How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Ohio – OH?

Without any doubt, plumbers play a crucial role in our homes and business. And, without plumbers, not the only U.S., but any household can’t even spend a day. Similarly, authentic and proper education with on-field experience protects everyone’s health, wealth, and safety.

Most states in the U.S. don’t require several years of work experience, but in Ohio (OH), a licensed plumber must pass exams and has several years of experience before launching there in the market. To become a licensed professional in Ohio, you have to go through various processes and require education and experience, and documentation.

More so, according to Buckeye state employs graph, more than 13,300 plumbing professionals are working in the field. It makes the state the eighth-biggest state with most plumbers nationally.

Sound like tough competition?

It may sound like there are too many plumbers already in the state, but the Associated General Contractors of America states that contractors are actively hiring more and more plumbers in Ohio.

Furthermore, a report from AGC states that there were 62% unfilled positions in Ohio in June 2020. The state needs plumbers to fulfill the positions, and it’ll be great if you get your hands dirty into this field.

Do You Need A Plumbing License In Ohio?

General or residential plumbers, like electricians and general contractors, are not required to become licensed on a statewide basis; they must apply for licensure locally instead. Commercial plumbers, on the other hand, must acquire a license from the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB) to work on commercial buildings or bid on projects.

Similarly, a plumbing program can provide you with information on how to work in this field even if you are not planning on becoming a commercial plumber.

So, let’s find out how to become a Licensed Plumber in Ohio – OH.

Plumbing License Reciprocity In Ohio

License reciprocity really helps professionals to skip the hectic requirements of licensure, exams, and other necessary details. So, it makes it ideal to discuss the plumbing license reciprocity in Ohio. The State of Ohio has reciprocity agreements with;

  • Tennessee
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia
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It ensures that you can start kicking off your professional career if you have a license of the above state or vice versa. Another thing, if you’re an electrician license in any of the above states, you can start plumbing work in Ohio and vice versa.

Keep in mind that only contractors who’ve taken the state exam are eligible for license reciprocity. Other than that, if you have a license without taking an exam, you must provide proofs and certifications in Ohio to start working as a commercial plumber or contractor.

What are the different types of plumbers licenses in Ohio?

Licensed plumbers in Ohio can obtain only one type of license at the state level. This type of license is for Commercial Contractors. The first step in becoming a plumber is to train as an apprentice. After that, you must become a journeyman.

A license from the OCILB is required for contractors who perform commercial work in Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Plumbing, and Hydronics. For journeyman and master plumbers, there is no state-wide license.

Plumber Apprenticeship Requirements in Ohio

Future plumbers don’t require an apprenticeship affidavit or proof to get themselves considered for journeyman plumber license. In your favor, it’s always helpful to be a part of an apprenticeship program in order to learn all the advanced skills from a basic level.

It will also help you to make good communication with your local licensed plumbers. And, as a plumber apprentice, you can gain experience to apply for a license if you hope to become a commercial plumber.

You must apply directly to any registered ApprenticeOhio programs to become an apprentice in any trade-in Ohio. If you are interested in becoming an apprentice plumber, you can contact them directly or fill out the web form, I’m Interested in Becoming an Apprentice.

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Journeyman Plumbing License Requirements in Ohio

As from the OCILB, a plumbing contractor or a journeyman is defined as “a person or organization who is responsible for mean, manner, and methods of construction, repairing, plumbing and other trades. Also, they offer services like construction, improvement, renovation, and repair on a construction project”.

This statement defines Electricians, Hydronic, HVAC, refrigeration, and plumbers. All in all, you have to meet a specific criterion set by the OCILB to get your plumbing contractor license in Ohio.

  • Approval by the OCILB to take the exam.
  • Take and pass the exam.

If you wish to apply for a journeyman plumbing license in Ohio, you must:

  • 18+ years old
  • Citizen of U.S.A.
  • A clean criminal record that prohibits licensure
  • Meet any of the requirements listed below;
    • Five years work experience – can apply asap for licensure.
    • Three years of work experience as a registered engineer in the plumbing and construction industry in any city of Ohio.
    • Other acceptable or equivalent work experience set by OCILB.
  • You must carry contractor liability coverage of at least $500K.
  • Pay application processing and registration fee

Aside from these general requirements, you must fulfill various other requirements to get the license.

  • Pass federal and state background check
  • The application must be notarized and free of any spelling or other errors.

To send your documents, including background check, test application, and $25 application fee.

It is mandatory to renew a license annually at the cost of $60 and reach continuing education to learn advanced tactics. You can use the Ohio Department of Commerce Online Licensing website to get your license renewed.

Plumbing License Requirements In Various Cities Of Ohio


In Cincinnati, you must register with the city as a contractor or plumber to get started. And, you have to meet the same state-wide requirements to get your license. You can send your application with a $130 registration fee to;

  • Permit Center
  • Contractor Registration
  • 805 Central Ave., Suite 500
  • Cincinnati, OH 45202
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You must renew your city license along with the state-wide license annually.


In Columbus, a plumber must register themselves in order to get started. You have to meet the same state-wide requirements to get your license. You can send your application with a $185 application fee to;

Contractor Registration

City of Columbus

Department of Building and Zoning Services

111 N Front Street

Columbus, Ohio 43215

You can find the additional application on the official website.


To get your license, you must either possess a license from another city of Ohio or sit for another licensure exam. Following this, you must also complete the journeyman plumber application in order to get a license and work in Dayton, Ohio.


To get your local license in Toledo, Ohio, you must get a local hosted license from another city of Ohio or sit in plumbing license. It’s similar to Dayton. Another thing, while submitting your application materials to the city, you must pay a $100 fee for the journeyman plumber license.

Plumbing Contractor Exam in Ohio

There are two separate tests for Ohio plumber licensing, both of which are offered by PSI Exams. To receive your license, you must pass both tests with at least 70% correct answers. Both exams are open-book exams.

An examination of contractors’ business and law is the first step. You have 2 hours to complete this exam. It contains 50 questions and five pre-tests. Test topics include:

  • Personnel Regulations
  • Financial Management
  • Tax Laws
  • Lien Laws
  • Business Org
  • Licensing
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Project Management
  • Insurance and Bonding

There are 100 questions on the Plumbing Contractor Examination, plus one pre-test item. You must complete the examination in four hours. The exams contain subjects, including;

  • General Knowledge
  • Roof Drain Piping
  • Specialty Plumbing
  • Isometric Analysis
  • General Regulations
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Water Supply Systems
  • Drainage, Waste, and Sanitary Vents
  • Indirect Wastes


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