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Alabama Plumbing License: Everything You Need to Know

An Alabama plumbing license can lead to plenty of career opportunities in the plumbing industry. Whether you desire to work for an employer or start your own business, you must meet the licensing requirements. This guide will provide you with all the important details to become a plumber in Alabama.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without a License?

None. You have an Alabama plumbing license to perform plumbing work.

What are the Different Types of Plumbing Licenses Available in Alabama?

Three types of plumbing licenses are available in Alabama: apprentice license, journeyman license, and master plumber certification.

As an apprentice, you must receive supervision from a master plumber or a registered journeyman. To get certified as an apprentice, you must fill out an Alabama apprentice registration form. In addition, you must submit a photocopy of your social security card. The cost of the application is $25.00. With an apprentice license, you can perform supervised plumbing duties, including repairs and pipe fittings.

The next step is to get your journeyman plumber license. The requirements include:

  • Pass the journeyman plumber’s test;

  • Minimum two years of employment as a registered apprentice; or

  • Enrollment in an approved plumber apprenticeship program.

The journeyman license application fee is $110. As a journeyman plumber, you can perform all types of plumbing jobs, including sprinkler installations and plumbing repairs.

The master plumber license is the highest level plumbing license in Alabama. As a master plumber, you can perform any plumbing job without supervision. The fee for an Alabama master plumbing license is $160. Requirements include:

  • Pass the master plumbing license exam; and

  • Minimum one year of employment as a journeyman plumber.

The average career span for a plumber is 15 years. Here are the average hourly rates for plumbers in Alabama: 

  • Apprentice plumber  - $12.21

  • Journeyman plumber - $20.84

  • Master plumber - $23.61

How to Get a Plumbing License

Getting your Alabama plumbing license involves an exam and field experience. Here's an overview of the process:

  • Begin your career as an apprentice license

  • Get your journeyman license

  • Become a master plumber

The career path from apprentice to master plumber requires education and training from a board-approved plumbing school.

The UA Local 91 training center provides on-the-job and classroom training for students. Courses include drafting, mathematics, science, sprinkler installation, and pipefitting. This program will prepare you for your journeyman plumber license. You'll work under the direction of a master plumber doing a variety of plumbing jobs. There is no fee to apply for this training opportunity. This apprenticeship training lasts for 5 years. You must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED to participate.

The Career Training Base offers apprentice programs in Alabama at no cost to the trainees. This program will teach you how to repair pipes/systems and other plumbing work. To be considered for an apprenticeship, you must submit an application. While enrolled in this program, you'll work under the direction of a master plumber. You must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED to participate in this program.

You can apply for a plumbing license if you have a criminal record. Possessing a felony or misdemeanor on your record won't prevent you from getting a plumbing license.

Should I Join a Union?

Consider all the pros and cons before joining a union. Advantages include:

  • Union representatives will protect your interests.

  • Union members have higher salaries than non-union members.

  • Union representatives ensure members have safe working conditions.

  • Unions provide a place to discuss any workplace concerns.

Potential drawbacks of joining a union include:

  • Union members are required to pay union dues.

  • Some union members do not agree with their union's decisions.

  • Union members must follow union decisions regardless of their opinions.

Insurance for Plumbers in Alabama

To work as a plumber in Alabama, you must have insurance. In some instances, companies will provide insurance for their employees. If your employer doesn't offer insurance or you own a plumbing company, you must have the minimum amount of insurance:

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

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

You must submit a copy of your insurance certificate to the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board.

How to Get My First Plumbing Apprenticeship

A plumbing apprenticeship gives you experience under the supervision of a master plumber. Not only can you earn a competitive salary, you also can learn the necessary skills.

After registering as an apprentice plumber, you can enroll in a plumbing program offered by local unions or employers. The Alabama Plumber and Gas Fitters Examining Board provides the latest information about apprenticeship opportunities.

For an apprenticeship interview, dress in business casual attire. Bring a copy of your resume and any plumbing credentials.

How Do I Stay Up to Date with Plumbing Codes?

The latest Alabama plumbing codes are available at the following websites:

What Resources Are Available in the Plumbing Industry?

From blogs to trade shows, several resources exist to help you grow your career in the plumbing industry. Here are a few sites:

I Already Have a License But:

If you need a name or address change, contact the State of Alabama Plumber and Gas Fitters Examining Board. If you misplace your card, you must complete a replacement form and pay $25.

How Often Do I Need to Renew My Plumbing License in Alabama?

Your Alabama plumbing license must be renewed annually. Here are the renewal fees by license type: 

  • Apprentice - $25

  • Journeyman plumber - $50

  • Master plumber - $150.00

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