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Plumbing LICENSING

South Carolina plumbing license:
everything you need to know

The time is now to start your career in the plumbing industry. Whether you decide to work for an employer or build your own plumbing business, resources exist to help you on your journey. 

Becoming a licensed plumber in South Carolina involves several steps. Read the valuable information below to learn the process. 

What plumbing work can be done without a license?

In South Carolina, most plumbing work requires a licensed plumber. Only licensed plumbers can repipe, replace a water heater, or repair septic systems. Without a plumbing license, you’re limited to unclogging pipes and small repairs.

How to get a plumbing license

To get a South Carolina plumbing license, you must attend a plumbing trade school. You also are required to take the Residential Business and Law exam in addition to the trade exam. 

Criminal Background

If you have a criminal background, you may find it difficult to become a licensed plumber. You can take the exam; however, many companies will require a clean background for employment. You may consider starting your own plumbing business. 

Best Plumbing Schools

Plenty of plumbing schools offer a great education in South Carolina. Here are a few schools:

Some schools offer a 2-year curriculum, while others will offer a 4-year curriculum. Classes include learning about repairs and installations. You may need to bring your own tools. Financing will depend on the school, and you may qualify for financial aid.

Some colleges provide online classes. In some cases, you can learn permit and residential law through online classes. For repairs, in-person classes are required.

When you begin an apprenticeship, you will shadow a licensed plumber. Hours will vary depending on your on-the-job training program.

The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation issues plumbing licenses. You are required to take 2 different exams before becoming a licensed plumber. These exams test your knowledge of plumbing as well as South Carolina laws regarding permits and regulations. Once you obtain your license, you must renew your license every 2 years.

What are the different types of plumbing licenses in South Carolina?

There are 3 types of plumbing licenses in South Carolina: Residential Plumbing License Contractor, Master Plumbing License, and Mechanical Contractor with a plumbing classification. To do commercial plumbing, you must possess a commercial license. You are not required to have a license as an apprentice. 

These licenses allow you to practice plumbing anywhere within the state of South Carolina. You can perform plumbing repairs and new installs. Some counties and cities have different permit requirements.

To get your South Carolina plumbing license, it takes 4 years of schooling. This education will prepare you to pass the state exam and start your apprenticeship. 

The average pay in South Carolina is around $20 per hour. This salary depends on your employer. If you start your own plumbing business, you can earn more money.

Should I join a union?

Local Carolinas 421 is the primary plumbing union in South Carolina. A union offers educational opportunities and job placement.

Insurance for plumbers in South Carolina

It’s recommended that plumbers purchase insurance. If you work for a business, your employer will cover the insurance; however, if you own your business, you will need insurance. 

Plumbing is not dangerous if you follow all the safety rules. Also, talk with your doctor about any potential vaccines you may need as a plumber.

How to get my first plumbing apprenticeship

Here are a few ways to get your first plumbing apprenticeship:

The interview process resembles other professional interviews. Bring your resume and dress appropriately.

How do I stay up to date with plumbing codes?

South Carolina building codes are available online.

What resources are available in the plumbing industry?

From blogs to trade shows, several resources exist to help you grow your career in the plumbing industry. Here are a few sites:

I already have a license but:

If you need a name or address change, contact the State of Alabama Plumber and Gas Fitters Examining Board. If you misplace your card, you must complete a replacement form and pay $25.

How often do I need to renew my plumbing license in Alabama?

Your Alabama plumbing license must be renewed annually. Here are the renewal fees by license type: 

  • Apprentice – $25
  • Journeyman plumber – $50
  • Master plumber – $150.00