Becoming a plumber in the state of Minnesota will, first and foremost, require you to have a good amount of knowledge of the local laws and plumbing codes in the state along with some practical experience in the field.
In order to carry this out, you will need to follow a few steps that can allow you to undertake these requirements in the form of training courses and apprenticeships. Following this, you will need to give a test to mark and assess your knowledge so that you can obtain your license.
Once you manage to earn your license, you can start taking up jobs of different kinds such as repair work, maintenance, installing and cleaning pipes, fitting fixtures, discussing building codes, overseeing projects, and more, depending on the kind of license you hold.
The following sections can tell you how to become a plumber in Minnesota in greater detail.
There are mainly three different categories that you can get through when it comes to becoming a plumber in Minnesota. These include:
- Unlicensed plumber (or an apprentice)
- Journeyman plumber
- Master plumber
Becoming a journeyman and a master plumber both require you to obtain a license so that you can start taking up jobs in your profession. You will also need to complete training hours, fieldwork hours, examinations, and applications to become qualified to obtain a plumbing license.
There are also two other categories in Minnesota known as the restricted journeyman plumber and a restricted master plumber, both of which require practical experience along with the condition to work in parts of the state with a population fewer than 5,000.
The other categories have the following requirements.
- Register for an apprenticeship.
- Pay all relevant fees.
- Complete 7,000 hours of practical work in water distribution, installing fixtures and installing drain, vent and waste structures for the journeyman license.
- Complete five years of work for the master plumber license.
- Take and pass all the relevant exams.
- Apply for the license.
- Submit a background check.
- Provide identification and other documents.
You can find more information about the process through the Department of Labor and Industry while also reading about the requirements in further detail below.
Make sure you fill out the application form with thoroughness, accuracy, and caution. Go through all the details that you need to fill out in the form when it comes to applying for the plumbing exam.
In this form, you will clearly need to state the kind of license you want to apply for. There will be multiple instructions that you should read through before you submit this form to ensure that you do not make too many errors.
This form will have a bunch of fields regarding your personal information as well as your work experience and background. You should also pay the fees at this stage while also attaching other relevant documents.
Employer details are also important here.
When it comes to your apprentice registration, your form will ask you questions about yourself along with details about your employer. Thus, make sure you have all of this in place before applying.
You can then print out the form and mail the filled-out form to the address of the licensing board. They will then review and approve your application.
All states in the United States require you to fill out a form regarding your criminal history as part of your application for all sorts of professions. This can allow them to conduct a background check to ensure that you are safe and fit to work in your profession.
They take into account factors like the nature and number of crimes and charges, their fulfillment through your sentence, and how long it has been since your charges. Your reformation after this point is also of equal importance here.
Ideally, if you fulfill all the conditions to be deemed fit to work, then the licensing board will approve your application. In some cases, they might ask you to carry out a few more conditions before you can proceed with your application.
In case the crime or charge was severe or too risky, the state might end up rejecting the application.
If you do not have any such charges, you can simply state that or leave that section blank.
You should complete a certain number of hours when it comes to your training and on-field work to count as work experience. Once you complete them, you can apply for your license.
The work experience requirements in Minnesota are as follows:
- Unlicensed Plumber: You do not need any kind of prior work experience for this, although you should have completed your high school education or GED. You can then become an apprentice for a master plumber and enroll in training courses.
- Journeyman Plumber: You can apply for this license if you have completed 7,000 hours in the field in various fields within the industry. This will amount to around four years as an apprentice before you can become a journeyman plumber.
- Master Plumber: To become a master plumber, you should hold a journeyman license for at least a year.
Once you fill out the application and send it out, you can then wait for receiving approval to give the written exam. This kind of exam is essential for becoming a journeyman plumber as well as a master plumber.
You will need to pass this exam with a decent score so that you can obtain your license. You can then mention these scores when you apply for your license after completing all the other requirements.
You will need to schedule the date and venue of the exam based on your convenience as well as availability.
Apart from the aforementioned documents, you might be asked to submit other documents for your exam as well as license application forms. These can include your identity documents, certifications, documents related to your fees, education completion documents, and more.
Proof of insurance and license bond documents are also essential if you are applying for a master plumber license and have employees working under you. This can act as a reassurance to the board that you have plans in place in case of liabilities and damage.
Make sure you attach these as stated in the instructions of the forms.
Enrolling yourself in a plumbing program can help you learn about laws, codes, regulations, theories and practical skills required for your plumbing career in Minnesota.
These programs can help you learn through books, videos, projects, online courses as well as in-person classes. Once you obtain this kind of training and education, you can apply it on the field while also managing to complete your requirements for your license.
You should pick a good plumbing program. Take a look at some options:
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College
- Hennepin Technical College
- Saint Paul College
- Northland Community and Technical College
You can find a list and ranking categories here.
How much you can expect to get paid will depend on:
- Your experience level
- Your skills
- Kind of license you hold
- Your education level
- Other qualifications or certifications
As an apprentice or unregistered plumber, you can expect to earn around $12-$15 per hour. As you gain more experience, you will be able to earn around $30 per hour.
Per year, you can expect to earn an average of around $58,000-$60,000, although the range can be anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000.
You should be aware of some organizations in Minnesota as well as in the country in case you need any kind of support or access to resources. Some of these include:
- Minnesota Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association
- Northern Mechanical/Plumbing Contractors Association
- Minnesota Pipe Trades 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
You can register with them or simply contact them in case you need help.
It can take up to four years to obtain a journeyman plumbing license in Minnesota and an additional year (or five years overall) to obtain a master plumbing license. It might also take more depending on your conditions.
A licensed plumber can carry out repairs, maintenance, installations, cleaning, piping and more. If you are a master plumber, you can also hire employees and oversee projects while also working with other professionals working on the building and construction project.
Through this guide, you now know what it takes to become a plumber in Minnesota. Make sure you go through everything in detail so that you can conduct the process smoothly. Once you are prepared, you can work towards passing your exam and obtaining your license.