How to Become a Plumber in Rhode Island

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How to Become a Plumber in Rhode Island

Residents in Rhode Island are always needing plumbers.

This is a lucrative occupation and if you were already considering entering this trade, we have the guide for you.

Here you’ll learn about the steps and documents you need to get started as well as information related to the expected salary.

Plumber Job Description and Requirements

The plumbing trade is related to working with pipes, regardless they are for water or gas.

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Plumbers are expected to be able to:

  • Read and/or draft blueprints
  • Install the piping system
  • Perform repair or maintenance work on the pipes
  • Measure, cut, and/or solder
  • Adhere to the building safety measures
  • Work with waste pipes

Like in most states, individuals can’t work as plumbers without a license.

They usually also need:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A driver’s license
  • Good knowledge of English
  • Good knowledge of math
  • A clean criminal record
  • Being over the age of 18

To get licensed you’ll need to attend a training program first, and the license is issued by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training’s (DLT) Plumbers and Irrigators branch.

Training as a Plumber

A plumber usually trains through an apprenticeship.

The training can also be completed at any of the vocational schools in the state.

Attending a plumbing program at a vocational school is helpful for those who want to climb the career ladder in this field.

When choosing a program, you should make sure for it to be approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, as employers prefer them.

All programs are formed of a classroom education part and a hands-on practice part, regardless of which one you enroll in.

Most apprenticeships last for 5 years, with 1,700 to 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 246 hours of classroom instruction per year.

Apprentices will learn about:

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

To enroll in these programs you will have to complete some steps:

  • Filling out an application
  • Paying the application fee
  • Being in a good physical standing
  • Providing proof you meet all the other requirements of the job mentioned earlier

You might have to pass an entrance exam before being accepted at some of the schools.

Remember that apprentices need to work under the supervision of a licensed plumber.

Becoming a Journeyman Plumber

Journeymen plumbers are allowed to install, repair, and assess all machinery and appliances related to plumbing as long as they’re supervised.

The individuals who want to become journeymen need to:

  • Accumulate 8,000 hours of work experience in 5 years
  • Fill out the application form
  • Pay the $75 fee for the application
  • Pass the journeyman exam

This exam has 2 parts, with 50 questions each, and you’re not allowed to consult any materials during the examination.

One part of the exam is based on the Rhode Island Edition of the “BOCA International Plumbing Code 2006 and the second part is based on the RI Edition of the State Building Code SBC-3 State Plumbing code effective July 1, 2013.

The topics cover:

  • Terminology
  • Calculations,
  • Materials and Material Standards,
  • Joints, connections, and cross-connections
  • Traps and cleanouts,
  • Plumbing fixtures,
  • Hangers and supports,
  • Indirect waste piping,
  • Water Distribution Systems,
  • Sanitary Drainage Systems,
  • Vents and Venting Systems,
  • Storm drains,
  • Inspecting and testing

Candidates need to go to the RI Department of Labor and Training to take both exams.

The results are mailed within a week.

Becoming a Master Plumber

Master plumbers are allowed to install, repair, and assess all machinery and appliances related to plumbing, without supervision.

Those who wish to become master plumbers in Rhode Island need to meed the following requirements:

  • 5 years of experience as journeymen plumbers
  • Filling out the application form
  • Paying the associated fee – $75
  • Passing the master plumber exam

Rhode Island Plumber Salary Information

When your apprenticeship starts, you’ll be paid for your work, but less compared to a licensed plumber.

Plumbers might work for:

  • Construction companies
  • Plumbing repair companies
  • Companies that supply water
  • Themselves
Annual Salary Range:
$45K
$60K
$77K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Providence$60,441
Cranston$60,441
Warwick$60,441
Pawtucket$60,441
East Providence$60,441
Woonsocket$60,383
Cumberland$60,441
Coventry$60,326
North Providence$60,441
Johnston$60,441

Additional Information

Plumbers are often required to continue their education to keep their licenses, but not in Rhode Island.

The renewal of the license is done online, and the fees are:

  • $72 for the journeyman license
  • $240 for the master license

Those who obtained their license in a different state might be eligible to use the license reciprocity agreement to be allowed to work in Rhode Island.

The requirement is usually to prove their initial training has the same standards as the ones in Rhode Island.

These individuals need to pay the associated fee of $75 when applying for reciprocity.

USA Plumbing License by State


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