How to Become a Plumber in Kentucky

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How to Become a Plumber in Kentucky

Being a plumber means having a lucrative occupation.

These professionals are in high demand everywhere in the country, including in Kentucky.

If you ever considered entering this trade, this article will present you with the process and stages through which all plumbers go.

The stages are:

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  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman
  • Master

Plumber Job Description and Responsibilities

Remember you need a license to operate in this field, and this is issued by the Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction.

Plumbers have many different tasks to complete on a daily basis.

These duties include the following:

  • Reading blueprints
  • Installing, maintaining, repairing piping systems
  • Ensuring the safety measures are being implemented
  • Measuring, cutting, and soldering

You should know that plumbers might have to work in all weather conditions as well.

Individuals cannot perform any of these actions without proper training and a license.

Becoming an Apprentice Plumber

Apprentices are the ones learning the trade.

To get into an apprenticeship program you can:

  • Contact a licensed plumber
  • Asking the Department for a program possibility
  • Enrolling in a vocational school

You have to make sure that the program has been approved by the state before you enroll.

Apprentices are actually employed and thus earn a salary.

They work while being supervised by the licensed plumber.

To be accepted in any such training programs you’d have to meet some requirements.

They might differ from provider to provider, but the most common are:

  • 18 years old
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Clean criminal record
  • Knowledge of English, math, and science
  • Being able to complete the tasks

You should know that regardless of where you enroll in the apprenticeship, you’ll have to attend some classroom education as well.

The apprenticeship period is 4 years long.

Some of the courses you will be attending include:

  • Drafting,
  • Mathematics,
  • Science,
  • Sprinkler installation,
  • Pipefitting
  • Reading blueprints

Becoming a Journeyman Plumber

Once the apprenticeship period is completed you can apply for the journeyman license.

To apply you’ll need to meet a series of requirements:

  • Proof of completed apprentices
  • Be allowed to work in the USA
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Score at least 75% on the exam

The exam lasts for 2 hours and a half and has 2 parts:

  • Written part
  • Skills test

You’ll also have to pay some fees.

The exam fee is $50 and the license fee is $60.

You’ll have to renew your journeyman license every year.

Becoming a Master Plumber

Master plumbers in Kentucky are in charge of:

  • Supervising journeymen plumbers
  • Performing all the duties this trade has

To become a master plumber you’ll need to meet some requirements.

These include:

  • Prove at least 2 years of experience as a journeyman
  • Be allowed to work in the US
  • General liability insurance – $250,000
  • A clean criminal record
  • Pay the exam fee – $150
  • Score at least 80% on the exam

This exam is also 2 hours and a half long.

If you pass, you’ll have to pay the licensing fee of $250.

This license can be renewed every 3 years.

Plumbing Permits

In Kentucky, homeowners can receive plumbing permits.

This permit allows them to perform a series of plumbing work on their properties.

These homeowners cannot perform plumbing work on properties belonging to others.

Master plumbers can also get this permit.

Running a Plumbing Business

Master plumbers can open and run a plumbing business.

For this, you’ll need:

  • Insurance, mentioned above
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Comply with the unemployment insurance laws

In many other states, there is a separate law and business exam for this purpose.

Kentucky doesn’t have such an exam, but a law and business question might be found in the master plumber examination.

Salary Information for Plumbers in Kentucky

One of the most positive aspects of learning a trade is that you can start earning money as an apprentice.

While in the beginning, your salary will be lower, you’ll slowly earn more the more experience you gain.

In Kentucky, the average salary for plumbers is $54,090 per year, and in cities like Covington and Florence, these professionals earn more.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Louisville $54,205
Lexington $54,130
Bowling Green $51,814
Owensboro $53,985
Covington $56,211
Richmond $53,583
Georgetown $54,100
Florence $56,188
Hopkinsville $51,733
Nicholasville $54,038

Regional Salary in Kentucky

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bowling Green, KY160$60,280$28.98$79,960$33,380
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY310$61,120$29.39$82,340$35,440
Lexington-Fayette, KY850$62,190$29.9$87,330$35,620
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN2,230$60,800$29.23$86,000$36,060
Owensboro, KY230$64,240$30.88$84,020$35,110
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters, OCC Code 47-2152, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information

In Kentucky, those who obtained a plumbing license in a different state may be accepted for reciprocity.

There are a few conditions though:

  • Individuals are considered on case-by-case scenarios
  • The issuing state needs to agree to the reciprocity

Union Membership

Plumbing license holders can also join unions if they so wish.

Being licensed is a general requirement for membership.

The benefits of joining a union are:

  • Guaranteed wages
  • A higher salary
  • Health benefits
  • Help with settling cases with clients

There are also some disadvantages, such as:

  • Paying yearly membership fees
  • Following union decisions even if you don’t agree with them

Schools Offering Plumbing Programs in Kentucky

School Name Address
Jefferson Community and Technical College 109 East Broadway Louisville, KY 40202
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College 600 College Street Rd, Elizabethtown, Kentucky 42701-3081
Building Institute of Central Kentucky 109 W Loudon Ave, Lexington, KY 40508
Gateway Community and Technical College 500 Technology Way, Florence, Kentucky 41042
Maysville Community and Technical College 1755 U.S. Hwy 68, Maysville, Kentucky 41056
Local 502 Education & Training 2335 Millers Ln, Louisville, KY 40216
College for Technical Education 1165 Centre Pkwy. #120 Lexington, KY 40517
Kentucky Community and Technical College System 300 N Main St, Versailles, KY 40383
Henderson Community College 2660 South Green St Henderson, KY 42420 US
Campbellsville University Technology Training Center 1 University Drive Campbellsville, KY 42718
Hazard Community & Technical College: Technical Campus 101 Vo-Tech Dr, Hazard, KY 41701
West Kentucky Community & Technical College: Main Campus 4810 Alben Barkley Dr, Paducah, KY 42001
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College 1845 Loop Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101
Hopkinsville Community College: Main Campus 720 North Dr, Hopkinsville, KY 42240
Bluegrass Community & Technical College 470 Cooper Dr, Lexington, KY 40506
Ashland Community & Technical College: College Drive Campus 1400 College Drive, Ashland, KY 41101
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One Comment
  1. Avatar for carl goolsby carl goolsby

    I have plumbing License in MS ,AR, AL LA TN and TX masters LIC and all are up to date
    Will I need to take the test in kentucky to get a RMP LIC

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