How do I start on the journey to becoming a plumber in Montana?
1. Graduate with your high school diploma or GED
In order to start your process to becoming a licensed plumber, you must be at least 18 years of age and hold either a high school diploma or GED.
As a licensed plumber, you will work with angles and measurements very often. Paying attention in high school, especially in your applied subjects like science and math, will allow you to start on your path to becoming a licensed plumber in the state of Montana.
2. Attend college for additional training
Vocational training is the next step in getting your Montana plumbing license. It is not necessary to get a college degree in order to be a licensed plumber in the state of Montana.
There are many colleges that offer plumbing college programs including Montana State University, University of Montana, and Flathead Valley Community College. Getting a plumbing degree will allow you to learn even more about plumbing including drafting, pipefitting, and other advanced math and science classes.
3. Apprentice under a licensed plumber
In order to become a licensed Montana plumber, you must apprentice through a program. Typically, these apprenticeships last between four and five years.
As a plumbing apprentice, you will start to learn about the trade. Most students will start by learning how to do daily repairs and maintenance. Daily repairs can include identifying and locating leaks, repairing and replacing parts, preparing estimates for customers, and determining which kind of equipment will be necessary.
4. Work as a journeyman plumber
After you have completed your five-year apprenticeship, you will be ready to take the test that will certify you to become a journeyman plumber! The test can include topics like administrative policies, random building codes, plumbing codes, and sanitary drainage systems.
Once you pass your test, the next step is to work as a journeyman plumber for three to four years. You will begin to learn more about the plumbing profession as you work over the next few years. You will learn how to install new plumbing systems, gas lines, and drainage systems. You will also begin to learn the ins and outs of running a plumbing business.
5. Submit your application for your master plumbing license
After you have worked as a journeyman plumber for about four years, you will be ready to take the text to become a master plumber! This test will cover everything from the basics to the most advanced knowledge. Master Plumbers should know how to install, repair, and maintain plumbing and gas equipment. They should also know how to keep up with inspection standards.
Once you pass the master plumbing test, the next step is to fill out and submit an application that will be submitted to the state board. From there, your license will be looked at and either approved or denied.
How long will my Montana plumbing license be valid for?
Once you receive either your journeyman or master plumbing licenses in the state of Montana, they will last until September 1 of the following year. You will have up to 60 prior days to renew your license which means you can start the renewal process on July 1.
The cost to renew your journeyman plumbing license is $160. The cost to renew your master plumbing license is $265. The Montana Board also requires that you have four approved hours of continued education.
How much will I need to pay to take the plumbing license tests?
In Montana, both the journeyman plumber test and master plumber test have two portions. The written portion and the practical portion. The written exams are $150 per test, and the practical portions are $180 per test.
Where can I apply for a plumbing license in Montana?
You will want to contact the Montana Board of Plumber for more information. You can reach them here.