Maine Plumbing License: Everything You Need to Know

A plumber’s license is your path into a stable and rewarding trade. Every home and business needs access to safe and sanitary water. time. Maine offers several options for entering the plumbing industry. This guide will explore the ins and outs of earning your Maine plumbing license.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without a License?

Maine makes a distinction between plumbing repairs and plumbing installation. You can do some repairs without a license. The oversight of a master plumber is required to do plumbing installation. There is an exception to this rule for a homeowner installing in his or her own house. However, such installations must meet Maine plumbing codes.

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

There are four levels of plumber’s license available through the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation: Trainee, Journeyman-in-Training, Journeyman, and Master Plumber. 

A trainee plumber learns the basics of the trade working with a journeyman or master plumber. You will do on-the-job training to learn specific plumbing tasks. You can apply for your trainee license at the age of 16 with proof of training with a licensed master plumber.

A journeyman-in-training license is a four-year, no-nrenewable license for individuals learning the plumbing trade at a community college, such as Southern Maine Community College or Northern Maine Community College. After two semesters of plumbing trade classes and a passing grade on the journeyman’s exam, you will work with a master plumber to complete your training.

After completing a designated number of hours of on-the-job training as either a trainee or a journeyman-in-training, you can apply for a license as a journeyman plumber. A journeyman can work independently when doing plumbing repairs but must be supervised by a master plumber when doing installations. Some plumbers choose to remain at the journeyman level throughout their careers.

After four years as a trainee or at least one year as a journeyman, you can apply to become a master plumber. The master plumber is certified to do any kind of plumbing work independently. A master plumber also can supervise up to three trainees at a time in his or her operation.

A plumber’s pay rate is dependent on the license level. At the entry level, trainee and journeyman-in-training level plumbers make about $15 per hour. The average pay for a plumber in Maine is $28.62 per hour. Master plumbers can make upwards of $50 per hour. Licensed plumbers in Maine are in high demand.

How to Get a Plumbing License

The Department of Professional and Financial Regulation is responsible for plumbing licenses in Maine. Each step requires a separate application and fees. The fees include the cost of a criminal background check. The licensing board may deny you a license if there is a recent or serious offense.

To receive your trainee license, you must secure a trainee position with a master plumber. Master plumbers are limited to three trainees at any one time. Once you have the position, you can apply for your license. The total cost of the application fee, license fee, and background check is $146.

During your trainee period, you will log at least 4000 hours of on-the-job training to learn the basics of working as a plumber. At the beginning, you will do some observation. Eventually, you will do small repair projects with minimal supervision.

A journeyman-in-training license gives you a different starting path. Your community college plumbing program will teach you the basic knowledge of plumbing work. You also will need to do on-the-job training with a master plumber.. However, there are fewer required hours to move to the next level.

After 4000 work hours as a trainee or 2000 as a journeyman-in-training, you can apply for a journeyman plumber license. If you haven’t already, you must pass the journeyman license exam with a 70% score. The total fees for this license are $246. If you want to become a master plumber, you will learn about plumbing installation from a master plumber during the journeyman phase.

After 8000 work hours as a trainee or 2000 as a journeyman, you are eligible to become a master plumber. The fees for this license are the same as for a journeyman license. You will also need to pass the master plumber license exam.

The exams for both journeyman and master plumber cover basic plumbing skills, federal regulations, and the Maine plumbing codes. The master plumber exam focuses on plumbing installation. There is a $75 fee to take the plumbing exam at either level.

Should I Join a Union?

Joining a union is helpful if you plan to work for a company. For example, the Maine Plumbers and Pipefitters UA Local 716 negotiates contracts on behalf of its members. Many plumbers depend on a local union to help them with health insurance and other benefits. A union also can assist in job placement. However, it’s not necessary to join a union if you are working as an independent plumber.

Insurance for Plumbers in Maine

Plumbers need health and disability insurance. If you work for a major company, your employer may handle these benefits. As an independent plumber, you will apply for your own coverage or get insurance through a union.

Plumbers need liability insurance in case of accidents on a client’s property as well as property insurance for their own equipment.

Plumbers also should maintain their physical health. Many plumbing tasks involve heavy lifting and contaminated water.

How to Get My First Plumbing Apprenticeship

You should check local job boards and job websites for open positions in your area. During the interview, you will discuss your knowledge of the plumbing industry and your experience. Arrive on time and be prepared to answer any questions.

Does My License Work in Any Other State?

Yes, Maine plumbing licenses have direct reciprocity with New Hampshire.

How Do I Stay Up to Date With Plumbing Codes?

Maine expects plumbers to stay aware of changes to the plumbing codes, but there is no mandatory continuing education requirement. You will need to get a copy of the “Maine State Internal Plumbing Code” through the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.

What Resources are Available in the Plumbing Industry?

You can learn more about the plumbing industry by reading blogs and attending trade shows. You’ll also want to learn about the latest trends. Resources are available to master a specialty in the industry

I Already Have a License But:

If your information changes or you need a duplicate card, contact the Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

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

You must renew your Maine plumbing license every two years. The current fees are $100 for a trainee and $200 for a journeyman or master plumber. The journeyman-in-training is a four-year, nonrenewable license.


New to the Plumbing industry and looking to get licensed, or already a seasoned veteran and want to take your business to the next level? Find out more about Housecall Pro’s all-in-one Plumbing Software.