How to Become a Plumber in South Carolina

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If now is the right time to start your future career, and trade is something that interests you, our sincere suggestion is to start your way towards the plumbing industry.

No matter whether you wish to work for an employer or have your own business, you should think about becoming a licensed plumber.

The state of South Carolina set several steps that you need to take to pass the licensing process.

There are 3 types of plumbing licenses in South Carolina: Residential Plumbing License Contractor, Master Plumbing License, and Mechanical Contractor with a plumbing classification.

To get your South Carolina plumbing license, it takes 4 years of schooling during which you will be prepared to pass the state exam and start your apprenticeship.

South Carolina Plumbing License Reciprocity

The reciprocity is given on a case by case basis, and each applicant needs to submit a reciprocity application which should be approved by the board to be allowed to work in South Carolina.

South Carolina Residential Specialty Plumbing License Requirements

If you are wondering how to get Residential Specialty plumbing license in South Carolina, we are here to help you by offering you these details related to applying:

  • You will need to submit the completed Residential Specialty Plumbing Contractor application form to the Residential Builders Commission which can be completed either online or by mail and if your application is approved by the Residential Builders Commission staff, you will be sent an Examination Eligibility Letter.
  • Then, you must pass the Business and Law exam and the Residential Plumbing exam within one year of exam eligibility.
  • After you have passed the Residential Plumbing exam and the Business Management and Law exam you must submit the following information to the Residential Builders Commission staff:
    • A copy of your test results from PSI testing services.
    • A certified check or money order made payable to LLR-Residential Builders Commission in the amount of $160.00 if the licensed issued is for more than twelve (12) months before the next renewal date, or in case the license is to be issued for twelve (12) months or less before the next renewal date, a certified check or money order should be $80.00.
    • A surety bond in the amount of $10,000 if you intend to do work over $5000.00 total cost of the project.

You will need to renew your South Carolina plumber license by logging in to the Online Services Portal and pay the $160 renewal fee.

The good thing is that there is no need for continuing education to maintain a South Carolina plumber license.

Plumbing Exam

You must take and pass exams that will test your knowledge of plumbing as well as South Carolina laws regarding permits and regulations to be eligible for the license.

Business Management and Law –  consists of 50 questions and takes 120 minutes.

You must answer 34 questions correctly to pass:

  • 2 Questions – Business Management
  • 10 Questions – Estimating and Bidding
  • 12 Questions – Contracts and Agreements
  • 5 Questions – Project Management
  • 2 Questions – Insurance and Bonding
  • 1 Question – Safety Recordkeeping and Reporting
  • 3 Questions – Labor Laws and Employment Regulations
  • 7 Questions – Financial Management
  • 3 Questions – Tax Laws
  • 3 Questions – Liens
  • 2 Questions – Environmental Laws and Regulations

Trade Exam –  consists of 80 questions and you are given 4 hours to complete it.

You must answer 56 questions correctly to pass:

  • 1 Question – ADA Accessibility
  • 6 Questions – General Plumbing Knowledge
  • 3 Questions – General Plumbing Regulations
  • 2 Questions – Hangers, and Supports
  • 2 Questions – Materials
  • 3 Questions – Joints and Connections
  • 3 Questions – Fixtures and Equipment
  • 4 Questions – Water Heaters
  • 3 Questions – Water Supply and Distribution
  • 1 Question – Backflow Prevention
  • 4 Questions – Sanitary Drainage Systems
  • 2 Questions – Cleanouts
  • 2 Question – Indirect and Special Waste
  • 6 Questions – Sanitary Venting
  • 3 Questions – Traps, and Interceptors
  • 2 Questions – Storm Piping Systems
  • 5 Questions – Plumbing – Developed Length
  • 10 Questions – DWV Isometric Analysis (Isometric Based)
  • 4 Questions – Water Supply Isometric Analysis
  • 3 Questions – Roof Drain Isometric Analysis
  • 1 Question – Pipe Assembly
  • 1 Question – Valves
  • 3 Questions – General Fuel Knowledge
  • 3 Questions – Natural Gas
  • 3 Questions – LP – Gas

Many people ask what they should bring to the South Carolina plumber exams and here are the things that will be necessary on a testing day:

  • State-issued driver’s license
  • A state-issued identification card
  • US Government Issued Passport
  • US Government Issued Military Identification Card
  • US Government Issued Alien Registration Card
  • Canadian Government Issued ID
  • Credit Card (must be signed)
  • Social Security Card
  • The U.S. issued a Birth Certificate with Raised Seal
  • a non-programmable silent calculator

The books that can be used during the exam are:

  • South Carolina International Plumbing Code Or International Plumbing Code, 2015 Edition icc.org
  • South Carolina International Fuel Gas Code Or International Fuel Gas Code, 2015 Edition icc.org
  • Mathematics for Plumbers and Pipefitters, 8th Edition, Lee Smith cengage.com
  • South Carolina 811 Excavator Manual, Latest Edition, https://sc811.com/excavator-manual/

You can choose any of the following cities where you will take the exam:

  • GREENVILLE/SPARTANBURG
    Park East, Anderson Building
    150 Executive Center Drive, Suite 218
    Greenville, South Carolina 29615
  • COLUMBIA
    Synergy Business Park
    Congaree Building
    121 Executive Center Drive, Suite 143
    Columbia, South Carolina 29210
  • CHARLESTON
    4600 Goer Drive, Suite 112A
    North Charleston, South Carolina 29406
  • BEAUFORT/HILTON HEAD
    Regions Bank Building
    69 Robert Smalls Pky/SC-170, Unit 4D
    Beaufort, South Carolina 29906
  • MYRTLE BEACH
    1601 North Oak Street, Suite 305
    Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577
  • CHARLOTTE
    Tyvola Executive Park 1
    5701 Westpark Dr, #202
    Charlotte, NC 28217

South Carolina Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

You can get your first plumbing apprenticeship by talking to your counselor about apprenticeship programs or by researching job listings in your area.

Many people consider calling local plumbing companies, pass the interview process, and become an apprentice.

Plumbing Trade Schools in South Carolina

First, you must attend a plumbing trade school and then take the Residential Business and Law exam in addition to the trade exam.

It is good to know that if you have a criminal background, you may find it difficult to become a licensed plumber.

You can choose from plenty of plumbing schools that offer a great education in South Carolina.

Here are a few schools that are worth your consideration:

Insurance for Plumbers in South Carolina

It is always recommended that plumbers purchase insurance, especially if you own your business.

Salary

The average pay in South Carolina is around $20 per hour, but the salary depends on your employer.

On the other hand, if you start your own plumbing business, you can earn more money.

The average Plumber salary in South Carolina is $53,802.

Annual Salary Range:

$46K
$53K
$61K

Average Salary of Plumbers in South Carolina

City NameSalary
Columbia$53,986
Charleston$54,586
North Charleston$54,586
Mount Pleasant$54,586
Greenville$56,081
Rock Hill$56,579
Spartanburg$53,319
Sumter$51,400
Hilton Head Island$53,384
Florence$51,687
* Salary information last updated 2020

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