How to Become a Plumber in North Dakota


In order to become a plumber in the state of North Dakota, you will need to follow an established set of guidelines and requirements so that you can become qualified to carry out repairs, cleaning, maintenance and installation of fittings, pipes, and fixtures.

You can then also go on to advance based on the license that you have and find larger projects, whether commercial or residential.

As long as you can manage to fulfill the required criteria, you will be able to get through the process smoothly and quickly while also having the knowledge of the local codes, regulations, and laws in the state.

As with most other states in the country, the process of becoming a plumber in North Dakota will require you to start off as an apprentice and then move on to becoming a journeyman and master plumber.

To find out more about how to become a plumber in North Dakota, you can go through the following sections.

Required Qualifications to Be a Plumber in North Dakota

In order to become a plumber in the state of North Dakota, you will need to go through three different levels of licensing. These are as follows:

  • Apprentice plumber
  • Journeyman plumber
  • Master plumber

As an apprentice plumber, you will be able to obtain training (both academic and practical) and seek experience under a master plumber.

Becoming a journeyman plumber will also require you to work under a master plumber and it is only once you become a master plumber that you can employ other people in your business or start working as an independent plumber.

You do not need to give an exam to become an apprentice but only to become a journeyman and master plumber.

To oversee, manage and administer plumbing exams, applications and licenses, the North Dakota State Plumbing Board is in place. This board is responsible for approving and rejecting your applications while also establishing the criteria that you will need to fulfill.

Overall, to become a plumber in North Dakota, you will need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old (for apprentice or journeyman) or 21 years old (for master plumber).
  • Have a high school diploma or GED.
  • Complete your apprenticeship and training.
  • Fill out and submit the application form.
  • Pay the relevant licensing fees.
  • Complete four years of work experience and obtain a general contractor’s license to become a journeyman plumber.
  • Complete two years of experience as a journeyman plumber to become a master plumber.
  • Apply, take and pass the exams.
  • Submit to a background check.
  • Submit all relevant documents, including insurance proof (for a master plumbing license).

Once you manage to carry out these steps, you will then be able to obtain the license that you are applying for so that you can start practicing your profession. To find out about the specifics of some of these criteria, you can go through the following sections.

Application Form

First and foremost, you must fill out an application form asking for your personal details as well as other information about your work experience, training courses (if applicable), your residential details, criminal history and other necessary information.

The form will also contain instructions that you must first go through so that you can have a better understanding of what to expect and how to go about the process of filling it out.

There is a separate form for an apprentice, although the application form for a journeyman and master plumber is the same.

Make sure you fill out all the spaces and attach the necessary documents while also paying the fees. You will then need to either mail the form to the licensing board or personally deliver it to them.

Background Check

A background check is an important part of becoming a plumber in North Dakota. In fact, regardless of the profession and state, a background check can be a way for the state to figure out how suitable you are for your job.

Your application form will ask you about your criminal history and whether or not you have any ongoing charges against you. You should answer this honestly and provide additional information if required at any stage of the process.

The nature of your crime, the time period since then, how your record has been since then and what your work has been like will all be taken into account to approve or reject your application.

Work Experience

You will need to complete a stipulated number of hours of work experience in order to qualify as a journeyman plumber or a master plumber in North Dakota. Exactly how much experience you need depends on the kind of license that you are applying for.

For instance, in order to become a journeyman plumber, you will need to have completed your apprenticeship while also completing four years (7,600 hours) of work experience along with a few hours of educational courses.

To become a master plumber, you will need to complete two years (3,400 hours) of work experience as a journeyman plumber alongside four hours of an approved course.

Written Exam

Once you have all the other criteria in place, you can move on to registering and applying for an exam that will then allow you to become a practicing plumber in the state.

You can choose to take this exam online or through a physical test center in your state. On the date of the exam, the questions that you will need to answer will be related to the skills and technical knowledge of the trade as well as the local and national codes and laws.

It is essential for you to pass the exam so that you can then submit your scores and obtain your license.

Relevant Documents

The documents that you will require for becoming a plumber in North Dakota are as follows:

  • Work experience proof detailing your employer’s information, credentials and signatures
  • Examination scores
  • Government-issued identification
  • Fee payment documents
  • Insurance proof and bond documents

These can help the board understand that you are prepared to work in the trade.

Good Plumbing Programs in North Dakota

Enrolling in a good plumbing program in the state can make it easier for you to understand the codes, laws, theories and techniques while also applying them to the field. This program can help you fulfill your licensing criteria and give you access to learning resources.

Some good options for you to consider include:

  • North Dakota State College of Science
  • Turtle Mountain Community College
  • Kirkwood Community College
  • My Plumbing Training

Make sure you pick an option that helps you meet all your requirements and expectations.

You can also look for some continuing education courses through this approved list.

Salary Expectations in the State

On average, you can expect to earn an annual salary of around $53,000. The overall range for a plumber’s salary in the state is between $50,000 and $65,000. In many cases, especially for a master plumber, this salary can also go up to $75,000.

On an hourly basis, you can expect to earn around $20-$30 as a plumber in the state.

Of course, how much you actually earn can depend on a range of factors that can include your experience level, your training courses, your skills and qualifications, which kind of license you own and more.

Organizations to Know

Having access to the kind of support and resources that plumbing organizations can offer can go a long way in making it easier for you to seek help and learn more about the industry. Such organizations are not only present in the state but also across the country.

Some of these that you can look into (either for membership or for contacting if the need arises):

  • Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association of North Dakota
  • U.A Local Union 300
  • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • 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 Become a Plumber in North Dakota?

It can take up to four or five years to become a journeyman plumber in North Dakota, taking into account both your training requirements and work experience criteria. To become a master plumber, you will need to work an additional two years as a journeyman, amounting to a total of six or seven years.

Is It Worth Becoming a Plumber in North Dakota?

Yes, if you are committed to this field in terms of your career, then it can certainly be worth becoming a plumber in North Dakota, especially since you cannot practice this profession without a license. While you might need to pay some fees to obtain and renew your license, your work will help you make up for this.

Final Remarks

To sum up, you can become a plumber in North Dakota by submitting an application, attaching essential documents, completing your work experience and training courses and taking and passing the exam. You can then go ahead and begin your job search.

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