Licensing Guides

Kansas Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in Kansas

category-iconPlumbing, KS

Table of Contents
  1. Plumbing License Types and Requirements

  2. Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in Wichita?

  3. Wichita Apprentice Plumber Program

  4. Wichita Journeyman Plumber License

  5. Wichita Master Plumber License

  6. Wichita Trade Contractor License

  7. Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in Topeka?

  8. Topeka Apprentice Plumber License

  9. Topeka Journeyman Plumber License

  10. Topeka Master Plumber License

  11. Topeka Plumbing Contractor License

  12. National Plumbing Certifications

  13. How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbing License?

  14. What is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in Kansas?

  15. Kansas Plumbing Training Programs and Trade Schools

  16. Does My Plumbing License Work in Any Other States?

As with other skilled trades, most states require training and licensure before you can legally install, repair, and maintain plumbing systems. While the plumbing trade has been around since the 1800s, today’s plumbers need a wide range of skills to work in residential and commercial settings. Depending on the nature of the job, plumbers often work alongside electricians, HVAC techs, general contractors and other professionals in the construction industry.

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Learning the art of plumbing takes years, but once you complete the necessary training and work experience, your skills will be in high demand across Kansas and beyond.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), there are roughly 469,900 plumbers, pipefitters, and gasfitters nationwide, and 3,580 work in Kansas. The BLS predicts employment to grow 5% by 2030 nationwide, and that growth rate is expected to be slightly higher in Kansas — projected at 6%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website.

Kansas Plumbing License Types and Requirements

Is a state license required for plumbing work in Kansas? No. Kansas doesn't offer plumbing licensing at the state level, and instead issues licenses at the local level. Typically, Kansas cities license Plumbing Apprentices, Journeyman and Master Plumbers. Those who wish to own their own plumbing business need to obtain a Plumbing Contractor License, but there is no state contractors licensing board. Read on to learn more about professional licensing in Wichita and Topeka, Kansas.

Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in Wichita?

The Sedgwick County Metropolitan Area Building and Construction Department (MABCD) is the licensing board responsible for issuing journeyman and master plumber licenses, as well as plumbing contractor licenses in Wichita.

Wichita Apprentice Plumber Program

An apprenticeship program is the first step to starting a career in the plumbing industry. Candidates typically need a high school diploma or GED, photo ID, and a valid driver’s license to be eligible. Candidates can join an apprenticeship program offered by a local company or trade union, or through the Plumbers and Pipefitters Apprenticeship Training of Kansas.

Apprentice plumbers in Wichita need to complete one year of field experience and one year of plumbing trade school, or two years of experience and score 75% or better on an approved International Code Council or IAPMO Exam. There is no registration fee or required testing to become an apprentice plumber.

Wichita Journeyman Plumber License

After completing the required apprenticeship training, candidates become eligible to take the journeyman licensing exam. The open book exam consists of 100 questions and requires a score of 75% or higher to pass. Candidates also need to pay a $125 application fee.

After successfully passing the exam, journeyman candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $35 license fee. 

To renew a journeyman license, Wichita plumbers need to pay a $35 renewal fee and complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years.

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Wichita Master Plumber License

To work as a licensed master plumber, candidates must demonstrate at least two years of verifiable work experience as a licensed journeyman plumber, or four years of experience and score 75% or better on an approved International Code Council or IAPMO Exam.

After successfully passing the exam, master candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $35 license fee. 

To renew a master license, Wichita plumbers need to pay a $35 renewal fee and complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years.

Wichita Trade Contractor License

Wichita plumbers who wish to operate their own businesses need to obtain a Trade Contractors License from the MABCD board of plumbing examiners. To be eligible, candidates need to submit the following:

  • Trade Contractors Application along with $360 license fee

  • Trade Certificate showing at least one licensed Master Plumber

  • Certificate of liability insurance (at least $300,000 in general liability) showing MABCD as the certificate holder.

  • Certificate of workers’ compensation insurance

  • Auto certificate of insurance

  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of the State of Kansas

Wichita contractors must renew their trade licenses every two years on odd years at a fee of $360.

Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in Topeka?

The City of Topeka Development Services Division (DSD) is responsible for issuing plumbing licenses, including Apprentice Plumber Licenses.

Topeka Apprentice Plumber License

To start the process, candidates need to fill out a license application with the DSD and pay a $33 fee. 

Topeka apprentice candidates can join an apprenticeship program offered by a local company or trade union, or through the Plumbers and Pipefitters Apprenticeship Training of Kansas. Apprentices need to complete two years of work experience and a minimum of 930 hours of classroom training to become eligible for the journeyman exam.

Topeka Journeyman Plumber License

After completing the required apprentice training, candidates become eligible to take the journeyman licensing exam via the International Code Council or Pearson VUE. The exam requires a score of 75% or higher to pass. Candidates also need to pay a $50 application fee.

After successfully passing the exam, journeyman candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $53 license fee. 

Topeka journeyman plumbing license holders must complete six hours of continuing education every year, with at least three hours covering the local plumbing code.

Topeka Master Plumber License

To become eligible for a Master Plumbing License, candidates need to hold a valid journeyman plumber license for a minimum of two years, or provide proof of four years of work experience under a licensed master plumber. 

Master candidates can complete the licensing exam via the International Code Council or Pearson VUE. The exam requires a score of 75% or higher to pass. 

After passing the exam, master candidates need to complete the license application and pay a $103 license fee. 

Topeka master license holders must complete six hours of continuing education every year, with at least three hours covering the local plumbing code.

Topeka Plumbing Contractor License

Topeka plumbers who wish to operate their own businesses need to obtain a Trade Contractors License from the DSD. To be eligible, candidates need to be a licensed master Plumber or employ at least one master plumber. 

Click here for the full contractor license details and application.

National Plumbing Certifications

Other certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers and clients. The National Inspection Testing and Certification (NITC), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (American Society of Sanitary Engineers, or ASSE, Certifications) and other professional certifications can add to your marketability and increase your opportunity to make more money.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbing License in Kansas?

The length of required training in Kansas varies by the type of license and municipality, but it typically takes two years of apprentice training to become a journeyman plumber, and an additional two years to become a master plumber.

What is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in Kansas?

The annual mean salary for plumbers, steamfitters, and pipefitting pros in Kansas is $58,480, according to the BLS. And according to ZipRecruiter.com, the average salaries for plumbing professionals in Kansas increase with experience and training.

Plumbing Apprentice: Average base salaryWichita: $33,551Topeka: $36,058Journeyman Plumber: Average base salaryWichita: $54,054Topeka: $55,413

Master Plumber: Average base salaryWichita: $59,981Topeka: $59,780Plumber salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and real-world experience.

Kansas Plumbing Training Programs and Trade Schools

Kansas offers a wide variety of training opportunities across the state, including trade schools and community colleges that offer plumbing programs. 

Some of the top training schools include:

Does My Kansas Plumbing License Work in Any Other States?

No, Kansas doesn't offer state-level reciprocal agreements with other states, even nearby states like Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, or Nebraska. Make sure to check local regulations on license reciprocity.

Additional Resources for Kansas Plumbers

You can stay up to date on all plumbing industry news several ways:

Listen to top plumbing podcasts like ServiceTitan’s “Toolbox for the Trades”

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