How to Become a Plumber in Alabama

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Becoming a plumber is not at all easy, as each state in the U.S. has its own requirements for individuals who want to become plumbing contractors.

Not only will you need to attend training, but also you will need to reach different levels of licensing: apprentice, journeyman, and master.

What is good to remember is that contractors in Alabama have different requirements and trades professionals like electricians have a distinct license from plumbers.

We are here to help you find all Alabama’s certification requirements.

Alabama License Requirements and Reciprocity

You have come to the right place, as we created this article for people who want to know everything necessary to become a licensed plumber in Alabama.

In case you already possess a license in another state, we are sorry to inform you that your certification from that state does not make you eligible to work in Alabama, due to the fact that Alabama does not have a reciprocal agreement with any other state in terms of plumbing certifications.

If you are an out-of-state applicant who wants to become a contractor in Alabama, you are supposed to follow the steps to become certified as all the Alabama residents.

Furthermore, you are also responsible for registering your business with Alabama before doing any work in the state.

Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

Having in mind that you want to become a plumber contractor in Alabama, you will have to be an apprentice plumber first.

An apprentice plumber is a person who is learning and assisting in the installation of gas pipe, equipment, apparatus, and appliances, and shall work directly under the supervision of a journeyman or master plumber.

What an apprentice needs to do is to:

  • Work under a certified journeyman or master plumber.
  • Apply for a certificate, then recertify it each year as long as you are an active plumber.

In Alabama, you will need to be registered as an apprentice by filling out the form at the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board (PGFB) website.

Furthermore, you will need to pay an application fee of $25 and provide proof of citizenship such as a driver’s license or Social Security card or proof of the lawful presence of non-citizen form a green card to prove your permanent residence.

You need to work as an apprentice for two years, and only then you can become a journeyman plumber.

According to Alabama state law, a journeyman plumber is a person who engages in or works at the actual installation, repair, or replacement of plumbing systems, only after successfully fulfilled the examination requirements, has been issued a journeyman plumber certificate and possesses a valid and current annual certificate issued by the board.

This means that in order to become a journeyman plumber, you must:

  • Pass an exam on which you will demonstrate your knowledge of plumbing.
  • Apply for a journeyman plumber certificate.

Journeyman Plumber Exam

Upon achieving enough knowledge and training, you will need to take the journeyman plumber exam.

The application to take the exam costs $110 and can be paid by credit card, money order, cashier’s check, or company check.

Your eligibility to take the exam is determined by the PGFB.

You can apply online at www.pgfb.alabama.gov, call the board at (205) 945-4857, or make the request via email by reaching out to staff@pgfb.alabama.gov.

The deadline for taking the exam is 30 days from the day of approval.

The exam will be administered by PSI Services, LLC.

You will need to schedule your exam by calling 1-800-733-9267.

When the day of the test comes, you will need to appear 30 minutes prior to their scheduled time at the exam locations available in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery.

During the exam, you will need to answer 70 questions, and get at least 70% correct to pass.

You will be given your results immediately and if you have passed, you can apply for certification within 90 days.

In case you fail, you can retake the test.

The process of applying to become a licensed journeyman plumber is not complicated, but you must fill out and send the journeyman information packet, along with the certification fee of $50 to the PGFB at:

Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board
216 Aquarius Dr., Suite 319
Homewood, AL 35209

Getting the license is not the end of your education and training, as your Alabama plumbing license must be renewed annually.

The renewal fees by license type are the following:

  • Apprentice – $25
  • Journeyman plumber – $50
  • Master plumber – $150.00

Plumbing Trade Schools in Alabama

One way of getting knowledge related to plumbing is by attending a trade school.

Finishing the education there is a strong start in your career.

Here we offer you some of the best  trade schools in Alabama which offer programs for plumbing:

  • Lawson State Community College
    1100 North Avenue SW
    Bessemer, AL 35022
    (205) 428-6391
  • Ingram State Technical College
    5375 Ingram Road
    Deatsville, AL 36022
    (334) 290-3242

What Plumbing Work Can Be Done Without a License?

Unfortunately, you cannot do anything without an Alabama plumbing license and there are the three different types of plumbing licenses available in Alabama: apprentice license, journeyman license, and master plumber certification.

Insurance for Plumbers in Alabama

Another important thing to remember is that to work as a plumber in Alabama, you must have insurance.

In the majority of cases, companies will provide insurance for their employees and if 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

Salary

When it comes to salary, here are the average hourly rates for plumbers in Alabama depending on the certification they possess:

  • Apprentice plumber  – $12.21
  • Journeyman plumber – $20.84
  • Master plumber – $23.61

The average Plumber salary in Alabama is $53,767, but it can vary from place to place.

So as to earn a competitive salary, you will need to learn and constantly improve the necessary skills.

In the following table, you can see the average salary of plumbers in ten cities in Alabama and notice the difference:

Annual Salary Range:

$46K
$53K
$61K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Alabama

City NameSalary
Birmingham$54,329
Montgomery$51,460
Mobile$53,117
Huntsville$54,282
Tuscaloosa$53,797
Georgiana$51,001
Dothan$50,771
Decatur$52,624
Auburn$51,440
Gadsden$53,847
* Salary information last updated 2020

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