How to Become a Plumber in Massachusetts


In the state of Massachusetts, holding a plumbing license is essential to becoming a plumber since this can legally allow you to carry out repair and maintenance work while also being able to start your own plumbing company, if eligible.

In addition, the process of obtaining a plumbing license can also take you a long way in terms of learning about the codes and regulations for plumbing in Massachusetts, since most states are likely to have different laws in place.

Thus, in order to obtain a plumbing license to become a plumber in Massachusetts, you will need to figure out the criteria and requirements involved so that you can go about fulfilling them. You can then give the necessary exams and earn your license.

To figure out where and how to begin, you can go through the following sections.

Required Qualifications to Be a Plumber in Massachusetts

If you want to become a plumber in Massachusetts, you will need to start off as an apprentice and move on to becoming a journeyman plumber and then a master plumber.

For each of these stages, you will need to make your applications, pay the fees, complete certain working and training hours and pass the relevant state exams.

This entire process is conducted and overseen by the Board of Registration of Plumbers and Gas Fitters from the Division of Occupational Licensure.

You can go through the general qualifications for the state of Massachusetts below.

  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete training and education before the apprenticeship
  • Complete your apprenticeship
  • Have three years of experience as an apprentice for the journeyman license
  • Have at least a year of experience as a journeyman 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 documentation and forms

You can go through these in further detail below.

Application Form

The application form is an essential part of becoming a licensed plumber in Massachusetts. It can help you provide all the important information that the licensing board can then use to carry out verifications and approvals.

The details and attestations required in the application form will depend on whether you are applying for your apprentice license, journeyman license or master plumber license.

There will be several details about yourself that you will need to fill in this form. Make sure you fill them out thoroughly and honestly so that the review process can go smoothly.

You will need to submit various other forms along with your application details such as details about your employing master, photographs, statement of experience and other fee-related information.

It is also important for you to ensure that you do not leave anything empty unless it does not apply to you.

Further, the submission process for this application form is usually online and takes place through the state’s ePlace portal. Ensure that you also account for the additional details required by each type of license.

Background Check

A background check is important for the licensing board and state to carry out so that they can ensure that you are suitable enough to hold the license. For this, the application process will require you to fill out a background check form regarding your criminal history and charges.

Of course, if you do not have any such background, then you can simply state that in your application or leave it blank if that is an option.

However, if you do have past charges, then you must make it a point to provide all important information regarding these charges. Usually, this includes the nature of your crime, the terms of your charges, whether or not you have fulfilled them and how long it has been since then.

These details will then determine whether or not your application will get approved. If your crime was one with high-level charges or caused harm to others or was related to the industry of plumbing, then the board might take some additional time and information.

As long as you have a clean record following your charges, however, you should be able to get your license approved. Make sure you do not hide or withhold any kind of information at any point.

Work Experience

You will need the proper work experience to qualify for the plumbing license. This can then allow you to become a plumber and start practicing your profession in the state of Massachusetts.

This work experience can include both practical work as well as training hours since both can equip you well for the industry.

The kind and amount of work experience you need will depend on the level that you are applying for. You can go through the essentials for each level below.

  • Apprentice: To get an apprentice license, you will need to complete training, education and work experience or show proof of enrolment. Make sure you find a reliable master plumber to work under so that you can provide their information in your application.
  • Journeyman: To get a journeyman license, you will need to complete 550 hours of training along with 8,500 hours of work experience. This work experience will generally be under a master plumber and can take up to five years to complete.
  • Master: Once you get your journeyman plumbing license, you should work as a journeyman for at least a year before you apply for your master plumbing license.

Written Exam

You will also need to give a written exam whenever you apply for your journeyman license as well as your master plumbing license. To be eligible for this exam, however, you will first need to complete all the other requirements.

Based on these, you can then ask the licensing board whether or not you can take the exam in the first place. If they approve your request, you can then register for the test, pick a date, pay the fees and appear for the test through PSI Exams.

Relevant Documents

You might have to submit some additional documents in order to complete your application and qualification process. These can include your official identity documentation, education completion documents, payment documents, certifications and more.

Apart from that, you might also need to provide a license bond and proof of insurance if you are applying for your master plumber license so that the board can know that you have a safety net for your company and your employees in case something goes wrong.

Good Plumbing Programs in Massachusetts

Training and education are necessary aspects of becoming a plumber in Massachusetts since these can equip you with theoretical, technical, legal and practical information and skills about your industry.

These skills can then prove useful to you when you put them into practice in your profession. These plumbing programs can help you meet your credits and requirements for the license as well, so make sure you choose good ones.

Some options for you to consider include:

  • Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology
  • Motoring Technical Training Institute
  • Assabet Valley Regional Technical School
  • Baypath Technical School

You can go through the list of authorized plumbing schools here and pick one based on your requirements and convenience.

Salary Expectations in the State

You can expect to earn anywhere between $12 and $30 per hour as a plumber in Massachusetts. The rate will keep increasing as you go on accumulating more experience, training, skills, achievements and licenses.

On an annual basis, you can expect to earn anywhere between $50,000 and $75,000, although this is more for licensed journeyman plumbers and master plumbers. Apprentices might start at a lower range but can earn more as they gain more experience and develop their footing in the industry.

This can also depend on the scale of fixtures or fittings in your project.

Organizations to Know

It can help to be aware of certain organizations in the state and country so that you can access them for support and resources.

Some of these include:

  • Massachusetts Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association
  • Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association
  • 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 Get a Plumbing License in Massachusetts?

This depends on the kind of license you need. A journeyman plumbing license can take up to four or five years to obtain while a master license can take you six years (including the journeyman period) to obtain.

Is It Worth Getting a Plumbing License in Massachusetts?

If you definitely want to become a plumber in Massachusetts, then it can certainly be worth getting the license even though you might need to pay a bunch of fees. Getting a license is important to take up legal plumbing jobs in the state.

Final Remarks

Hopefully, the aforementioned steps and criteria have made the process of becoming a plumber in Massachusetts clear for you. Now that you know what to do and where to start, you can figure out your next steps and start preparing for your profession.

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