How to Become a Plumber in Virginia

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How to Become a Plumber in Virginia

If you want to become a plumber in Virginia, you need to know what are the first steps.

Virginia requires licensing for plumbers, so have a look below in order to learn more.

In Virginia, plumbing licenses are handled by The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).

Plumber Job Description and Requirements

There are many job responsibilities a plumber can have, which include:

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  • Reading or drafting blueprints
  • Installing the piping system
  • Maintaining the water system
  • Repairing the system whenever needed
  • Ensuring the safety standards
  • Meeting building regulations
  • Using the appropriate devices to measure or solder

In Virginia, there are 3 different certifications to apply for:

  • Apprentice
  • Journeyman Plumber
  • Master Plumber

How to Become an Apprentice in Virginia

The first step in becoming a plumber is finding a school to train in a plumbing program.

In Virginia, plumbing programs are provided in trade schools and result in a diploma.

You can also choose to get a higher degree in a university, but the training will take longer.

A training program features both theory and practice classes where you can get work experience.

You can either attend a program in person or one online, based on your free time.

Some of the theory classes are:

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

Apprentices in Virginia do not need a license, but you will still need to register your apprenticeship.

You should also make sure that the school you choose is board-approved.

To get into a plumbing training program, you need to submit proof of:

  • Being 18 years old
  • High-school diploma or equivalent
  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate copy
  • Proof of being a citizen of the US
  • A processing fee
  • Pass a drug test
  • Understand written and spoken English

You will also have to be supervised by a master plumber during your training hours.

How to get a Journeyman License in Virginia

In Virginia, you can only perform work unsupervised if you get a journeyman license.

To be eligible for a journeyman license, you have to:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Show proof of apprenticeship
  • Social security number
  • Proof of experience as a plumber
  • School transcripts
  • Training program certificate
  • Take and pass an exam

You also need to meet one of the requirements below:

  • 240 hours of job experience over 4 years
  • 160 hours of job experience over 5 years
  • 80 hours of job experience over 6 years
  • 40 hours of job experience over 7 years
  • Associates degree or another similar 2-year degree
  • Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent
  • 10 years of total work experience in the industry
  • submit a form and pay a $100 exam fee
  • Take and pass the journeyman exam

The exam features the following subjects:

  • Plumbing fundamentals and safety;
  • Materials used, and specifications;
  • Traps, interceptors, and backwater valves;
  • Plumbing fixtures, fixture fittings, and plumbing appliances;
  • Water supply systems;
  • Backflow preventions;
  • Gas appliances and piping;
  • Plumbing mathematics.

After you receive your journeyman license, you will need to renew it every 3 years.

You will also have to take 3 extra hours of education before renewal.

How to Get a Master Plumber License in Virginia

To become a master plumber in Virginia, you have to adhere to the following:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • 10 years of experience in the plumbing field
  • Pass the required exams
  • 1 year of experience as a journeyman
  • Submit the Tradesman and License Application
  • $125 exam fee

To have the master plumber license issued, you need to take a test.

The exam is open book and includes the following subjects:

  • Plumbing fundamentals and safety;
  • Materials used, and specifications;
  • Traps, interceptors, and backwater valves;
  • Plumbing fixtures, fixture fittings, and plumbing appliances;
  • Water supply systems;
  • Backflow preventions;
  • Gas appliances and piping;
  • Plumbing mathematics.

After you get your license, you will need to renew it periodically.

To renew it, you will need to attend some extra education classes.

Plumber Employment and Salary Information

In Virginia, the prognosis for a plumbing job is positive.

You will be able to have a higher salary after you get some experience in the field.

You can also join a union or start your own business for increased pay.

Generally, plumbers who work in larger, more populated areas earn a higher wage.

Annual Salary Range:
$42K
$57K
$72K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach$55,031
Norfolk$54,202
Chesapeake$54,133
Arlington$64,080
Richmond$57,437
Newport News$53,926
Alexandria$64,080
Hampton$53,926
Roanoke$53,218
Portsmouth$54,202

Additional Information

Virginia has reciprocity agreements with the state of Washington.

So, if you already have a license in that state, you will be able to work as a plumber in Virginia.

To do that, you have to send an application for a contracting license.

If your application is accepted, you will not need to take any exams.

You will also have to submit the following paperwork:

  • Copy of current license
  • Letter of good standing
  • Date when your license was issued
  • Expiration date or fee for renewal
  • Reciprocity agreements form
  • Disciplinary actions if it applies

USA Plumbing License by State


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