How to Become a Plumber in Texas

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Having in mind the fact that people who want to do contract work in the state of Texas are required by law to hold the appropriate license, we suggest that you should get familiar with the rules and regulations that you must meet prior to starting your plumbing business.

We have aim to provide aspiring plumbers with details of this profession.

Actually, plumbers in the state of Texas must go through an approved apprenticeship program; then get a tradesman limited plumbing license, journeyman license, and finally a master plumber license.

Let’s take a look at more details for each category.

Texas Plumbing License Reciprocity

There is no state determined reciprocity agreement, but the requests for a reciprocal license in Texas are considered on an individual basis.

If you want to apply for reciprocity, you will need to submit a letter bearing the (home) state’s official letterhead outlining the individual’s licensing and proof of experience to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

Texas Plumbing Master License Requirements

In Texas, a master plumber has to be licensed and skilled in the design, planning, and superintending of plumbing and in the practical installation, repair, and servicing of plumbing.

The requirements to get a master plumber license in Texas are:

  • Must have held a journeyman plumbing license for at least 1 year;
  • Have a high school diploma or the equivalent;
  • Provide proof of citizenship;
  • Submit an application ($175.00);
  • Pass the exam.

Plumbers who would like to sit for the master exam can call the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners at (512) 458-2145.

The exam includes 210 questions about plumbing codes, OSHA regulations, and other related plumbing issues.

All of the license exams are conducted by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

The fees for the exams are as follows:

  • Master Plumber – $175
  • Journeyman Plumber – $40
  • Tradesman Plumber – $36

Texas Plumbing Journeyman License Requirements

A journeyman plumber in Texas has to be licensed and he/she has met the qualifications for registration as a plumber’s apprentice or for licensing as a tradesman plumber-limited license holder.

You need to meet the following requirements to acquire a journeyman plumber license in Texas:

  • Must be currently registered as a plumber’s apprentice OR hold a Tradesman Plumber-Limited license;
  • 8,000 hours of in-field experience under the supervision of a master plumber;
  • High school diploma or equivalent;
  • Proof of citizenship;
  • Submit an application ($40.00);
  • Pass an exam.

Plumbing Journeyman Exam

Future journeyman plumbers who would like to sit for the journeyman exam should call the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners at (512) 458-2145.

Tradesman Plumber-Limited

Unlike in some other states where there is no Tradesman Plumber-Limited license, in texas you can meet the requirements and acquire this kind of license:

  • Register as an apprentice;
  • Provide proof of citizenship;
  • At least 4,000 hours of experience under a master plumber;
  • Complete a 24-hour training course approved by the TSBPE OR complete a training program approved by the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship;
  • Submit an application;
  • Take the appropriate exam;
  • Pay a $35.00 fee.

A limited tradesman plumber is a person who can install plumbing for one-family and two-family homes.

The Tradesman Plumber Limited exam includes a written test and a hands-on workshop test.

The hands-on part involves cutting and fitting pipes, water heater installation, and designing a sanitary drainage and vent system.

Texas Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

An apprentice plumber learns about and assists in the installation of plumbing, has fulfilled the requirements of and is registered by the board, and works under the supervision of a responsible master plumber and the direct supervision of a licensed plumber.

An apprentice does not require a license, but you must be registered with the state.

The requirements to become an apprentice in Texas are as follows:

  • At least 16 years of age;
  • Proof of citizenship;
  • Submission of an application ($15.00);
  • Acceptance to an approved program or agency through which the apprentice can do work under a master plumber.

There are a few ways of becoming an apprentice, and trade school programs, union and non-union agencies, are great resources for plumbing apprentices looking for work.

The Texas Workforce Commission oversees that apprenticeship training programs and registration in the state and by registering as an apprentice, you can start earning a wage while you are still training to become a plumber.

Plumbing Trade Schools in Texas

Most schools offer plumbing programs that last between 3 to 12 months, but before you can enroll, you must be a high school graduate or possess a GED certificate.

The coursework will include information about installing and repairing plumbing pipe systems for drinking water and sewage,  heating and gas pipe systems, and the proper tools of the trade, etc.

After graduation, you can apply to become a plumber’s apprentice.

The tuition for these vocational courses ranges from $3,000 to $15,000.

Cisco Junior College
Location: 101, Cisco, TX 79707
Contact Info: (254) 442-5000
Tuition: $4,710 (In-state tuition)
Type: Public

North Lake College
Location: 5001 N MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75038
Contact Info: (972) 273-3000
Tuition: $3,330 (In-state tuition)
Type: Public

Odessa College
Location: 201 W University Blvd, Odessa, TX 79764
Contact Info: (432) 335-6400
Tuition: $3,864 (In-state tuition)
Type: Public

South Texas College
Location: 3201 W Pecan Blvd, McAllen, TX 78501
Contact Info: (855) 468-6782
Tuition: $3,890 (In-state tuition)
Type: Public

St. Phillips College
Location: 1801 Martin Luther King Dr, San Antonio, TX 78203
Contact Info: (210) 486-2000
Tuition: $5,824
Type: Public

Texas State Technical College
Location: 3801 Campus Dr, Waco, TX 76705
Contact Info: (254) 799-3611
Tuition: $4,665 (In-state tuition)
Type: Public

Insurance for Plumbers in Texas

A Master Plumber in Texas is required to carry a general liability insurance policy with at least $300,000 for a one-year period, which will cover property damage and bodily injury.

People who own plumbing business should consider carrying worker’s compensation insurance to cover medical expenses for any employees.

Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in plumbing are rising by 12% across the country, making excellent job prospects for plumbers.

The starting salary for a licensed plumber in Texas begins at around $26,000.

The more you advance, the higher salary you can expect.

The cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio pay the highest salaries for plumbers in the state.

The average Plumber salary in Texas is $56,445, but some plumbing company owners can earn up to $64577 per year. 

Annual Salary Range:

$49K
$56K
$64K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Texas

City NameSalary
Houston$58,918
Dallas$56,926
San Antonio$55,895
Austin$56,533
El Paso$50,277
Fort Worth$56,010
Arlington$55,918
Corpus Christi$53,308
Plano$56,681
Garland$56,804
* Salary information last updated 2020

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