If you are looking to become a licensed plumber in Alabama you will need to know exactly how many hours and or years of experience you will need as well as which certification.
In the state of Alabama, there are three different levels of licensed plumber: apprentice, journeyman and master. Each of these different types of plumber has its own requirements to fulfil before you can be awarded the license. Here we will tell you everything that you need to know about the different licenses in Alabama.
In Alabama you will not be able to complete any plumbing work without a license. Not only must you have a license but it must also be issued by the state. Licenses from outside of Alabama are not valid and a new one must be obtained.
How to become an apprentice plumber
In order to become an apprentice plumber in Alabama and receive your license you will need to complete a registration form and send this off with a photocopy of your social security and the $25 application fee.
However, there are certain restrictions and requirements that come with being an apprentice plumber. You must always work under the supervision of either a registered journeyman or a master plumber. You cannot go and begin work by yourself with no supervisor.
Although you need to be supervised as an apprenticeship plumber, your license will allow you to carry out work such as repairs, pipe fittings and general plumbing.
How to get a journeyman’s license
The next step up from an apprentice plumber is a journeyman. This stage of plumbing license requires an exam as well as the completion of a minimum of two years as an apprentice plumber/enrolled in an approved training course.
You will need to ensure that you have accumulated enough knowledge about plumbing from your time as an apprentice in order to pass the test. Even if you have spent several years working as an apprentice plumber, failure to pass the journeyman’s test will result in the non-issuance of the journeyman’s license.
The application fee for the journeyman’s plumbing license is slightly higher at $110. Once you have filled all of the requirements and paid the fee then you can begin working under this license.
How to get a master plumber’s license
The final stage of a plumber’s license is qualifying for the master plumber’s license.
As with the journeyman’s license, you will need both years of experience in the industry as well as the capability to pass an exam before you will be awarded a master plumber’s license. You must have completed a minimum of one year working as a journeyman plumber in order to qualify. Failure to meet both criteria will result in no license.
In comparison to the other two plumbing licenses, the master plumber’s license application fee is higher and will run you $160.
Once you have this level of license you can begin doing plumbing jobs on your own and may even take on an apprentice yourself. As a master plumber you should ensure that you stay up-to-date with the latest regulations and any changes to plumbing codes. This will ensure that all of your work is up to code.
Renewing your license
Once you have obtained your relevant plumbing license it is important that you remember to renew it. There are different fees to be paid annually depending on your license type:
- Apprentice – $25
- Journeyman – $50
- Master plumber – $150
With any level of plumbing license you will need to make sure that you are insured. Depending on your situation this could be either your employer holds the insurance that covers you or if you are self-employed or own your own company you will need to have insurance.
If you are not covered by an employer then you will need to have the following:
- $300,000 property damage insurance
- $100,000 general liability insurance
Once you have obtained your insurance you will need to provide the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examination Board with a copy.
Becoming an experienced plumber will take many years of hard work but by working your way from an apprentice plumber to a master plumber you will be able to charge roughly double for your time (based on the average hourly rate for plumbers in Alabama).
You will need to pass through three different stages: apprentice, journeyman and master plumber. To go from an apprentice to a journeyman you will need to have completed at least 2 years of experience either under a master plumber or in an approved program as well as pass an exam and pay the fee.
Similarly, to become a master plumber you will need to have completed at least 1 year as a journeyman, pass an exam and pay a fee.
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