If you’re interested in becoming a licensed plumber in the state of Nebraska, there are certain steps you must follow to complete a licensing program.
Nebraska does not have a statewide set of regulations, the regulations are developed on a city-by-city basis.
The Omaha Municipal Code states that your licensure is valid in other cities within the state that have similar requirements for becoming licensed. To gain reciprocity, you’ll have to submit evidence of your plumbing license along with your application for that city to the plumbing board.
The general requirements for licensure in Omaha are as follows, and are similar to other cities in the state.
Get Your High School Diploma or GED
If you’re interested in becoming a licensed plumber, you are required to complete your standard education. In Nebraska this means you just receive your high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) before moving forward in specialized training. You must understand and pass courses in mathematics and science before being able to seek vocational training.
Complete Vocational Training
Vocational training is the cornerstone to successfully becoming a licensed plumbing journeyman in Nebraska. Every person interested in becoming a licensed plumbing journeyman in Nebraska must complete:
- Four years of classroom instruction
- 300 hours of plumbing construction
- Four consecutive years of a city approved apprenticeship
- The journeyman’s plumbing exam
Alternatively, individuals seeking to acquire a plumbing journeyman’s license can work through a training period extending at least seven consecutive years. The individual must work a minimum of 300 hours each of the seven years. Over the seven year period, the applicant must accrue a minimum total of 7,000 hours to be eligible for licensure.
Complete a Plumbers Apprenticeship
Once the applicant has completed their hours of instruction, they then must complete and apprenticeship that is approved by the city. To be eligible for an apprenticeship in the state of Nebraska, the applicant must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Submit an apprentice agreement and the $20 registration fee
- Register each year with the plumbing board secretary
Registering as an apprentice in Nebraska is easy. You must simply call the plumbing board secretary by phone and provide your name, address, and place of employment. The phone number for the plumbing board secretary in Omaha is (402) 444-5150 ext. 2062.
Registration with the plumbing board secretary expires annually on the 30th of December.
Plumbing Journeyman Exam
Every individual interested in becoming a plumber in Nebraska is required to take and pass the plumbing journeyman exam.
This exam consists of practical knowledge and questions surrounding theoretical situations you may encounter as a plumber. You are required to answer questions pertaining to plumbing, building drainage, ventilation and sanitation.
To take the exam, you must complete an exam application and pay the applicable fees. You must also verify your educational training, including your apprenticeship training, with the city plumbing board before taking the exam.
Once you have complete the requirements for licensure, you must submit your license application and wait for the plumbing board to approve your application. They will determine if you are eligible to take the plumbing journeyman exam.
Prior to taking the exam, you are required to pay the $50 exam fee to the recording secretary of the plumbing board. If you wish to take the master plumber exam, the fee is $75.
Once you receive your license, you are required to submit proof on a yearly basis that states your are continuing your education in plumbing. The annual deadline to do so is December 31st. Both journeymen and master plumbers are required to submit proof of 8 hours of continued education each year.
The exam includes questions pertaining to plumbing fundamentals and safety. You will also be asked questions about the kinds of materials used and the specifications of those materials. The exam will cover questions about traps, interceptors, and backwater valves as well.
You will have to be familiar with the different kinds of plumbing fixtures, fixture fittings and plumbing appliances. You will be required to know how water supply systems operate, how to prevent back flow, and how to work with gas appliances and piping. You must also be comfortably familiar with plumbing mathematics.
You must score at least 70% to receive a passing grade.
Becoming a Master Plumber in Nebraska
Becoming a master plumber is the next step for those seeking to expand their credentials in this vocation. To become a master plumber in Nebraska, you are required to have four years of consecutive experience as a licensed journeyman.
If you have similar experience in a different city, you will be able to apply for a master plumbers license so long as you can submit proof of your education and experience. You must have met similar licensing criteria from your previous city to become a master plumber in this manner.
If you intend to receive a master plumbers license, you will be required to pass the master plumbers exam. If you are considered a master plumber in another city, you may be licensed through an endorsement. The city which you are coming from must have similar criteria for becoming a master plumber, and it must be of a similar size.
To pass the master plumbers exam in Nebraska, you will be required to accurately answer questions pertaining to state laws, applicable rules and regulations and all provisions relative to plumbing. You will also be required to know and demonstrate the ability to design, direct and supervise the installation of all legal plumbing systems.
The topics covered in the master plumber exam are similar to those in the journeyman exam. The master plumber exam will also have questions related to drain, waste and ventilation systems as well as other special topics related to this level of skill.
Nebraska Plumbers Licensing Requirements
Types of Training Required for a Nebraska Plumbers License
To become a licensed plumber, you must have acquired skills pertaining to the job. Plumbers are required to be able to read blueprints. Plumbers must also keep up with state and local building codes.
As a plumber, you will be required to inspect plumbing, determine what is causing any issues, and troubleshoot them to rectify potential or existing plumbing issues.
Plumbers are also required to know every kind of piping system available in their city and state. You will have to learn what kind of piping is required for a specific job site and how to properly connect the piping systems in the specific building you are working in.
Additionally, you must know how to do basic carpentry and welding work as you will encounter the need to weld fillings on the job.
As a plumber in Nebraska, you will be required to know how to properly install piping systems, how to maintain the water systems and how to properly repair them.
How to Find an Apprenticeship
If you are in search of an apprenticeship, you can find apprenticeship opportunities through the Nebraska apprenticeship portal available through the Department of Labor website. You are also able to find apprenticeships through your vocational training program or by private means so long as they meet the standard hours of instruction.
Apprenticeships are available both online and in person. The simplest way to achieve the necessary apprenticeship training would be to apply to and attend a trade school.
Average Plumbers Salary in Nebraska
In Nebraska, the average plumbers salary is around $52,700. The actual salary rate varies from city to city and is dependent on the skills needed to be a plumber in that specific area and the size of the city.
Top Paying Cities in Nebraska
The top paying cities in Nebraska are Omaha, Bellevue and Lincoln due to their size. You can expect to make around $54,345 in Omaha and Bellevue, and around $54,083 in Lincoln.