How to Become a Plumber in Maine

Plumbing is a popular profession and the demand for plumbers is growing. If you live in Maine and want to pursue your career as a plumber or start your plumbing business, then it is essential to get a plumber license. In this guide, we have discussed all the information you need to become a licensed plumber in Maine. So read on.

Types of Plumber Licenses in Maine

In Maine, there are 4 types of plumber licenses that you can get.

  • Journeyman-in-training license
  • Trainee plumber license
  • Journeyman plumber license
  • Master plumber license

The process of getting a plumber license in Maine is quite straightforward. All plumber licenses are granted by the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

License Requirements for Plumbers in Maine

Journeyman-in-Training

As a journeyman-in-training, you are licensed to only offer assistance in making plumbing installations directly supervised by a journeyman or master plumber in order to learn the trade.

However, you cannot act as a journeyman plumber unless you are fully licensed. The license you get as a journeyman-in-training plumber is a 4-year non-renewable license.

To be a journeyman-in-training plumber, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must complete a plumbing course comprising 1-2 semesters at a community college that has been approved by the board or
  • You must complete a 2-year plumbing course in an apprenticeship program registered by the Department of Labor or at an approved technical or career education program as a high school student
  • Submit a completed application
  • You should write the journeyman plumber license exam and get a passing grade of 70% or more

Trainee Plumber

As a trainee plumber, you can assist or make plumbing installations directly supervised by a journeyman or master plumber to learn the trade or for any other reason. To become a trainee plumber, you need to:

  • Complete your application
  • Get a criminal background check
  • Pay the applicable fees
  • Renew your trainee license every 2 years

Journeyman Plumber

As a journeyman plumber, you can perform plumbing jobs such as plumbing and drainage installations while being employed by a master plumber and supervised by them directly.

Or, under a plumber who is not a master plumber and performs plumbing repair jobs as their regular part-time occupation.

To get a journeyman plumber license, you need to:

  • Complete a minimum of 2 years with 4,000 hours of work as a licensed trainee plumber doing plumbing installations and supervised by a licensed master plumber or
  • Complete at least 2,000 hours of work as a journeyman-in-training doing plumbing installations and supervised by a licensed master plumber. However, you should get this work experience within 4 years of the date on which you got your journeyman-in-training license
  • Complete your application
  • You should write the journeyman plumber license exam and get a passing grade of 70% or more
  • Renew your license every 2 years

Master Plumber

As a licensed master plumber, you can engage in jobs related to installing plumbing and plumbing systems. As a master plumber, you can work independently without any supervision and you can supervise up to 3 trainee plumbers.

To get a master plumber license in Maine, you need to:

  • Complete a minimum of 1 year (with 2,000 hours) of working as a licensed journeyman plumber doing plumbing installations or
  • Complete 4 years (with 8,000 hours) of work as a licensed trainee plumber doing plumbing installations while being supervised by a licensed master plumber
  • Complete your application
  • You should write the master plumber license exam and get a passing grade of 75% or more
  • Renew your license every 2 years

Application Process

To get a plumber license in Maine in any of the 4 categories i.e., trainee plumber, journeyman-in-training plumber, journeyman plumber or master plumber, you must complete your application to get your plumber license. You can either apply online or download the forms, complete them and submit them along with the appropriate fees.

Fees

Journeyman-in-Training

  • License Fee: $200
  • Criminal Background Check Fee: $21

Trainee Plumber

  • License Fee: $100
  • Criminal Background Check Fee: $21
  • License Renewal Fee: $100 (one in every 2 years)

Journeyman Plumber

  • License Fee: $200
  • Criminal Background Check Fee: $21
  • License Renewal Fee: $200 (one in every 2 years)
  • Exam Fee: $65

Master Plumber

  • License Fee: $200
  • Criminal Background Check Fee: $21
  • License Renewal Fee: $200 (one in every 2 years)
  • Exam Fee: $65

Background Check

Each level of plumbing license requires you to undergo a criminal background check by paying a fee of $21. If you have been convicted for a serious offense or have committed a recent offense, the Board may deny you a plumbing license.

Exam

To get a plumber license in Maine and be a journeyman or master plumber, you need to take the examination. The plumber license exams are administered by Prov and you can get all the information regarding the exams here.

The fee for the plumber license exams is $65. The exams are closed-book format and the exam details include:

  • Journeyman Plumber License Exam: 80 questions in 3 hours
  • Master Plumber License Exam: 100 questions in 3 hours

You can take the plumber license exams in any of the 5 locations in Maine including Calais, Bangor, Auburn, Presque Isle and Portland. However, you can take the test from your home via Examroom, the remote test monitoring service offered by Prov if your computer supports it. You must get a grade of 70% in the journeyman plumber license exam at least and a minimum of 75% in the master plumber exam to pass.

Insurance Requirements

To work as a licensed plumber in Maine, you need health and disability insurance. Your company may handle this for you if you work with one. However, if you work independently, then you must get your own insurance coverage or if you’re a member of a union, then you can get insurance through them.

You also require liability insurance to cover any accidents when you’re working on the client’s property, And, you also must have property insurance to cover your equipment in case of any damage.

Good Plumbing Programs in Maine

Plumbing Trade Schools

You need to pass the licensing exams to become a licensed plumber in the state. And, to prepare you for the exams and also get training, it is essential to attend a good training program. There are many plumbing trade schools (regular or online) in Maine that you can join to complete your training including:

Apprenticeship Programs

Doing an apprenticeship program is valuable not only to learn the trade but also for on-the-job training. You can find apprenticeship programs in Maine via the Maine Apprenticeship Program website that is maintained by the Maine Department of Labor. Or you can check out the apprenticeship programs at:

  • Local 716
  • United Association Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, & Service Techs

Salary Expectations in Maine

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for plumbers in Maine is around $53,770 per year. As a trainee plumber or a journeyman-in-training plumber, you can earn up to $15 per hour and with more experience and higher-level licenses, you can expect to earn an average salary of around $28.62 an hour. A licensed master plumber can earn an average salary of $50 an hour or more.

Useful Organizations to Know

As a licensed plumber in Maine, it is essential to be updated with the latest guidelines and happenings in the field and so it is a good idea to know a few trade associations, educational and professional organizations that you can approach in case you need any professional help or advice.

Does Maine Have Plumbing License Reciprocity with Other States?

No, Maine doesn’t have any plumbing license reciprocity agreements with any other state; however, Maine does consider reciprocity for any individual having a valid license in another state that has licensing standards, as well as experience requirements that are equivalent to Maine and as long as the other state/territory provides similar opportunities to individuals with a Maine plumbing license.

How Often Should I Renew My Plumbing License in Maine?

If you’re a licensed plumber in Maine, you need to renew your license once every 2 years. The renewal fee for a trainee plumber license is $100, while for a journeyman plumber license or master plumber license, the renewal fee is $200. The journeyman-in-training license is a 4-year license, which is non-renewable.

Is It Beneficial to Join a Plumber Union in Maine?

If you’re working for a company, then it may be beneficial to join a union and be a member such as Maine Plumbers and Pipefitters UA Local 716. Being a union member offers several advantages.

The union helps workers with their health insurance, negotiates salaries, helps with job placements, etc. However, if you work as an independent plumber, then it may not be necessary to join a union.

Is There Any Continuing Education Requirement for Plumbers in Maine?

No, Maine does not have any requirements for continuing education for plumbers.

In conclusion, if you want to work as a plumber in Maine, you must get a license. The process of getting one is quite simple but involves many steps.

We hope that after reading our in-depth guide, you have all the information you need to start your journey as a plumber in the state.

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