Washington Plumbing License

Washington Plumbing License

Each state has its unique requirements for getting a plumbing license. In Washington the licensee should pass through a few stages to become certified specialist. The latter include entering trade school, becoming trainee and ending up as a journeyman.

However, only knowing the sequence of these steps is not enough. You need a reliable guide on your way of fulfilling your dreams. So, this article includes all the necessary points essential for you as a beginner.

If interested, move on to get better understanding of what you need to do.


If you seek good job opportunities in this field firstly take care of obtaining a Washington plumbing license. As a plumber you will be required to do installing/repair of:

  • distribution/supply pipes;
  • vent/drainage pipes;
  • plumbing traps/fixtures.

Also, it is essential to know that the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is to approve all the licensure requirements (specialty/general).

How to become a certified plumber in WA?

To grow as a certified specialist in this sphere you have to pass through certain stages. You must start as a trainee, then choose you preferable trade school and end up as a journeyman. Go on reading to know what is necessary to pass through each stage.

Plumbing Trainee Requirements

As a trainee you should work under the supervision of either a master plumber or a journeyman. Through on the job training you should try to meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 16 yrs old
  • Fill out a plumber trainee certification application
  • Get an electrical trainee card (if you work on pump or irrigation devices)
  • Annually take eight hours of continuing education
  • Provide a certain number of experience hours

The state requires each trainee to provide a log of supervised job to compose an experience affidavit. The logs are for keeping track of hours and supervision while applicants possess certification.

Note: Each licensee that learns plumber trade must get a training certification from the L&I before starting working. Also, the latter should be renewed yearly.

Trade schools in Washington

Your next move is entering any trade school. Yet, it is not a must for plumbers in WA. To explain, these schools are a good guide for beginners in this sphere. We have separated some schools and plumbing-specific programs for you:

1. Renton Technical College

  • Program: Property Maintenance for Multi-family Residences
  • Payment: $1,845.24 (in-state)
  • Located in WA, Renton
  • Type: Technical/Career College

2. Seattle Area Pipe Trades Education Center

  • Program: Commercial or Residential Plumbing
  • Payment: TBD
  • Located in WA, Renton
  • Type: Apprenticeship Program school

Each licensee is required to complete continuing education courses.

Journeyman license

Upon the certificate from the Washington State L&I licensees receive a journeyman title. To receive the certificate you should have:

  • 2 out of those 4 years spent working in industrial/commercial installations;
  • 8,000+ hours (no less than 4 yrs) of supervised experience of a licensed journey level plumber;
  • classroom training of no less than sixteen hours.

After you pass the exam and pay the application fee you can have your certificate. Every other year it should be renewed if you are a general contractor. It is valid for three years in case of specialty contractors who have electronic certificate.

Remember: The date of the renewal is either on or before the holder’s birthdate.

Journeyman exam

Before you take the examination, you should provide the experience affidavits and continuing education requirements. After successfully submitting all wait for the approval of your application by the L&I.

Specialty Plumbing Contractors

There are several specialty fields of plumbing in WA. We have separated a few below with their needs and fees.

Medical Gas

This field entails working with medical gas piping systems (they carry chemicals like oxygen and nitrogen). The contractors are employers either on dentist offices or in hospitals. To get the certificate the applicants should:

  • pass a 32-hour classroom training course on medical gas piping system (approved by the L&I);
  • provide an active journey level plumber certificate;
  • have a copy of an active METC (Medical Equipment and Training Certification) card or NITC (National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation);
  • apply for endorsement.


Specialists trained in this field work exclusively in domestic buildings and contexts, apartments (no higher than 3 floors) and duplexes. The only thing you need to get certified is an experience of 6,000+ hours (no less than 3 years).

Pump and Irrigation and Domestic Well

Pump and irrigation contractors work on equipment that obtains, stores and moves water. The same is done by the domestic well contractors. However, the latter are restricted to pumps that don’t exceed 100 gallons per minute. Both plumbing and electrical jobs are combined in this specialty field.


The only state that has a reciprocity agreement with Washington is Idaho. However, upon meeting certain needs others can as well be considered for reciprocity. The requirements are the following:

  • Apply by filing out this application form
  • Pay $151.90 (non-refundable) and pass the examination
  • Provide equivalent experience while in military service or in another state

So that the L&I receives and processes the applications, the applicants must send them at least 2 weeks before the exam via mail or online. They had better send it as early as possible, as due to limited seating availability there must be problems.

Serine Y

Serine Y

Serine Y., Author at License Lookup