How to Become a Plumber in Illinois

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Plumbers who do not possess a license in Illinois can choose to reach one out of three certifications available.

Aspiring plumbers can obtain — the apprentice’s license, the plumber’s license, and the plumber’s contracting license.

Plumbing licenses in Illinois are administered by the state, so they will receive their license through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In Chicago, however, licenses can alternatively be given by the city’s Department of Buildings.

Illinois Plumbing License Reciprocity

Unfortunately, there are no reciprocity agreements between the state of Illinois and any other states, but still, Chicago residents may apply for reciprocity with other Illinois districts, and vice versa, through the city’s Application for Reciprocity.

Each application requires a $150 fee.

Illinois Plumbing Contractor Requirements

A plumbing contractor is a person who performs work for another person, meaning that they can be either a licensed plumber or an apprentice.

The contracting license is necessary if you plan to open your own company or wish to enter a partnership with other plumbers.

The requirements for the contracting license are the following:

Each application for a plumbing contractor’s license requires a $150 registration fee.

Illinois Plumbing License Requirements

The state of Illinois, unlike other states in the USA, does not have a journeyman nor master certification in the field of plumbing, except for in Chicago’s local union.

An apprentice can become a licensed plumber if he/she meets the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or on the way to becoming one;
  • Have been employed as an apprentice plumber in the state of Illinois for at least four years;
  • Provide proof of experience;
  • Have completed at least two years of high school (or equivalent) and completed an approved plumbing course at a college, university, or trade school;
  • Complete the Plumber’s License: Application for Examination.

It is worth mentioning that the state law requires only four years to become a fully licensed plumber, but those applicants affiliated with unions must complete a five-year apprenticeship and have over 1,200 hours spent in the classroom.

Application fees for plumbing licensure depend on the residence of the applicant.

People from Chicago or outside the state of Illinois must pay a $225 fee to each application.

All other applicants native to the state of Illinois would need to pay a $175 fee.

Fees may be given as a check or money order to the following address:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Plumbing Program
525 W. Jefferson St., 3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62761

There are no further steps to licensing in the state of Illinois, but we need to mention that the only exception is in the city of Chicago.

There, they have a Journeyman licensing program and due to the reciprocity with other districts, a Journeyman licensed plumber in Chicago can work in other districts.

Plumbing Exam

People who are allowed to take the exam for plumbing licensure are those who achieved experience while working as an apprentice for a 48- to 72-month period.

Testing dates and times can be found on local websites, such as Chicago’s Local 130.

Illinois Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

Let us first define an apprentice plumber in Illinois.

That is a person who is learning the trade and work under the direct supervision of a superior.

Apprentices must provide proof of sponsorship and may only hold an apprenticeship for up to six years, as well as meet all of the following requirements:

Furthermore, they need to pay Aa$100 fee as a check or money order.

You should refer to the following address for specific mailing details:

Illinois Department of Public Health
Plumbing Program
525 W. Jefferson St., 3rd Floor
Springfield, IL 62761

After a  maximum of six years working as an apprentice, you can apply for the plumber’s licensing exam.

however, it is important to have in mind that 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.

Illinois Plumbing Apprentice Jobs

If you want to find plumbing apprentice jobs in the state of Illinois, you should take a look at Indeed.

Should I Join a Union?

It is not required to join a union to hold an Illinois plumbing license, but if you decide to join, you will have many benefits.

Actually, the union works with company management to ensure plumbers earn decent wages and are treated fairly.

Illinois Professional License Search

One of the reasons why you should utilize the Illinois Department of Public Health’s license verification tool is to make sure that the plumber you want to start your apprenticeship is registered with the state.

Plumbing is a skilled trade and you can start a rewarding plumbing career by working with a major company or starting your own business.

Plumbing Trade Schools in Illinois

Plumbing trade school courses in Illinois are usually undertaken only when an applicant has not finished high school and this is necessary to be allowed to attend a union apprenticeship program.

For this reason, courses are offered as a part of a local union’s program as opposed to through a trade school.

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

The license does not last forever, and an Illinois plumbing license must be renewed by April 30th following the year of issuance.

So as to be able to renew it, you must complete continuing education credits.

Furthermore, you are required to provide a statement regarding your status of paying child support, even if you do not have children.

Your license will not be renewed without the statement and the renewal costs are $100 per year.

Insurance for Plumbers in Illinois

Plumbers must maintain minimum general liability insurance which is designed to protect against property damage and bodily injury.

If you own a business, you also will need workers’ compensation insurance.

Salary

The average Plumber salary in Illinois is $58,931.

In Illinois, plumbers make on average $29.57 per hour and are in high demand.

Their job availability is predicted to increase by 16% in the next few years.

Annual Salary Range:

$51K
$58K
$67K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Illinois

City NameSalary
Chicago$60,825
Rockford$56,802
Aurora$60,287
Naperville$59,594
Peoria$55,425
Springfield$52,963
Joliet$59,103
Elgin$59,845
Waukegan$57,362
Cicero$60,825
* Salary information last updated 2020

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