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What to Know About Getting (and Keeping) an Illinois Plumbing License

Posted on: September 3, 2014

Illinois law requires licensing for apprentices and those who meet professional plumbing qualifications to practice plumbing in the state. There are several requirements for licensing in Illinois.

How to Get a Plumbing License

The Illinois Department of Public Health issues plumbing licenses for apprentices and plumbers. An apprentice must be sponsored by a licensed professional or be in an approved apprentice program, submit the application for apprenticeship and pay a $50 license fee. Apprentices must be at least 16 years old and can hold an apprentice license for a maximum of six years. The license is valid for one year at a time between May 1 and April 30 and must be renewed each year. Apprentices must apply for and pass a plumber’s license exam before the six years are over.

If the licensed sponsor ends the sponsorship, the Department of Public Health must be notified and a cancellation of sponsorship form submitted. The license will be cancelled, and the apprentice must apply for a new license with new sponsorship.

To qualify for a plumber’s license, apprentices must apply to take the state plumbing exam. Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens or show intent to become a citizen
  • Have completed four years of work under a licensed plumber and
  • Have completed at least two years of high school or equivalent or
  • Have completed an approved course of study in a university, college or trade school
  • Pay the exam fee

After meeting these requirements, you must pass the exam to get your license.

When you have completed apprenticeship requirements and passed the exam, you can apply for a plumbing license. Licenses are valid for one year, renewable every May 1. Fees are paid as part of the renewal. Licenses for journeymen are issued only by the city of Chicago under an agreement with the Department of Public Health. There is no state license for journeyman or master plumber.

Licensing requires that you adhere to state and local codes as a minimum standard for all work undertaken. Violation of these codes may result in penalties or having the license revoked.

Continuing Education

Four continuing education credits must be met each year to keep the license valid. Trade or vocational schools, universities, unions, professional organizations, corporations and individuals offer approved courses that meet this requirement. Present your license when registering for the course. After completing the course, send all documentation verifying completion to the Department of Public Health. Illinois Plumbing Consultants offers continuing education courses that meet state guidelines.

Surety Bonds

A surety bond of $20,000 must be posted as part of the licensing process. Several bond companies provide surety insurance as well as other types of commercial insurance. A surety bond ensures that the holder practices the profession ethically and according to code and law.

Bonds are renewed each September. Proof of bond insurance must be filed with license renewals.

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John Bertram

John Bertram has been in the plumbing industry since 1985. He has worked in both commercial and residential shops for over twenty years, and John has been a plumbing inspector since 2005.

Rick Sperando

Rick Sperando has been in the plumbing industry for over 35 years. He successfully owns and operates a local plumbing and mechanical company as well as IPC.

Scott Underwood

Scott Underwood brings over 20 years of industry experience along with 10 years of instruction. He currently holds his IL Plumbers License as well as his CCCDI license. Scott is currently a co-owner of a successful plumbing company in McHenry County.

Guy Curtis Smale

My duties as the City of McHenry plumbing inspector include plan review of all new plumbing work as well remodeling projects, inspection of all plumbing being installed or repaired in the City as well as the Village of Prairie Grove, property maintenance issues related to the State Plumbing Code, working with the County Health Dept.

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