Plumbing is one career that is growing faster than any other in the U.S As at now, it is expected to expand by 30% in the year 2020.
Most employers report how they are having challenges in getting qualified plumbers. On the other hand, many plumbers are approaching their retirement ages, thus opening up more opportunities for new entrants.
The average earnings of a plumber in the U.S is approximately $45,000 according to a report done in 2010. Each state and city has different licensing requirements needed to become a plumber. Today, we are going to focus on the state of Oregon.
How to Become a Plumber in Oregon
In Oregon, all plumbers must be licensed by the Construction Contractors Board to perform any plumbing works in the state. Aside from getting licensed by the CCB, plumbers must also get an Oregon Plumbing license from the BCD (Building Codes Division of Oregon)
Journeyman Plumbing License Oregon
Anyone who is licensed to become a journeyman plumber in Oregon can perform all plumbing works, including assembling, installation and repair of water and drainage systems, pipes, gas systems, fixtures of heating, sinks, bathtubs, hot water tanks, water heaters, dishwashers, garbage units, among other fittings, according to the plumbing codes.
Plumbing Contractors License Oregon
Anyone who is licensed to become a plumbing contractor in Oregon can advertise, furnish labor only, or labor and materials: to install, repair and remodel plumbing. However, this license does not mean that one can work as a journeyman plumber. If you would like to perform plumbing jobs, you will need a certificate of compliance from the state.
6 Steps to Follow to Become a Licensed Plumber in Oregon
First things first.
The following is a list of minimum requirements that you should meet to qualify to apply for a plumber’s license. The state of Oregon requires applicants to be:
-18 years of age or higher
-Be able to read and write, as well as communicate in English
-Be morally upright
-Have a clean criminal record
-Pass a mandatory drug test
-Pass a basic math test
-Have some working knowledge of computers
If you meet the above requirements, you are eligible to apply for a plumbing license in Oregon. Here is the full list of requirements:
Step 1: Get a High School Diploma or Equivalent GED
To earn a plumbing license in Oregon, you must complete your high school education or its equivalent GED. A plumber needs to have a good foundation in Math (specifically geometry and algebra), science (in particular physics) and computer (that is, computer-aided drafting). If you can also take classes in blueprint reading and drafting, you will have a huge advantage over many others in the field.
Step 2: Get Vocational Training
After getting a high school diploma or GED, one should undergo plumbing vocational training at a technical college or trade school. Luckily, there are several courses offered by both public and private programs in Oregon. Check out the various trade unions, plumbing associations, and local colleges in the state.
The plumbing curriculum usually covers such topics as electrical basics, water heating systems, pipe soldering & cutting, draining and venting, as well as local plumbing codes in Oregon. Upon completion, you will be awarded a certificate on water supply and drainage systems, as well as their correspondent piping systems.
Step 3: Complete an Apprenticeship Program
To get intimate training on plumbing, you should complete an apprenticeship program. An apprenticeship program simply means working in a union or under a private licensed plumber at a paid position. You will have about 250 classroom hours. It will typically take you 4 years as an apprentice to accumulate the required experience needed to qualify for licensing in the state of Oregon.
Step 4: Complete the Exam Application
Complete an exam application from the Oregon Building Code Division. You will need to submit proof of 4-year apprenticeship in the form of payroll stubs or letters from your employer, along with the exam application. After you complete the exam application, submit it, and wait to be given a date to sit for it.
Step 5: Take the Exams
To become a journeyman plumber, you will need to sit for two exams. A 4 hour written exam with 64 multiple choice questions where you will be choosing between True/False answers. You will need to get at least 75 percent to pass it. You will also sit for a practical exam on blueprinting, piping assembly and isometric drawing, and the minimum score to successfully pass the exam is 75 percent. The application fee for these exams is $300.
On the day you are to sit for the examination, ensure you arrive early so that you get enough time to be seated and compose yourself before the exam begins. You must carry with you a letter of approval to sit for the exams and a government-issued ID, as well as exam essentials, including a pencil and a calculator.
Full information about the Oregon plumbing exams can be found on the BCD (Oregon Building Code Division) website
Step 6: Finally, Apply for the License
After you have passed the tests, you can now apply for an Oregon plumbing license.
-Start by filing your business name or corporation with the Corporation Division of the state of Oregon.
-After that, you should submit a CCB surety license bond in the amount required
-Then, provide proof of general liability insurance
-Additionally, provide proof of worker’s comp. & employer account no.s
-Finally, submit a CCB application, duly completed, along with a $325 fee for 2 years
Note: Make sure to include every relevant detail about yourself and your business in the application form, including your education, vocational training attended, apprenticeship program completed, proof of experience, examination scores and your business license. Attach all the relevant documents along with the duly completed application form.
You will find the application form for CCB license at:
Construction Contractors Board
P.O. Box 14140
Salem, Oregon 97309-5052
You can also call 503-378-4621
Official website at www.oregon.gov/CCB/Licensing_I.shtml
You will find the application form for BCD license at:
Oregon Building Codes Division
P.O. BOX 14470
Salem, Oregon 97309- 0404
You can also call 503-373-1268
Official website at www.bcd.oregon.gov/programs/plumbing.html
Once you have followed all the above steps, you can now send your licensure application to the state on the addresses listed above.