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Illinois Plumbing License

Illinois Plumbing License Requirements – Overview

Illinois plumbing license requirements are set by the state.  In addition, Chicago, also has a license requirement.

In Illinois, the plumber must be licensed even if working for a licensed plumbing contractor.

For an overview of how U.S. Plumbing License Requirements work, refer back to the Plumbing License Requirements homepage.

The Rule:

Under the Illinois Plumbing License Law, the Department (Illinois Department of Public Health) licenses plumbers, plumber’s apprentices, irrigation contractors, and retired plumbers. The Department also is responsible for the registration of plumbing contractors and the creation of a minimum plumbing code of standards.

There are two licensing jurisdictions in Illinois:

1. The State of Illinois issues two levels of plumbing licenses:

  • Apprentice license
  • Plumbers license

There is NO such thing as a Journeyman or Master plumber license issued by the state.

2. The City of Chicago:

  • Apprentice license
  • Journeyman Plumber license

Anyone working as a plumber in the City of Chicago must have an Apprentice or Journeyman Plumber license issued by the City.  There are reciprocity agreements between the state and the City of Chicago on plumbing licenses upon proper notification, completion of paperwork and the payment of fees.


Illinois Plumbing Apprentice Programs

Apprentice programs are offered by both the unions in Illinois as well as other entities such as the Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.  The programs provide a mixture of on the job training in the field, as well as classes that are offered during nights and weekends in formal classroom settings.  All apprentice programs require a significant amount of independent study outside of the classroom.  In general, applicants must be at least 16 years old, have completed high school or have a G.E.D., be physically capable of working on a construction site and be able to legally work in the United States. In addition,

  • The length of the program will be 4-5 years, depending upon if the program is non union or union.
  • Possess a driver’s license.
  • Although the law allows Apprentices to be 16 years old, many of the programs have a minimum age of 18.
  • Complete a Minimum of 144 classroom hours of training per year.
  • Complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training per year.
  • Complete first aid and CPR courses.
  • OSHA 10 hour certification required.

Additional information on Apprentice programs can be found at:

Il Dept. of Employment – Non-Union Apprenticeships

Plumbers Local Union 93 Apprenticeships


Illinois Plumbing License Requirements

The state and the City of Chicago issue licenses to individual plumbers.  The requirements are as follows:

  • Apprentice Plumber:

1.  Be at least 16 years old.

2.  Provide proof of sponsorship in an Apprentice program.

3.  Complete the program in a maximum of 6 years.


  • Plumber (Statewide) or Journeyman (Chicago only):

1.  Be at least 18 years old.

2.  Pay the required fees for the license, which vary from $100-$135.

3.  Have taken and passed a state licensing examination for Plumber or Journeyman Plumber (Chicago only), demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the plumbing trade.

4.  Demonstrate at least 4 years of experience in an apprentice program.

5.  Apply for the license at least 30 days prior to the exam being taken.

6.  There is no Journeyman or Master Plumber license at the state level.  The only license is a “Plumbing License”.

7.  There is no Master Plumber license in Chicago.

8.  Requirements above are for both the applicable state and Chicago licenses.


Illinois Plumbing License – Contact Information:

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466


City of Chicago
Apprentice Plumbing or Journeyman Plumbing License
P.O. Box 388249
Chicago, IL 60638-8249


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Good luck in getting your Illinois plumbing license!