In the United States, plumbers’ licenses are usually issued by the state, and the requirements and
examinations required vary from one state to another. In this article, we are going to focus on the
requirements needed to become a licensed plumber in Georgia.
In Georgia, a plumbers’ license is needed to perform such tasks as electrical, air conditioning and plumbing.
A licensed plumber has more experience and knowledge than an unlicensed plumber. He/she can issue a certificate of compliance that guarantees that the work was done according to plumbing standards. Aside from that, a licensed plumber has insurance that protects their customers in the event of a fault in the plumbing job.
Georgia Journeyman & Master Plumber Licensing
The journey to becoming a licensed plumber in Georgia begins with apprenticeship before moving on to becoming a journeyman plumber and finally a master plumber.
A master plumber license has two categories: Restricted and unrestricted.
An unrestricted master plumber performs both industrial and commercial duties while a restricted master plumber only performs commercial responsibilities.
In Georgia, there are three types of plumbing licenses that one can acquire; journeyman plumber, a master plumber I and master plumber II.
Before becoming a journeyman plumber, you need to practice apprenticeship for a minimum period of three years. The apprenticeship period gives you a chance to learn as much as you can from a master plumber so that you can lay a good foundation for your plumbing career.
Apprenticeship opportunities can be found at Georgia’s plumbing union or with any reputable plumbing company. Once you secure an apprenticeship opportunity, you are required to register with the state by submitting your application documents and paying the registration fee.
After three years in apprenticeship, you should sit for an exam to become a journeyman plumber.
What are the requirements for becoming a journeyman plumber?
1. One must be 18 years of age and above
2. Must have a minimum of 3 years practicing apprenticeship
3. Must have three references, and one of the three recommendations should be from a master plumber
4. Pay an application fee of $30 and an examination fee of $133. License renewal goes for $35
5. Examination application must be made 60 days before the exam
6. Must be in a position to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the plumbing industry
Becoming a master plumber I
After two years of being a journeyman plumber, you are now eligible to become a master plumber I, also known as a restricted plumber. A restricted plumber has the mandate to provide services to single family homes, one-level homes, and commercial buildings of 10,000 square feet or less.
What are the Qualifications of Becoming a Restricted Plumber in Georgia?
1. Minimum age of 18 years.
2. Two years of practice as a journeyman plumber under the supervision of a master plumber.
3. An application fee of $30 and an examination fee of $133. License renewal fee goes for $75.
4. Three references. One of the recommendations must be from a master plumber.
5. Must have sat for the journeyman plumber test and passed by a minimum of 70%.
6. Must demonstrate perfect knowledge of the plumbing industry.
7. Examination registration must be done 60 days before sitting for the exam.
8. Provide a copy of the state’s journeyman plumbing license which must have been active for at least two years.
The significant advantage of becoming a master plumber is the fact that you can accept contracts and work on them independently without supervision. The test for getting licensing as a master plumber comprises questions in plumbing codes and installation techniques.
The restricted plumber examination has two parts, and each section takes 3.5 hours to complete. The requirements for becoming an unrestricted plumber are similar to those of a restricted plumber.
The only difference is that an unrestricted plumber must show proof of experience in both commercial and industrial plumbing.
Those plumbers who choose to work with medical gas systems are required to take a special program in medical gas. The certification takes 32 hours and ends with an exam. One must pass the examination to obtain the certificate.
In the state of Georgia, the field of plumbing is highly competitive. To survive in the market, every plumber must be willing to go the extra mile. However, there are many plumbing companies in the state, and anyone interested in working with any of the companies must be ready to prove that they will add value to the company.
How Much Does a Plumber in Georgia Earn?
Giving an exact answer of how much a plumber in Georgia earns is impossible because there are so many factors that determine how much one makes. Such determinants include:
1. The level of education.
2. Your plumbing license. Are you an apprentice, journeyman or a master plumber?
3. Your employer. Different employers offer different rates.
4. Years of experience
On average, an apprentice plumber makes between $13,000 and $25,000 per year. The rate goes up as one acquires more skills and becomes more flexible and open to other jobs.
A journeyman plumber makes around $25,000 to $40,000 per year, while a master plumber makes as much as they target, even up to $80,000 annually.
The good news is that plumbing is one career that has recorded significant growth in the US since 2010. It is projected that the industry will experience a 26% growth due to the continued increase in demand for plumbing services. Therefore, it is safe to say that the plumbing industry will continue commanding better rates and creating more and more employment opportunities.
When Can One Take Georgia’s Plumbing Examinations?
Plumbing examinations are administered twice in a year — August 1st to 17th and December 2nd to 17th.
Where Can You Take Your Plumbing Exam?
The exams can be taken at Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) which is a subsidiary of PSI.
Here are the exam center locations.
Atlanta (Decatur), Georgia (AMP)
2891 N. Decatur Rd
Suite D, E and F
Decatur, GA 30033 US
Atlanta (Duluth), Georgia (AMP)
3505 Koger Blvd
Duluth, GA 30096 US
Atlanta (Marietta), Georgia (AMP)
2100 Roswell Road NE, Suite 2128
Pavillions at East Lake
Marietta, GA 30062 US
Macon, Georgia (AMP)
6394 Zebulon Road
Macon, GA 31220 US
Savannah, Georgia (AMP)
6001 Chatham Center Drive
Chatham Center, Orlean Building #155
Savannah, GA 31405 US
Besides being licensed and having the necessary experience, you need to be in great shape as a plumber.
Plumbing involves handling tedious tasks, such as working at the top of a roof or in extremely cramped spaces. You need to be physically fit. It also goes without saying that punctuality is vital. When a household is experiencing a malfunction in their plumbing system, they need help as soon as possible.
Once you passed your exam, you can check on your license status on this page.
The growing demand for plumbing services in the United States in an indicator that the future is bright for licensed plumbers, and there is a lot of room for growth. If you want to become a licensed plumber in Georgia, it’s time to make hay before the market becomes too saturated.