How to Become a Plumber in Ohio


The choice of career is the single most important decision in a person’s life. If you have decided to become a plumber, you must have some good reasons behind that choice. Perhaps you are fascinated by the world of pipes and fixtures and love to work on simple solutions for complex problems?

Having said that, once you have a goal in mind, it can be daunting to find the right steps to reach that goal. If your goal is to become a plumber in Ohio, do not worry. We have you covered. Read on!

Ohio Plumbing License: What You Need to Know

To work as a plumber in Ohio, you need to be in possession of a plumbing license. The Ohio Construction Industry Licensing  Board gives out licenses to those who want to take up contracting professionally for bigger commercial projects.

However, there are several other steps that you need to follow on the path to becoming a licensed contractor in Ohio. These include a training program, apprenticeship and finally getting the license. All these steps are aimed at making you skilled and experienced at undertaking a variety of plumbing jobs and using several plumbing tools.

Ohio Journeyman Plumbing License Requirements

No one can get a license just like that. Instead, there are steps that need to be followed to get a plumbing license in Ohio. There is an exam involved in the process of getting a license that you must pass in order to successfully attain the license.

Here are some other requirements that you must meet:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be a resident or a citizen of the United States of America.
  • Do not hold a criminal case or record.
  • Have contractor liability coverage worth $500,000 or more.
  • Have experience of working as a plumber for at least 5 years before applying for a license or work as an engineer in the state’s plumbing industry for at least three years. Sometimes, the Ohio state board may also decide if you have suitable experience.
  • Pay the necessary fees.

You need to complete the necessary paperwork and send in your application to the state board. If everything is in order, your application will be processed and you will be allowed to take the examination. Once you pass the examination, you will be awarded a contracting license.

This license needs to be renewed annually, paying a fee of $60.

The state of Ohio conducts the plumber licensing exam in two parts. Both these tests are conducted by PSI exams. These exams are simple and open book and you ought to get 70% of the questions right to qualify for the license.

Types of Plumbing Licenses in Ohio

There is only one type of state plumbing license in Ohio. This is a commercial contracting license for plumbing. It is a journey and a freshman usually begins as an apprentice and then moves to become a journeyman and finally a contracted commercial license holder in Ohio.

However, there is no state-level license for becoming a journeyman or master plumber.

What’re the Costs of Getting a Plumbing Contractor License in Ohio?

To establish yourself as a contractor in Ohio, you ought to begin by getting the required technical training. This would involve enrolling in a school that would impart your formal education required for the job.

Post this, you can sign up for an apprenticeship where you will work under a qualified plumber and widen your skillset.

The combined cost to take both tests for the commercial plumbing contract is $138. You will also have to pay a license fee of $25 to the treasurer while you apply for the license.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Plumbing Contractors License in Ohio?

Becoming a plumber in Ohio is not an easy task and would require you to train for at least five years before you can get the license. During the course of these five years, you would be working as an apprentice and a journeyman.

Ohio Plumber Training Schools

There are a number of plumber training schools in Ohio that you can go to in case you want to train and work as a plumber. These include Ohio’s community colleges that offer a number of programs in applied sciences. There are some shorter diploma programs that you can enroll into.

Some other schools that you can train in include:

  • Columbus State Community College
  • Owens Community College
  • Cuyahoga Community College

A certificate or diploma program can set you back by a few thousand dollars, while a more detailed and long-term program can cost anything around $20,000, depending on the school.

In order to enroll in these schools, you need to at least hold a high school diploma and clear a physical exam and a drug test. All through the course duration, you would also be required to undertake on-job training that will better equip you for the job.

Apprenticeship in Ohio

Apprenticeship is a great way of learning the tricks of the trade and getting hands-on experience before embarking on a full-blown journey to being a contractual plumber in Ohio.

If you want to look for opportunities, you can go to the Apprenticeship Ohio program and explore the available options. Furthermore, you can also explore opportunities on job portals. Finally, the Ohio Department of Family and Job Services has a comprehensive list of opportunities that you can explore.

Being a Plumber in Ohio: Job Outlook and Salary Prospects

Before deciding on being a plumber in Ohio, it is important to familiarize yourself with what the job entails, what would be your day-to-day tasks look like and what is your salary potential.

A plumber is supposed to be adept at undertaking the following jobs:

  • Manage water supplies and fix any problems should they arise.
  • Take care of water and gas heating systems.
  • Manage sewer drainage and unclog drains.
  • Install and repair plumbing fixtures in residential and commercial properties.
  • Manage vent piping in buildings.

You also need to be knowledgeable in theoretical concepts that would define your work and enable you to read blueprints and find solutions to complex problems. In addition, knowledge of state codes is important in working as a plumber in Ohio.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual average salary of a contractual plumber is around $56,210. However, this is not the maximum that you can earn. As you progress in your career and gain more skills and experience, your earning potential will go up.

If you are an apprentice, you can expect to earn around $15.24 per hour. A journeyman, on the other hand, can expect to make around $24.32 per hour.

One must also understand there are a number of variable factors in determining a plumber’s earning potential. The geographical location, for instance, plays a key role in determining a plumber’s wages and bigger cities will have bigger pay as opposed to smaller towns.

Similarly, if you have a great reputation in the plumbing network, you will make more money and get more work. This also applies to your level of experience in the field and specialization of work.

Is the Ohio Plumbing Contractors License Reciprocal in Other States?

For those people who love to travel for work, this may be a question worth considering.

The state of Ohio has many degrees of reciprocal arrangements with other states such as West Virginia, South Carolina and Tennesse. What this essentially ensures is that you can get the contractor’s license in these states (if you hold one in Ohio) without having to undertake the trade examination. Sometimes, you also get relaxation in the business and legal implications.

Additional Tips

It is not just important to have technical skills and a formal apprenticeship if you are planning to become a plumber in Ohio. These soft skills are important to make you stand out in a sea of competition. The skills that you need to inculcate include:

  • Good Communication Skills: You should be able to make the client understand complex issues in a simple and easy-to-understand manner.
  • Good Listening Skills: A good plumber is the one who understands the client’s requirements and makes them feel heard.
  • Analytical Mindset and Crisis Management: There are bound to be times when you face complex situations at work. Having an analytical mindset will help you solve the issue well.
  • Time Management: It is crucial that you have good time management skills if you want to be a successful plumber in Ohio or elsewhere. This is because sometimes contractors are employed for a set duration and not being able to meet the deadlines will leave a bad impression.

The Final Word

The choice of a professional career can be a daunting one and overwhelm you with a number of questions. However, the decision to become a trained plumber in Ohio is a great one and if you commit yourself to lifelong learning and hard work, you won’t be disappointed!

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