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Maryland Plumbing License: Everything You Need to Know

To maximize your opportunities in the plumbing industry, it's essential that you obtain a Maryland plumbing license. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about applying and maintaining your license.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without a License?

Without a Maryland plumbing license, you may not perform plumbing work. The Maryland Department of Labor enforces strict licensing requirements to ensure public safety.

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

In Maryland, there are three types of plumbing licenses: apprentice plumber, journeyman, and master plumber.

Your apprentice plumber license must be obtained before you enroll in a plumbing apprenticeship. To be eligible for an apprentice license, you must be at least 16 years old. The apprentice plumber license application is available on the Maryland Department of Labor’s website.

You can apply for a journeyman plumber license after you've completed your apprenticeship. To be eligible for a journeyman plumber license, you must successfully complete a minimum of four years (and at least 7,500 hours) of apprenticeship training under the direction of a Maryland master plumber. You must complete 32 hours of backflow prevention device test training and pass a written test. With a journeyman license, you can provide unlimited plumbing services as long as you're supervised by a master plumber.

The master plumber license is the highest level of licensing that plumbers can receive. To be eligible for a master plumber license, you must possess your journeyman plumber license for a minimum of two years. You must be trained under the direction of a licensed master plumber for a minimum of 3,700 hours. With your master plumber license, you can provide unlimited plumbing services and provide training to apprentices.

The average hourly rate for licensed plumbers is $26.72. As an apprentice plumber in Maryland, your earnings will be limited to 50% of a licensed plumber's pay rate. The average length of a plumbing career is 15 years.

How to Get a Plumbing License

Plumbing licenses are granted by the Maryland Board of Plumbers. In this state, a criminal background won't prevent you from being eligible for a plumbing license. The Board evaluates each application on a case-by-case basis. If you've been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, the Board will consider the type of crime, your current standing in the community, and the time passed since your conviction.

The Maryland PHCC Apprenticeship Program offers opportunities for apprentices to receive training while working under the direction of a licensed master plumber. To be considered for the program, you must complete an application.

The apprenticeship is a 4-year program. You'll be required to work 40 hours every week as a plumber and receive a salary. Available courses include backflow training and plumbing codes. To participate in this program, you’ll need your own basic plumbing tools. There is no cost to apply. 

Maryland plumbing classes cannot be taken online. Apprentices are required to attend classes two days a week. Each session lasts three hours. Attendance records are monitored for each student.

Should I Join a Union?

Joining a plumbers union offers several benefits. Unions work with employers to ensure plumbers receive fair wages and compensation. When you join a union, you can get access to a secure pension plan, health care services, and advanced plumbing training.

Insurance for Plumbers in Maryland

As a Maryland plumber, you're required to have an insurance policy. You must maintain the following insurance coverage:

  • $100,000 of property damage insurance

  • $300,000 of general liability insurance

You must provide a copy of your insurance documentation to the Maryland State Board of Plumbing. 

How to Get My First Plumbing Apprenticeship

The Maryland Department of Labor offers a Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program. It will give you the opportunity to earn money while you learn the plumbing trade under the direction of a master plumber.

To get started, a program representative will provide you with the latest information. You must apply directly to the program or with a sponsoring company. Each sponsor has different application requirements.

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you must be at least 18 years old. Depending on the individual program requirements, you may be able to enroll at 16 years old. You must have a high school diploma or a GED.

When you meet with sponsors, you should wear business casual attire, such as slacks, a button-down shirt, and dress shoes. Apprenticeship sponsors may require you to bring a copy of your high school diploma/GED and work history experience.

Does My License Work in Any Other State?

A Maryland plumbing license is only applicable within the state. 

How Do I Stay Up to Date with Plumbing Codes?

Maryland plumbing codes are listed on the Maryland Department of Labor's website. You can take plumbing code courses at the following schools:

  • College of Southern Maryland

  • Prince George's Community College

  • Anne Arundel Community College

  • Other Community Colleges in Maryland

What Resources are Available in the Plumbing Industry?

Resources can help you prepare for a career in the plumbing industry. Here are a few sites:

I Already Have a License But:

If your name or address changes or you misplaced your card, visit the Maryland Department of Labor's website.

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

Your license must be renewed 2 years from the issue date. The cost varies based on the type of license: 

  • Apprentice License - $15

  • Journeyman License - $35

  • Master License - $70


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