local plumbing and building codes, energy efficiency, and regulations.

To apply, a candidate must have at least six years and 1900 hours of experience as an apprentice or journeyman.

A South Dakota plumbing contractor’s license has an application requirement and a $375 fee.

How Much Do Plumbing Licenses Cost in South Dakota?

The cost of a plumbing license varies depending on its type. For instance, an apprentice license has a low $10 fee, while a journeyman pays $205 and a contractor pays $375.

Licensing Exams

Apprentice, journeyman, and contractor licensing exams are held by appointment in Pierre, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls, SD.

Testing isn’t done on predetermined dates. Instead, examinations are held when there are enough applications to warrant a trip to testing sites.

Who Issues South Dakota Plumbing Licenses?

In South Dakota, plumbing licenses are issued by the Department of Labor and Regulations Plumbing Commission.

License applicants can fill out applications, make payments, register for an exam, order manuals, and buy certificates through the Department’s online payment and licensing system.


Other certifications, while not required by the state, may help a new plumber demonstrate their proficiency.

Certifications from NITC and ASSE, along with others, can make an apprentice, journeyman, or contractor more marketable and a better hire.

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