Plumbing

MICHIGAN – PLUMBING LICENSING GUIDE

  1. How the Profession is Organized in Michigan
  2. Eligibility for Licensing
  3. Examinations
  4. Time and Costs
  5. Other Careers and Credentials
  6. Beyond Licensing
  7. Important Links
  8. Tips

1. HOW THE PROFESSION IS ORGANIZED IN MICHIGAN

OVERVIEW:

This guide looks at things you, as a plumber who has gained experience in a foreign country, must do to become eligible for examination as a plumber in Michigan. It also includes background and tips on the plumbing profession to give you an idea of the opportunities available in this field in Michigan.

REGULATION OF PLUMBERS IN MICHIGAN:

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory affairs ( LARA), Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC), regulates the licensing of plumbers in Michigan. In order to install plumbing in Michigan, a person must be a licensed plumber or a registered plumbing apprentice.

The BCC reviews the credentials of, conducts examinations for, and licenses the following types of plumbers:

  • Apprentice Plumber
  • Journey Plumber
  • Master Plumber
  • Plumbing Contractor

This guide will focus on the requirements of journey plumbers and master plumbers.

EMPLOYMENT:

As of May 2013, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for plumbers in Michigan is $25.83, with a mean annual wage of $53,720. Employment opportunities as a licensed plumber are available in the residential, commercial, and industrial environments. Plumbers work indoors and outdoors in nearly every type of facility.

JOB PROSPECTS AND OUTLOOK (source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics):

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

2012 Median Pay

$49,140 per year $23.62 per hour

Entry-Level Education

High school diploma or equivalent

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

None

On-the-job Training

Apprenticeship

Number of Jobs, 2012

386,900

Job Outlook, 2012-22

21% (Faster than average)

Employment Change, 2012-22

82,300

Nationally, employment of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Construction of buildings and the need for new septic systems should drive demand for these workers. Overall job opportunities are expected to be good as some employers continue to report difficulty finding qualified workers.

2. ELIGIBILITY FOR LICENSING

The state of Michigan does not reciprocate with any other state or country for plumbing licensing. As a result, you are required to pass an examination to receive a license to perform plumbing work in Michigan.

The process for obtaining a journey or master plumber license in Michigan is as follows:

  1. Complete the “Application for Journey Plumber Examination” or the “Application for Master Plumber Examination” and submit it to the Bureau of Construction Codes for review. These application forms can be found on our web page: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35299_10575_33813_33824---,00.html
  2. Payment of the application fee.
  3. Qualifications to be approved to take the journey plumber exam:

    Any person who is 18 years of age or over and who possesses the necessary qualifications may apply for examination for a journey plumber license.

    A person who is licensed as a journey plumber in another state or country shall appear before a quorum of the state plumbing board to present evidence as to his or her possession of a journey license and the licensing requirements from the licensing state or country. The state plumbing board shall determine if the individual will be allowed to take the Michigan journey plumber examination.
  4. Qualifications to be approved to take the master plumber exam:

    Any person who is 18 years of age or over, who possesses the necessary qualifications, and who can read and write English, may apply for examination for a master plumber license.

    A person who is licensed as a master plumber or equivalent in another state or country shall appear before a quorum of the state plumbing board to present evidence as to his or her possession of a master plumber license or equivalent and the licensing requirements from the licensing state or country. The state plumbing board shall then determine if the individual will be allowed to take the Michigan master plumber examination.

 3. EXAMINATIONS

  1. The examinations of all applicants for licenses shall be conducted by the BCC Plumbing Division and State Plumbing Board. The examination is based on the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, 1972 PA 230, the State Plumbing Act, 2002 PA 733, and the Michigan Plumbing Code which covers commercial plumbing.
  2. The examination of an applicant for the journey plumber’s license shall consist of oral, written, and practical tests. The written test shall cover the general theory and practice of plumbing, knowledge of the Michigan plumbing code, knowledge of the state’s laws governing plumbers and plumbing, and other matters pertaining to the best interests of the general public through the practice of plumbing. The practical test shall cover an applicant’s ability to perform the mechanical work connected with the plumbing trade as the board considers necessary, such as the interpretation of charts and piping projects.
  3. The examination of an applicant for the master plumber’s license shall consist of oral, written, and practical tests, as well as the interpretation of charts, material takeoffs, and blueprints. The written test shall cover the general theory and practice of plumbing, knowledge of the Michigan plumbing code, knowledge of the state’s laws governing plumbers and plumbing, and other matters pertaining to the best interests of the general public through the practice of plumbing. The practical test shall cover an applicant’s ability to perform the mechanical work connected with the plumbing trade as the board considers necessary.
  4. If approved by the State Plumbing Board the applicant is able to take the exam the day following the board meeting. The candidate will be issued an admittance card by the division and must present the admittance card along with a pictured identification for admittance into the exam. The identification could be a pictured driver’s license or a passport.

4. TIME AND COSTS

The application fee for either the journey or master exam is $100.00. Once the candidate passes the exam, the initial fee for the journey license is $40.00, which is renewed annually at a cost of $40.00. The initial fee for the master’s license is $300.00, which is renewed every 3 years at a cost of $300.00.

Each licensed journey or master plumber is required to complete an approved 5-hour code update course within one year after the adoption of a new edition of the Michigan Plumbing Code. Licensees will be notified by the plumbing division when this course must be taken. The Bureau of Construction codes does not regulate the cost of the code update course. The approved instructors set the cost of their approved course.

5. OTHER CAREERS AND CREDENTIALS

A licensed journey or master plumber with a minimum of two years’ experience may   qualify for employment as a registered code official per the Building Officials and   Inspectors Registration Act, 1986 PA 54.

6. BEYOND LICENSING

MAINTAINING LICENSURE:

Journey licenses expire April 30 of each calendar year. Master licenses expire on April 30 every three years. The division will send each licensee a renewal form approximately three months before the license expires. The licensee must sign the renewal form and return it with the required renewal fee prior to the expiration of the license.

The licensee must also have completed the 5-hour approved code update course within one year of the adoption of a new edition of the Michigan Plumbing Code.

7. IMPORTANT LINKS

8. TIPS

TRANSLATION:

If any of the documents you wish to submit with your application are written in any other language than English, please provide an official notarized English translation of the documents.

APPLICATIONS:

Please submit your application for examination as soon as possible prior to your requested examination date. The Plumbing Division will review your application prior to scheduling you for your appearance before the State Plumbing Board. It is very important to fill out the examination form accurately and completely. Missing information will delay the review of your application.

CONTACT US:

Please contact the Bureau of Construction Codes, Plumbing Division, for any questions you may have regarding any step of the application process. We can be reached at 517-241-9330 or bccplbg@michigan.gov . We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.