How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Illinois?

To comprehend this well understanding the term “Plumbing” is crucial. Plumbing is said to be a trade that is quite a lofty profession that often attracts those with magnificent work ethics and probably strong backs. The level of role, responsibility, and commitment assumed by those in the plumbing trade is elevated due to the public trust that is given to this group of professionals.

The Department in charge of this lofty or noble profession is the Illinois Department of Public Health which has made provision for licensing requirements in place for every person who seeks to embark upon the plumbing professional in order to protect or defend the health of the general public.

As an individual who is interested in this profession, the Illinois Plumbing License Law confirms a level of quality or attainment that is unable to bend or forced out for those in the plumbing trade. In addition, it has issued the necessary licenses for plumbers or apprentices.

Requirement for a Licensed Plumber in Illinois

To become a licensed plumber in Illinois, there are requirements and standards to meet.

Which are;

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Completed at least two years of high school or equivalent and Completed an approved course instruction through a college, university, or trade school
  • Been a licensed apprentice plumber for at least four years working under a licensed plumber.
  • Provide proof of sponsorship by an Illinois licensed plumber or by an approved apprenticeship program.
  • Maintain the license active

Steps to Become a Licensed Plumber in Illinois

Below are the steps that are required to be a licensed plumber in Illinois:

Step 1 – Get Your Necessary Education

Completed at least two years of high school or corresponding and completed an approved course instruction through a college, university, or trade school. It is very germane and crucial to have an approved course instruction in order to perform judiciously in this field. Understand and well ground in plumbing technology programs and some more related courses.

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These programs are attainable at technical schools, the community colleges, universities, and even online “distance learning” schools.

Below are the common concepts taught in plumbing classes:

  • Building trades
  • Pipefitting
  • Systems
  • Plumbing codes
  • Procedures
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Tools and equipment
  • Treating municipal wastewater
  • Water and lots more.

Step 2 – Complete an Apprenticeship or Training in any Trade School

The pathway to becoming a licensed plumber is through apprenticeship. You need to join the apprenticeship program. As an apprenticeship plumber, you need to work under the supervision of a licensed plumber and get hands-on experience or training in the field with a licensed plumber.

Below are the requirements for apprenticeship:

  • Must be at least 16 years old with US citizen
  • Complete the apprenticeship application form
  • Provide proof of sponsorship by an Illinois licensed plumber or by an approved apprenticeship program.

Below are tasks of the apprenticeship plumber:

  • Installing new plumbing fixtures: Such as the bathtubs, bidets, channel drains, drinking fountains, hose bibs( connection of water hoses), janitor sink, kitchen sink, showers, etc.
  • Unclogging drains and sewers: Drains must be designed is such as way that it serves the building conveying water and wastewater to a sewer in such a perfect and professional manner
  • Repairing, assembling, and cutting pipes is also included.
  • Cleaning water supply and disposal systems
  • Preparing and cleaning job sites
  • Responding to customer inquiries and lots

One thing that must be considered too In Illinois is that you must complete an application to be an apprentice plumber. That application costs might range from $100.-$250.  Once this requirement is met then, you can apply to become a licensed plumber in Illinois.

Apprentice Application

Currently, if the fee hasn’t been altered, the application fee for apprentice plumber in Illinois has a range of $ 170-$ 180 while for the plumber licensed in Chicago or outside the state of Illinois is $200-$230.

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The plumbing license:

Majorly There are two types of plumbing licenses in Illinois:

  • The Apprentice license.
  • The Plumbers license.

In Illinois, the term journeyman and master plumber is not used. The only exception is in the city of Chicago, for a reason due to the fact that they have a Journeyman licensing program. Through reciprocity with other locales, a Journeyman licensed plumber in Chicago can perform his professional duty or task in other locales.

Note this as an apprentice that:

Once you start your apprenticeship, you have seven years to obtain the necessities on the job training hours and pass the license examination. Only when you are through or completed your apprenticeship you can then take your license examination which has a time frame of five years.

The license examination is composed of a written portion where you are tested on your knowledge of the plumbing code and a practical area where you have to manufacture or produce several assemblies of water and waste piping that are examined or checked for dimensional correctness and capacity to sustain pressure. This is basically testing the capacity, competence, and accuracy of the profession.

Few challenges have been noted that on average like seventy-two percentage of the people taking the plumbing examination fail it. If you can’t perform excellently in the examination within the speculated time frame (i.e. after completing your five-year apprenticeship), you can’t be a plumber or else starting over from the start.

In addition to the statement under the subheading plumbing license, the only exemption is that anybody working as a plumber in the city of Chicago should have either an Apprentice or a Journeyman Plumber license that is given on by the City. There are reciprocity assertions between the state and the City of Chicago on the plumbing licenses upon the proper notification of each other as mentioned earlier.

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Step 3 – Pass the Plumbing License Examination and Pay the License Fee

This is the last step to becoming a licensed plumber. To become a licensed plumber, the last step is to submit the plumbing license application form then pass the plumbing license examination.

Specifically for Chicago, the plumbing examination will take 3 hours and in order to pass the examination, the applicant needs to score 70 and above. The topics to be included in the examination in Chicago are as follow:

  • Certain code Requirements for Plumbers and Contractors
  • Drawings, Charts, and Plans
  • Plumbing Practice, Theory, and Safety
  • Plumbing Systems
  • Cutting and Assembling Plumbing System Components
  • Rehabilitated Requirements
  • Troubleshoot, Maintenance and Repair


After you pass the plumbing license examination, you need to pay the license fee. Then, now you are becoming a licensed plumber in Illinois and can perform the work as a plumber.

Step 4 – Maintain Proper License Renewal

 An Illinois plumbing license must be renewed by the 4th month of the year that is April following the year of issuance. In order to do this, you must complete continuing education credits. Also, in the state of Illinois, what you are expected to provide is a statement regarding your status on paying child support, despite the fact that you do not have children. So for the license to be renewed such a statement must be provided or else to no avail. Renewal costs are $100 per year.


(1). Illinois Department of Public Health –

(2). Joint Committee on Administrative Rule – Section 750.400  Licensing of Plumbers –

(3). Plumbing license application form –

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