Considering a career in a trade? There is an ongoing nationwide shortage of skilled plumbers, which means there are many benefits to becoming one. You can earn a good living and enjoy strong job security — all without accruing a mountain of debt for an expensive education. But how do you become a licensed plumber in Connecticut?
Becoming a licensed plumber in this state requires following specific steps. Similarly to how the state treats general contractors and electricians, the Nutmeg State recognizes different tiers of plumbers. This includes three tiers: apprentices, journeypeople, and contractors. It is only at this third tier that you will be licensed to perform plumbing work as an independent contractor. This guide will provide all the information you’ll need to become a fully licensed plumbing contractor.
Connecticut Plumbing License Reciprocity
If you are already licensed as a plumbing contractor in another state, you may be interested in learning whether Connecticut has any license reciprocity agreements in place. Unfortunately, they do not. However, if you have proof of your work experience, and it is comparable to an apprenticeship, you will not need to enroll as an apprentice before becoming a journeyperson. Read on for more guidance.
Connecticut Plumbing Contractor License Requirements
Note that there are both limited and unlimited contractors, and your eligibility to perform specific tasks can be impacted by your type of plumbing license. An unlimited contractor is defined as an individual who “may do all plumbing and piping work as defined in section 20- 330 of the Connecticut General Statutes.” A limited contractor, on the other hand, is permitted to perform only specific tasks.
To become a licensed contractor in the state, you must work as a licensed journeyperson for at least two years. Further, you must complete an exam. For guidance on this, as well as applying, read the “Plumbing Journeyperson/Contractor Exam” section below.
Connecticut Plumbing Journeyperson License Requirements
A plumbing journeyperson is defined as a person who “may do all plumbing and piping work … only while in the employ of a contractor licensed for such work.” In short, you are eligible to perform plumbing work, but not as an independent contractor. Once you’ve been a journeyperson for two years, you may qualify to become a full contractor.
In order to qualify to become a journeyperson, you must complete a state-approved apprenticeship program. You must also complete an exam, which you can read more about below.
Plumbing Journeyperson and Contractor Exam
To apply to become a journeyperson, fill out the Occupational Trade License Application found on page 3 of the candidate information bulletin packet, as well as the exam application form found on page 4. With this packet, you’ll need to include the original copy of your Letter of Apprenticeship Completion Certificate (if applying to become a journeyperson) or a photocopy of your current license (if applying to become a contractor).
There is also a fee of $90 for journeyperson candidates or a fee of $150 for contractor candidates. Journeypeople will have to pay a $65 exam fee, while full-time contractors will be required to pay $130. Both fees are payable by credit card, company check, personal check, money order, or cashier’s check, payable to “PSI.”
Once you’ve gathered the necessary form, documents, and payment, you can mail the packet to:
PSI Licensure: Certification
3210 East Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
You will then be able to schedule your exam. You can schedule online or by calling (800) 733-9267. There are six different testing locations, which can be found on page six of the candidate information bulletin.
You must get at least 70% of the questions correct in order to pass the exam. Be sure to bring two forms of identification — a government-issued ID and a second ID that has your signature and photograph — and any approved reference materials on exam day.
Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements
Before you can become a journeyperson, you must finish an apprenticeship — or already have a comparable number of work hours under your belt. If you don’t yet have any work experience in the field, you’ll need to complete an apprenticeship, which takes up to four years.
To enroll in an apprenticeship, you must be registered with the Office of Apprenticeship Training. You and your sponsor should fill out the following forms:
Enrolling will cost $110; your sponsor will be responsible for $60 of this amount, while you will be accountable for $50. This is payable by check or money order to “Department of Labor/Apprenticeship Training.” Once you have completed the forms and have included the required payment, you can mail the packet to:
Connecticut Department of Labor
Office of Apprenticeship Training
200 Folly Brook Boulevard
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Once your enrollment is approved, your sponsor should receive your apprentice identification card, which should be passed on to you before you begin doing work hours. For more insight into the specifics of being a trade apprentice in Connecticut, check out the state’s apprentice handbook.
Connecticut Plumbing Apprentice Jobs
You can seek apprenticeships with any licensed employer in the state, given that the sponsor follows the application process outlined above. Reaching out to nearby employers can be an effective way of finding apprenticeship opportunities.
In addition to this approach, you can apply for the Plumber and Steamfitters Apprenticeship Program through UA Local 777. For more information, reach out to this union branch by calling (203) 317-4750.
Finally, many technical high schools in the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System offer adult education in plumbing, including instruction and hands-on learning through apprenticeships. Some examples include:
- A.I. Prince Technical High School
401 Flatbush Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
- Eli Whitney Technical High School
100 Fairview Avenue
Hamden, CT 06514
(203) 397-4031 ext. 326
- Norwich Technical High School
7 Mahan Drive
Norwich, CT 06360
- W.F. Kaynor Technical High School
43 Tompkins Street
Waterbury, CT 06708
Plumbing Trade Schools in Connecticut
There are a limited number of trade schools offering plumbing courses in the state of Connecticut. A prominent example is:
- Industrial Management & Training Institute
233 Mill Street
Waterbury, CT 06706
This is a for-profit trade school. Click here for a cost estimate.
Connecticut Professional License Search
Once you become licensed, you’ll appear in the State of Connecticut License Lookup tool. This is also a great resource for individuals looking to verify the license status of an individual or business. To use it, select “PLUMBING & PIPING” in the “License Type” section. Then, enter all the information you have for the individual or business in question. This will show you the type of credentials they have (whether they are a journeyperson or a contractor) and whether the license is active or inactive.
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