How to Become a Plumber in Maryland


If you want to become a plumber in Maryland, you will need to follow several steps to become eligible for a plumbing license in the state. It is only once you complete the qualifications and requirements that you will be able to obtain your license and begin practicing your profession.

When it comes to specific state-based plumbing licenses, becoming aware of the local laws, codes and regulations is essential so that you know what to expect. This can also help you out in your application process.

Once you manage to fulfill all the requirements, you will be able to obtain your license and carry out repairs and maintenance of pipes and fixtures while also employing other plumbers if you become an advanced professional.

You can go through the steps, requirements, and criteria involved in the process of becoming a plumber in Maryland through this guide.

Required Qualifications to Be a Plumber in Maryland

In order to become a plumber in Maryland, there are mainly three stages that you need to cross, provided that you want to make it to the final stage. To be considered a licensed plumber, however, you will still need to hold a journeyman plumbing license.

The three stages are:

  • Apprentice plumber
  • Journey plumber
  • Master plumber

You can begin at the apprenticeship stage and work as an apprentice for at least four years, which can include your training period as well as some field experience.

You can then move on to obtaining your journey plumber license. It is only after completing at least two years as a journey plumber that you can obtain a master plumber license.

This process is overseen by the Department of Labor in Maryland. In essence, 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 experience as an apprentice for the journeyman license
  • Have two years of experience as a journey plumber for the master plumber license
  • Complete relevant training hours
  • Pay all exam and license fees
  • Pass the exams
  • Apply for the license
  • Submit to a background check
  • Provide identification
  • Provide proof of insurance

You can find out about some of these qualifications in further detail below.

Application Form

It is essential for you to fill out an application form so that you can apply for your plumbing license as an apprentice, journey plumber or master plumber.

It is important that you go through the form in advance (if possible) before you begin filling it out so that you can gather all relevant information in advance so that you can fill out the form quickly enough.

If you are applying for an apprentice license, then the process will be fairly simple since you will only need to fill in some of your personal details regarding your identity. Make sure you have already found a master plumber to work under in this case.

When it comes to applying for a journey plumber or master plumber license, you will need to select the type of license from the options and log in with your password and other details. You can then fill out the questions as required.

Paying the fees must also be done at this stage. You can complete the filling out and submission process entirely online.

Background Check

Since this is a formal and professional procedure and concern, you will need to submit to a background check in which you will need to disclose the details of your criminal history. In case you have any past charges, you should ensure that you provide all the information about it in your form.

Based on the nature of your crime, the charges and how much time has passed since then, your application will be assessed. If your rehabilitation process has been smooth, then you should ideally not face any issue when it comes to the approval of your application.

In some cases, it could be possible for your application to get rejected or approved under certain conditions.

Either way, however, you must be transparent about this requirement.

Work Experience

How much work experience you have is another factor taken into account during the process of becoming a plumber in Maryland. Once you become an apprentice plumber, you will need to complete four years before you can apply to be a journey plumber.

As an apprentice, you will need to undergo 7,500 hours of training and education so that you can learn the skills, legal codes, theories and other technical knowledge about the industry. In addition, 32 hours of backflow prevention device testing training is mandatory.

This will also require practical work under a master plumber. Completing these four years will then let you become a journey plumber.

As a journey plumber, you should work for at least two years and also complete 3,750 hours of training to qualify for a master plumber license.

If you are just starting out, it is essential for you to go through the entire process without rushing it too much. This will then also make it easier for you to obtain your plumbing license and build your career.

Written Exam

A comprehensive exam to test your knowledge about the industry is required for you to obtain your license. For instance, once you complete your apprenticeship, you will need to appear for the exam either online or at a physical test center.

Similarly, once you have held your journey plumber license for at least two years and have also completed the training hours, you can apply for a master plumber license by giving and passing an exam.

These exams are conducted by PSI Exams, so make sure you register for your test and pick a suitable date through them.

Relevant Documents

You should submit all relevant documents as part of your application apart from the ones mentioned above. This can include your government-issued identification cards, education certificates, documents regarding your fees and other relevant certifications.

You should also ensure that you provide proof of insurance if you are applying for a master plumber license. This can keep you and your employees protected in case of any kind of liability or property damage.

Once you submit everything that is asked of you, the licensing board will carry out verifications and proceed to approve your license application as long as you have fulfilled all the requirements successfully.

Good Plumbing Programs in Maryland

A major part of your apprenticeship, as well as your journey plumber license period, is to carry out training through a formal plumbing program. This can allow you to learn the ins and outs of the trade (both theoretical and practical) so that you can be prepared to work.

You can access learning material as well as in-person or online classes through these plumbing programs. Make sure you opt for a good program that helps you meet your requirements and expectations.

Some options for you to consider include:

  • College of Southern Maryland
  • Prince George’s Community College
  • Community College of Baltimore County
  • Montgomery College

You can also go through a list of some additional approved courses here while also finding some support through the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program.

Salary Expectations in the State

How much you can expect to earn in the state of Maryland will depend on the level of education and training you have, how much work experience you have accumulated, what kind of license you hold as well as other qualifications.

Per hour, you can expect to earn between $15 and $30 depending on what kind of license you hold. Further, salaries generally average around $60,000 with the usual range being $50,000-$70,000.

Organizations to Know

Having some kind of support and access to resources when it comes to your profession is always useful. You can find this kind of support through organizations in the state as well as the country.

  • Maryland Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association
  • Mechanical Contractors Association of Maryland
  • Associated General Contractors of America
  • 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 Finish Plumbing School in Maryland?

Plumbing school in Maryland generally takes around two years, although many might also offer courses for four years. The overall training period can last for at least four years.

Can I Do My Own Plumbing in Maryland?

You can do your own plumbing in Maryland only if you have a master plumbing license. Other licenses require you to work under a master plumber. It is also illegal to work without a plumbing license in Maryland, whether you are just starting out or have already worked for a few years.

Final Remarks

To sum up, becoming a plumber in Maryland requires you to train, work for several years, pass the state examinations, submit all your documents and pay all the fees. Once the licensing board verifies your details and goes through your application, you can obtain your license and start working.

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