How to Become a Plumber in Georgia? (Complete License Guide)


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If you’re interested in a plumbing career and are wondering how to become a plumber in Georgia, you’ve come to the right place!

A plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in installing and maintaining systems used for water, sewage, and drainage. Plumbers are responsible for ensuring that these systems are installed correctly and function properly. The work involved could be complicated and may impact the health and safety of the community, 

In Georgia, all plumbers are required to obtain a license from the Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board – Division of Master and Journeyman Plumbers.

There are three types of plumbing licenses in Georgia:

  • Journeyman License
  • Master License Class 1 Restricted
  • Master License Class 2 Unrestricted

To become a licensed plumber in Georgia, an qualifying party must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma, complete the plumbing education and apprenticeship program, and obtain three years of plumbing work experience. Prospective licensee must also pass the Journeyman Plumber Exam, and submit an application and fees to the Georgia Division of Master and Journeyman Plumbers.

In this guide, you will learn about the steps to obtaining a plumbing license in Georgia. You will also find income updates, education programs, and FAQs on this profession.

So read on to learn more about what it takes to launch your plumbing career!

7 Steps to Become a Licensed Plumber in Georgia

Plumber meeting client

Step 1: Meet the eligibility requirement

You must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or its equivalent GED. 

As you can imagine, there will be lots of measuring and gauging while working in the field. Therefore, having good math skills such as geometry, algebra, and metric measurements is certainly an asset.

Also, a strong understanding of science is necessary to understand how plumbing systems work. Physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics are particularly important for those who want to enter this field.

Step 2: Complete the plumbing education

Student studying plumbing education

Now, it’s time to equip yourself with the technical skills and knowledge required for the job.

There are several ways to do so, such as attending a training program at a vocational school, trade school, community college, or plumbing association.

Community colleges usually offer certificate or diploma programs, which can be completed in one to two years. Alternatively, some schools also offer two-year associate degree programs.

The curriculum should cover topics such as draining, venting, pipe cutting & soldering, water heating systems, the local plumbing codes, and electrical basic.

Although there is no official education requirement, the completion a diploma/certificate program from a technical school may credit you with secondary experience. This is the work experience requirement, which I’ll go over in the next step.

Step 3: Enroll in an apprenticeship program

Apprentice plumber working with a supervisor

After completing the plumbing education, the next step is to join an apprenticeship program. Aspirant plumbers in Georgia must have at least 3 years of apprenticeship experience before taking the state licensure exams.

The work experience is classified as:

  • Primary Experience: Installation of plumbing systems under supervision.
  • Secondary Experience: Engaging in work or training related to the installation (i.e. formal education programs.)

You may join an apprenticeship program offered by a local trade organization or union. For example, you may check out the apprenticeship program offered by the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association of Georgia (PHCC).

Alternatively, you could work as an entry-level worker under the supervision of a licensed master plumber.

The advantage of going through an apprentice program is that you’ll receive both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. During the on-the-job training, you’ll learn about a plumber’s day-to-day tasks while working under a licensed contractor’s supervision.

Meanwhile, the classroom instruction will cover topics such as blueprint reading, first aid, and safety.

Step 4: Pass the Georgia Journeyman Plumber Exam

Qualifying party writing plumbing exam

The Georgia Journeyman Plumber Exam has 120 questions (20 Pre-test questions + 100 Test questions) administered by the PSI Testing Services. This is a five hours exam, dividend into two parts. (So you’ll have 2.5 hours for each), and the required passing score is at least 70%.

There is an exam fee of $223.

Step 5: Apply for the Georgia Journeyman Plumbing License

Now that you’ve completed all the requirements, you can apply for a plumbing license from the Georgia Construction Industry Licensing Board. To do so, you’ll submit a license application through the online portal, along with the required fees and relevant documents.

In the application, you would provide your personal info: education, technical courses, apprenticeship, experience, examination scores, and your business. 

Since the State Board needs to protect the public interest, they will also require you to disclose if there have been any disciplinary actions against your professional or trades license. You are also required to go through a background check.

Step 6: Upgrade to a Master Plumbing license

If you want to upgrade your career to the next level, you should consider upgrading to a master plumbing license. With a master plumber license, you can work on larger projects and demand a higher salary.

Furthermore, a journeyman can only provide plumbing services by working for a master plumber. A master plumber, on the other hand, can take on plumbing jobs independently. So if you are looking to start your own plumbing business, getting a master plumbing license is the way to go.

There are two classes of master license:

  • Class I: Restricted to single-family buildings or buildings designed for no more than two families, or commercial structures not more than 10,000 square feet.
  • Class II: Unrestricted

For both master licenses, the qualifying party must have at least five years of qualifying experience, of which at least two of those years as a licensed journeyman plumber.

Both Classes of Master exam is a 7 hours test divided into two parts. (So you’ll have 3.5 hours for each), and the required passing score is at least 70%. There is an exam fee of $267.

  • Class I Restricted Exam has 144 questions (24 Pre-test questions + 120 Test questions).
  • Class II Unrestricted Exam has 168 questions (28 Pre-test questions + 140 Test questions).

The registration process is similar to getting a journeyman’s license. You just submit the license application and fees to the Licensing Board.

Step 7: Renew the plumbing license

All Georgia plumbing licensee needs to renew their license every two years. Usually, the Board will send out an email reminder eight weeks before the expiration date. The renewal fee is $75.

To ensure that you’re keeping up to date with the necessary plumbing skills and regulation changes, you must complete at least 3 hours of Continuing Education per year.

Georgia Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber Examination Content

Restricted/ UnrestrictedJourneyman (100)Master Class I (80)Master Class II (100)
A. Comply with General Laws555
B. Comply with Regulations151515
C. Work Planning/ Organizing787
D. Perform Pipe Cutting and Joining Activities10410
E. Perform Plumbing Systems Installation Activities211621
F. Perform System Testing Activities757
G. Perform Maintenance and Repair Activities151115
H. Safety-related issues151115
I. Calculate the following during installation and service: offset, volume, area, pressure, depth, circumference, radius, weight, etc555
Administrative/ Business/ DesignMaster Class I (40)Master Class II (40)
A. Comply with Business Laws1515
B. Comply with Administrative Requirements1515
C. Plumbing System Design1010

FAQ on being a plumber in Georgia

Plumber working on site

How much do plumbers make in Georgia?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2021), plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters in Georgia make an average yearly income of $57,200. The income range typically ranges between $43,730 and $71,080. Top earning Georgia plumbers make over $78,940.

Your earning ability as a plumber is subjected to many variables such as your experience, licensing level, the type of properties you specialize, the company size, its location, and most importantly, the amount of effort you are willing to put into this career. 

How long does it take to become a plumber in Georgia?

It takes at least three years to become a journeyman plumber in Georgia and five years to become a master plumber. That is the minimum period to fulfill the work experience requirement. The duration would also depend on how long you complete the apprenticeship program, and pass the state-required exam.

How much does it cost to become a plumber in Georgia?

It costs between $253 to $297 to obtain a plumbing license in Georgia, which includes the application fee and license fee. The fees would depend on the plumbing license you’re pursuing. Here’s the breakdown: 

  • Journeyman Plumber: ($223 exam fee, $30 application fee)
  • Master Plumber Class I or II: ($267 exam fee, $30 application fee)

In addition to the above, there will be other expenses such as tuition, E&O insurance, and plumbing equipment.

Some companies may pay or reimburse you if you work as their employee. But if you are running your own practice, these are the cost you need to account for yourself.

Which states have plumbing license reciprocity with Georgia?

Georgia has no reciprocity agreement with any other states at this time.

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for general information only, and not intend to provide any advice. They are subjected to change without any notice, and not guaranteed to be error-free. Some of the posts on this site may contain views and opinions from individual not related to JCHQ Publishing. They do not necessarily reflect our view or position.

Reference:

  • Georgia State Division of Master and Journeyman Plumbers (source)
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters (source)
  • Candidate Information Bulletin (source)

Author

  • Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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