Plumbing is a lucrative career, especially in the rural areas of Kansas. You can either work for a plumbing company or start your own business in the state. However, if you’re unsure about how to go about getting into this profession, here is our detailed guide that will give you all the information about how to become a plumber in Kansas.
If you want to work as a plumber in the state, Kansas does not require you to have a plumber license to do plumbing jobs at the state level, unlike the other US states. You can repair plumbing, install fixtures and lines in old and new buildings without a license.
However, depending on where you’re working, several cities/municipalities in the state require a plumber license for you to take up any kind of plumbing job so you will need a local plumber license. In this article, we’ll take a look at the plumber license requirements in some municipalities/cities in Kansas.
To start a plumbing career in Kansas, the first step is to get an apprenticeship, for which you need to complete a 5-year apprentice program. To apply for an apprenticeship, it is a good idea to visit your local Workforce Center and complete the application form and you must fulfill the following requirements. You must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a GED or high school diploma
- Be a US citizen
- Have a copy of your birth certificate
- Have a Class C driver’s license
- Take a Workkeys test (administered by the Workforce Center and takes around 2-4 hours to complete)
- Take a drug test
- Submit a completed application
Once you complete the application process, you will receive a certified letter, which will notify you of the date and time of your interview. On completion of the interview, you will receive another letter and depending on your rank, you have a higher chance of getting an apprenticeship.
You will be eligible to apply for a journeyman plumber license after you finish your apprentice training program. Once you get a journeyman license, you can work unsupervised on plumbing jobs. However, the journeyman plumbing license requirements vary according to the city in Kansas.
If you want to get a journeyman license in Shawnee/ Topeka, you must:
- Submit an application form along with a fee of $53
- Take the journeyman license exam and get a minimum of 75%
- You must take the exam and show the proof of certification if you are certified by the ICC (International Code Council)
If you want to get a journeyman license in Sedgwick/ Wichita, you must:
- Have 2 years of work experience
- Have 1-year of education and 1 year of work experience
- Get a score minimum of 75% in the IAPMO or ICC exam
You must also submit:
- An application form along with a fee of $35
- Proof of the exam results
- Trade school transcript copies
- Proof of industry experience
If you live in Overland Park in Johnson County and want to work here as a plumber, then you will need to get a Class DP plumbing contractor license. For this you need to fulfill the following:
- You must complete the application and submit it along with the appropriate fees
- Submit proof of Worker’s Compensation and General Liability insurance
- Submit a copy of your driver’s license
- Be a US citizen
- Pass a background check
- Have 4 years of relevant industry experience
You should hire an individual who:
- Has a degree in bachelor of science in engineering, architecture, construction management or construction science from an ACCE or ABET-accredited program or
- Pass an exam administered by the Contractor License Review Board and get a minimum of 75%
The individual must also:
- Submit proof of experience i.e., should have held a valid journeyman license for at least 2 years or have at least 4 years of field experience
- Evidence of the individual’s good standing
- Photo ID of the company owner and qualified individual that has been issued by the government
- In Shawnee/Topeka: If you want to apply for an apprentice, journeyman or master plumber license in Topeka, you must fill out the application and submit it along with the appropriate fee.
- In Sedgwick/Wichita: If you want to apply for a journeyman or master plumber certificate in Wichita, you must fill out the application and submit it along with the appropriate fee.
- In Johnson County: If you want to apply for a Class DP plumbing contractor license, in Johnson County, you must submit your completed application to the Johnson County Board. You can get the application packet here, complete and sign it and submit it in person or mail it to the office along with the prescribed fees.
In Shawnee/ Topeka, you must write the journeyman plumber license or master plumber license exam and get a minimum of 75% marks from an accredited testing agency. The testing agencies acceptable by the county include:
In Sedgwick/Wichita, you must complete and pass the exam administered by one of the following:
- Application Fees in Sedgwick/ Wichita: $35
- Application Fees in Shawnee/ Topeka
- Apprentice Plumber: $33
- Journeyman Plumber: $53
- Master Plumber: $103
- Class DP Plumbing Contractor License
- Application Fee: $100 (one-off fee)
- License Fee: $225
Every plumbing contractor company should have general liability insurance that includes completed operations coverage. If required by the Kansas laws, they should also have worker’s compensation insurance.
If you apply for exemption from the requirement of the worker’s compensation insurance, you must have the worker’s compensation waiver form that has been completed and notarized.
You should get the insurance from a licensed insurance company that is eligible to do business in the state of Kansas. You must then submit the insurance certificate at the time of application for your plumber license or at the time of the license renewal.
To get your plumber license in Kansas, you must complete your education and there are several trade schools and institutions in the state that offer online or regular programs that you can attend according to your convenience and preference.
Some of the plumbing trade schools in Kansas include:
- Johnson County Community College
- Northeast Kansas Technical College
- North Central Kansas Technical College
- Wichita Area Technical College
- Butler Community College
It is a good idea to find an apprenticeship program that will help you to acquire on-the-job training and also hone your skills. Some apprenticeship programs that you can check out include:
- Plumbers and Pipefitters Apprenticeship Training of Kansas
- TATRO Plumbing
- Pinnacle Plumbing Company, LLC
- First Construction LLC
- Associated Builders and Contractors Heart of America
In Kansas, the average salary of a plumber is around $19,64 an hour and $54,455 a year. More experienced plumbers can earn up to $25-$30 per hour.
If you are planning to start your own plumbing company in Kansas, then it is important to be updated about the latest occurrences in the industry. Here are some of the plumbing trade associations that can help you to grow your skills, as well as your business.
- Kansas Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association
- Mechanical Contractors Association
- American Backflow Prevention Association
- American Supply Association
- Plumbing Contractors Of America
- American Society Of Plumbing Engineers
Depending on the type of plumbing license you’re looking to get and the municipality of Kansas, the length of the training differs. However, to become a journeyman plumber, typically, you must complete 2 years of apprentice training and to become a master plumber, it will take another 2 years.
No, Kansas doesn’t have a reciprocal licensing agreement with any other state.
Joining a plumbing union has several benefits. The union provides support to the plumbing contractors in the state and holds meetings every week.
You can attend the union meetings; however, to join the union, you must submit your resume. If you’re planning to start your plumbing business in Kansas, then it can be beneficial to join a union.
Yes, most of the cities and counties in Kansas that require a plumbing license need you to renew your license every year. The renewal fee is $225 per annum. You must go to the office in person and show your existing plumbing license. The license will be renewed for another year on the payment of the renewal fee.
In conclusion, compared to other states in the US, Kansas has different rules and regulations for plumbers. While Kansas does not require you to have a plumber license for plumbing jobs at the state level, several of the counties and municipalities in the state have their own licensing requirements.
And, to work legally in these counties, it is essential to know the guidelines. We hope that this guide provides all the information you need to plan your plumbing career in Kansas.