How to Become a Plumber in Nebraska


The plumbing licenses in Nebraska are not regulated at the level of the state. So, your first step towards becoming a plumber in the cornhusker state is to check with the local authorities where you will be working.

As in most other states, you can either be a journeyman plumber or a master plumber in the state of Nebraska. For both these categories, you need a license and there is a procedure to get it.

Irrespective of the type of license you get or are eligible for, it will expire every year and must be renewed if you want to keep working as a plumber in this state. That has specific requirements too. We will look at all that and more in this piece.

Requirements for Becoming a Plumber in Nebraska

Individuals who want to be a plumber in Nebraska must get one of the two available types of licenses—journeyman or master plumber license. And each has its own set of requirements as is usually the case.

If you want to get the license to be a journeyman plumber in Nebraska, you need to:

  • Finish classroom education for 4 years which includes plumbing construction for 300 hours
  • An apprenticeship program for four years that is approved by the city authorities
  • Take and pass the journeyman licensing exam

You can also get a journeyman plumber’s license by working as a trainee for a minimum of 7 consecutive years. In this case, you will need to show that you have worked for at least 300 hours during every one of those 7 years. That brings the total to 7,000 hours which is the minimum requirement to be eligible to get a license.

If you want to take the licensing exam, you must pass the theoretical part and the practical part of the test. The questions will cover subjects like sanitation, venting, building drainage and plumbing. Each applicant must:

  • Fill out and submit an application for the test
  • Pay a fee of $50
  • Provide educational and apprenticeship certificates to the plumbing board

If you want to be a master plumber in Nebraska, you must:

  • Be 23 years of age or more
  • Have 4 years of work experience as a journeyman plumber with a license
  • Submit an application for the test and pay a fee of $75
  • Take and pass the state-approved test for master plumbers

If you have a license in a city other than Omaha and want to get a license here, you can get it by getting an endorsement from a qualified individual. But your license must be valid in a city that has the same training standards as Omaha and is of the same size.

Apprenticeship Programs in Nebraska

Those who are looking for an apprenticeship in Nebraska can visit the portal set up by the Nebraska Department of Labor. You can also do the same through a training program or a trade school. There are some private listings too but make sure they meet the standards mandated by the state. You can do this in person or online.

To apply for an apprenticeship in Nebraska, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or more
  • Be a high school graduate or have a GED
  • Fill out and submit an apprentice agreement along for which you might have to pay a registration fee
  • Register with the plumbing board secretary every year (for Omaha)

You will need to register with the plumbing board secretary by giving them your name, address and place of work. This registration will expire on December 30th every year as does the license.

Plumbing Programs in Nebraska

If you are looking for a plumbing training program in Nebraska, you have four good options. Here they are.

  • Steamfitters & Plumbers Local Union (Omaha): They have specific training classes for those aspiring to be a journey plumber in western Nebraska, Lincoln and Omaha. There is a separate course for those who want to do this online. They also have an apprenticeship program that can be done in the classroom and while working.
  • ABC Education Center (Omaha): This is from the Association for Builders and Contractors and it is an accredited program. They have courses for journeyman plumbers who need continuing education. They also do webinars and seminars on regulatory changes, taxes and legal matters.
  • Northeast Community College: This one is a community college that has a few different training courses for aspiring plumbers. The classes cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of working in residential and commercial establishments which will help you pass the state-mandated licensing test too.
  • Plumbers Local Union No.16: This is the union based in Omaha and it offers apprenticeship programs for those who want to get a license in the city of Omaha. It is said to be the best program in Nebraska and it requires you to finish 1,200 classroom hours and 10,000 hours in the field.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

Being a plumber in Nebraska is lucrative considering the average salary is about $52,700. The specifics differ from one city to the other along with the location in the city. You must also take your skill level and experience into consideration when calculating the salary. But in Nebraska, the top-paying locations are:

CityAverage Salary
Grand Island$53,412

Working as a Plumber in Nebraska

Apart from having the required skills for the job, a plumber in Nebraska is also expected to be able to read the blueprints of an establishment whether it is residential or commercial. You should also be aware of the building codes specific to the locality where you are performing the job and also those that are in place for the state of Nebraska.

Your job will entail inspecting the plumbing, figuring out the problem and fixing it. You will also need to be able to anticipate any future problems that might occur with the existing piping system.

This means you should have a thorough understanding of the systems in place in that particular city and state. You should also have a basic understanding of welding and carpentry so that you can work with the fillings on any given site should the need arise.

Of course, you should also know how to install a piping system from scratch, keep the existing water systems running and provide maintenance and repair whenever required.

You will need to renew your license periodically and before that, both journeyman plumbers and master plumbers must complete 8 hours of continuing education classes.

Organizations You Should Know

As a plumber in Nebraska, here are some organizations you should be familiar with.

You should also check the different plumbing unions based on your locality.


Does Nebraska Have a Reciprocity Agreement with the Other States?

Omaha in Nebraska has a reciprocity agreement. It is for those individuals who have a license in a city that is of the same size and has the same standards as the city of Omaha. You need to submit documents to the plumbing board to make your case and get a license here.

What Score Should I Get to Pass the Journeyman/Master Plumber Exam?

You have to score at least 70 percent on the test to pass the licensing exam in Nebraska.

What Are the Plumbing Codes Used in Nebraska?

The state of Nebraska uses the 2018 Uniform Plumbing Code in accordance with the state legislature. But the ordinances specific to a city or county where you work might have some other subsections. So, it is best to check with the local authorities.


So, to sum it up, if you want to become a plumber in Nebraska, you must get a high school diploma or an education equivalent to that. You should then take a vocational course and fulfill its requirements to be eligible for the licensing exam conducted by the state. Since Nebraska has city-by-city requirements, you want to make sure that you meet those criteria before you sit for the test.

If you’re interested in becoming a licensed plumber, you are required to complete your standard education. In Nebraska, this means you just receive your high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) before you can move forward specialized training.

To seek vocational training, you should grasp and also pass the the science and maths course. Or you could become a journeyman plumber by working for 7 consecutive years while working at least 300 hours every year.

Then you must apply for an apprenticeship that has been approved by the city and then sit for the exam. If you score more  than 70 percent on the test which includes both theory and practicals, you can get your license.

That will lead you to a fruitful plumbing career in Nebraska which usually lasts for an average of 15 years when you plan it well.

Leave a Comment