North Carolina Plumber Licensing FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions about North Carolina’s plumber licensing and continuing education

How to get a North Carolina Plumber License

  1. Meet the minimum experience requirements
    1. Contractors: 2 years (4,000 hours) of full-time experience
    1. Technicians: 18 months (3,000 hours) of full-time experience
  2. Send a completed application and background check to the board
  3. Wait for approval, then schedule and take your exam
  4. Submit a completed licensing activation form and applicable fees to obtain your license

North Carolina Plumber Renewal Requirements

Renewal Deadline: Licenses expire on December 31st annually

Continuing Education: There is currently no active continuing education requirement for plumbers in North Carolina

Getting Licensed

Who needs to be licensed for plumbing in North Carolina?

Individuals must be licensed to perform any type of plumbing work without a licensed supervisor.

What are the types of plumbing licenses available in North Carolina?

  • Contracting Licenses
    • Plumbing Contractor
      • P-I (Plumbing Class I)
      • P-II (Plumbing Class II)
    • Restricted Limited Plumbing (RLP) Contractor
  • Technician Licenses
    • Plumbing Technician
    • Plumbing State & Local Government Technician (SLGT-P)
    • Plumbing Private Education Institutional Technician (PEIT-P)

Class I is required for licensed work in residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

Class II allows work in single family detached residential dwellings only

View full list of eligibility requirements here

View full list of license definitions & groupings here

Does North Carolina have reciprocal licensing with other states?

North Carolina does not have reciprocity agreements with any other state.

An exam waiver is available for those licensed in South Carolina as Residential Plumbing and/or HVAC Contractors.

What fees are associated with becoming a plumber in North Carolina?

  • Exam Application: $100
  • Initial License & Renewal:
    • Contractor: $150
    • Restricted Limited: $150
    • Technician: $75

Renewing a License

When do I need to renew my North Carolina plumbing license?

Licenses expire on December 31st every year.

How do I renew my plumbing license in North Carolina?

A renewal notice will be sent to you sometime in early October with instructions for completing your renewal application.

Do I need continuing education to renew my plumbing license in North Carolina?

There is currently no active continuing education requirement for plumbers in North Carolina.

My North Carolina plumbing license has expired — how do I get it reinstated?

If renewals are submitted by January 31st, a late fee of $25 will be assessed and licenses will be reinstated. Licenses may be reinstated if expired less than three years if the licensee applies to the board in writing and pays all applicable/unpaid fees.

If a license is not renewed within three years after expiration, the Board requires reexamination.

How do I get my plumbing license in North Carolina?

  1. Meet the minimum experience requirements
    1. Contractors: 2 years (4,000 hours) of full-time experience
    1. Technicians: 18 months (3,000 hours) of full-time experience
  2. Send a completed application and background check to the board
  3. Wait for approval, then schedule and take your exam
    1. Exams must be taken within 30 days of the date on the approval letter
  4. Submit a completed licensing activation form and applicable fees to obtain your license

What fees are associated with becoming a plumber in North Carolina?

Non-refundable examination fee: $100

What can I expect from the North Carolina plumbing exam?

The state of North Carolina does not publish an outline of materials or topics that will be covered during the exam, and specifically within their reference information “Some questions are based on field experience and knowledge of trade practices, therefore, questions are not limited to information contained within the listed reference materials.”

Since we author and instruct plumbing exam preparation courses across the nation, we have a pretty good idea of the topics that will be covered. To the best of our knowledge candidates should be familiar with the following topics before sitting for the exam.

Contractors

Plumbing Contractor Exam: 4 hour time limit
Business and Law Exam*: 1.5 hour time limit

Technicians

Plumbing Technician Exam: 4 hour time limit

*Business and Law Exam not required if the applicant holds a currently active contractor license with the Board and the applicant passed the Board’s Business and Law Exam after August, 2003. Please speak with the Board’s Exam Coordinator if you have questions regarding this exemption

What does your plumber exam prep cover?

  • Administration
  • Definitions
  • General Regulations
  • Plumbing Math
  • Fixtures, Faucets and Fixture Fittings
  • Water Heaters
  • Water Supply & Distribution
  • Sanitary Drainage
  • Indirect and Special Waste
  • Vents
  • Traps, Interceptors and Separators
  • Storm Drainage
  • Appendices
  • Hands-On Practical Application

Where can I take the North Carolina plumber exam?

Exams are given on a daily basis at testing centers throughout the state:

  • Asheville
  • Charlotte
  • Fayetteville
  • Greenville
  • Wilmington
  • Winston-Salem

What is professional development?

Things in the plumbing industry change often. As a professional in your trade it is important to keep your knowledge base up to date so you can make practical decisions for your business. Professional development courses are designed to help you improve your industry knowledge. Whether you are looking for information on new avenues to pursue in your business, wanting to brush up on best practices, or are just interested in learning about a particular topic: professional development is for you!

Is professional development the same as continuing education?

Professional development is different from continuing education. Continuing education courses are mandatory courses that your licensing body wants you to take in order to maintain your license.

North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors
1109 Dresser Court
Raleigh, NC 27609
(919) 875-3612
information@nclicensing.org
https://www.nclicensing.org/

PSI Exams
3210 East Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121
(855) 746-8173
examschedule@psionline.com
https://candidate.psiexams.com/

Once I order the course, how long before I can start?

You may begin immediately! Simply click the Login button in the upper right-hand corner on your desktop or in the upper-right menu on mobile. Once you’ve entered your login and password, you will be taken to your courses. Follow the instructions and enjoy!

Once I start an online course, will I be able to start and stop at any time?

Our courses are available online 24/7 and you are able to log in and log out at any time during the course. If you are going to be away from your computer for more than 10-15 minutes, simply log out. When you log back in, you will be able to re-enter the lesson you were last in.

How long do your continuing education courses take to complete?

Continuing education requirements vary by state. Each course lists a minimum number of credit hours required to complete the course.

How long do your exam prep courses take to complete?

This question really depends on your learning style and comfort level with the topics we cover. There is no set time for completing exam prep courses — you get to go at your own pace! Many plumbers like to re-watch materials, some like to just re-take the practice tests. Our recommendation is for you to go through the course as many times as you need to be comfortable with the material and any applicable reference books. The more familiar you are with the materials, the better you will do on your exam!

How long do I have the courses?

We allow up to 6 months for you to complete the courses. During the six months you have unlimited, 24/7 access. If you need additional time, please contact our offices to arrange an extension (please note: a fee may apply).

Are there tests in the courses?

This varies depending on whether the course is continuing education or exam prep.

There are no quizzes for continuing education courses in Michigan. All other states with continuing education require quizzes to check completion progress.

In exam prep courses there will be a short quiz at the end of each lesson and there is also a longer practice test at the end of each course. These quizzes and tests will help you practice taking an exam and identify areas you may wish to study more.

If I fail a practice test, do I have to take it again?

Practice tests are just that: for practice. You will have the opportunity to retake the practice tests until you do pass. The practice tests are there to help you get used to the process of using your reference materials and finding the correct answers during an exam. If you don’t pass on the first try, take the time to note what sections of the material you need to review.

Once I complete a course, can I still go back and review the lessons and quizzes?

You are able to review the lessons and quizzes at any time during the six months you’ll have access to the courses.