The following steps are the best path to follow in order to become a licensed plumber in the state of Kentucky.
Completing your high school education
While a high school diploma GED (General Educational Development) certification is not required to become a licensed plumber in Kentucky, most apprenticeships will require at least this level of education. Therefore it is best if you ensure you have completed high school and received your diploma, or have your GED.
Much like a high school diploma or GED, vocational training is not an absolute requirement for becoming a licensed plumber in Kentucky. However, in order to be hired as an apprentice plumber, you may need to take a few courses in order to get technical training. Many cities have technical colleges or trade schools that offer short-term courses directly related to the skills and knowledge needed to be hired as an apprentice plumber. These courses can take a few weeks up to a year to complete, but will greatly enhance your ability to be hired on as an apprentice later one.
In order to qualify for a plumbing license in Kentucky, you will need at least two years of experience as an apprentice. An apprenticeship is done under the supervision of a licensed plumber. Essentially, it is an employment position that also counts toward your experience required for a license. Through this on-the-job training, you will gain the knowledge and skills you need to pass the exams for a plumbers license and fulfill the time-based requirements that will qualify you for a license.
Obtaining a license
Kentucky has two tiers of plumbing license, as stated above.
The lower of the two tiers is the journeyman plumbing license. This license can be obtained only after two years of an apprenticeship and passing of the journeyman plumber exam.
You will need to fill out the application to take the journeyman plumber exam and submit it, along with the fee and a passport-sized photo taken within the past six months. Then, once your application is accepted, you can take the exam. The first portion of the exam contains written questions and answers, as well as drawings. The second portion contains chart work. The third portion of the exam is a practical examination including both cast iron and copper work. There is a 2.5 hour time limit for the first portions combined, and another 2.5 hour time limit for the third portion of the test.
The higher of the two tiers is the master plumbing license. This can only be obtained with a valid journeyman license and at least two years of experience as a journeyman plumber, or with a mechanical engineering license as stated later in the “Obtaining a Master Plumbing License” section.
Once the exam, fee, and passport-sized photo are submitted and accepted, you can take the master plumbing exam. This exam is given in two parts, with a time limit of 2.5 hours for the exam as a whole. The first portion of the exam contains multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions, and the second portion contains charts and calculations.
Plumber licensing requirements in the state of Kentucky
There are two types of licensure for plumbers in the state of Kentucky; Master and Journeyman.
Obtaining a Journeyman Plumber License
In order to qualify for a journeyman plumber license in Kentucky, you will need at least two consecutive years of experience as an apprentice plumber. These two years of experience is demonstrated by the submission of a W-2 form provided by the employer of that apprenticeship, an affidavit from a Kentucky licensed master plumber, or a plumbing license issued by another state.
You then need to complete a department-approved course and at least one year of additional experience as an apprentice plumber.
Finally, you will need to pass the journeyman plumber examination with a minimum overall score of 75%, and a minimum score of 70% on each portion of the exam.
Obtaining a Master Plumber license
In order to qualify for a master plumber license in Kentucky, you will need a valid journeyman plumber license for at least two years within the past five years immediately preceding your application for the master plumber license. If you are licensed as a mechanical engineer in the state of Kentucky with “sufficient experience,” you do not need a journeyman license. However, the sufficiency of that experience depends upon the “number and complexity of the applicant’s past mechanical engineer projects” and can be subjective to the system in comparison to the quantitative requirements of the journeyman license.
You also need to complete the master plumber examination with a minimum score of 80%, and a minimum score of 75% on each portion of the exam.
How to apply for a plumbing license in the state of Kentucky
Where to apply
You can find the registration form for the journeyman or master plumbing examination here: http://dhbc.ky.gov/Documents/PLB-3%20Plumbing%20Examination%20Registration%20Form%20-%20CLEAN%20-%207.24.19.pdf
You can apply for the journeyman plumbing license here: http://dhbc.ky.gov/Documents/plb-2%20-%20journeyman%20plumber%20license%20application%20-%20clean%20-%207.5.pdf
You can apply for the master plumbing license here: http://dhbc.ky.gov/Documents/PLB-1%20Master%20Plumber%20License%20Application%20-%20CLEAN%20-%207.5.pdf
Cost of obtaining a plumbing license in Kentucky
Journeyman plumber examination fee: $50
Master plumber examination fee: $150
Journeyman plumber license application fee: $60
Master plumber license application fee: $250
Kentucky Plumbing Courses and Classes
If you’re looking for a place to start, you may want to take some courses or classes. The following are a few options.
Elizabethtown Technical College
620 College Street Road, Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Phone : (270) 766-5133
Gateway Community & Technical College
1025 Amsterdam Road, Covington, KY 41011
Phone : (859) 292-3930
Mayesville Community College/Mayesville Campus
1755 US 68, Mayesville, KY 41056
Phone : (606) 759-7141
Jefferson Community and Technical College
109 E Broadway, Louisville, Kentucky 40202-2005
- Journeyman Exam
- Master exam
- License requirements
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