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How to Become a North Carolina Plumber

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors issues licenses to North Carolina plumbers and plumbing contractors. The general requirements for the various NC plumbing exams include experience and a North Carolina plumbers exam. Applicants should first get a job working for a licensed plumber in North Carolina. In the meantime, they can study for the plumbing exam and get a license once they have accumulated the requisite experience and passed the license exam.

Step 1:

The board requires license applicants to first purchase the North Carolina plumbing laws and board rules. You can get a copy for about $10. You should also consider getting the “Business and Project Management for Contractors” publication (only the Laws and Rules book is a required purchase). That book is about $43. These books will likely help you prepare for the North Carolina plumbing exam. Get an order form here.

You will also need North Carolina Building Code books. Call the board at 919-875-3612 to ask about where to get the currently necessary publications.

Step 2:

Get a plumbing job working for a licensed plumber. For a plumbing license, you need two years of experience (at least 2000 hours per year). You can also get credit for plumbing educational classes. You may replace up to 2000 hours. 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours equal 2000 real hours of work experience. The board issues the following licenses:

  • NC plumbing license
  • NC heating license
  • North Carolina fuel piping license
  • Fire sprinkler installation contractor
  • Residentail fire sprinkler contractor
  • Fire sprinkler inspection contractor
  • Fire sprinkler inspection technician
  • Fire sprinkler maintenance license

If you are interested in any of these related North Carolina licenses, then you can see the requirements for each license by going to the exam information page.

Step 3:

Assuming you have met your work experience requirement of two years, you can then apply for the North Carolina plumbing exam. There are actually two exams – a 4-hour plumbing exam and 1-hour business and law exam. Get the exam application form online. If you want to apply for any of the other licenses, you can find those test application forms online, as well. But as recommended, it is better to provide 24/7 emergency plumber so you can have an advantage or edge over your competitors. Surely, you will be able to get more clients. 

There is a CertifiedBackground background check that is also required to become a licensed NC plumber. Go to that site to initiate the background check.

As of 2010, the exam fee is $100 for each exam. Assuming that you pass the exam and background check, the board will issue your North Carolina plumbing license.