How to Become a Plumber in Pennsylvania

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Considering the fact that the plumbing profession continues to grow at a rapid rate, we believe that starting this rewarding plumbing career is a wise choice.

You can choose to work for a major company or receive your license to run your own business.

Pennsylvania does not have state-determined regulations when it comes to plumbing licenses.

They are rather administered through county or city offices.

This means that aspiring plumbers must contact their local building department and find out what they need to do so as to satisfy licensing and registration.

Plumbing requirements and procedures are largely the same throughout Pennsylvania’s counties and cities, and the only exception is the city of Susquehanna, in terms of fees.

Pennsylvania Plumbing License Reciprocity

Pennsylvania has no state-wide reciprocity agreements, but the eligibility for reciprocity is determined by individual departments.

This means that Allentown, for example, has a reciprocity agreement with several Pennsylvanian municipalities.

Pennsylvania Master Plumbing License Requirements

In Pennsylvania, master plumbers are individuals who are skilled enough to be responsible for the installation, repair, and assessment of all machinery and appliances related to plumbing.

 The requirements for master plumber licensure in Pennsylvania are the following:

  • Worked for at least two years as a journeyman plumber;
  • Passed the required exam;
  • Provide proof of experience;
  • Completed a state-approved apprenticeship program;
  • Have a high school diploma or GED;
  • Be at least 21 years of age.

Fees for master plumbers include:

  • License Fee: $375;
  • Exam Fee: $250 per exam.

You must register for the exam 45 days in advance, pay all required fees, and submit proof of your work experience.

Pennsylvania Plumbing Journeyman License Requirements

Both Journeymen and Master plumbers in Pennsylvania perform all the same tasks, but Journeyman plumbers must do them so under the supervision of a master plumber.

A Journeyman Plumber needs to complete four years of on-the-job training and 576 hours of related coursework in a classroom.

If you want to become a journeyman plumber, you need to meet the criteria as follows:

  • Registered as an apprentice plumber for at least four years;
  • Completed a state-approved apprenticeship program;
  • Passed the required exam;
  • Proof of experience, through tax records;
  • Legally be able to work in the United States
  • Be physically able to complete the work.
  • Have a high school diploma or GED;
  • Be at least 18 years of age.

The fees associated with journeyman plumbing licensure are:

  • Application fee: $25;
  • License fee: $100

It is good to know that there are jurisdictions in Pennsylvania that may request a copy of your Pennsylvania driver’s license, proof of “good moral character,” US citizenship, and an entrance exam, as well.

Each district has set license renewal requirements for a Pennsylvania plumbing license so it is a wise decision to contact the local office for details about fees and further details if you already possess the license.

Plumbing Journeyman Exam

Plumbing journeyman exams are provided by the International Code Council and taken within twelve months of applying for licensure.

Testing fees differ depending on the individual jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the more advanced the license you are seeking, the higher the fees are.

For example, in Allentown, PA, an applicant must submit a Journeyman Plumber License Test Application or a Master Plumber License Test Application, which can be found in Applications & Forms on the city’s official website, and an application fee to the Plumbers’ Licensing Board, through the Building Office at City Hall, 435 Hamilton Street, 4th Floor, Allentown.

It is necessary that the applicant is approved by the Board prior to taking the exam, which consists of two parts, –  a written and design portion.

You need to score 70% or better on each part to pass the exam.

Individuals who have submitted applications will be notified via mail of the next testing date and once they pass the exam, the applicant will have to pay for and receive their license.

Pennsylvania Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

A plumbing apprentice is an individual who learns to perform all the duties of a journeyman and he/she works under the supervision of a journeyman or a master plumber.

It is very important to note that apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania must be state-approved so that you can get a license once you finish it.

Aspiring plumbers in Pennsylvania can find state-approved apprenticeships through several job finding websites:

Eligible applicants for an apprenticeship are only those who have a high school diploma or GED and are at least 18 years of age.

The fee that has to be paid is the application fee of $25 and what you need to do is to apply for enrollment in available apprenticeship through a local contracting company.

You will also need to pass an interview for the apprenticeship and you may be asked to pass the drug test.

It is our suggestion that you arrive early on the day of the interview, wear professional clothes, and talk about your desire to be a plumber.

As an apprentice, you will need would 2,000 hours of on-the-job paid instruction and 224 hours of classroom instruction.

Plumbing Trade Schools in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania boasts various trade and vocational schools offering courses, degrees, and certificates in the field of plumbing and we offer you a few of those options:

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Location: Williamsport, PA

Tuition: Interested parties must request more information

Contact: (570) 320-2400 ext. 7336

Orleans Technical Institute

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Tuition: Interested parties must request more information

Contact: (215) 728-4700

Community College of Allegheny County, South Campus

Location: West Mifflin, PA

Tuition: Interested parties must request more information

Contact: (412) 469-1100

PennCo Tech, Bristol Campus

Location: Bristol, PA

Tuition: $19,425

Contact: (215) 486-1631

Insurance for Plumbers in Pennsylvania

Plumbers in Pennsylvania need insurance which can run between $671 to $1740 for annual premiums.

What type of coverage you will need will depend on the individual jurisdiction, licensing level, and type of plumbing work you plan to do.

Salary

The average hourly pay for a licensed plumber in Pennsylvania ranges from $16.76 to $24.26 an hour, depending on their education, skills, and licenses.

This wage can vary based on the location of your works, as well which can be noticed in the table below.

Plumbers are currently in high demand with 16% expected growth in the coming years.

The average Plumber salary in Pennsylvania is $57,366.

Annual Salary Range:

$49K
$57K
$65K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Pennsylvania

City NameSalary
Philadelphia$61,746
Pittsburgh$56,619
Allentown$57,309
Erie$53,095
Upper Darby$61,746
Reading$57,016
Scranton$53,055
Bethlehem$57,309
Merion Station$61,746
Bensalem$64,915
* Salary information last updated 2020

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