Illinois Plumbing License: Everything You Need to Know

Plumbing is a skilled trade that requires in-depth knowledge of the field. You can start a rewarding plumbing career by working with a major company or starting your own business. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to earn you Illinois plumbing license.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without a License?

An Illinois plumbing license is required to complete any plumbing work within the state.

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

The first step is to become an apprentice. You must be at least 16 years old, complete the Apprentice Plumbers License Application, and provide proof of sponsorship by a licensed plumber in the state of Illinois. The maximum apprenticeship period can be for six years. After this timeframe, you can apply for the plumber’s licensing exam. If you do not apply for this exam within six years of starting your apprenticeship, you will not be allowed to continue as an apprentice.

After completing your apprenticeship and passing the licensing exam, you will be a licensed plumber. There are no further steps to licensing in the state of Illinois. The only exception is in the city of Chicago, as they have a Journeyman licensing program. Through reciprocity with other districts, a Journeyman licensed plumber in Chicago can work in other districts.

In Illinois, plumbers make on average $29.57 per hour. Plumbers are in high demand and job availability is predicted to increase by 16% in the next few years.

How to Get a Plumbing License

Before becoming an apprentice, you must be at least 16 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED. To begin the apprenticeship, you must pass the initial licensing exam and possess basic plumbing knowledge. During your apprenticeship, you will have on-the-job training supervised by a licensed plumber. Two years of classroom training is also required. 

After working as an apprentice for a minimum of 4 years but no more than 6 years, you may apply to take the state test for licensing. Once you pass the test, you are a licensed plumber in the state of Illinois.

Should I Join a Union?

It is not required to join a union to hold an Illinois plumbing license. However, unions have many benefits. Through collective bargaining, the union works with company management to work together to ensure plumbers earn decent wages and are treated fairly. Procedures help establish hours, fair wages, and policies for layoffs and promotions. Additional benefits include health services, pension fund, retirement savings, and advanced training.

Insurance for Plumbers in Illinois

Plumbers must maintain minimum general liability insurance. This insurance should protect against property damage and bodily injury. If you own a business, you also will need workers’ compensation insurance.

How to Get My First Plumbing Apprenticeship

To apply for an apprenticeship, you will need to find a contracting company with open availability for an apprentice. They must be willing to fill out the required paperwork regarding their supervision of your work. For your interview, you will want to dress professionally and have a working knowledge of the plumbing profession. 

Does My License Work in Any Other State?

Your Illinois plumbing license is only valid with the state.

How Do I Stay Up to Date With Plumbing Codes?

Plumbers are required to complete annual continuing education credits to stay current on all codes. You will need to meet this requirement to renew your license. 

What Resources are Available in the Plumbing Industry? 

Multiple resources are available for you to learn about industry trends online. You can review blogs and participate in trade shows. You’ll also discover new plumbing specialties to expand your career.

I Already Have a License But:

For any changes to your license, like name change, address change, or duplicate copy, contact the initial licensing district.

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

An Illinois plumbing license must be renewed by April 30th following the year of issuance. To renew, you must complete continuing education credits. Also, in the state of Illinois, you are required to provide a statement regarding your status on paying child support, even if you do not have children. Your license will not be renewed without the statement. Renewal costs are $100 per year.


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