Minnesota has a lot of great things going for it, including having highly qualified plumbers. Our state is one of the few states in the country requiring its plumbers to have a license. And this is a good thing – it ensures the plumber entering your home is both qualified and competent.
However, if you’re looking to become a plumber in Minnesota, it involves a bit more leg work, but don’t let the process turn you away. If you’re serious about making plumbing your next career move, it can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding. Here’s how to become a licensed plumber in the state of Minnesota.
Step #1: High school diploma or GED
Having either your high school diploma or your GED is required before you do anything else towards your goal of becoming a plumber. It’s also a good idea to take any plumbing classes if they’re offered at your school, to give you a jump start on plumbing skills before you graduate.
Step #2: Apprentice for 4 years minimum
In Minnesota, you must work alongside a qualified plumber for 4 to 5 years to learn the necessary skills and apprenticeship programs are offered in every city. Once you’re ready and have your high school diploma, register with the Construction Codes and Licensing Division of Minnesota or with the Apprenticeship Training Program with Minnesota’s Department of Labor (the cost is $30.00 to register).
Registering with these two places will help you find a local union or independent contractor who will take you on as a apprentice. Also, before you are given an apprentice, you must pass an assessment test, take part in an interview and pass a state-mandated drug test. Once you secure an apprenticeship, plan on doing it for at least 4 to 5 years, and expect a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on training.
Step #3: Journeyman license
After you’ve apprenticeship ends, you’re ready to get your journeyman plumber license; the first official license plumbers can apply for. The license itself costs $55.00 and you must pay a nonrefundable $50.00 application fee (to take the exam). In order to get this license, you must have at least 7,000 hours of practical experience as an apprentice and make sure that a single year does not exceed 1750 hours.
The hours are broken down as follows: 1,000 hours on fixture installation, 2,000 hours of drain, waste and vent system installation, 2,000 hours of water distribution system installation and 2,000 hours of general plumbing work. And another cool thing about Minnesota – once you get your journeyman license you can work in both North and South Dakota.
Step #4: Master license
For most, once they receive their journeyman license they’re content and work with just that. But for those with dreams of starting their own plumbing business, a master license is required. To become a master plumber in Minnesota, five years experience is a must, as well as a journeyman plumber license and three notarized references. To take the master license test, the cost is $120. Also, you must supply proof of a secured $25,000 code compliance bond.
And two more important things to know. Exams are only offered in March and September each year, and at three locations, so plan ahead. Also, journeyman and master plumber licenses have short life spans and expire at the end of each year. Always make sure you renew license in time so you can keep working without any hiccups.