Oregon plumbing license:
everything you need to know

The Oregon plumbing industry is growing. Learn an in-demand skill and get your Oregon plumbing license. This guide contains information about licensing requirements, apprenticeships, and job resources.

What plumbing work can be done without a license?

In Oregon, state law prohibits plumbers from performing any type of plumbing job without a license.

What are the different types of plumbing licenses in Oregon

Journeyman plumber license and plumbing contractor license are the different types of Oregon Plumber licenses, which are administered by the

Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB). Journeyman plumbers are authorized to perform plumbing alterations, remodels and installations. Apply for your journeyman license after you complete an apprenticeship. It takes four years to complete an Oregon apprentice program.

Licensed plumbing contractors are authorized to change, install, and repair pipes. The average pay for an Oregon plumber is $32.73 per hour. The general career span for plumbers is 15 years.

How to get a plumbing license in Oregon

First, work as an apprentice plumber under a licensed journeyman for four years. After you complete your Oregon plumber apprenticeship, you must pass a written journeyman examination.

Then, register with the licensing board before you submit your journeyman application to receive your plumbing contractor license with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board.

Criminal backgrounds: 

Plumber license applications are reviewed on an individual basis. Applicants with criminal backgrounds are encouraged to apply for an Oregon plumber or journeyman license.

Plumbing schools:

Reputable plumbing schools for Oregon plumbers include Lane Community College, Chemeketa Community College and Clackamas Community College. Due to the hands-on nature of the plumbing trade, classes are offered only in classroom settings.

Tuition costs:

Course fees vary depending on the school.


To qualify for plumbing school, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Possess a valid Oregon driver’s license
  • Have a basic knowledge of Algebra

Plumber examinations:

Plumbers are required to take a written journeyman examination. The exam lasts for four hours. It contains 64 plumbing questions. You must score at least a 75% to pass the written journeyman examination. The practical journeyman examination test includes isometric drawing, piping assembly, and blueprint reading. You must score a 75% to pass the practical examination.

Plumber examination cost:

The journeyman plumber exam fee is $305.

Useful examination resources:

  • Oregon Revised Statutes
  • Oregon Administrative Rules
  • Occupational Safety and Health Code
  • One and Two Family Dwelling Specialty Code
  • Oregon State Plumbing Specialty Code

Oregon license application fees:

$325 for the journeyman and contractor licenses

Should I join a union?

As a union member, you can earn more money with your Oregon plumbing license. On average, unions negotiate salaries that are 20% higher than non-union plumbing jobs. You’ll get access to job benefits, including vacation pay, sick pay, 401K options, pension plans, and union representation. Unions protect their workers from unsafe working conditions, unfair management practices, and on-the-job harassment.

Insurance for plumbers in Oregon

Oregon plumbers must be insured. Professional mistakes and accidents happen all of the time in the plumbing industry. Protect yourself from lawsuits and liabilities with plumber insurance. Minimum plumber insurance requirements are:

  • $300,000 for property damage insurance (for each occurrence)
  • $100,000 for general liability insurance (for each occurrence)

Plan to get plumber insurance coverage before you perform your first plumbing job. General liability insurance protects plumbers against property damage claims. Expect to pay between $671 and $1,740 for your annual general liability insurance premiums.

Plumbers come in contact with contaminated water and human waste containing bacteria and harmful organisms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends tetanus, Hepatitis A, typhoid fever, polio, and Hepatitis B vaccinations for plumbers.

How to get my first plumbing apprenticeship

The Oregon Apprenticeship and Training Division offers a list of current apprenticeship programs. Visit this apprenticeship site to learn more.

When you interview for an Oregon apprenticeship, wear business casual attire. Also, you should bring copies of your resume and proof of education.

Does my license work in any other states?

The Oregon plumbing license board has a reciprocity agreement with Montana and Idaho. Submit an application for a reciprocal license to work as a plumber in these states.

How do I stay up to date with plumbing codes?

Oregon plumbers are required to stay up to date with the latest plumbing codes. Refer to these resources:

What resources are available in the plumbing industry?

Prepare for your career as a licensed Oregon plumber with the following resources:

How often do I need to renew my plumbing license in Oregon?

Renew your Oregon plumber license every two years. The renewal fee is $325.