How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Alabama: Plumbing License Requirements and Guide

You can’t practice any kind of plumbing in Alabama if you’re not licensed; not as an apprentice, not as a journeyman, and most certainly not as a master plumber.

Also, if you’re a licensed plumber, with certification from another state, I’m afraid you still need to be licensed in Alabama to practice in Alabama. That’s because the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, which governs the plumbing license does not (currently) have any active reciprocal agreements with any other states.

The major activities of plumbers include, but are not limited to, installation, maintenance, repairs, ensuring safety standards, and building regulations, amongst others.

So, you want to practice plumbing in Alabama? The first step is getting licensed. Let’s make it easier for you.

Getting a plumbing license in Alabama can be the beginning of great things for you. That’s because it opens a wide door to numerous career opportunities in Alabama’s free-flowing plumbing industry.

How to Get a Plumbing License in Alabama?

As stated earlier, plumbing licenses in Alabama are issued by the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, and there are three levels of plumbing certifications in Alabama:

  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman, and
  • Master

You’ll have to start from the basics if you want to practice in Alabama. Let’s begin with the Apprentice license.

Alabama Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

This is an entry-level plumbing license. An apprentice plumber in Alabama works under the tutelage of an experienced master plumber. The apprentice assists with many tasks like installation, unclogging, and repairs. Although the apprentice is not as experienced, he performs very similar roles to that of the master plumber, during many operations.

In Alabama, a registered journeyman may also provide the needed experience and mentorship an apprentice needs.

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Here are the requirements:

  • Filling out an Alabama Apprentice Application Form with the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board
  • Payment of a $25 application fee
  • Submission of a photocopy of your social security card or driver’s license.
  • The apprentice plumber must also have at least a high school diploma.

You are then able to enroll in a plumbing program that lasts about five years where you are taught the basic lessons of the profession. Most times, the local plumbing union offers such programs. If you’re in employment, your employer would provide the program.

Once you’re registered, having received requisite training from experienced plumbers, you’re qualified to perform certain plumbing works while supervised. If you’re a fast learner and your competence is verified, you’re likely going to perform unsupervised plumbing tasks like fittings and minor repairs.

As an apprentice plumber, you’ll also need to renew your license every year for $25.

On average, an apprentice Plumber’s rate is about $12/hour in Alabama.

For the latest information and updates about apprenticeship openings, contact the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board (PGFB)

Alabama Journeyman Plumbing Requirements

Once your apprenticeship is over, you’re eligible to become a Journeyman. You also need to have worked as an apprentice for at least two years.

“In accordance with Alabama state laws, a journeyman plumber is referred to a person who engages in or works at the actual installation, repair, or replacement of plumbing systems, only after successfully fulfilled the examination requirements, has been issued a journeyman plumber certificate and possesses a valid and current annual certificate issued by the board.”

As a journeyman plumber, you are licensed to perform more types of plumbing jobs, including sprinkler installations, plumbing repairs, and even training of apprentices.

The requirements are

  • You must have been employed for two years as an apprentice
  • You must determine your eligibility to take the journeyman plumber exam from the PGFB.
  • You must pay the examination application fee. The cost is $110.
  • You must pass at least 70% of the questions
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You must also apply online at www.pgfb.alabama.gov for the exam and must be at the venue of the examination at least 30 minutes before it starts.

The results of the examination, of 70 questions, are always available immediately. If you pass, you can apply immediately, or within 90 days, for certification. You are also able to retake the exam if you fail.

For applying for certification, the requirements include that you:

  • Fill out the journeyman information form
  • Pay an application fee of $50 to the PGFB

You are also required, upon certification to pay an annual license renewal fee of $50.

A journeyman plumber’s rate in Alabama is about $21/hour.

Alabama Master Plumbing Requirements

The Master Plumbing certification is the highest license in Alabama. As a master plumber, you can perform any job without supervision.

You must have been a journeyman plumber for at least one year before you can apply to become a Master Plumber in Alabama.

Here are the requirements:

  • You must have been a licensed Journeyman Plumber for at least a year.
  • Pass the Master Plumbing license exam
  • Pay the master license fee. The cost is $160.

As a master plumber, you also need to pay the annual license renewal fee of $150.

You can obtain all application forms for Alabama plumbing licenses from the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board as per the address below:

11 West Oxmoor Road, Suite 104

Birmingham, AL 35209,

Or online from www.pgfb.alabama.gov.

Alabama Plumbing Contractor License Requirements

Plumbing contractors in the state of Alabama are also governed by the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board. In Alabama State, PGFB meanwhile requires any general contractor working on a residential or commercial project costing $50,000 or more to have a contractor license.

To practice as a Plumbing contractor in Alabama, you must at least have completed the Journeyman training. The PGFB will then schedule you for an examination.

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Some of the requirements are:

  • Applicants (or their business) must have a net worth or minimum working capital of $10,000.
  • Prime Contractor Applicants must have a Certified Public Accountant or board-approved public accountant.
  • You must have general liability insurance.

Further information on being a licensed Plumbing contractor in Alabama can be obtained at the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board.

Alabama Plumbing License Reciprocity

As noted earlier, Alabama plumbing is regulated by the PGFB. The State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board does not have any active reciprocal agreements with any other states. So, to practice in Alabama, you’ll have to be registered and licensed in Alabama.

License fees and License Renewal in Alabama

License fees for plumbers depend on their level. For Master plumbers, the fee is $160, with an annual renewal fee of $150.

For Journeyman Plumbing, the License fee is $50. Annual renewal of $50 is also required.  An apprentice pays $25 for a License and a renewal fee of $25 as well.

Insurance Requirements in Alabama

In Alabama, plumbers are required to have insurance, which most times, is covered by the employer. If the employer doesn’t do that, it becomes the responsibility of the plumber to do that, as follows

  • $100,000 for general liability
  • $300,000 for property damage.

The Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board requires a copy of the insurance certificate.

Salary of Plumber in Alabama

On average, the hourly rate of plumbers in Alabama is:

  • Apprentice plumber  – $12.21
  • Journeyman plumber – $20.84
  • Master plumber – $23.61

The average career of a Plumber in Alabama spans about 15 years, and the salary, compared to other states is competitive. The salary of a Plumber in Alabama is determined by many things, including experience and union membership. The average annual salary, computed based on average hourly rates, is about $53,000.

Union in Alabama

Plumbers in Alabama can join the union if they want. Workers in the union earn slightly better than workers who aren’t part of the union. However, union members pay membership dues and are obliged to obey the union’s dictates every time.

References

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