In Kentucky, you cannot start working as a plumber without having a plumbing license. Types of plumbing licenses that are issued by the Plumbing Division of the Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction are:
- Journeyman plumbing license
For this type of license, a 4-year experience of working as an apprentice is required. The applicant has to be at least 18 years and qualify in a written exam related to plumbing techniques. A license is not compulsory for becoming a plumbing apprentice. Besides, he has to attend a training program at a vocational school in Kentucky.
- Master plumber license
A Master plumber license is issued after an individual qualifies in a written exam, gets through a criminal background check, and is 18 years old. He also needs to have a $ 250,000 value of liability insurance.
The plumbing job includes the installation of new pipes, fixtures, and fixing up the existing water systems. In the case of a plumbing business, the owner has to purchase worker’s compensation insurance for employees. Due to the risks associated with the job, a plumber should go for some vaccinations recommended by the doctor.
For an apprenticeship, you need to work with a licensed plumber and have experience of fieldwork in residential and commercial projects. You can contact a union for support regarding this matter. The average annual earning during this period maybe $27,000 or above.
Getting a KY plumbing license
- Applicants should not have a criminal background.
This is specific to the state of Kentucky. Even the training schools offering apprenticeship programs would check your background before enrollment.
- Most of the training schools include both classes and fieldwork. There would be a minimum duration of one year of classroom studies and a 4-year apprenticeship program after that.
- Tools are usually provided free of cost during training.
- Option to choose between a community college, vocational schools, and online classes
Since community colleges are expensive, one can opt for vocational schools for continuing education (CE) and adult education. There would be financial aid in the form of student loans. Online classes would be the cheapest.
Tuition fees range from $150 – $300 for each credit hour. The cost of an online course would be $1,000 while a college course at Kentucky would cost about $ 3,000.
- Lessons would include knowledge about water systems, plumbing codes, construction laws, garbage disposal, repair, and installation of septic tanks.
- The licensing exam would be of 2.5 hours duration.
- The license would be valid only for Kentucky state.
Renewal of a KY Plumbing License
- A journeyman license has to be renewed every year while a master plumbing license should be renewed every three years. The renewal process should not exceed the expiry date.
- Complete the continuing education (CE) course approved by the Kentucky Division of Plumbing
Both the journeyman and master plumbers need to take up a 6-hour CE course consisting of the following topics:
- Knowledge about businesses
- Concept of Kentucky State Plumbing Code (KSPC)
This section deals with the state laws and regulations and the implementation of KSPC, the types of licenses, and educational qualifications.
Certain changes were introduced in the current CE courses on 4th January 2019. Changes in the KSPC include requirements related to licensing, permits, and identification.
- Safety features
There are 22 basic principles to promote sanitation and safety measures.
- Trade specific subject for plumbing
- International energy conservation code
- Rainwater harvesting process and location for collecting rainwater
The roofs can provide a spacious area for catchment but the material and design of the roof affect the collection of rainwater. The ideal process for collection is also explained.
- Filtration, screening, and diversion of rainwater.
The CE courses can be taken online which is for the convenience of the students. There are several approved providers of the courses. On completion, the certificates are shared with the students and the provider from their end informs the state about the course completion.
There is an option of intimation in a fast-track way.
- Complete the renewal application
There would be a one-page application which you need to fill out. In the case of master plumbers, the certificate of liability insurance needs to be attached with the application. If you have hired employees, the proofs of worker’s compliance and unemployment insurance also need to be attached.
- Payment of renewal fee
The renewal fees are $ 65 for a journeyman plumber and $ 250 for a master plumber and should be forwarded to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
All the documents along with the certificates of CE should be mailed to the appropriate address.
The renewal processes should be completed by the last day of the birth month of an applicant. Generally, renewal notices are sent by mail but sometimes you may not get them. An easy and hassle-free process would be to enroll and complete the CE course for online renewal so that you can carry on with your plumbing job in an uninterrupted way.