Texas plumber license and insurance requirements (2023)

Looking for a job as a plumber? Consider heading to the Lone Star State. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas has the second-highest employment level for this profession nationwide with over 39,000 plumbers working. The areas around Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston in particular have high concentrations of professionals in the plumbing industry.1

If you want to work as a plumber in this state, however, you’ll need a license. The state has strict work experience requirements, and you must pass an exam to qualify.

Fortunately, this guide has all the details you need to figure out how to get a plumber license in Texas. Read on for more details on key topics related to this professional license, including:

  • Do you need a license to be a plumber?
  • How to get a plumber license in Texas
  • Texas plumber license requirements
  • How long does it take to get your plumber license in Texas?
  • Requirements for Texas plumber license renewals
  • Texas plumber license reciprocity
  • What kind of insurance does a plumber need in Texas?
  • What is the certificate of insurance requirement in Texas for plumbers?

Do you need a license to be a plumber?

All plumbers in Texas must have a license issued by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.2 There are four types of Texas plumber licenses available depending on the scope of work involved:

Tradesman plumber

A tradesman plumber “may construct, install, repair, service or renovate plumbing for one and two-family dwellings under the supervision of a responsible master plumber.” These plumbers may also directly supervise plumber apprentices on job sites for one and two-family dwellings.

Journeyman plumber

Journeyman plumbers “may install, change, repair, service or renovate plumbing under the supervision of a responsible master plumber.” These plumbers may also directly supervise plumber apprentices on any jobsite and tradesman plumbers on job sites for structures other than one- and two-family dwellings.

Master plumber

A master plumber “may install, change, repair, service or renovate plumbing under the supervision of a responsible master plumber.” These plumbers may also directly supervise plumber apprentices on any jobsite and tradesman plumbers on job sites for structures other than one and two-family dwellings.

Plumbing inspector

Plumbing inspectors “may inspect plumbing work performed within the jurisdiction of any political subdivision with which the inspector is affiliated.” They can also complete customer service inspection certifications for public drinking water systems.

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In addition to obtaining a license, plumbers may seek out an endorsement or designation in one or more of the following categories:

  • Medical gas piping installation
  • Multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler specialist
  • Water supply protection specialist
  • Responsible master plumber

Plumber apprentices must be registered, but they do not need to be licensed.

How to get a plumber license in Texas

Follow these steps to get your license:

Submit your application

To get your license, you must submit a Texas plumber license application to the Board along with the following supporting documents:

  • Proof of citizenship, permanent residence or authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Copy of a photo ID
  • Employer Certification Form(s)
  • Certificate of training program completion (if applicable)
  • Supplemental Criminal History Information Form (if applicable)
  • Verification letter of licensure in another state (if applicable)

You must also submit your application fee:

  • Tradesman plumber: $36
  • Journeyman plumber: $40
  • Master plumber: $175
  • Plumbing inspector: $55

Take the exam

Upon approval of your application, you may schedule your licensing exam. The exam consists of several parts, with variations depending on the license classification you’re applying for:

Tradesman and journeyman plumber license exams:

  • Written multiple-choice questions
  • Hands-on shop work (measuring, cutting, assembly, etc.)
  • Design of a two-story drainage and vent system

Master plumber license exam:

  • Written multiple-choice questions
  • Pipe and vent sizing charts
  • Design of a three-story drainage and vent system

Plumbing inspector license exam:

(Video) Lt. Governor Dan Patrick on Texas plumber licensing and regulation

  • Written multiple-choice questions
  • Pipe and vent sizing charts

Pay the license fee

After passing the exam, you must submit a license fee to the Board:

  • Tradesman plumber: $35
  • Journeyman plumber: $40
  • Master plumber: $75
  • Plumbing inspector: $55

Texas plumber license requirements

All licensed plumbers must have a high school diploma or equivalent. In addition, they must fulfill the work experience and training requirements for their license classification.

Tradesman plumber

You must be currently registered as a plumber’s apprentice or as a tradesman plumber limited in Texas, or as a journeyman or master plumber in another state. You must have at least 4,000 hours of experience.

Unless you are a licensed journeyman or master plumber in another state, you must complete a 24-hour approved training course covering the following topics:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration Outreach Training (10 hours)
  • International Residential Code and/or Uniform Plumbing Code (8 hours)
  • Continuing Professional Education (6 hours)

Journeyman plumber

You must be currently registered as a plumber’s apprentice or as a tradesman plumber limited in Texas, or as a journeyman or master plumber in another state. You must have at least 8,000 hours of experience.

Unless you are a licensed journeyman or master plumber in another state, you must complete a 48-hour approved training course covering the following topics:

  • Commercial plumbing codes (18 hours)
  • Continuing Professional Education (12 hours)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration Outreach Training (10 hours)
  • International Residential Code and/or Uniform Plumbing Code (8 hours)

Master plumber

You must fulfill one of the following work experience qualifications:

  • You must currently be licensed as a journeyman plumber in Texas or another state and have at least four years of experience.
  • Must be licensed for at least one year as a journeyman plumber in Texas or another state and have completed an approved training program.
  • You must be a master plumber in another state and have held a journeyman license for at least four years.
  • Be a master plumber in another state, have held a journeyman license for at least one year, and have completed an approved training program.

Plumbing inspector

You must fulfill one of the following work experience qualifications:

  • You must currently be licensed as a journeyman plumber, master plumber, professional engineer or architect in Texas or as a plumbing inspector in another state with equivalent licensing requirements.
  • Must have completed 500 hours of credit based on previous training and experience in the plumbing industry.

How long does it take to get your plumber license in Texas?

It takes about 30 days to process a Texas plumber license application. You will receive a letter seven to 10 days after your application’s approval.

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Due to high demand, the earliest that most applicants can schedule their exam is about six to eight weeks after the application approval date. You will receive your exam results via mail within 30 days.

Requirements for Texas plumber license renewals

When your Texas plumbing license is issued for the first time, the expiration date is set six to 18 months after the date you passed the exam. After that, all Texas plumber licenses renew annually. You must complete six hours of continuing education to qualify for renewal.

You must pay the appropriate fee to renew your license each year:

  • Tradesman plumber: $35
  • Journeyman plumber: $40
  • Master plumber: $75
  • Plumbing inspector: $55

Texas plumber license reciprocity

Texas does not have reciprocity agreements with other states. In most cases, however, the Board credits hours worked in another state toward plumber license work experience requirements.

What kind of insurance does a plumber need in Texas?

Getting the right plumber insurance is just as important for your professional prospects as getting a plumber license. Consider the following insurance policy recommendations for licensed plumbers in Texas.

General Liability insurance

To get coverage for common types of work-related accidents and property damage, you’ll need general liability insurance. If you have a responsible master plumber designation, you must submit proof of liability insurance to the Board.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

Unlike most other states, Texas does not require businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance. But it can be beneficial if you or an employee get injured on the job because it covers medical treatment and lost wages up to policy limits.

Tools and Equipment insurance

Tools and equipment insurance offers coverage to repair and replace your plumbing gear when damage or theft occurs.

Commercial Auto insurance

You should get commercial auto insurance if you drive to different job sites for work. This insurance helps cover costs related to accidents, such as medical expenses, car repairs and rental reimbursement.

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Commercial Property insurance

If property you own or rent is damaged or vandalized, commercial property insurance can help pay for related costs. This coverage also applies to equipment and inventory for your business.

What is the certificate of insurance requirement in Texas for plumbers?

Master plumbers who choose to add the responsible master plumber (RMP) designation to their license must have a minimum of $300,000 of commercial liability insurance coverage.3 Applicants for this designation must submit a certificate of insurance with the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners listed as the certificate holder.

How NEXT Insurance supports Texas plumbers

Whether you need affordable self-employed plumber insurance or small business insurance in Texas, NEXT Insurance can help. We’ll make sure you have the right coverage to protect yourself professionally.

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Because we only sell small business insurance, we know exactly what types of challenges professionals like you face. We’ve helped thousands of contractors get affordable insurance packages customized to serve their unique needs and protect them on the job.

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Planning to work in another U.S. state? Learn what states require plumber licenses in our plumber license requirements guide.

Sources

1.U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

(Video) 5 Legal Requirements For Starting A Plumbing Business

2. Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

FAQs

Is Texas doing away with plumbing license? ›

HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Starting September 1, virtually anyone could become a plumber in Texas. This comes after lawmakers got rid of a state board that issues and regulates licenses for plumbers to perform work.

Are plumbers required have insurance in Texas? ›

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners requires all master plumbers to furnish them with a current certificate of insurance. Plumbers must carry general liability insurance for claims of property damage or bodily injury, with coverage of at least $300,000 in a one-year period.

Can you do plumbing work without a license in Texas? ›

According to Sec. 1301.051 of Texas' Occupations Code it is not illegal for a homeowner to perform plumbing on their own home without a license. There are many instances in which a homeowner can safely undertake their own repairs.

What is required for a plumbing permit in Texas? ›

How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbers License in Texas? To apply for a Tradesman Plumber-Limited License in Texas requires at least 4,000 hours, or roughly two years, of experience as a plumbers apprentice. You must also take 24 hours of Board-approved classroom training and successfully pass the licensing exam.

How much do licensed plumbers make in Texas? ›

How much does a Plumber make in Texas? The average Plumber salary in Texas is $59,250 as of October 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $51,325 and $67,483.

Can a handyman do plumbing in Texas? ›

Texas Handyman Limitations

There are currently no limits on job size for unlicensed contractors. Despite having no limits on job size, there are limits for specialty services. Unless you have a specific license, you can NOT do any: Plumbing.

What insurance should a plumber have? ›

As a plumbing contractor, you'll need to make sure you have adequate public liability insurance to cover you in the event you cause damage or injury while carrying out your work. With the right cover in place, any sub-contractors you use should be covered by your policy, as long as they work under your supervision.

What insurance do you need to be a self employed plumber? ›

Public and Products Liability

Public Liability provides protection should you become legally liable to pay compensation to members of the public for accidental injuries or damage to their property in the course of your business.

Can anyone be a plumber in Texas? ›

To work as a plumber in the state of Texas you'll need to have a license from the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE). The plumbing examiners of the TSBPE are responsible for all aspects of licensing, including applications, renewals, and examinations.

How much does a beginner plumber make in Texas? ›

What is the average salary for a apprentice plumber in Texas? The average salary for a apprentice plumber in Texas is $33,000 per year. Apprentice plumber salaries in Texas can vary between $17,000 to $54,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

Can a felon be a plumber in Texas? ›

Anyone applying for a Texas plumbing license is subject to a criminal background check. Depending on the type of felony conviction, you might be denied a license. You can request a criminal history evaluation letter before you apply for a license.

Can a general contractor do plumbing in Texas? ›

Contractors that specialize in other trades need to hold a Texas contractor license. Plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians will need to meet specific requirements and pass a test issued by the state. There may also be local laws requiring additional paperwork from individual municipalities before you begin work.

How many types of Texas plumbing licenses are there? ›

There are four types of plumbing licenses: Tradesman Plumber-Limited, Journeyman, Master, and Plumbing Inspector. To obtain a license, you must meet all eligibility requirements, take and pass an examination, and pay a fee. Licenses renew annually.

How much does a journeyman plumber make in Texas? ›

How much does a Journeyman Plumber make in Texas? The average Journeyman Plumber salary in Texas is $59,865 as of October 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $52,034 and $68,220.

Do you need a permit to replace a water heater in Texas? ›

Since 2007, Texas Requires A Plumbing Permit For A Water Heater Installation. The Permit is issued by the city where the home's located. The permit requires a Licensed Plumber to install the water heater — to ensure compliance with Texas codes + any Local Municipality Plumbing Codes.

Which plumbing pays most? ›

High Paying Plumbing Jobs
  • Plumbing Engineer. Salary range: $71,000-$97,000 per year. ...
  • Plumbing Designer. Salary range: $60,500-$83,000 per year. ...
  • Residential Plumber. Salary range: $45,000-$82,500 per year. ...
  • Master Plumber. Salary range: $51,500-$78,500 per year. ...
  • Plumbing Foreman. ...
  • Licensed Plumber. ...
  • Journeyman Plumber. ...
  • Service Plumber.

What's the highest paid state for plumbing? ›

1. Montana
Total Plumber Jobs:85
Average Annual Salary:$83,264
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$54,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$127,000
Location Quotient:2.08 You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
6 Apr 2021

Where do plumbers get paid the most? ›

Alaska has the highest median salary for entry-level and senior plumbers, but Massachusetts has the highest-paid intermediate plumbers.

What is difference between plumber and handyman? ›

Of course, a plumber is trained to carry out extensive and small jobs, whereas a handyman may only be capable of tackling small plumbing tasks. What's The Difference Between a Plumber and Handyman? The main difference between a plumber and a handyman is that a plumber must be licensed in 46 of the 50 states.

How many hours does a tradesman plumber need in Texas? ›

Tradesman Plumber

you have at least 4,000 hours of experience working in the plumbing trade* you have completed a 24-hour training course* * additional information. 6 hour CE (one class)

How much do tradesman plumbers make in Texas? ›

The average salary for a journeyman plumber in Texas is $58,000 per year. Journeyman plumber salaries in Texas can vary between $28,000 to $95,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

Does a Plumber Need insurance? ›

Yes. Any plumbers' professional insurance will include public liability as standard. This liability cover is the single most important part of any tradesmen's insurance. It protects your clients – or any member of the public – in the event that a claim should arise and you are responsible.

Do plumbers need PI insurance? ›

Professional indemnity insurance for plumbers

Having professional indemnity insurance is deemed vital for all businesses that give advice or offer professional services to other businesses. It covers you in the event that you give out faulty advice that causes financial loss to a client.

Can I claim for plumber insurance? ›

How to claim against Plumber insurance? Claiming against your plumbers insurance should be a fairly simple task, and not dissimilar to making a claim on any other insurances you hold, such as home or car. Simply contact your insurer as soon as possible after the incident and give them as much detail as possible.

How much does the average self-employed plumber make? ›

On average, self-employed plumbers in the UK earn anywhere from £30,000 to £40,000 a year, depending on location and the types of services offered. Plumbers working on their own are also currently enjoying a growth in their earning potential and that trend is expected to continue.

Can plumbers self certify? ›

To self-certify plumbing and heating works that fall under the scope of Building Regulations, companies must become certified Competent Persons Scheme installers through a Competent Persons Scheme Certification Body such as APHC Certification Ltd.

Do you need qualifications to be a self-employed plumber? ›

This will depend on whether you plan on working in a domestic, commercial or industrial environment. A City & Guilds Level 2 Qualification is enough to get started on carrying out basic domestic tasks, though those wanting to pursue more advanced work should consider studying for their NVQ Level 2.

What is the minimum qualification to be a plumber? ›

Most plumbers who do domestic work should be qualified to NVQ level 2 standard, which is roughly equivalent to an A level.

How many hours do you need to become a journeyman plumber in Texas? ›

Eligibility Requirements

you have at least 8,000 hours of experience working in the plumbing trade; and. you have completed a 48-hour training course* approved by the TSBPE or you are enrolled and in or have completed a training program approved by the United States Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship.

What do most plumbers make per hour? ›

Hourly Wage for Plumber Salary in the United States

The average hourly wage for a Plumber in the United States is $29 as of October 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $25 and $33.

How much does a plumber apprentice make an hour in Texas? ›

Apprentice Plumber in Texas Salaries
Job TitleLocationSalary
TDIndustries Plumber Apprentice salaries - 9 salaries reportedTexas$22/hr
Mustang Plumbing Plumber Apprentice salaries - 3 salaries reportedTexas$25/hr
VIP Staffing Plumber Apprentice salaries - 2 salaries reportedTexas$18/hr
17 more rows
15 Sept 2022

How long does a felony stay on your record in Texas? ›

Felony, three years from the date of your arrest.

Is plumbing hard? ›

Con: Plumbing work can be physically demanding

If you work as a plumber, you can expect to spend much of your time crawling into cramped spaces, carrying heavy accessories (like bathtubs), and hunching over to install or repair pipes, drainage systems, and fixtures.

Can a felon get an LLC in Texas? ›

Having a felony conviction does not disqualify a person from owning a business. That means that a felon can have an LLC.

What is an approved contractor in plumbing? ›

An Approved Contractor is a type of competent person defined in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Water Byelaws. These are more formally known as Approved Contractor Persons.

Who regulates plumbers in Texas? ›

Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. Deal Will Increase Availability of Skilled, Licensed Plumbers in Both States AUSTIN, Texas (NOVEMBER 2022)…

What is a Level 3 plumber? ›

Level 3 is ideal if you are working within the plumbing and heating trade and have a great deal of technical skills and knowledge. You work with minimum supervision and have a good record of safety, fault correction and ensuring that work meets the required standard.

What are the two types of plumbers? ›

5 different types of plumbers
  • Commercial plumber. Commercial plumbers are qualified professionals who perform plumbing duties in commercial settings. ...
  • Service and repair plumber. ...
  • Residential plumber. ...
  • Sanitary plumber. ...
  • Water supply plumber.

How many levels are there in plumbing? ›

There are 3 different levels of plumbing, but you'll at least need to be a Journeyman to start your own plumbing business | InvoiceBerry Blog.

How much does a pipeliner make in Texas? ›

Pipeliner pay FAQ in Texas

The average salary for a Pipeliner is $51,627 per year in Texas.

What trade makes the most money? ›

The Highest-Paid Trade Jobs
  • Construction Managers. ...
  • Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers. ...
  • Radiation Therapists. ...
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists. ...
  • Dental Hygienists. ...
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians. ...
  • Aircraft and Avionics Equipment Mechanics and Technicians. ...
  • Boilermakers.

How much does a plumber helper make in Texas? ›

As of Nov 13, 2022, the average annual pay for a Plumber Helper in San Antonio is $26,777 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $12.87 an hour. This is the equivalent of $514/week or $2,231/month.

What plumbing work can be done without a license in Texas? ›

of Texas' Occupations Code says that unlicensed individuals can perform plumbing when: A subdivision or land tract isn't required to be platted. They are located outside of a municipality and not connected to the public water system (or connected to a public system that doesn't require plumbing licensing)

Do I need a permit to remodel bathroom Texas? ›

Structural changes: Any remodeling that involves a radical shift in the bathroom layout will invite a permit. When you are making that dividing wall, it shall require a permit. Plumbing and sewage renovations: Any work on the plumbing will involve structural change and require a permit.

Can a homeowner replace their own water heater in Texas? ›

In Texas, you must have a permit to replace or install a water heater and the installation must be inspected by your local municipality to ensure code compliance. International Residential Code, Section M2005.

Can you get a plumbing license with a felony in Texas? ›

(b) The Board shall review the application of an individual that has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor directly related to plumbing to determine whether to disqualify the individual from receiving a registration, license or endorsement, or deny the individual the opportunity to take an examination.

How much do plumbing inspectors make in Texas? ›

$43,065

What disqualifies you from getting an insurance license in Texas? ›

Of course, certain charges do prohibit you from gaining an insurance license, such as any first-degree felonies or crimes involving breaches of trust or legal agreements and fraud.

Can a felon sell insurance in Texas? ›

Insurance Code §4005.101 provides that the Department may deny or revoke a license to an individual licensed under Insurance Code Title 13, if that individual has been convicted of a felony or has engaged in fraudulent or dishonest activities.

How quickly can I train to be a plumber? ›

Generally, it will take you 1 to 2 years to gain all the plumbing qualifications you need if you are undertaking a NVQ Diploma Level 2. An apprenticeship will typically take anywhere between 2 and 5 years.

How many hours do you need to be a master plumber in Texas? ›

The Master Plumber's license requires you to be an existing Journeyman Plumber with 8,000 hours of certified job experience. You also must pass another exam offered by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.

How long is the journeyman test in Texas? ›

Submitting at least 7,000 hours of on-the-job training will simply allow you to take the examination before reaching the full 8,000 hours required for licensure.

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