How to Become a Plumber in West Virginia

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Any person installing water lines, vents, and drains inside a building must be licensed in West Virginia and the plumbing profession is becoming more and more attractive recently, due to the great job opportunities and stable salaries.

If you have finished your secondary education and do not know which trade to start learning, our suggestion is to find out more about plumbing and involve in this profession, as the need for licensed plumbers is expected to increase in the years to come.

 The types of plumbing licenses available in West Virginia are:

  • Plumber Contractor – required for plumbing work over the amount of $2,500.
  • Master – Anyone with at least 12,000 hours of plumbing work experience who is competent in designing plumbing systems, instructing, and supervising the work of Journeyman and Plumbers in Training.
  • Journeyman – a  person with a minimum of 8,000 hours of plumbing or related experience who is competent in instructing and supervising a plumber-in-training.
  • Plumber-in-Training –a person who learns the plumbing work and has fewer than 8,000 hours of plumbing experience.

West Virginia Plumbing License Reciprocity

West Virginia has limited reciprocity agreements with certain states.

This means that if you possess a license in that specific state, you may be allowed to skip the exams required for certification.

West Virginia offers reciprocity to Master, Journeyman, and Plumbers-in-Training to individuals from other states who have requirements equivalent to West Virginias, but they need to prove they meet requirements and pay the reciprocity fee.

The only plumbing specific reciprocity agreement that West Virginia has is with Ohio, meaning that an applicant with an Ohio license could potentially acquire a waiver for both examinations.

West Virginia Plumbing License Requirements

In West Virginia, you need to meet the specific qualification requirements for licenses, and accepted proof of work for hours requirements could come in the form of a variety of documents including W2S, pay stubs, or records from customers.

To get a plumbing license in West Virginia you need to meet the following:

  • Meet State Requirements
  • Have at least 12,000 hours of plumbing experience
  • Pay the $75 application fee
  • Contact ProV to schedule Master Plumber & Business & Law exams 1-866-720-7768
  • Pass the State Exams

Plumbing Exams

In order to acquire a license, applicants should fill out the application form and submit it along with the required fees as well as the proper documentation proving their work history.

Exams are obligatory for both journeyman and master licenses, but it is not required for plumbers in training.

It costs $75 to get licensed, you will do an open book exam and you will receive an automatic pass/fail notification after completing your test.

This can be expected from the West Virginia Master plumbing exam:

Business & Law Exam – consists of 50 questions  and you have 3 hours to finish it – 70% correct answers are required to pass

  • 2 Questions – Business Organization
  • 8 Questions – Contracts
  • 4 Questions – Estimating and Bidding
  • 5 Questions – Finacial Management
  • 8 Questions – Labor Law
  • 4 Questions – Licensing
  • 2 Questions – Lein Law
  • 6 Questions – Project Management
  • 3 Questions – Risk Management
  • 3 Questions – Safety-OSHA
  • 5 Questions – Tax Law

Plumbing Exam –  consists of 100 questions, 3-Hours are given to do it and 70% of the questions have to be correct to pass – Exam Fee $51.95

  • 10 Questions – General Knowledge
  • 6 Questions – Fixtures & Fittings
  • 6 Questions – Storm Drainage
  • 10 Questions – Fuel Gas Systems
  • 7 Questions – Safety
  • 13 Questions – Isometrics
  • 14 Questions – Water Supply and Distribution
  • 7 Questions – Water Heaters
  • 13 Questions – Drain, Waste and Vent Systems
  • 9 Questions – Plumbing Math
  • 5 Questions – Plumbing Tools

These are the things that you can bring to the West Virginia plumber exams:

  • International Plumbing Code § International Fuel Gas Code § Plumbing Basics for Contractors.
  • Notes-written in ink or highlighted in code sections
  • Permanently attached tabs
  • Pencil notes in your references that are highlighted prior to arrival at the test center
  • Magnifying glass
  • Eyeglasses, if necessary
  • Architects’ scale or rule
  • Battery-operated calculator
  • Foreign language/English translation dictionaries, if needed.

The West Virginia plumber exam can be taken at the following address:

Prov Testing Center
Northgate Business Center
200 Association Drive, Suite 190
Charleston, WV 25311
(866) 720-7768, (304) 414-0190 Ext. 4

Do I need to renew my license?

The answer to this question is yes, and the renewal date is listed on your certification card.

You should receive a renewal form approximately 45 days before it is due to be renewed and pay the renewal fee of $75.

The good thing is that there is no need for continuing education to maintain West Virginia’s plumber license?

West Virginia Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

There are people who wish to become apprentices or plumbers in training, as they are named in West Virginia, and they will need a license without taking an examination.

A training license will not allow you to work without the direct supervision of a licensed journeyman or master.

Actually, what you need to do is to find a company willing to train you or register for an apprenticeship program.

If you have trouble finding a plumbing apprenticeship program, you can visit the West Virginia Joint Apprenticeship Program for information about accredited apprenticeship programs that are registered with the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.

Most plumbing apprenticeship programs only require a high school diploma or GED equivalent education.

West Virginia Professional License Search

In case you want to find a licensed plumber to fix your issue or to start your apprenticeship, you can make use of the Plumbing license status searches can be made on the West Virginia Division of Labor Website.

Should I Join a Union?

Some people find it beneficial to join Union 625 in Charleston which offers apprenticeship programs.

Joining a union allows you to talk with other plumbers and get help choosing the right program.

Unions are there to help you easily make the transition from apprentice to licensed plumber and provide test preparation materials.

Insurance for Plumbers in West Virginia

You need plumbing insurance in West Virginia that will protect you from unforeseen damages, like flooding from a broken water line or mold from improperly installed fixtures.

Salary

The average Plumber salary in West Virginia is $50,928, but as you can see in the table below, there are differences in the amount of money received in various cities across West Virginia. 

Apprentices earn the lowest amount of money, while contractors can reach up to $58265 per year.

Annual Salary Range:

$44K
$50K
$58K

Average Salary of Plumbers in West Virginia

City NameSalary
Charleston$52,360
Huntington$50,767
Parkersburg$51,043
Morgantown$56,274
Wheeling$56,274
Weirton$56,072
Fairmont$56,274
Beckley$51,900
Clarksburg$50,583
Martinsburg$63,327
* Salary information last updated 2020

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