How to Become a Plumber in North Carolina

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The only way of becoming a licensed plumber in North Carolina is to get the license through the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors.

This will involve certain payments, audits, and examinations.

North Carolina offers several classes of contractor licenses that are available:

  • Limited License: This classification of license allows for work that surpasses $500,000. The individual must also have a working capital of $17,000, a net worth of $80,000, and a surety bond of at least $350,000;
  • Intermediate License: This classification of license allows for work that surpasses $1,000,000. The individual must also have a working capital of $75,000 and a surety bond of at least $1,000,000;
  • Unlimited License: This classification of license allows for work of any size. The individual must also have a working capital of $150,000 and a surety bond of at least $2,000,000.

North Carolina Plumbing License Reciprocity

North Carolina does not offer plumbing license reciprocity agreements between states, meaning that even though you are already a licensed plumber in some other state, you will not be allowed to work in North Carolina until you meet the state requirements for licensure.

North Carolina Plumbing License Types

The classification of plumbers is quite different in North Carolina than in most states.

Actually, there are no journeyman or master plumbers — only plumbing contractors.

The types of contractor plumbing licenses available in North Carolina are:

  • P-I Contractor (Plumbing-Class I): Operates on potable water and drain, waste, vent piping systems in any type of building;
  • P-II Contractor (Plumbing-Class II): Operates on potable water and drain, waste, vent piping systems in single-family housing that is detached from others (no apartments, duplexes, etc.);
  • RLP Contractor (Restricted Limited Plumbing): Operates on interior/exterior building sewer piping, and water filtration systems.

North Carolina Plumbing License Requirements

Getting one of the following licenses requires that you meet the following:

  • Purchase and go through the Licensing Board’s Laws and Rules book;
  • Meet the state requirements of 2 years of technical training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, or 4,000 hours of on-the-job training;
  • Fill out and mail a license examination application and enclose associated testing fees;
  • Take and pass the state examination test.

The completed application and examination fee of $25 can be sent via check to:

State Board of Examiner of Plumbing
Heating and Fire Sprinkling Contractors
1109 Dresser Court
Raleigh, NC 27609

Plumbing License Exam

The only way to become licensed in the state of North Carolina is to take and pass the North Carolina licensing exam.

The exam needs to be taken at a PSI testing center, and you will need to reach a score of 70% to be considered for the license.

The exam costs $100, and it consists of 100 multiple choice questions that have to be done within four hours.

To prepare for this exam, you can make use of plumbing practice tests available online.

If you are wondering what you can expect from a plumbing contractor (P-I & P-II) license or Restricted Limited Plumbing (RLP) exam, we would like to inform you the following:

Business & Law – You will be allotted 90 minutes

  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Business Organization
  • Risk Management
  • Contracts
  • Project Management
  • Employee Management
  • Financial management
  • Taxes
  • Liens
  • Recordkeeping
  • OSHA Safety
  • Licensing

Plumbing Portion – You will be allotted 240 minutes

  • Administration, Scope, Intent/Purpose
  • Definitions and Symbols
  • Plumbing Math
  • General Regulations
  • Fixtures, Faucets, and Fixture Fittings
  • Water Heaters
  • Water Supply and Distribution
  • Sanitary Drainage
  • Indirect and Special Waste
  • Vents
  • Traps, Interceptors, and Separators
  • Storm Drainage
  • Nonpotable Water Systems
  • Subsurface Landscape Irrigation Systems
  • Isometric Theory
  • Hands-on-Practical Application
  • International Fuel Gas Code
  • Copper Projects

When coming to the exams, you should bring the following being that they are open-book exams:

  • North Carolina Administration Code and Policies, 2012 Edition
  • Plumbing Code with NC Amendments, 2012 Edition
  • Fuel Gas Code with NC Amendments, 2012 Edition
  • Energy Conservation Code with NC Amendments, 2012 Edition
  • North Carolina Board’s Laws and Rules
  • Business & Project Management for Contractors 5th

North Carolina Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

Applying to become a plumber is easy, but so as to be eligible for this, you need to have either a combination of two years of technical training in a trade school alongside proof of experience apprenticing under a plumber that is licensed within North Carolina or four years of training under the direct supervision of a licensed plumber in North Carolina.

North Carolina Plumbing Apprentice Jobs

If you want to look for an apprentice job, we have o mention that they are available through the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

You can take advantage of some other resources to help find plumbing apprentice jobs, such as:

  • Online job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Ziprecruiter, and Linkedin;
  • Career centers within a plumbing trade school;
  • Connecting with a head-hunter or recruitment coordinator;
  • Calling plumbing businesses.

Plumbing Trade Schools in North Carolina

School: Cleveland Community College
Tuition: $3,841/year
Contact Info: (704) 484-4000
Address: 137 S Post Road, Shelby, NC 28150

School: Forsyth Technical Community College
Tuition: $6,675/year
Contact Info: (336) 723-0371
Address: 2100 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

School: Haywood Community College
Tuition: $7,321/year
Contact Info: (828) 627-2821
Address: 185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde, NC 28721

School: Stanly Community College
Tuition: $6,316/year
Contact Info: (704) 982-0121
Address: 141 College Drive, Albemarle, NC 28001

School: Wake Technical College
Tuition: $11,000/year
Contact Info: (919) 662-3515
Address: 9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh, NC 27603

North Carolina Professional License Search

Some of the reasons why you need the North Carolina business & occupational license database is to look for a licensed company or an individual.

You may need the company to look for a job, or to hire a contractor, or you may need it to start your apprenticeship.

This tool is used so that people can authenticate a license and make sure they hire a person who is licensed and whose license is still active.

Salary

After getting the license, you would like to start earning a decent salary.

The average Plumber salary in North Carolina is $54,837, but it quite differs from city to city.

besides the fact that it depends on the development of the area where a plumber work, it is also pretty dependable on the job he/she has to do and the level of experience and knowledge that he/she has.

An apprentice cannot expect to earn as much as a person with a license.

Annual Salary Range:

$47K
$54K
$62K

Average Salary of Plumbers in North Carolina

City NameSalary
Charlotte$56,307
Raleigh$55,147
Greensboro$54,934
Winston-Salem$55,067
Durham$54,842
Fayetteville$52,745
Cary$55,147
High Point$55,262
Wilmington$52,429
Asheville$52,802
* Salary information last updated 2020

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