How to Become a Licensed Plumber in South Dakota

Plumbers in South Dakota receive salaries that line up with the U.S. average, but they can enjoy a much lower cost of living in the Mount Rushmore State. 

If you’re thinking of becoming a plumber in SD, you’ll need to complete a plumber apprenticeship program while holding a plumber apprentice license. After your apprenticeship, you’ll apply for the journeyman plumber’s license through the Department of Labor and Regulation (DLR).

Do You Need a Plumbing License in South Dakota?

A plumbing license is required for anyone working on a property that is connected to a public waterworks or sewage system. 

You do not need a license if you’re working on your primary residence, a residence in mid-construction that you plan to occupy, or on the premises where you are employed.

Types of Plumbing Licenses in South Dakota

The DLR licenses plumbing, sewer and water, appliance, water conditioning, mobile home, underground irrigation, and contractor plumbers. This article will discuss licenses for apprentice and journeyman plumbers in detail. 

  1. Becoming a Plumber Apprentice

The first step to becoming a plumber in South Dakota is becoming a plumber apprentice. Plumber apprentices are defined as any person other than a plumber/contractor who is working under the direct supervision of said plumber or contractor as they learn and assist in the installation of plumbing. 

Find an Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships combine classroom instruction with on-the-job (often paid) training over four years. After two years or 3,800 hours of experience under a licensed plumber and passing a state exam, you may work unsupervised during your third and fourth year on single-family swellings. 

Be sure to search for apprenticeships that are approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Apply and Take the Exam

Once enrolled in an apprenticeship, you will apply for a plumber apprentice’s license with the DLR.

You’ll need to complete the application, include the details of your supervising licensed plumber, and pay a $10 application fee. This will cover the cost of the state-administered plumber apprentice exam. 

  1. Becoming a Licensed Plumber

Once you’ve completed four years as a licensed apprentice plumber, you can apply for your journeyman plumber’s license. Journeyman plumbers are hired by contractors and can work independently or supervise plumber apprentices. 

Requirements and Application

To apply for your journeyman license, you’ll need:

  • Experience as an apprentice: at least 1,900 hours per year over 4 years
    • Military plumbing is credited at 1 year of credit per 2 years of military experience, with a maximum of 5 years of credit

If you meet the requirements, complete the application, pay the $205 application/exam fee, and then take and pass the journeyman plumber exam.


South Dakota has reciprocity agreements with licensed plumbers from MN, ND, MT, and CO. You’ll need to attach a copy of your active license to your application and skip instruction #5.

South Dakota Plumber License Renewals

Plumbing licenses are renewed annually in September. Journeyman plumbers and third-year apprentices will need to complete 4 hours of Continuing Education before renewing.

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