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Alabama Plumbing License: How to Get Certified as a Plumber in AL

January 10, 2023 8 min. read
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If you’re looking for a financially stable career with a growing job market, look no further than becoming a licensed plumber in Alabama. The state has already seen a huge demand growth for plumbers, which doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. The industry is projected to grow 11%, adding almost 1,000 new plumbing jobs yearly until 2028.

The increased demand for plumbers is probably why Alabama master plumbers take home an average salary of $66,479. As you grow in your career and gain more work experience, you boost your earning potential. Now is the time to get your license and capitalize on this increase in demand.

Interested in getting your plumbing license in Alabama but unsure where to start? We’ll cover everything you need to know:

Make sure to bookmark this page for future reference on all Alabama plumbing license questions.

Do you need a license to do plumbing in Alabama?

Yes, you need to get a plumbing license to perform any plumbing work in Alabama. Licenses are issued by the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board

A license allows you to complete plumbing work such as installing or repairing plumbing fixtures, replacing pipe systems, and cleaning drains. With a license, plumbers can work on both residential and commercial projects.

You’ll need to start as an apprentice, and as you continue to earn experience, you can apply for licenses that allow you to do more types of work with less supervision until you have your master plumbing license. If your plan is to run your own plumbing business, you’ll need to get your Alabama plumbing contractor license, too.

Types of plumbing licenses in Alabama

The state of Alabama offers three kinds of plumbing licenses that vary in the type of work you’re permitted to do:

  • Apprentice: able to perform limited duties under the supervision of a journeyman or master plumber
  • Journeyman: an entry-level license that allows individuals to work independently under the supervision of a master
  • Master: highest license level that allows individuals to supervise journeymen, pull permits for projects, or run their plumbing businesses

Alabama plumbing license requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a plumbing license:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Provide a copy of your social security card
  • Fulfill the necessary education and training requirements
  • Pass any licensing examination
  • Pay any applicable fees

How do I get an Alabama plumbing license?

It takes around two years to earn a journeyman license and three years to earn a master license. The process length varies depending on the path plumbers take to meet the experience requirement. The process is as follows:

  1. Register as an apprentice: To start the licensing process, applicants must register as an apprentice and pay the registration fee.
  2. Gain the necessary experience: Applicants need to complete two years of work experience as an apprentice or an apprenticeship program to be eligible for the journeyman license. To qualify for a master license, applicants must have completed one year of work as a licensed journeyman.
  3. Apply to take the exam: After an applicant gains the necessary experience to qualify for a journeyman or master license, they’ll need to submit an application for examination. After being approved, applicants have 30 days to take the exam.
  4. Pass the exam: Applicants must pass a licensing exam to receive a journeyman or master level license. Exams are administered through PSI, and both tests require a 70% or higher score to pass.
  5. Submit an application: Once applicants have completed the above steps, they can fill out an application to receive a journeyman or master license. Applicants have 90 days to apply and receive their license after passing the licensing exam.

Applications can be sent to:

Alabama Plumbers And Gas Fitters Examining Board
216 Aquarius Dr., Suite 319
Homewood, AL 35209

Alabama plumbing license exam

To earn a journeyman or master plumbing license, applicants must pass a licensing exam, and exams are administered in person through PSI Exams. Applicants must submit an application for examination and be approved by the board before taking the exam. 

Once approved, applicants will receive a Candidate Information Bulletin with information on how to schedule their exam. To prepare for the exam, applicants can take one of the Alabama plumbing board classes. Applicants will need to bring two forms of identification, one government-issued ID with a signature and picture and the other with a signature and pre-printed name.

The Alabama journeyman plumber test consists of 70 questions, and applicants will have three hours to complete it. The exam covers the following topics:

  • Plumbing Fixtures and Terminology
  • Plumbing Fundamentals 
  • Traps, Cleanouts, and Interceptors 
  • Drainage Requirements 
  • Vent Requirements 
  • Water Distribution 
  • Plan and Analysis 

The master license exam consists of 100 questions, and applicants will have four hours to complete it. The exam covers the following topics:

  • Plumbing Fixtures and Terminology
  • Plumbing Fundamentals 
  • Traps, Cleanouts, and Interceptors 
  • Drainage Requirements 
  • Vent Requirements 
  • Water Distribution
  • Plan and Analysis 
  • Laws and Rules 

Both exams are open book and require applicants to score a 70% or higher to pass. 

Alabama plumbing license reciprocity

Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow one state license to be valid in another, and Alabama does not currently have any reciprocity agreements with other states.

If you hold a plumbing license from another state, you may be able to waive the experience requirement and only need to complete the licensing portion of the application process.

More details for out-of-state plumbers can be found on the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board website.

Alabama plumbing license costs

There are a few costs associated with earning a plumbing license. You can expect to pay about $200 to get a journeyman license and $500 to get a master license. 


  • Journeyman license exam fee: $110
  • Master license exam fee: $160


  • Apprentice registration: $25
  • Journeyman license application fee: $50
  • Master license application fee: $150


  • Apprentice renewal: $25
  • Journeyman license: $50
  • Master license: $150

How do I renew my Alabama plumbing license?

License holders must complete the renewal process annually to keep their licenses active. All Alabama plumbing licenses expire on December 31st of every year, and renewals open on Oct 1st, so license holders have from Oct 1st to Dec 31st to complete the renewal process. 

To renew a license, applicants must complete the renewal forms found in the online portal and pay the renewal fee for their license type.

What happens if my plumbing license expires? 

If your plumbing license expires, you must stop any plumbing work immediately to avoid fines or penalties. You can check your license status using the Alabama plumbing license verification tool.

If you are caught performing plumbing work in Alabama without a license, you could face a fine of up to $2,000 per violation. An expired license also means you’ll need to pay a late fee, which is equal to the cost of the renewal fee, so it will cost twice as much to renew an expired license. If your license has expired, pay the late and renewal fees and complete the renewal process as soon as you can to reactivate your license.

Requirements for business owners

If you’re looking to start a plumbing business, you’ll need to take a few additional steps beyond receiving your license. ​​In Alabama, only those with a master license can operate a plumbing business. 

When starting a business, you’ll first need to establish the structure in which you’ll operate. You can choose from business structures such as an LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership. Once you decide on your business structure, you’ll need to choose a plumbing company name and register your business with your local government. 

You’ll need to meet the following requirements to start your business:

  • Get the necessary insurance: Business owners must obtain general liability, worker’s compensation, and commercial automobile insurance. In Alabama, business owners must maintain at least $300,000 in property damage insurance and $100,000 in general liability insurance.
  • Obtain the necessary permits: The specific permits you need will depend on the local jurisdiction of the location where the project will take place. Check with your local Building and Codes office to determine the specific permits you’ll need.

On average, it costs around $10,000 to get all the tools, equipment, and insurance needed to start a plumbing business. If needed, you can apply for a small business loan to help cover the initial costs. You can also check with your local government to see if any small business grants are available. 

Does a plumbing license in Alabama increase your earning potential? 

Not only is a plumbing license required for plumbing work in Alabama — it also helps increase your earning potential. As you get more experience under your belt, you qualify for higher license levels which come with a greater salary. After just three years of experience, plumbers in Alabama see a 24% increase in salary, and that’s an additional $8,099 in your pocket! 

Your salary continues to rise the more experienced a plumber you become. Our Essential Plumber Salary Guide helps you as you grow in your plumbing career. Learn how your or your employees’ salaries can increase based on experience level, get tips on how to start your own plumbing business, and get more resources to help build your plumbing career.

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