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Welcome to ePlumbingCourses! We have everything you need to begin your career as a plumber. How to choose plumbing schools, plumber training and license requirements by state, the different kinds of plumber jobs, plumbing career path and professional levels, the importance of a plumbing apprenticeship, plumber salaries, interview tips, real job listings, and much more.

Texas Plumbing License

Texas Plumbing License Requirements – Overview

Texas plumbing license requirements are set by the state.  All license and registrations are handled by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

In Texas, there are four professional levels for a plumber:

1) Plumber’s Apprentice (Registration required, NOT a License)

2) Tradesman Plumber-Limited (License); Note: You are NOT required to get a Tradesman Plumber-Limited license before you can get a Journeyman Plumber license.  However, getting this license will give you more flexibility in your work and may get you slightly higher pay while you complete your apprenticeship.

3) Journeyman Plumber (License)

4) Master Plumber (License)

New plumbers start as a Plumber’s Apprentice and, after meeting the work experience and education requirements, can apply to take the tests to move to the higher levels of licensing in Texas.

Texas Plumber’s Apprentice Registration

To become a Plumber’s Apprentice in Texas, you must find an employer to sponsor you and you must then register with the state.  You are not allowed to work until your registration has been approved and you receive your Plumber’s Apprentice registration pocket card.  Once you are allowed to work, you may engage in learning and assisting in the installation of plumbing, but only under the supervision of a Responsible Master Plumber and the direct, on-the job supervision of a licensed plumber.  Work you do may only be under contracts or agreements to perform plumbing work secured by Master Plumbers.

There are differences between various Apprenticeship programs, so compare several choices before deciding which you want to join.  The main differences:

  • To become an apprentice, the state requires you to be at least 16 years old and does not require a High School diploma or GED.  Then, to become a Journeyman Plumber after the Apprenticeship, the State requires 8,000 hours (about 4 years) of documented experience, 48 hours of approved classroom training, and a High School diploma or GED is required.
  • In contrast, to become an apprentice in a Union program, you will likely need to be at least 18 years old and have a High School diploma or GED.  You will then need 10,000 hours (about 5 years) of experience to complete the program before you can become a Journeyman Plumber.  Also, you will attend over 1,000 hours of school during the five years (paid for by your employer) to learn many topics important to plumbing.  

To register as a Plumber’s Apprentice, the Texas state requirements are:

1) Minimum Age: 16 years old

2) High School degree or GED is NOT required

3) You must be sponsored by an employer

4) Fill out the simple application form, available at this link.

5) $19 application fee

6) Important:  It is the Apprentice’s responsibility to formally track work experience accumulated while as an apprentice for purposes of meeting the work experience requirements of the Tradesman Plumber-Limited or Journeyman Plumber licenses.  Each time you leave an employer, it is your responsibility to give them the Employer’s Certification Form.  Your (licensed) employer is required to fill it out and return it to you within 30 days.  KEEP THESE!!  You will need them when you apply for your Tradesman Plumber-Limited or Journeyman Plumber Licenses.

You can apply for an apprenticeship either directly to an employer or through a plumbing union.  One example of a Union program can be found here.

Texas Tradesman Plumber-Limited License Requirements

To get your Tradesman Plumber-Limited License, the Texas state requirements are:

1) Minimum Age: none stated, but you will likely be at least 18 years old due to other requirements (must be at least 16 to be an apprentice and you need about 2 years work experience to apply for this Tradesman Plumber-Limited license)

2) High School degree or GED is NOT required

3) Must have at least 4,000 hours (about 2 years) of valid plumber experience documented on Certified Employer Verification forms

4) Must have a current Texas Plumber’s Apprentice registration or have a valid Journeyman or Master Plumber license from another state and at least 4,000 hours of experience working at the trade under the general supervision of a Master Plumber.

5) Must have completed 24 hours of Board approved classroom training from one of these training providers.

6) Fill out the simple exam / license application form, available at this link, and submit it with required supporting forms and application fee

7) $36 application fee

7) Pass the License exam.  It is a three part exam, one written and two hands-on.  You can take all of it on one day in Austin, or you can take two parts in Austin and only the written portion in either El Paso or Harlingen.

What to Expect From the Examination

The Plumber’s Apprentice will be tested on his or her knowledge and understanding of the proper installation of one-family and two-family dwelling plumbing systems. The examination relates to work performed and decisions made on the job by a Tradesman Plumber-Limited Licensee. The examination consists of:

• eighty-five (85) written multiple choice questions;

• “hands-on” shop work, including measuring, cutting, assembly and fitting of commonly used plumbing pipe and fittings (solvent cemented PVC, soldered copper, threaded steel, and compression band type cast iron); identifying proper and improper installation of water heaters; and

• design of a two story sanitary drainage and vent system for eight common plumbing fixtures and the installation of the designed system into a scaled down model of a two story one-or-two family dwelling, using miniature pipe and fittings.

The examination contains only questions pertaining to plumbing of one-and-two family dwellings. Knowledge of commercial plumbing systems is not required for the Tradesman Plumber-Limited examination.

See here for a thorough description of the exam with reference material and areas of focus.

Texas Journeyman Plumber License Requirements

To get your Journeyman Plumber License, the Texas state requirements are:

1) Minimum Age: 18 years old

2) High School degree or GED is required

3) Must have at least 8,000 hours (about 4 years) of valid plumber experience documented on Certified Employer Verification forms

4) Must have a current Texas Plumber’s Apprentice registration, a current Texas Tradesman Plumber-Limited license, or a valid Journeyman or Master Plumber license from another state

5) Must have completed 48 hours of Board approved classroom training from one of these training providers.

6) Fill out the simple exam / license application form, available at this link, and submit it with required supporting forms and application fee

7) $40 application fee

7) Pass the License exam.  It is a three part exam, one written and two hands-on.  You can take all of it on one day in Austin, or you can take two parts in Austin and only the written portion in either El Paso or Harlingen.

What to Expect From the Examination

The applicant for a Journeyman Plumber License (the “applicant”) will be tested on his or her knowledge and understanding of the proper installation of commercial and residential plumbing systems. The examination relates to work performed and decisions made on the job by a Journeyman Plumber. The examination consists of:

• ninety (90) written multiple choice questions;

• “hands-on” shop work, including measuring, cutting, assembly and fitting of commonly used plumbing pipe and fittings (solvent cemented PVC, soldered copper, brazed copper, threaded steel, and compression band type cast iron); identifying proper and improper installation of water heaters;

• design of a two story sanitary drainage and vent system for eight plumbing fixtures and the installation of the designed system into a scaled down model of a two story building, using miniature pipe and fittings.

The examination contains questions pertaining to plumbing of one and two family dwellings, as well as commercial installations.

See here for a thorough description of the exam with reference material and areas of focus.

Texas Master Plumber License Requirements

To get your Master Plumber License, the Texas state requirements are:

1) Minimum Age: none stated, but you will be over 18 years old due to the experience requirements

2) High School degree or GED is required

3) Must be currently licensed as a JourneymanPlumber in Texas or another state with at least 8,000 hours of experience

4) Must have held the Journeyman Plumber license for at least:

a) one (1) year, if you have successfully completed a training program approved by the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship, or

b) four (4) years, or

c) no minimum / not applicable if you hold a current Master Plumber license in another state with at least 8,000 hours working at the trade.

6) Fill out the simple exam / license application form, available at this link, and submit it with required supporting forms and application fee

7) $175 application fee

7) Pass the License exam.

What to Expect From the Examination

The applicant for a Master Plumber License (the “applicant”) will be tested on his or her knowledge and understanding of the proper installation of commercial and residential plumbing systems. The examination relates to work performed and decisions made on the job by a Master Plumber. The examination consists of:

  • 210 written multiple choice questions; including
    • 60 questions based on Plumbing Codes;
    • 25 questions based on the Plumbing Codes, specific to water heater installation;
    • 25 questions on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Code Federal Regulations;
    • 25 questions on the Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS), as they apply to plumbing fixture installations;
    • 25 questions on Liquefied Petroleum Gas piping installation;
    • 25 questions on Plumbing Related Mathematics; and
    • 25 questions on the Plumbing License Law and Board Rules;
  • 1 Fuel Gas Pipe Sizing chart;
  • 1 Water Pipe Sizing chart;
  • 1 Gas Fueled Appliance Vent Sizing chart;
  • 1 Drainage System Pipe Sizing chart; and
  • design of a three story sanitary drainage and vent system for sixteen (16) plumbing fixtures.

See here for a thorough description of the exam with reference material and areas of focus.

Contact information:

Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

P.O. Box 4200

Austin, TX  78765

512-936-5200

TSBPE website:  www.tsbpe.state.tx.us

Resources:

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners has a well organized and simple website that makes the process easily understood.

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

To read about plumbing courses, training and school related information for plumbers, start by reviewing our home page.


Congratulations in your interest, and good luck getting your Texas Plumbing License.

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