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Plumbing License North Carolina: How to Become a Plumbing Contractor in NC

To become a plumbing contractor in North Carolina, you must follow these steps:

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements: You must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and have at least 4 years of plumbing experience as a licensed plumber or a plumbing apprentice in North Carolina.
  2. Complete the required education: You must complete a 32-hour course on Business and Law for Contractors, which is offered by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.
  3. Apply for the exam: Once you have met the eligibility requirements and completed the required education, you can apply for the plumbing contractor exam. You can apply online through the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors website.
  4. Pass the exam: You must pass the plumbing contractor exam, which consists of a business and law portion and a technical portion. The technical portion covers plumbing codes, plumbing systems, and plumbing theory.
  5. Obtain insurance and a bond: You must obtain liability insurance and a bond before you can receive your plumbing contractor license. The minimum insurance coverage required is $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 in the aggregate.
  6. Apply for the license: Once you have passed the exam and obtained insurance and a bond, you can apply for your plumbing contractor license through the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.
  7. Renew your license: Your plumbing contractor license must be renewed every year. You must complete 8 hours of continuing education each year to renew your license.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and regulations may vary depending on the state or province. Therefore, it’s best to check with your local licensing board for the most up-to-date information.

Requirement to obtain Plumbing License in NC

To obtain a plumbing license in North Carolina, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Education: You must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  2. Experience: You must have at least 4 years of plumbing experience as a licensed plumber or a plumbing apprentice in North Carolina.
  3. Completion of education: You must complete a 32-hour course on Business and Law for Contractors, which is offered by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.
  4. Pass the exam: You must pass the plumbing license exam, which consists of a business and law portion and a technical portion. The technical portion covers plumbing codes, plumbing systems, and plumbing theory.
  5. Insurance and bond: You must obtain liability insurance and a bond before you can receive your plumbing license. The minimum insurance coverage required is $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 in the aggregate.
  6. Application: Once you have met all the requirements above, you can apply for your plumbing license through the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors.
  7. Renewal: Your plumbing license must be renewed every year. You must complete 8 hours of continuing education each year to renew your license.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and regulations may vary depending on the state or province. Therefore, it’s best to check with your local licensing board for the most up-to-date information.

Types of Plumbing Licenses in NC

In North Carolina, there are several types of plumbing licenses. These include:

  1. Limited Plumbing Contractor License: This license allows you to install, repair, or maintain plumbing systems that have a value of up to $50,000 per project.
  2. Intermediate Plumbing Contractor License: This license allows you to install, repair, or maintain plumbing systems that have a value of up to $500,000 per project.
  3. Unlimited Plumbing Contractor License: This license allows you to install, repair, or maintain plumbing systems of any value.
  4. Residential Plumbing Contractor License: This license allows you to install, repair, or maintain plumbing systems in residential buildings only.
  5. Commercial Plumbing Contractor License: This license allows you to install, repair, or maintain plumbing systems in commercial buildings only.

It’s important to note that each license has its own set of requirements and qualifications that you must meet before you can apply. Additionally, each license may have different restrictions and limitations on the types of plumbing work that you can perform. Therefore, it’s best to check with the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors for the most up-to-date information.

Benefits of becoming an NC Plumbing Professional

Becoming a plumbing professional in North Carolina can have several benefits, including:

  1. Job security: Plumbing is an essential service that is always in demand. As a plumbing professional, you can enjoy job security, knowing that there will always be a need for your services.
  2. High demand: With the increasing population and growth in North Carolina, the demand for plumbing services is on the rise. This means that there are many opportunities for plumbing professionals to grow and expand their businesses.
  3. Good income potential: Plumbing professionals in North Carolina can earn a good income. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in North Carolina was $54,070 as of May 2020.
  4. Opportunities for entrepreneurship: Many plumbing professionals in North Carolina choose to start their own businesses. As a licensed plumbing contractor, you can start your own business and be your own boss.
  5. Fulfilling work: Plumbing professionals help people solve problems and improve their quality of life. As a plumbing professional, you can take pride in the work you do and the positive impact you have on people’s lives.

Overall, becoming a plumbing professional in North Carolina can offer a stable and rewarding career with opportunities for growth and entrepreneurship.

Mean Salary for a Plumbing Technician in NC

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in North Carolina was $54,070 as of May 2020. However, the salary for a plumbing technician can vary depending on several factors, including their level of experience, type of employer, and location within the state. Generally, plumbing technicians with more experience and additional certifications or specializations may earn a higher salary. Additionally, plumbing technicians who work for larger companies or in areas with a higher cost of living may also earn a higher salary.

Cost to become a Plumbing Technician in NC

The cost to become a plumbing technician in North Carolina can vary depending on several factors, including the cost of education and training, exam fees, and the cost of insurance and bonding. Here are some estimated costs:

  1. Education and training: The cost of education and training can vary depending on the institution and program. For example, a 32-hour course on Business and Law for Contractors, which is required to become a plumbing contractor, can cost around $300-$500.
  2. Exam fees: The cost of the plumbing exam for a plumbing contractor license is $200.
  3. Insurance and bonding: The cost of liability insurance and bonding can vary depending on the insurer and the coverage amount required. The minimum insurance coverage required is $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 in the aggregate. The cost of insurance and bonding can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per year, depending on the coverage amount and the risk level.

Overall, the total cost to become a plumbing technician in North Carolina can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the level of education and training, exam fees, and insurance and bonding costs. It’s important to carefully research and budget for these costs before pursuing a career as a plumbing technician in North Carolina.

How long does it take to become a Plumbing Technician in NC?

The time it takes to become a plumbing technician in North Carolina can vary depending on several factors, including the individual’s level of experience and education, the type of program or training they choose, and the licensing requirements they must meet. Here is an estimated timeline:

  1. Education and Training: The minimum educational requirement to become a plumbing technician in North Carolina is a high school diploma or equivalent. Many plumbing technicians start out as apprentices and complete a four-year apprenticeship program that includes both classroom education and on-the-job training. The length of apprenticeship programs can vary depending on the program and the individual’s progress, but it typically takes four years to complete.
  2. Licensure: To become a licensed plumbing contractor in North Carolina, you must have at least 4 years of plumbing experience as a licensed plumber or a plumbing apprentice in North Carolina, complete a 32-hour course on Business and Law for Contractors, pass the plumbing contractor exam, obtain liability insurance and bonding, and apply for the license. The process of obtaining a plumbing contractor license can take several months to complete.

Overall, it can take several years to become a plumbing technician in North Carolina, depending on the individual’s level of experience and the requirements they must meet to obtain licensure.

NC  Plumbing Training Programs and Schools

There are several plumbing training programs and schools in North Carolina that offer education and training for aspiring plumbing technicians. Here are some examples:

  1. North Carolina Plumbing and Heating Contractors Association: The North Carolina Plumbing and Heating Contractors Association offers apprenticeship programs for plumbing and heating contractors. The programs include classroom instruction and on-the-job training.
  2. Central Carolina Community College: Central Carolina Community College offers a Plumbing Technology program that prepares students for entry-level employment in the plumbing industry. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training.
  3. Wake Technical Community College: Wake Technical Community College offers a Plumbing program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to install, repair, and maintain plumbing systems. The program includes classroom instruction and hands-on training.
  4. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College: Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College offers a Plumbing program that prepares students for employment in the plumbing industry. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training.
  5. Fayetteville Technical Community College: Fayetteville Technical Community College offers a Plumbing program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to work as plumbing technicians. The program includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training.

Overall, there are several plumbing training programs and schools in North Carolina that offer education and training for aspiring plumbing technicians. It’s important to research and compare programs to find one that meets your needs and career goals.

NC Plumbing Licensing Exam Details and EPA Certification

The plumbing licensing exam in North Carolina is administered by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. The exam consists of two parts: a business and law portion and a technical portion.

The business and law portion covers topics such as contract management, business planning, and legal and regulatory issues. The technical portion covers plumbing codes, plumbing systems, and plumbing theory. The exam is a computer-based exam, and you must pass both the business and law portion and the technical portion to obtain your plumbing license.

In addition to the plumbing licensing exam, plumbing technicians in North Carolina may also need to obtain certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to handle refrigerants. The EPA requires all individuals who handle refrigerants to be certified under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. This certification can be obtained by passing an exam administered by an EPA-approved certifying organization.

Overall, to become a licensed plumbing technician in North Carolina, you must pass the plumbing licensing exam and meet other licensing requirements, such as completing education and training, obtaining liability insurance and bonding, and meeting experience requirements. Additionally, you may need to obtain EPA certification if you handle refrigerants in your work.

Core Exam details in NC for Plumbing Professional

The core exam for plumbing professionals in North Carolina is the Business and Law exam, which is administered by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. This exam is required for all plumbing professionals who wish to obtain a plumbing contractor license in North Carolina.

The Business and Law exam covers topics such as contract management, business planning, legal and regulatory issues, and safety practices. The exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions, and you must score a minimum of 70% to pass.

The Business and Law exam is a computer-based exam that can be taken at any time during regular business hours at an approved testing center. You must register for the exam in advance and pay a fee of $100 at the time of registration.

It’s important to note that the Business and Law exam is just one part of the overall licensing requirements for plumbing professionals in North Carolina. In addition to passing the Business and Law exam, plumbing professionals must also meet other licensing requirements, such as completing education and training, passing the technical portion of the plumbing licensing exam, obtaining liability insurance and bonding, and meeting experience requirements.

Obtain Insurance For Plumbing License in NC

In North Carolina, plumbing professionals who hold a plumbing contractor license are required to obtain liability insurance and a bond before they can begin working. Liability insurance protects plumbing professionals in the event that they cause property damage or bodily injury while performing their work. A bond serves as a guarantee that the plumbing professional will fulfill their contractual obligations.

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors requires plumbing professionals to obtain liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 in the aggregate. The board also requires plumbing professionals to obtain a bond with a minimum amount of $5,000.

To obtain liability insurance and a bond, plumbing professionals can work with an insurance agent or surety company that is licensed to do business in North Carolina. The cost of liability insurance and bonding can vary depending on the individual’s risk level and coverage needs. It’s important to shop around and compare quotes from different providers to find the best coverage at the most affordable price.

Once you have obtained liability insurance and a bond, you can submit proof of insurance and bonding to the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors as part of your application for a plumbing contractor license.

Bonding for Plumbing License in NC


In North Carolina, plumbing professionals who hold a plumbing contractor license are required to obtain a surety bond as part of their licensing requirements. The bond serves as a financial guarantee that the plumbing professional will fulfill their contractual obligations and perform work according to the state’s plumbing codes and regulations.

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors requires plumbing professionals to obtain a bond with a minimum amount of $5,000. The bond must be obtained from a surety company that is authorized to do business in North Carolina.

The cost of obtaining a surety bond can vary depending on the plumbing professional’s credit score and other factors. Generally, the cost of a surety bond is a percentage of the bond amount, typically ranging from 1-10% of the bond amount. For example, a $5,000 bond may cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per year, depending on the individual’s risk level.

It’s important to note that a surety bond is not the same as liability insurance. Liability insurance protects plumbing professionals in the event that they cause property damage or bodily injury while performing their work, while a surety bond serves as a guarantee that the plumbing professional will fulfill their contractual obligations.

Overall, obtaining a surety bond is an important requirement for plumbing professionals who hold a plumbing contractor license in North Carolina. It helps ensure that they are performing work according to the state’s plumbing codes and regulations and provides financial protection for their clients.

Who issues Plumbing Licenses in NC

Plumbing licenses in North Carolina are issued by the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors. The board is responsible for regulating the plumbing industry in North Carolina and ensuring that plumbing professionals meet the necessary qualifications and standards to perform plumbing work safely and effectively.

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors is a state agency that was established by the North Carolina General Assembly to oversee the licensing and regulation of plumbing, heating, and fire sprinkler contractors in the state. The board sets the requirements and qualifications for obtaining a plumbing contractor license, administers the plumbing licensing exam, and issues plumbing licenses to qualified applicants.

The board also provides continuing education and training opportunities for plumbing professionals to ensure that they stay up-to-date with the latest developments and technologies in the plumbing industry. Additionally, the board investigates complaints and takes disciplinary action against plumbing professionals who violate the board’s rules and regulations.

Overall, the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors plays a critical role in maintaining the safety and quality of plumbing work in North Carolina by ensuring that plumbing professionals meet the necessary standards and qualifications to perform their work.

Does my NC registration allow me to work in any other state?

No, your plumbing registration in North Carolina does not automatically allow you to work in any other state. Each state has its own licensing and regulatory requirements for plumbing professionals, and you must meet the specific requirements of each state where you wish to work.

If you wish to work as a plumbing professional in another state, you may need to apply for a license or registration in that state. Some states have reciprocity agreements with North Carolina, which means that they may recognize your North Carolina plumbing license and allow you to work in their state without additional testing or licensing requirements. However, the specific requirements and regulations vary by state, so it’s important to check with the licensing board in the state where you wish to work to determine their specific requirements.

Additionally, if you hold an EPA certification for handling refrigerants, this certification is generally recognized across all states in the United States. However, it’s still a good idea to check with the specific state’s regulatory agency to confirm that your certification is recognized in that state.

National Plumbing Certifications

There are several national plumbing certifications that can demonstrate your expertise and knowledge in the plumbing industry. Here are some examples:

  1. Journeyman Plumber Certification: This certification is offered by the National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation (NITC) and demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills needed to work as a journeyman plumber. To obtain this certification, you must pass a written exam and meet other eligibility requirements.
  2. Master Plumber Certification: This certification is also offered by the NITC and demonstrates that you have advanced knowledge and skills in the plumbing industry. To obtain this certification, you must hold a valid journeyman plumber certification, have additional experience and education, and pass a written exam.
  3. Green Plumbers Certification: This certification is offered by Green Plumbers USA and demonstrates your knowledge and skills in green plumbing practices and technologies. To obtain this certification, you must complete a series of courses and pass an exam.
  4. Plumbing Designer Certification: This certification is offered by the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and demonstrates your knowledge and skills in designing plumbing systems for commercial and industrial buildings. To obtain this certification, you must meet certain education and experience requirements and pass a written exam.
  5. Certified in Plumbing Engineering (CIPE): This certification is also offered by the ASPE and demonstrates your knowledge and skills in plumbing engineering. To obtain this certification, you must hold a valid plumbing designer certification, have additional education and experience, and pass a written exam.

Overall, obtaining a national plumbing certification can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the plumbing industry, and can potentially open up new career opportunities.

Continuing Education and Renewal of N License for Plumbing

In North Carolina, plumbing professionals who hold a plumbing contractor license are required to complete continuing education (CE) courses to renew their license. The North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating, and Fire Sprinkler Contractors requires plumbing contractors to complete a minimum of four hours of CE courses per year.

CE courses must be approved by the board and cover topics related to the plumbing industry, such as plumbing codes, safety practices, and new technologies. The board provides a list of approved CE courses on its website.

To renew a plumbing contractor license in North Carolina, plumbing professionals must complete the required CE courses and submit their renewal application and fee to the board. The renewal fee is $50 per year.

It’s important to note that plumbing contractor licenses in North Carolina expire on June 30 of each year. Plumbing professionals must renew their license before this date to avoid late fees and potential disciplinary action.

Overall, continuing education is an important requirement for renewing a plumbing contractor license in North Carolina. It helps plumbing professionals stay up-to-date with the latest developments and technologies in the plumbing industry and ensures that they are providing safe and effective plumbing services to their clients.

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