Pennsylvania Plumbing License Requirements – Overview
Pennsylvania plumbing license requirements are set by the city or county, NOT the state.
In Pennsylvania, the plumber must be generally licensed even if working for a licensed Pennsylvania plumbing contractor.
For an overview of how U.S. Plumbing License Requirements work, refer back to the Plumbing License Requirements homepage.
Some of Pennsylvania’s 2,562 municipalities have established local licensure or certification requirements for contractors or construction trades people. Typically, these requirements pertain to home improvement contractors, electrical contractors (or electricians), and plumbing contractors (or plumbers). Since the Commonwealth has no jurisdiction in this matter, the Department maintains no records concerning municipalities that have established licensure or certification requirements. This information can only be obtained by contacting the municipality where construction work will occur.
In Plain English:
Local jurisdictions (counties, cities or towns) are responsible for setting their own Pennsylvania plumbing license requirements and issuing plumbing licenses.
- Journeyman and Master Plumbers generally need a license, which allows them to work in the trade for a plumbing contractor.
- Apprentices do not need a license in PA.
There are often reciprocity agreements in place between jurisdictions that will allow plumbers with Journeyman or Masters license issued in one city, county or township to work in another city, county or township upon proper notice and application.
Pennsylvania Plumbing Apprentice Programs
The programs offered by both the unions, as well as other entities, 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 some of the programs, the apprentice will receive academic credit for the training towards an Associate’s degree.
- The program will last 4-5 years, depending on the program.
- The apprentice will need to complete 2,000 of on the job paid training and 224 hours of classroom instruction, depending on the program.
- Upon completion of the program, the apprentice plumber will be eligible to receive a Journeyman Plumber’s license.
In general, applicants must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Possess either a high school diploma or G.E.D.
- Be physically capable of working on a construction site
- Be able to legally work in the United States.
Some programs also require:
- That the applicant be a citizen of the United States
- Have a valid Pennsylvania drivers license
- Be of “good moral character”
- Take an entrance exam to be admitted into the program.
Pennsylvania Plumbing License Requirements
The individual cities, counties and townships in Pennsylvania issue plumbing licenses to plumbers. The requirements vary, depending upon the city, county and township the license is issued in.
- There are no requirements for a license. However some jurisdictions require registration in a recognized apprentice program, in order to obtain a Journeyman license.
Journey (Journeyman) Plumber:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Pay the required fees for the license, which vary from $65-85.
- Have taken and passed a local licensing examination for a Journeyman Plumber, demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the plumbing trade.
- In general, demonstrate 4 years of full time experience in the trade in an apprentice program.
- In general, have completed 576 hours of related technical training in a classroom setting.
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Pay the required fees for the license, which varies per county from $65-$85.
- Have taken and passed a local licensing examination for a Master Plumber, demonstrating sufficient knowledge of the plumbing trade.
- In general, demonstrate at least 4 years of experience in the trade under the direction of a registered Master Plumber, with at least 1 year as a Journeyman Plumber. The candidate for licensing must provide evidence of relevant experience.
- In general, submit the application for a Master Plumbing license 45 days prior to the exam.
- Submit with the application a copy of the license of the registered Master Plumber that the applicant has worked for and have the registered plumber sign the application.. In the event that the registered master Plumber will not provide a copy of their Masters license or sign the applicant’s application, the applicant may submit copies of their W-2 forms.
Pennsylvania Plumbing License – Contact Information:
Allegheny County Health Department
Plumbing Division, Clack Health Center
3901 Penn Avenue, Building # 5
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224-1318
Bureau of Building Standards and Safety – Inspections
435 Hamilton Street – Room 428
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18101-1699
1401 John F Kennedy Blvd #11
- How to choose plumbing courses and a professional plumbing school
- Choosing between a union plumbing apprenticeship and a non-union apprenticeship
- How much is a typical plumber salary
- State specific plumbing license requirements
Good luck in getting your Pennsylvania plumbing license!