Licensing Guides

Nebraska Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in Nebraska

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Table of Contents
  1. License Requirements for Plumbing Professionals in Nebraska

  2. Omaha Plumbing License Types and Requirements

  3. Lincoln Plumbing License Types and Requirements

  4. National Plumbing Certifications

  5. How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbing License in Nebraska?

  6. Benefits of Becoming a Plumbing Professional in Nebraska

  7. What Is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in Nebraska?

  8. Nebraska Plumbing Training Programs and Trade Schools

  9. Nebraska Plumber Apprenticeship Programs

  10. Does My Nebraska 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 tradesmen and professionals in the construction industry.

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

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), there are roughly 469,900 plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters nationwide, and 2,920 work in Nebraska. The BLS predicts employment to grow 5% by 2030 nationwide, and that growth rate is expected to be even higher in Nebraska — projected at 9%, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website.

Licensing requirements for plumbing workers vary widely from state to state and, in Nebraska, from municipality to municipality. In most cities, plumbing candidates can pursue an apprentice, journeyman, and master plumbing license. Read on to learn more about becoming a licensed plumber in the Cornhusker State.

License Requirements for Plumbing Professionals in Nebraska

Is a license required to perform plumbing work in Nebraska? Yes, Nebraska requires licenses for apprentices, journeymen, and master plumbers. However, individual cities issue plumbing licenses. Licenses are not issued at the state level. In addition, plumbing contractors and subcontractors doing business in the state must register with the Nebraska Department of Labor, and plumbing businesses with one or more employees must provide a current workers’ compensation certificate of insurance.

Omaha Plumbing License Types and Requirements

The City of Omaha Planning Department issues Apprentice Plumber Certificates, Journeyman Plumber Licenses, and Master Plumber Licenses. The city also issues other plumbing-related licenses, including lawn sprinkler contractor and installer, water conditioning contractor and installer, sewer layer, sewer and drain cleaner, and fire suppression licenses.

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Omaha Apprentice Plumber Certificate

In Omaha, the plumbing board governs plumbing apprenticeship programs and requires apprentice plumbers to  register annually with the City of Omaha Plumbing Board.

Apprentice requirements include:

  • Submit an apprenticeship agreement to the board.

  • Obtain a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED).

  • Pay a $20 registration fee; annual renewal fee, $20.

Omaha Journeyman Plumber License

A licensed journeyman plumber can install, repair, alter, or extend a plumbing system while in the employment or under the supervision of a master plumber. Applicants seeking a Journeyman Plumber License must follow these plumbing license requirements:

  • Submit an examination application to the City of Omaha Plumbing Board.

  • Provide proof of work history or schooling. To be eligible to sit for the licensure exam, the applicant must submit evidence of one of the following:

  • Completion of a four-year, city-certified apprenticeship program.

  • Completion of an equivalent number of instructional hours and on-the-job experience as required by the city-certified program.

  • Completion of a training period extending at least seven consecutive years, where the applicant worked a minimum of 300 hours each of the seven years, to accrue a minimum total of 7,000 hours.

  • A plumbing journeyman license from a city of equivalent size that requires similar qualification criteria. If the applicant worked in an area that did not require instruction to obtain a license, the plumbing board may accept a plumbing license or on-the-job training with eight consecutive years of plumbing installation experience, with a minimum of 300 hours worked each of the eight years, to accrue a minimum total of 14,000 hours. 

  • Pay a $50 test fee.

Those who obtain their Journeyman Plumber License must:

  • Pay an annual $19.50 fee for an Licensed Journeyman Plumber identification badge, issued by the licensing board, and carry it while engaged in plumbing work.

  • Pay $20 for the initial annual license; $20 annual renewal fee with eight continuing education hours.

Omaha Master Plumber License

A licensed master plumber can design, plan, lay out, and supervise the installation, alteration, and repair of plumbing and drainage systems, including lawn sprinkler systems and water conditioning appliances. Applicants seeking a Master Plumber License must follow these plumbing license requirements:

  • Submit an examination application to the City of Omaha Plumbing Board.

  • Provide proof of work history or schooling. To be eligible to sit for the licensure exam, the applicant must submit evidence of one of the following:

    • Four consecutive years of experience in plumbing system installation, with a city-issued journeyman license.

    • Qualification as a master plumber in a city of equivalent size that requires similar qualification criteria. If the applicant worked in an area that did not require instruction to obtain a license, the plumbing board may accept a plumbing license or on-the-job training with a minimum of 12 consecutive years of plumbing installation experience, with a minimum of 300 hours worked each of the 12 years, to accrue a minimum total of 21,000 hours.

    • Pay a $75 test fee.

Those who obtain their Master Plumber License must:

  • Pay $100 for the initial annual license; $75 renewal fee with eight continuing education hours.

  • Meet the minimum $1 million insurance requirement.

  • Meet the minimum $10,000 surety bond requirement.

Lincoln Plumbing License Types and Requirements

The City of Lincoln's Building and Safety Department issues licenses for master plumber contractors, master plumbers, journeyman plumbers, and plumber's apprentices. The city also issues other plumbing-related licenses, including water conditioning contractor and installer, and master, journeyman, and apprentice gasfitter licenses.

Trade professionals must register with the city through its VisualVault online portal to begin the registration and licensing process. According to city plumbing code, the application steps include:

  • Submit an application for registration.

  • Show documentation of practical work experience.

  • Pay application fee for the test and pass a licensing exam, given under the direction of the Examining Board.

License registration requirements and fees include:

Lincoln Apprentice Plumber License

  • Annual license fee $25.

Lincoln Journeyman Plumber License 

  • Six hours of continuing education annually.

  • Annual license fee $50.

Lincoln Master Plumber License 

  • 10 hours of continuing education annually.

  • Annual license fee $75.

Lincoln Master Plumber Contractor License 

Licensed contractor requirements include:

  • Proof of 10 hours of continuing education annually.

  • Commercial or comprehensive general liability with a minimum combined single limit of $500,000 aggregate.

  • Current certificate of insurance signed by a qualified agent of an insurance company licensed to do business in the state.

  • Payment bond of $5,000 if excavating in city right-of-way.

  • Annual license fee $250.

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 (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 Nebraska?

Since Nebraska favors local licensing instead of state licensing, there’s no statewide uniformity on license types, or how long it takes to complete training. In general, however, apprentice programs usually take about four years to complete.

Benefits of Becoming a Plumbing Professional in Nebraska

There are many benefits of working in the plumbing field in Nebraska:

  • You will earn as you learn with a guarantee of pay increases as you develop new skills.

  • A trade license is proof of your experience and skill.

  • By meeting the apprenticeship standards set in most Nebraska municipalities, you will receive industry-recognized credentials that can go with you anywhere.

  • Only licensed plumbing contractors can: operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance, pull building permits and pass inspections, bid on public and government projects.

  • Having a license protects your company and customers.

  • A license gives you a competitive advantage in the job market and increases your earning potential as you acquire more experience.

  • You can own your own business and be your own boss.  

What Is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in Nebraska?

The annual mean wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in Nebraska is $57,550 according to the BLS. And according to Indeed.com, the average salaries for plumbing professionals in Nebraska increase with experience and training.

Apprentice: The average salary for an apprentice plumber is $19.95 per hour in Nebraska and $5,563 overtime per year.

Journeyman: The average salary for a journeyman plumber is $27.02 per hour in Nebraska and $6,813 overtime per year.

Salaries can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and real-world experience.

What Business Owners Need to Know

Getting the most out of a plumbing technician, no matter where they are in their licensing journey, takes work. ServiceTitan’s cloud-based, all-in-one plumbing software gives technicians and business owners the technology they need to do the work efficiently, and the data they need to do it smartly. 

ServiceTitan features:

  • SMS communications that keep customers informed about the technician’s visit.

  • Location-specific service history, including recorded calls, accessible from the mobile app.

  • Required forms that ensure every job is done right, driving consistency.

  • The ability to build multi-option proposals with photos, on-site, in minutes.

  • Sales presentations that make conversations with customers easier and drive average ticket.

  • Mobile payment acceptance, eliminating lost checks and increasing cash flow.

To learn more, schedule a demo with a product expert today. 

Nebraska Plumbing Training Programs and Trade Schools

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

Some top accredited schools include:

Nebraska Plumber Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship programs enable candidates to get paid, all while obtaining practical work experience. National job search sites show multiple employers across the state offer apprenticeships. Some other plumbing apprenticeship programs in the state include:

Does My Nebraska Plumbing License Work in Any Other States?

No. Because Nebraska mandates plumbing licensing at the local level, the state doesn’t allow reciprocity agreements with nearby states, such as Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota. However, many cities in Nebraska allow reciprocation if a plumber from another city of equivalent size completes training equal to or greater than its own licensing requirements. Make sure to check local regulations.

Additional Resources for Nebraska Plumbers

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

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