How to Become a Plumber in North Dakota

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How to Become a Plumber in North Dakota

Some occupations are more lucrative than others, as people can still find work when their positions become redundant.

These individuals have the option to operate as a business as well.

One such occupation is that of a plumber, and in this guide, you’ll learn what you need to do to become one in North Dakota.

Plumber Job Description and Responsibilities

Most people know the plumber as the guy who repairs the leaking faucet or sink, or the clogged waste pipes.

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However, these professionals do much more than these “dirty” jobs.

The tasks they need to complete daily depend on a variety of factors, including where they’re employed.

It’s common for them to have to:

  • Read or draft blueprints
  • Install the piping system
  • Maintain the water system
  • Repair the system whenever needed
  • Ensure the safety standards
  • Meet the building regulations
  • Use the appropriate devices to measure or solder

In North Dakota, unlike most other states, individuals need 2 licenses to work as plumbers:

  • Plumbing license
  • Contractor  license

There are 3 types of plumbing licensed one can get and 4 contracting licenses.

The plumbing licenses are for the experience one has in the field:

  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman
  • Master

The contracting ones impose limits on the type of work one can perform, based on the value of the project, as follows:

  • Class D – the value is of up to $100,000
  • Class C – the value is of up to $300,000
  • Class B – the value is of up to $500,000
  • Class A – the value is unlimited

Becoming A Plumber Apprentice

When it comes to this profession, you start off as a plumber’s apprentice.

At this stage, you learn and assist in the installation, alteration, and repair of plumbing and drainage systems, while being directly supervised by a licensed plumber.

There are 2 equally accepted ways of getting trained for this trade:

  • Through a vocational school
  • Directly through an apprenticeship

Those who choose the second option, need to apply with the Board within 30 days of starting.

This apprenticeship license expires every year on December 31 and it needs to be renewed 1 month in advance.

There are fees associated with the process, and they increase over time:

  • 1st year- Up to $20, as it depends on the time of year you started
  • 2nd year- $30
  • 3rd year- $40
  • 4th year- $50
  • 5th year and beyond- $75

Apprentices need to spend at least 4 years working under a master plumber to become journeymen.

Those who enroll in a vocational school don’t need to apply for the apprentice license.

They will have to attend an apprenticeship at the end of their classroom education period.

Those who enroll directly into an apprenticeship program will also have to attend classroom education, usually in the evening.

Becoming A Plumber Journeyman

Those who want to become journeymen plumbers will need to prepare a series of documents and then pass an exam.

The documents are:

  • A general contractor license
  • 4 credit hours of “Continuing Education” in 2 years,
  • Pay the application fee – $30
  • At least 4 years of apprenticeship and 7600 work hours of work experience under a master plumber
  • Fill out the application
  • Pay another fee – $100

The credit hours need to be completed through a course approved by the North Dakota State Plumbing Board.

If you come from an area where a license is not mandatory, you’ll have to show proof of at least 5 years of experience through 4 affidavits.

You’ll still need to take and pass the exam.

You’ll have to take and pass the exam within 6 months of applying.

Those who fail need to wait 6 months to re-take the exam.

Becoming A Master Plumber

Those who want to become master plumbers will need to prepare a series of documents and then pass an exam.

They’ll additionally have to meet these requirements:

  • At least 2 years of experience as a journeyman
  • Minimum 21 years old
  • An exam application
  • The fee for the application – $200
  • Continuing education – at least 4 credit hours in 2 years
  • Another fee – $30

The credit hours need to be approved by the Board.

The exam needs to be taken within 6 months of the application.

Those who fail need to wait 6 months to re-take the exam.

Plumber Job Salary Information

Once you start your apprenticeship, you’ll start earning an income, though it will be lower than that of a journeyman or master plumber.

You will have a higher average salary in the larger cities of the state.

Annual Salary Range:
$40K
$54K
$68K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Fargo$54,006
Bismarck$55,042
Grand Forks$50,777
Minot$54,179
West Fargo$54,006
Williston$54,179
Dickinson$54,179
Mandan$55,042
Jamestown$53,661
Wahpeton$53,143

Additional Information

If you think you might need to move to another state or to North Dakota and want to continue working as a plumber, you need to know about the license reciprocity agreement.

This state has such agreements with: 

  • Minnesota,
  • Montana,
  • South Dakota

When coming from these states you’ll need to present these documents:

  • A copy of the license
  • A Certificate of Endorsement from the issuing state

You may not always obtain the same license level as in your state, but you won’t have to pass the exam again.

USA Plumbing License by State


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