Plumber in a white bathroom

Steps to Getting Your Plumbing License

If your goal is to become a plumber, then you’ve come to the right place! When you become a plumber, the doors of opportunity swing open. The path of becoming a plumber varies in each state, there are a few common requirements that need to be done to reach your goal of a plumbing license. Let’s take a look below:

Get your High School degree or GED

A plumber needs a basic foundation in math, science, and computer skills. The plumbing field will require these foundations in order to understand the mechanisms behind the tools, problems, and solutions you will offer. A high school degree or general education development (GED) certificate is needed to continue on to trade school.

Required areas for completion are:

Metric units of measure

Vocational Training For A Plumbing License

Once you earn your high school or GED diploma, next comes the technical training that you’ll need along with accumulated hours of experience. Look for technical programs that offer plumbing courses in your local college. Or you can also look at trade schools that will entirely focus on providing the specific courses needed. Unlike traditional school education, trade school takes on average two years to complete. Another benefit about a trade school is that you will have access to industry-specific resources that will help connect you to apprenticeships.

Areas that are typically covered in trade school courses are:

Draining and venting
Pipe cutting and soldering
Water heating systems
Electrical basics
Local plumbing codes

Find an Apprenticeship

Finding an apprenticeship helps put your newly acquired skills to the test while under the guidance of a seasoned pro. The length of time for every apprenticeship varies, most taking anywhere between two to five years. As an apprentice, you will be able to apply and strengthen your skills through hands-on experiences without having to spend too much time in a classroom. Apprentices are paid for their work on job sites while under training and will not be accruing school debt. Who wouldn’t want to practice while getting paid! Apprentice programs are highly coveted by plumbing students in order to acquire all the requisite hours. Keep this in mind in order to jump-start your search at the beginning of your career.

Get Licensed

Most states require that you complete 8,000 hours before being able to take the Journeyman Exam. This can already give you a complete career in plumbing before deciding to move on to Master’s level. There are five types of plumbing licenses that you can reach throughout your career:

Drain Cleaner Restricted

With this license, you are registered as a Plumbing Apprentice, have completed 4,000 hours, and received a passing score on the Drain-Cleaner Verification or Training Affidavit. A first step is a good step, and while this licensing will have a supervising journeyman or master plumber, you will begin your plumbing journey on the right foot.

Tradesman Plumber

For this license, you must be registered as a Plumbing Apprentice or already hold a Journeyman or Master’s license from another state; complete at least 4,000 hours in the plumbing field; and complete a 24-hour training course approved by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.


To hold this license, more extensive training is required with 8,000 hours of completion. A three-part exam–one written portion and two hands-on portions–must be completed in order to receive your official license by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

At this stage, you will be able to install, change, repair, service, or renovate plumbing under the supervision of a Responsible Master Plumber.


Eligibility to receive a Master Plumber’s license may vary on several factors, such as having attained one in another state (see the TSBPE website for more details). If you have received all licenses through the state of Texas, you will need to hold a Journeyman’s license for at least four years before moving on to become a Master Plumber.

Responsible Master Plumber

The final step before running a plumbing business, you will need to pass this examination and complete a 24-hour training course. For eligibility details, visit the TSBPE website.

In Texas, you may start to work as a Drain Cleaner Restricted Plumber, Tradesman Plumber, Journeyman Plumber after completing a successful apprenticeship. Before fully practicing under any license, you must first complete each required set of hours and pass a designated exam. With every level in the plumbing industry, you will gain a new level of experience. If you would like to continue on to become a Responsible Master Plumber, who can stop you? Reach for it!

Get Working

So you’ve taken the Journeyman and Master Plumbing Exam passed, and are now a licensed plumber. Congratulations! Now it’s time to show off those hard-earned technical skills with work. Every job is unique and presents new situations with its own challenges, which will make the job fun. In the end, remember that your customer will be grateful for a job well done and a new client relationship can be formed with their trust placed in you. Besides the technical training, a final important part of leading a successful career in plumbing is creating fruitful relationships with your clients.

Whether you have questions about the industry or are in need of plumbing or HVAC maintenance, Quarter Moon Plumbing is here to help! Schedule your appointment today by calling Quarter Moon Plumbing & AC at (210) 651-5899.