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Montana Plumbing License: Everything You Need to Know

The Montana plumbing industry is growing. The demand is expected to increase by 13% within the next 5 years. This Montana plumbing license guide contains everything you need to know to get started.

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without a License?

Montana state laws prohibits plumbers from performing plumbing jobs without a license.

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

Types of plumbing licenses available in Montana are journeyman license and master plumber license. Montana plumbing licenses are administered by the Board of Plumbers - Montana Department of Labor.

Journeyman plumber applicants must have 5 years of apprentice experience. As a journeyman plumber, you can perform any job under the supervision of a master plumber.

Master plumber applicants must have 4 years of experience as a journeyman with 3 years of supervisory experience. As a master plumber, you can perform any type of plumbing job without supervision.

The average pay for a Montana plumber is $25.27 per hour. The general career span for plumbers is 15 years.

How to Get a Plumbing License

First, apply for a Montana apprenticeship program. Work as a plumbing apprentice for 5 years under the direction of a licensed plumbing contractor or master plumber in Montana.

Then, take the journeyman plumber test. After you have worked as a journeyman plumber for four years, take the master plumber test. You submit your applications for journeyman and master plumber licenses after you pass each exam.

Criminal Backgrounds - Montana license requests for plumbers are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Plumbing license applicants with a history of misdemeanors and felonies are encouraged to apply for a Montana plumbing license.

Plumbing Schools - Accredited Montana plumbing programs are:

Plumbing school courses include: Technical mathematics, plumbing drawing, special piping, hydronic heating and cooling systems, plumbing codes, plumbing systems, pipe fixtures, and first aid and CPR.

Tuition costs: Technical trade programs at accredited colleges (or community colleges) cost as much as $350 per credit hour. Financial aid is generally available to pay for the costs of trade school.

Prerequisites:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Have a high school diploma or GED.

  • Possess a valid Montana driver's license and/or identification card.

  • Be physically capable of performing plumbing duties.

Plumber examinations: Montana plumber examinations are administered by the Gainesville Independent Testing Services. The journeyman and master plumber exams include written and practical portions. The passing score is 70%.

Plumber examination fees: Written examination fees are $150, and practical examination fees are $180.

Helpful plumber examination resources:

Plumber license fees:

The journeyman plumber license fee is $270, and master plumber license fee is $370. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry reviews all plumbing license applications.

Should I Join a Union?

Union membership provides several job benefits, including sick pay, vacation pay, 401k options, union representation, and pension plans.

Earn a higher salary as a Montana plumber's union member. The average union plumbing salary is 20% higher than non-union members.

Union representatives protect plumbers from hazardous work conditions, unfair management practices, and harassment. In most instances, non-union employees do not enjoy these job protections.

Insurance for Plumbers in Montana

Licensed Montana plumbers must be insured to provide services in the plumbing industry. Regardless of your skill level as a plumber, professional errors will occur. Protect your assets from professional liabilities and mistakes with Montana 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)

Before you perform your first plumbing job, get insurance. General liability insurance protects you from property damage claims and professional malpractice. Expect to pay between $671 and $1,740 for general liability insurance each year.

As a Montana plumber, you will come in contact with contaminated water and human waste that contains harmful bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Polio, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid Fever, and Hepatitis B vaccinations for individuals in the plumbing industry.

How to Get My First Plumbing Apprenticeship

The Montana Registered Apprenticeship program is available through the Montana Department of Labor. Register online to begin your apprenticeship training.

When you meet with the interviewer for a Montana apprenticeship, wear business casual clothing, Remember to bring your driver's license/government-issued identification card, resume, and education credentials.

Does My License Work in Any Other State?

Oregon, North Dakota, Idaho and South Dakota have journeyman plumber license reciprocity agreements with Montana. 

How Do I Stay Up to Date with Plumbing Codes?

Montana plumbers have a professional duty to stay up to date with changes in plumbing codes. Refer to these resources for updated information:

What Resources Are Available in the Plumbing Industry?

Prepare for your career as a licensed Montana plumber with the following resources.

I Already Have a License But:

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

Renew your Montana license each year. The master plumber license fee is $370, and the journeyman plumber license fee is $270.


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