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South Dakota Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in South Dakota

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South Dakota Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in South Dakota
Table of Contents
  1. Licensing Requirements for Plumbers in South Dakota

  2. Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in South Dakota?

  3. Types of Plumbers Licenses in South Dakota

  4. National Plumbing Certifications

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

  6. Benefits of Getting a Plumbers License in South Dakota

  7. What Is the Mean Wage for a Plumber in South Dakota?

  8. South Dakota Plumbing Training Programs and Trade Schools

  9. Does My South Dakota 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 to possess 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.

Learning the art of plumbing takes years, but once you complete the necessary training, your skills will be in high demand across South Dakota 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 1,650 work in South Dakota. The BLS predicts employment to grow 5% by 2030 nationwide, adding 23,400 of these skilled workers to the ranks. In South Dakota, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website, the projected growth rate is more than double that at 13% for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters and 12% for Helpers of Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters. Contractors are struggling to find skilled tradesmen like plumbers, electricians, and HVACR professionals. In fact, 60% of firms in the United States and a whopping 81% in South Dakota had unfilled hourly craft positions, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, 2020 AGC-Autodesk Workforce Survey. So, if you get the training you need you should have a variety of jobs to choose from when you’re ready.

Licensing requirements for plumbing workers vary widely from state to state. In South Dakota, plumbing candidates can pursue apprentice, journeyman, and plumbing contractor licenses. Read on to learn more about becoming a licensed plumber in the Mount Rushmore State.

Licensing Requirements for Plumbers in South Dakota

Is a license required for plumbing professionals in South Dakota? Yes.

South Dakota requires a state-issued license for apprentices, journeymen, and plumbing contractors. Additionally, state-level licensing is required for sewer and water contractors, appliance installers, water conditioning installers, mobile home installers, and underground irrigation installers.

Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in South Dakota? 

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulations Plumbing Commission is responsible for issuing plumbing licenses across the state. Applicants can fill out online applications, pay for licenses, register for exams, order publications, and purchase certificates through the South Dakota Plumbing Commission's Online Licensing and Payment System.

Types of Plumbers Licenses in South Dakota

What are the different types of plumbers licenses in South Dakota?

South Dakota Apprentice Plumber License 

A plumbing apprenticeship 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. The apprentice license allows an individual to perform plumbing work under the direction of a licensed journeyman or plumbing contractor. 

To start the process, candidates need to fill out a license application showing the plumber under which they are working, and pay a fee of $10. 

Apprentice plumbers with two years (3,800 hours) of experience in learning and assisting in the installation, alteration, and repair of plumbing under a plumbing contractor may work without supervision during their third and fourth years, but only on single-family dwellings and only upon satisfactorily passing a state-administered examination.

Apprentice plumber licenses require renewal every year at a cost of $10. Additionally, licensees must successfully complete a minimum of four hours of continuing education relating to the plumbing trade every calendar year. 

South Dakota Journeyman Plumber License

After completing the required work experience as an apprentice plumber, candidates are eligible to become a journeyman plumber. 

To apply for the journeyman plumber's license, candidates must have four years of experience as an apprentice plumber, and have spent at least 1,900 hours per year during those four years as an apprentice. Credit for military plumbing is given at the rate of one year credit for every two years in the military, up to a maximum of five years of credit. 

Candidates must fill out an application and pay an examination and license fee of $205. Along with the license application, candidates need to provide written statements from present and previous employers, which must state dates of employment, number of hours worked during employment, and the extent of work performed during employment.

Exams are held in Pierre, S.D., at any time by appointment. Exams are also held in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Rapid City, S.D., but not on specific pre-set dates. Exams are held in these locations when the office has received enough applicants to warrant travel to those sites.

Journeyman plumber licenses require renewal every year at a cost of $105. Additionally, licensees must successfully complete a minimum of four hours of continuing education relating to the plumbing trade every calendar year. 

South Dakota Plumbing Contractor's License 

Plumbing contractors, or master plumbers, typically perform advanced plumbing work, such as installing and repairing water systems in residential and commercial buildings, and oversee apprentice and journeyman plumbers. Additionally, plumbing contractors need to possess a strong understanding of local building and plumbing codes, safety regulations, and energy efficiency. 

To apply for the plumbing contractor's license, candidates must have six years of experience as a plumbing contractor, plumber, or plumber's apprentice with at least two of those years as a plumbing contractor or plumber. Plumbing contractors must have spent at least 1,900 hours per year during these six years as a plumbing contractor, plumber or plumber's apprentice. 

Candidates must fill out an application and pay an examination and license fee of $375. Along with the license application, they need to provide written statements from present and previous employers, which must state dates of employment, number of hours worked during employment, and the extent of work performed during employment.

Exams are held in Pierre, S.D., at any time by appointment. Exams are also held in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Rapid City, S.D., but not on specific pre-set dates. Exams are held in these locations when the office has received enough applicants to warrant travel to those sites.

Plumbing contractor licenses require renewal every year at a cost of $275. Additionally, licensees must successfully complete a minimum of four hours of continuing education relating to the plumbing trade every calendar year. 

South Dakota Sewer and Water Licenses

The South Dakota Plumbing Commission requires special licenses for anyone who works in the installation and repair of sewer and water plumbing systems.

To apply for a sewer and water apprentice's license, candidates must fill out an application showing the sewer and water installer under which they are working, and pay an application fee of $10.

After two years of apprenticeship experience, candidates may apply for a sewer and water installers license by submitting an application, passing an exam and paying a licensing fee of $165. 

After one year of experience as a sewer and water installer, candidates may apply for a sewer and water contractor's license by submitting an application form, passing an exam, and paying a license fee of $335.

South Dakota sewer and water licenses are subject to annual renewal. Visit South Dakota Plumbing Commission - Licensing for full licensing information.

South Dakota Water Conditioning Licenses

The South Dakota Plumbing Commission requires special licenses for anyone who works in the treatment of water, and the installation and repair of appliances designed to treat water to alter, modify, add, or remove mineral, chemical, or bacterial content.

To apply for a water conditioning apprentice's license, candidates must fill out an application showing the water conditioning installer under which they are working, and pay an application fee of $10.

After two years of apprenticeship, candidates may apply for a water conditioning installers license by submitting an application, passing an exam and paying a licensing fee of $165. 

After one year of experience as a water conditioning installer, candidates may apply for a water conditioning contractor's license by submitting an application form, passing an exam, and paying a license fee of $260.

South Dakota water conditioning licenses are subject to annual renewal. Visit South Dakota Plumbing Commission - Licensing for full licensing information.

South Dakota Underground Irrigation Licenses

The South Dakota Plumbing Commission requires special licenses for anyone who works in the installation, maintenance, repair or removal of underground irrigation systems.

To apply for an underground irrigation apprentice's license, candidates must fill out an application showing the underground irrigation installer under which they are working, and pay an application fee of $10.

After two years of apprenticeship, candidates may apply for an underground irrigation installers license by submitting an application, passing an exam and paying a licensing fee of $165. 

After one year of experience as an underground irrigation installer, candidates may apply for an underground irrigation contractor's license by submitting an application form, passing an exam, and paying a license fee of $260.

South Dakota underground irrigation licenses are subject to annual renewal. Visit South Dakota Plumbing Commission - Licensing for full licensing information.

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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 South Dakota?

In South Dakota, plumbing apprentice programs take four years to complete, while journeymen need an additional two years of experience to become eligible to apply for a plumbing contractor’s license.

Benefits of Getting a Plumbers License in South Dakota

There are many benefits you’ll see from getting your South Dakota plumbing license:

  • Most importantly, it is required by law in South Dakota to be licensed through the state to legally perform any plumbing work.

  • 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 high standards set in South Dakota of completing an apprenticeship, 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 Wage for a Plumber in South Dakota?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the annual mean wage for plumbers in South Dakota at $47,460. The salary for plumbers increases as you acquire more experience according to Indeed.com.

Apprentice: The average salary for an apprentice plumber is $19.52 per hour in South Dakota and $5,404 overtime per year.

Journeyman: The average salary for a journeyman plumber is $26.42 per hour in South Dakota and $6,750 overtime per year.

Salary can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

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. 

South Dakota Plumbing Training Programs and Trade Schools

South Dakota offers a wide variety of training opportunities to help you meet license requirements, including trade schools and even universities that offer plumbing programs. 

Some of the top training schools include:

Click here for a list of training locations in South Dakota.

Does My South Dakota Plumbing License Work in Any Other States?

Yes, South Dakota allows reciprocity without taking an examination if the candidate pays a required fee and holds a license from another state that the Commission determines is equivalent to a South Dakota license. The states whose licenses are recognized as equivalent to the South Dakota Plumbing Commission plumbing licenses are Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and Colorado. 

Additional Resources for South Dakota Plumbers 

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

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