How to Become a Plumber in Kentucky

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In the state of Kentucky, the process of becoming a licensed plumber is relatively straightforward, due to Kentucky’s state-wide licensing process and procedure.

Kentucky Plumbing License Reciprocity

We consider it important to mention that license reciprocity in Kentucky is done on a case-by-case basis.

This means that you can apply for reciprocity and it is in the task of the state’s Plumbing Code Committee to determine whether or not the other state’s exam is of equal difficulty to that of Kentucky.

The other state must also agree to reciprocity.

Kentucky Master Plumbing License Requirements

The main responsibility of master plumbers is the supervision of journeymen as well as performing all duties associated with the trade.

The duties they are in charge of include installing and repairing pipes used to distribute water supply, the fixtures for using water, and other apparatus necessary for plumbing.

You will need to meet the following requirements for becoming a master plumber in the state of Kentucky:

  • Have a valid journeyman plumbing license for at least two of the last five years;
  • Been actively employed as a journeyman plumber for at least two years;
  • Provide proof of experience;
  • Have completed the designated exam with an overall score of at least 80%, and have scores of 75% or higher per each section of the exam;
  • Be a citizen of the U.S. or authorized to work in the U.S.;
  • General liability insurance of at least $250,000;
  • Be a citizen of the U.S. or authorized to work in the U.S.;
  • Be of good moral character;
  • Be at least 18 years old.

Obtaining master plumber licensure is possible only after the payment of the fees:

  • Exam Fee: $150;
  • License Fee: $250.

All fees are to be established by the Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction.

Kentucky Plumbing Journeyman License Requirements

If you want to reach a journeyman level, you will have to meet almost the same criteria as they are for master plumbers in the state of Kentucky, that is:

  • Have completed two consecutive years’ experience as an apprentice plumber,
  • Completion of a committee-approved course may substitute one year of experience, and no more;
  • Provide proof of experience;
  • Have completed the designated exam with an overall score of at least 75%, and have scores of 70% or higher per each section of the exam;
  • General liability insurance of at least $250,000;
  • Be a citizen of the U.S. or authorized to work in the U.S.;
  • Be of good moral character;
  • Be at least 18 years old.

A journeyman license will typically last for up to 1 year, while a master plumbing license will last for 3 years.

When this period passes, you must renew your license prior to the expiration date.

Plumbing Journeyman Exam

The plumbing journeyman exam is administered by the State Plumbing Examining Committee.

It consists of a practical and a written part.

The person doing the test has to demonstrate a knowledge of necessary plumbing standards and procedures.

Applicants should refer to the department’s Division of Plumbing for specific exam dates and times, while for application forms, they should refer to the department’s address: 

Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction
Division of Plumbing
500 Mero Street, First Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

You will be given 2.5 hours to complete the licensing exam and it is required that you arrive by 7:30 am to check-in at the testing center.

Kentucky Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

An apprentice in the state of Kentucky is a person who learns the plumbing under the direct supervision of a licensed journeyman or master plumber.

It is very significant to have in mind that only state-approved apprenticeships will allow aspiring plumbers to move up the ranks and reach higher levels.

An apprentice needs to complete two consecutive years in order to apply for a journeyman license;

However, there is a possibility that one of those years is substituted by a state-approved college course.

Kentucky Plumbing Apprentice Jobs

Our suggestion is to look for plumbing apprenticeships in Kentucky by utilizing the job finding website Indeed.

Plumbing Trade Schools in Kentucky

Aspiring plumbers have a huge number of schools to choose from where they can learn the trade, with many of them offering affordable tuition rates and financial aid coverage.

It is up to you to select the one that best suits your needs and interests:

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

  • Location: Elizabethtown, KY
  • Tuition: Interested parties should call to request more information
  • Contact: (270) 706-8745

Gateway Community and Technical College

  • Location: Florence, KY
  • Tuition(in-state): $174 per credit
  • Contact: (859) 442-1116

Jefferson Community and Technical College

  • Location: Louisville, KY
  • Tuition: $174 per credit
  • Contact: (502) 213-5333

In case you cannot afford the cost of community college, you can look for vocational schools that offer continuing and adult education classes.

Tuition can range from around $150 to $300 per credit hour.

You can also choose to attend an online program that usually costs at least $1,000 to complete, while students will need up to $3,000 to complete a program through a Kentucky college.

Kentucky Professional License Search

It is our suggestion to utilize Kentucky’s professional license search to verify plumbing licenses as well as those of other contracting jobs, no matter if you need a licensed Kentucky plumber to perform installing new pipes and fixtures and fixing in your house, or you are looking for a master plumber to start your apprenticeship.

Insurance for Plumbers in Kentucky

Kentucky plumbers need at least $250,000 in liability insurance.

The owners of the plumbing business will need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Should I Join a Union?

Union 502 is one of the top Kentucky unions for plumbers and pipefitters, and it requires that members have a license or some experience before they can join.

Union’s task is to protect their members with guaranteed wages and health benefits, as well as help settle cases with clients, which some plumbers find extremely beneficial.

Salary

The average salary for Kentucky plumbers is $21.54, but it can vary depending on numerous factors.

Apprentices can make $27,000 or more a year during their training.

According to the statistics, the average Plumber salary in Kentucky is $53,996, and in the following table, you will see that they earn different wages in different cities. 

Annual Salary Range:

$46K
$53K
$61K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Kentucky

City NameSalary
Lexington$54,036
Louisville$54,111
Owensboro$53,891
Bowling Green$51,724
Covington$56,114
Hopkinsville$51,644
Frankfort$52,418
Henderson$54,235
Richmond$53,490
Jeffersonville$53,577
* Salary information last updated 2020

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