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How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Illinois

How to Become a Licensed Plumber in Illinois

If you have a passion for fixing things and enjoy working with your hands, becoming a licensed plumber in Illinois can be a rewarding career choice. Plumbers play a crucial role in ensuring the proper functioning of plumbing systems in homes, businesses, and public facilities. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to become a licensed plumber in Illinois, along with frequently asked questions about the profession.

Step 1: Meet the Eligibility Requirements
To become a licensed plumber in Illinois, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include being at least 18 years old, having a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and possessing a valid driver’s license. Additionally, you must be physically capable of performing the duties of a plumber.

Step 2: Complete a Plumbing Apprenticeship
To gain the necessary skills and knowledge, aspiring plumbers in Illinois must complete a plumbing apprenticeship. The apprenticeship usually lasts for approximately four to five years and involves both classroom instruction and on-the-job training. During this period, apprentices work under the supervision of experienced plumbers, learning the trade and acquiring hands-on experience.

Step 3: Obtain a Plumbing License
After completing the apprenticeship, you will need to obtain a plumbing license from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The IDPH issues licenses for three different plumbing categories: apprentice plumber, journeyman plumber, and plumbing contractor. To apply for a license, you must submit an application, pay the required fee, and pass a written examination.

Step 4: Pass the Plumbing Examination
The plumbing examination is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of plumbing principles, codes, and regulations. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and may also include practical components. Passing the exam demonstrates your competency in the field and qualifies you for a plumbing license.

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Step 5: Continuing Education
To maintain your plumbing license in Illinois, you must complete continuing education courses. The state requires licensed plumbers to complete a certain number of education hours every license renewal period. These courses help plumbers stay updated with the latest industry trends, technologies, and regulations.


Q: How long does it take to become a licensed plumber in Illinois?
A: The process of becoming a licensed plumber in Illinois typically takes around five to six years. This includes completing a four to five-year apprenticeship and passing the plumbing examination.

Q: How much does a plumbing apprenticeship cost?
A: The cost of a plumbing apprenticeship varies depending on the program and institution. However, apprenticeships are often paid positions, meaning you may earn a wage while learning the trade.

Q: Can I become a plumber without an apprenticeship?
A: No, completing a plumbing apprenticeship is a mandatory requirement to become a licensed plumber in Illinois. It provides the necessary hands-on training and practical experience needed in the field.

Q: What is the average salary of a licensed plumber in Illinois?
A: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for plumbers in Illinois is around $69,000. However, salaries can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and specialization.

Q: Are there any specializations within the plumbing field?
A: Yes, plumbers can specialize in various areas such as residential plumbing, commercial plumbing, industrial plumbing, or service and repair. Specializing in a specific area can help you develop expertise and potentially earn higher wages.

In conclusion, becoming a licensed plumber in Illinois requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to learning. By completing a plumbing apprenticeship, passing the necessary exams, and obtaining a license from the IDPH, you can embark on a fulfilling career in the plumbing industry. Remember to stay updated with continuing education courses to ensure your skills and knowledge remain current.

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