Louisiana State Plumbing Board

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Louisiana State Plumbing Board and License Agency (SPBLA) regulates the plumbing trade. Plumbers seeking employment in Louisiana must acquire either a journeyman or master license from SPBLA prior to commencing any plumbing activities within its boundaries.

House lawmakers passed a bill granting plumbers, currently limited by local jurisdiction laws, full statewide licensure. If signed into law by Governor Scott Walker, it would end an obstacle to licensing that has existed since 1990 when state legislators approved its Master Plumber Law.

How to Apply

Louisiana state laws license plumbers to work within its borders, with those seeking licensure needing to pass several exams and meet specific criteria (insurance coverage and training being examples of such criteria). Their website contains details on obtaining both journeyman and master plumbing licenses.

Whoever wishes to obtain their plumbing license must complete an apprenticeship program or its equivalent in plumbing, such as those offered at trade schools and community colleges. Such programs provide students with practical experience as well as education on building codes and regulations relevant to plumbing.

A successful exam results in a journeyman license. This allows the individual to practice for four or five years, at which point he or she must apply to take the master exam – which consists of a three-hour written examination covering topics like residential plumbing codes. Furthermore, state regulations mandate that master plumbers possess liability and workers’ compensation insurance policies.

All applications must be filled out and submitted with the required documents, along with being notarized. Once the state has accepted applications, applicants will be notified either by email or letter about whether their applications were accepted; those who were unsuccessful in taking the exam will also receive information on why and how to retake it.

Exams

Louisiana law mandates all plumbers must obtain a license before beginning any project, which can be accomplished by completing an apprenticeship program and passing an exam. Furthermore, those working on special projects that exceed $10,000 in labor and materials costs must also obtain one before working.

To take the journeyman plumber exam, you must be registered as an apprentice with the board and have either completed a four to five-year apprenticeship program or amassed 8,000 hours of on-the-job experience with either a master or journeyman plumber. Furthermore, proof of your experience must be provided via W-2s or official payroll paperwork from your employer; you can even receive temporary work permits while waiting for a test date.

Please apply for the journeyman plumber exam at least 30 days in advance of its scheduled date. Applicants will be organized in order of being approved by the board; those holding valid licenses from other states are permitted to use these credentials towards qualifying for this examination but must submit a copy with their application for board review and approval.

The journeyman plumbing exam consists of both written and practical components. To pass, at least 70% of questions must be answered correctly. The entire examination takes three hours and thirty minutes.

Requirements

To become licensed as a journeyman plumber in Louisiana, one must first complete an apprenticeship program. You can find these programs at local trade schools and community colleges, and the courses will teach the basics of plumbing repairs and installations as well as building codes and laws. Full or part-time programs may cost up to $3,000, but financial aid may help cover these expenses.

Once your program has been completed, the state journeyman exam is open for taking. It lasts three hours and includes both written and hands-on portions; both must be passed successfully for you to achieve a passing score; this score remains valid for one year if any portion fails; otherwise, you can retake the test within that timeframe.

If you intend to perform commercial plumbing work in Louisiana, in addition to having a journeyman license, you must also obtain a master plumber’s license. To get this license, you must pass an exam and provide evidence of liability and workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

If you want to install or repair natural gas systems in Louisiana, in addition to possessing a Master Plumber’s License, a Journeyman Natural Gas License is necessary as well. This requires passing both written and manual tradesman plumbing examinations.

Fees

Louisiana law mandates plumbers be licensed, and this process can be achieved by the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana, which oversees both journeyman and master plumber exams as well as plumbing apprentice registration. Journeyman exams cost $135 with written and hands-on portions included, while master plumber exams consist of three parts covering topics like residential plumbing, permits & regulations, and business law.

The SPBLA can impose sanctions against those who fail their exams and may revoke their license if it is discovered they have practiced outside their licensed parameters or committed other violations such as refusing to provide accurate addresses, failing to display signs with employing entities, and failing to report completed works.

Journeyman license applicants must complete an apprenticeship program; however, those with at least 8,000 hours or five years of experience working as plumbers may bypass this requirement by providing W2s and payroll documentation directly to the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana.

Journeymen and master plumbers must renew their licenses by December 31 each year in order to avoid late fees and complete continuing education courses through an approved source. Anyone caught without valid documentation could face fines or jail time.