When it comes to the profession of plumbing, it is essential for you to be aware of local or state-wise requirements and regulations so that you know what to expect while applying for your plumbing license.
Obtaining a plumbing license can equip you with the legal status to practice the profession using the skills and experience that you have obtained. This can then let you deal with pipes, fixtures, codes, repairs, maintenance and other kinds of work on a small as well as large scale.
If you want to become a plumber in Arkansas, there are several steps that you will need to follow while also fulfilling all the relevant criteria and qualifications to become eligible for the plumbing license.
To figure this process out, you can go through the following sections so that you can begin the process of becoming a plumber in Arkansas.
Required Qualifications to Be a Plumber in Arkansas
If you want to become a plumber in Arkansas, you will need to go through several stages of obtaining licenses so that you can keep advancing to higher levels. Based on this, there are three main levels that you can apply for and two kinds of licenses that include:
- Apprentice plumber registration
- Journeyman plumber license
- Master plumber license
If you are starting from scratch, then you will first need to cross the apprenticeship stage and have at least four years’ worth of experience, following which you can apply for a journeyman plumber license. If you have at least five years of experience and a journeyman license, you can then apply for a master plumber license.
You can carry out this application and registration process through the Plumbing and Natural Gas section of the Arkansas Department of Health.
Overall, you must:
- Be at least 16 years old (for the apprenticeship)
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Complete your apprenticeship
- Have four years of overall experience for the journeyman license
- Have five years of overall experience and a journeyman license for one year for the master plumber license
- Pay all exam and license fees
- Pass the exams
- Apply for the license
- Submit to a background check
- Provide identification and other essential documents
You can go through some of these requirements in detail below.
You will need to fill out the applicable application form depending on whether you are applying for an apprenticeship, a journeyman plumber license or a master plumber license.
Once you figure out which form you need to fill, you will need to ensure that you go through all the details asked of you in the form. These could be related to your identity, your experience, your education, your background as well as other necessary details that the licensing board may require.
Take some time to understand these requirements and gather them all so that you can have an easy time filling out the form. Once you fill out all the details, you will have to mail it to the physical location of the licensing board instead of submitting it online.
You will also need to attach the application and license fees of the relevant amount along with this form. Once you submit it, you will have to wait for the review and verification.
Once this ends and your application gets approved, you will obtain your license.
While filling out your application form, you will also need to provide details about your criminal history. If you have any previous criminal charges, you must provide honest and transparent details about these charges so that the board can verify your eligibility for becoming a plumber.
It is also possible that the board might call you for an interview to ensure that you have provided them with the right information and that you are fit to work. They might contact you for other details as well.
The board will then assess your application based on the nature of your crime, how long ago this took place, what kind of sentence and charges you had to undertake as well as your rehabilitation process following the completion of the sentence or charges.
You will then either get rejected or approved based on these details. You might also need to fulfill certain requirements to get approved.
It is important for you to have some kind of work experience in order to apply for a plumbing license in Arkansas. If you are registering for an apprenticeship, you should do this only after you have found a master plumber to work under so that you can provide their details in the registration form.
If you are applying for a journeyman license, you will need at least four years of experience as an apprentice while also showing proof of completing any relevant training courses.
For a master plumber license, you will need at least five years of work experience overall. You must also have worked as a journeyman plumber for at least a year to qualify for this license.
If you do not meet these requirements, you should take the time to complete them before applying so that you can easily fill out the application.
You will need to register and give the written exam conducted by the state by paying the required fee amount. Once you do this, you will then have to appear for the exam on a given date (whether for a journeyman or master plumber license) which is usually three hours in duration.
To pass the exam, you should obtain a score of at least 70%. Once you obtain these scores, make sure you submit them to the board when you apply for your license.
The exam will test you on plumbing laws, codes as well as some technical knowledge about the industry.
There are several other important documents that you might need to submit as part of your application apart from the form, background check details, exam scores and work experience.
You will have to submit details about your education and training programs as well as your apprenticeship. You will also be required to pay all the applicable fees while also submitting important official identity documents that the board can go through and verify.
Other documents such as a license bond and proof of insurance might also be required depending on the kind of license you are applying for.
Good Plumbing Programs in Arkansas
An important requirement that you might have to fulfill when it comes to your training period and apprenticeship is enrolling and completing a plumbing program or course that can equip you with theoretical, legal and practical information about the industry and your profession.
These programs can give you access to all kinds of learning material. In addition, you might also have the option of fulfilling this kind of requirement online, through in-person classes or through a combination of both.
You can look at courses offered by the following institutes.
- Northwest Arkansas Community College
- Ultimate Technical Academy
- Pulaski Technical College
- Phillips Community College
- Arkansas State University
- Southern Arkansas University Tech
You can look for good apprenticeship programs through Arkansas Apprenticeship and Discover Arkansas. Make sure the program helps you meet your requirements well.
Salary Expectations in the State
The kind of salary that you can expect to earn in the state of Arkansas depends on what kind of license you hold, the experience that you have, your skills and qualifications, your education level and more.
Salaries generally tend to start at around $12 per hour and can be as high as $30 per hour if the plumber is highly skilled.
Per year, this tends to average around $50,000 to $70,000.
Organizations to Know
In case you need any support or resource-based assistance, then it can help to be aware of some organizations in Arkansas as well as the country. You can go through some of their names here:
- Plumbers and Pipefitters Apprenticeship Training of Arkansas
- Associated General Contractors of America
- Arkansas Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association
- Mechanical Contractors Association of America
- American Backflow Prevention Association
- American Supply Association
- American Society of Sanitary Engineering
- American Society of Plumbing Engineers
How Long Does It Take to Get a Plumbing License in Arkansas?
This can depend on what kind of license you want. A journeyman plumbing license can take at least four years while a master plumbing license can take at least five years.
Can Unlicensed Plumbers Find Work in Arkansas?
It is essential for you to have a plumbing license to find suitable work in Arkansas. Even as an apprentice, it is important for you to register. Without a license, you might have to undertake much smaller repair projects which might not be able to give you much in the end.
The steps involved in becoming a plumber in Arkansas are now clear. Make sure you fill out your application form, submit to background checks, complete the required work experience, pay all the fees, pass your exam and submit the relevant documents. You can then start working as a plumber once you get your license.