Journeyman Plumber’s Exam

Becoming a plumber in most states requires an individual to have a license, mainly for public safety and consumer protection. The Journeyman Plumber Licensing Exam is used to ensure a test takers competence in the work that they will be doing.

In order to be licensed as a Journeyman Plumber, you must meet your state’s standards.

How do I know if I have to take the Journeyman Plumber's Exam?

Whether or not you have to take the exam depends on which state you live in. Most states have state laws which regulate the plumbing trade on a state-wide basis.

What do I have to do to become a Licensed Journeyman Plumber?

In order to become a Licensed Journeyman Plumber, you must:

  • Have experience: Most states and Municipalities require a prospective journeyman plumber to have experience working under a licensed journeyman or master plumber for a certain amount of time as an apprentice. The time requirement varies but is typically one year. A licensing agency will require an already licensed journeyman or master plumber to fill out a form verifying the time an apprentice plumber worked.

Often, your experience can be a mix between work experience and some form of education, like a training program.

  • Take the exam: The Journeyman Plumber Licensing Exam consists of 100 questions and is a mix of both multiple choice and true/false questions.

What will I be tested on?

The Journeyman Plumber Licensing Exam is situation-based. You can expect to be tested on trade knowledge and skills such as:

  • Venting
  • Hangings and Supports
  • Drainage Waste
  • Water Supply Systems
  • Backflow Prevention
  • Storm Drainage Systems
  • Plumbing fixtures, including water heaters
  • Isometric Analysis
  • Septic and Sewer
  • Joints and Connections
  • Interceptors and Traps
  • General Knowledge and Regulations

Depending on whether your state regulates journeyman plumbers as contractors, you may be asked questions that deal with business and law as it pertains to plumbing, for example:

  • Permitting
  • Labor Laws
  • Bidding Process
  • Contracting
  • Insurance and Bonding
  • Accounting and Tax Matters
  • Business Management
  • Worker Safety
  • Environmental Laws

The exam may be given on a computer, or it may be given in a paper and pencil format. This depends on the testing location.

You can get a better understanding of what you will be tested on by contacting your state agency.

It’s important to note that if you’re testing for a license as a journeyman plumber, you may not be tested on business and law questions. Normally these questions are directed at those testing for a license as a master plumber.

How long does the test last?

Exam time can range from 2 to 5 hours, but this may vary depending upon state.

What happens if I take the exam, but fail it? Can I retake it?

If you fail your exam, you can definitely retake it. However, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before retaking it. Again, this may vary depending on where you live, so the best thing you can do is contact your state agency.

How much does it cost to take the Journeyman Plumber Licensing Exam?

The exam cost varies depending on where you live, or what state or local government you are planning to work in.

When can I take the exam?

The exam is normally given a few times per year at a testing company location. You can contact your state agency or the facility that gives the exam to find out for sure.

How Can I Prepare for the Journeyman's Plumber Exam?

That’s a great question.  We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.

  1. Do yourself a favor and study.  Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try.  Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping.  All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance.  If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
  3. Get a study guide or set of flashcards.  Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them.  We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam.  Below you’ll see links to both!


Last Updated: December 16, 2019