To be licensed as a Master Plumber, the highest level of professionals in the industry, most U. S. states require you to take and pass the Master Plumber Exam. This will test your overall skills, knowledge, and abilities in the field and will determine whether you have what it takes to succeed. However, each state sets its own standards for everything about the exam, to the number of questions included and application fees to what a passing score is and how you receive that score. To understand some basics about the exam, keep reading.
Who is Eligible to Take it?
Many states require that you first get approval from your State Board of Examiners of Master Plumbers to take this exam. To do this, you will most likely have to apply for it.
Most states require at least 4-5 years of plumbing experience at the journeyman level under the direct supervision of a master plumber. You may also be required to have a certain education level, as well as be able to pass a background check and a drug test.
What About Fees and Registration?
Many states charge an application fee and a separate exam fee for this licensure requirement. Some states may also have you pay a license fee. This is charged to you after you have passed your exam to pay for your certificate and official licensure.
Many states have an online application and registration process. Some may need you to fill this out and send it on paper. Your state board will be able to tell you what these fees are and if there are any deadlines for these and/or your application/registration.
When and Where is it Taken?
These are typically taken via computer at a testing agency center of the state’s choice. Most testing agencies have multiple locations throughout the state and even nationwide. Your state board will be able to tell you exactly where and when these tests are held and how to complete any registration processes.
Some Master Plumber exams are broken into several smaller exams. These may be taken all together, or they might be scheduled, taken, and scored separately.
Most agencies also make special accommodations for those with disabilities or who cannot test under normal conditions.
What Should I Bring?
It is advised that you show up at least 15-30 minutes early for your exam. This is because most testing sites require you to be checked in through a very specific process. This process will need to be completed before you are seated. Anyone who arrives late and does not have time to finish this beforehand will not be allowed to test that day.
Nearly all testing centers require candidates to bring at least one form of valid and current personal identification. This must be a government-issued photo ID that also contains your full name as it appears on your application and your signature. Some testing agencies may require other IDs as well.
Your testing agency or state board will be able to advise you on exactly what you should bring with you, as well as any items that you should not.
What Does the Exam Cover?
Most Master Plumber exams consist of about 100 multiple-choice questions. Some of these may be classified as unidentified pretest questions and will not count towards your score. Exams of this size are given around three hours for you to complete.
On this exam you will find questions related to and about the following subjects:
- Plumbing Fixtures, Fittings, and Appliances
- Water Supply Systems
- Indirect Waste
- Drainage, Waste, and Vents
- Roof Drain Piping
- Specialty Plumbing
- General Plumbing Knowledge and Regulations
- Isometric Analysis
- Traps, Interceptors, and Backflow Prevention
- Materials, Uses, and Specifications
- Business Organization and Management
What About My Scores?
Most testing sites will give you a score report at the end of your exam on the computer. Some may give this to you in paper form as well. Others still may have a waiting period in place. These will send your scores to you by mail or email. Some may also make them available online.
Any and all scores will immediately be sent to the state board, so there is no need for you to send them.
Passing scores vary by state with most requiring at least 70-75% to pass.
Those who fail the Master Plumber’s exam can retake it. However, some states may ask you to wait a certain amount of time.
Be sure to check with your state board or testing agency that delivers the exam about when and how your scores will be accessed and made known to you.
How Can I Prepare for the Master's Plumber's Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!