plumbing work

Plumbing License Practice Test – How To Prepare?

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

Taking the plumbing test can be a nerve-wracking experience. A lot depends on this test, whether you’re testing to become a journeyman plumber or a master plumber. This is why you need to prepare properly for your exam.

Luckily, there are many resources to help you prepare for your plumbing test. You can speak to other plumbers and get their advice on taking the plumbing test. You can also find online courses and take a plumbing practice test to help you pass the plumbing test.

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About The Plumbing Exam

The plumbing exam will give a new plumber the confidence and certification for completing a particular job. A plumber that completes a plumbing exam can work as an independent contractor and complete work that needs to be done by a licensed contractor.

The Journeyman Plumber Exam will consist of various questions that are state-specific. These exam questions will check if the test taker will be a capable plumber at the Journeyman level in that specific state.

Different Types of Questions Asked in The Exam

Each Journeyman Plumber Licensing Exam will be different depending on which state you’re in. However, you can be expected to be on the following things about the plumbing system:

  • Backflow prevention & how to use an internal backflow preventer
  • Drainage system
  • Hanging and supports
  • Isometric analysis
  • Interceptors and traps
  • General knowledge and regulations
  • Joints and connections (such as mechanical joints)
  • Plumbing fixtures (including water heaters)
  • Septic and sewage systems
  • Storm drainage systems
  • Venting
  • Water flow supply systems

a man fixing the faucet

States will differ depending on how they regulate journeyman plumbers as contractors. The difference in the general regulations will affect the types of questions you’re asked in the exam. For example, you could be asked on the following:

  • Business management
  • Bidding process
  • Contracting
  • Accounting and tax matters
  • Insurance and bonding
  • Environmental laws
  • Labor laws
  • Permitting
  • Work safety

Depending on where you take the exam, you might take the exam on a computer or in a paper and pencil format. To know what you’re in for with the exam, you can contact your state agency.

You should keep in mind that if you’re taking the plumbing test to become a journeyman plumber, the test might not question you on business and law. These questions are usually for plumbers who are testing to become master plumbers.

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Preparation Tips

When you’re preparing to take a plumber test, you need to ensure that you know what you need to study. Whether you are taking a test to become a journeyman plumber or master plumber, there are some ways that you can prepare, even though the tests will have different questions.

a man reseaarching using laptop and making notes

Check with your State

One of the first things you need to do when prepping for your plumbing test is checks your state. Each state will have different requirements for becoming a journeyman plumber or master plumber.

The different states will also have different testing formats and requirements. So you’ll need to find out who’s in charge of licensing in your state to learn what you can expect from the exam. In some states, you might be able to check a website to get all the information you need for your plumbing test.

Speak to other plumbers

Another way to prepare for taking a plumbing test is to speak to other plumbers who have taken the plumbing test. You can ask them for their advice and what they wish they knew before the test. Speaking to other plumbers, you can give you some excellent tips on preparing for the plumbing test.

Get the Study Guide for the Code Used in Your State

Depending on where you’re taking the plumbing test, your state might use either the UPC or the IPC or both. So you need to ensure that you get the study guide for the code used in your state. You just need to study and then study some more when you get the correct guide.

The UPC Study Guide will come with a CD so you can practice taking the test on your PC. There are also more than 1600 practice questions to help you prepare for the plumbing test.

plunbing guide books

A master plumber on YouTube named Roger Wakefield recommends that you focus and highlight the correct answers in the UPC study guide. You can also check out Wakefield’s YouTube channel for more tips on preparing for the plumbing test.

The IPC Study Guide is slightly different. This study guide has 375 questions. With this study guide, Wakefield suggests that you check the code for each question to ensure that you have the correct information.

Both of these study guides will have detailed explanations to ensure that you understand what code questions you’ll be asked in the plumbing test. Another way to prepare for the plumbing test is to record yourself reading the codebook and listening to it while you drive.

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Online Test Prep

The internet is a great place to help you prepare for your plumbing test. For example, there is the r/Plumbing subreddit where many plumbers can communicate and give advice.

Another great online source for plumbing test prep is the Plumbers Training Institute. The institute has test prep programs that are customized for your state. The programs will also include lessons and videos on reading and creating plumbing plans, plumbing math, venting systems, interpreting isometric drawings, and others.

The cost of the course will depend on how much you need to learn for the plumbing test and your experience. Depending on your state, the cost could be approximately $390 to $700.

You can also find other resources online to help you prepare, including study guides, practice tests, and prep courses. So it’s always best to do your research to find the correct material and programs to ensure that you pass the plumbing test.

young man looking at hs notebook

Take your plumbing test day seriously

Don’t you think that because it’s the day of your actual exam, you’re done prepping. You still need to prepare very seriously when this day comes. Keep in mind that you’ve spent time studying and paid to take the exam.

So there are some things you need to do to prepare. The night before your plumbing test, you need to have a good night’s sleep and on the morning of your test, have a good breakfast.

You should also get to your test location at least half an hour early. Being early for your test means that you will have time to park your car, find the correct room, fill out any paperwork, and set up for your plumbing test.

What is it like being a plumber?

A plumber is someone who installs and repairs pipes that supply water and gas to homes and businesses. They are responsible for installing and repairing pipes that carry the waste away from our homes and businesses.

Plumbers will also be responsible for plumbing fixtures, including toilets, sinks, and bathtubs, along with washing machines and dishwashers. The plumbers with years of experience will be the ones to train apprentices and supervise their helpers. Plumbers will often work with other construction workers.

Difference between Journeyman plumber and a Master plumber

When deciding to become a plumber, you need to know the difference between a journeyman plumber and a master plumber.

a plumber with his equipment

Journeyman plumber

A journeyman plumber is a plumber that has been trained and has worked as an apprentice under a master plumber. A journeyman plumber has full knowledge of the skills needed to be a professional plumber. They also have a working knowledge of the skills needed and can apply this knowledge correctly.

Under the supervision of a master plumber, a journeyman plumber can complete duties such as maintenance, repair, and installation-related to plumbing. In typical situations, a journeyman plumber won’t be qualified and won’t be able to own a business and manage other plumbers.

As a journeyman plumber, you might work on odd days and hours. You will be expected to work on the Master plumber’s schedule by going on calls late at night or on weekends. If you have the right skills, you might be able to work independently without managing employees.

To qualify as a journeyman plumber, you will need some experience in commercial and residential plumbing work. You will need to have your own set of tools for work.

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A master plumber

A responsible master plumber is a plumber who has earned the highest professional level of plumbing. To qualify as a responsible master plumber, you need to complete an internship then get your license as a journeyman plumber. After that, you need to earn a license as a master plumber.

As a master plumber, you will be responsible for installing and maintaining water systems in residential and commercial buildings. You will have to ensure that these systems are up to state codes and regulations.

Your other duties as a master plumber will include fixtures, installing pipes, reading and drawing blueprints, and handling appliances for water systems such as toilets, sinks, showers, and heaters. You might also need to do extra work such as supervising training journeyman plumbers and supervising apprentices.

hands holding faucets, tools and pipes

Duties and responsibilities of a plumber

As a plumber, you will need to know how to complete the following tasks:

  • Troubleshoot problems and know how to fix them.
  • Estimate costs of installations and repairs
  • Give recommendations and related pricing to customers
  • Be able to clear obstructions from toilets and sink drains.
  • Install pipes and plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbers need to know how to inspect, operate and test equipment such as pressure and vacuum gauges.

What is a Plumber’s Salary

How much money a plumber can earn will depend on where they live and their level of experience. In most cases, a plumber will receive an average salary higher than most other construction trade workers and construction workers in general.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2020, the average annual pay for a plumber was $56,330. The hourly pay was $27.08.

What do you need to get a plumber’s license?

You need to meet certain requirements you need to meet to become even an apprentice plumber.

a plumber standing in a kitchen and smiling

Education and training requirements

To become a qualified plumber, you will need to be trained through an apprenticeship under a responsible mater plumber. Their apprenticeship will include a combination of classroom learning and paid on-the-job training. In most states, you will also need a license to work independently.

Employers and trade unions will sponsor these apprenticeships for new plumbers. An apprenticeship can last four to five years. The training will also include at least 2000 hours of on-the-job training and classroom learning.

To qualify for a plumber’s apprenticeship, you need to have a high school or equivalency diploma. You also need to be at least 18 years old. New plumbers will learn about local regulations and codes, safety, and blueprint reading with classroom training.

Most states and municipalities will require that you need to have a license to work as a qualified plumber in the US. You will also need at least two to five years of experience to become a qualified plumber. You will also need to pass an exam. All this will depend on the state where you’re planning to work.

Skills needed for being a plumber

To be a plumber, you need more than technical know-how. To be a successful licensed plumber, you need to have certain soft skills. You are born with these skills, or you can learn to acquire them through life experience.

closeup of a plumber in the bathroom

These soft skills include:

Listening skills: Plumbers need to actively listen and pay attention to what their clients are saying and understand their problems.

Critical thinking: Plumbers are problem solvers. To be effective problem solvers, plumbers need critical thinking skills to find the best solution to a problem.

Verbal communication skills: A plumber needs to clearly explain to their clients what the problem is, what work needs to be done, and the costs involved. Communication skills will be useful, especially when dealing with difficult clients.

Troubleshooting: After you’ve gotten a call from a client, you need to figure out the cause of the problem and how to fix the issue correctly.

Physical strength: Plumbers often work with heavy equipment. This means that plumbers need to be physically strong to use their equipment and tools.

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Plumbing exam FAQ

How long does the test last?

A plumbing test can last from two to five hours. The amount of time can vary depending on which state you live in or where you want to work.

Can you retake the plumbing test if you fail?

Sometimes, you might fail the plumbing test no matter how much you prepare. If this does happen, you can retake the test. But you might need to wait sometime before you can retake the test. The amount of time you have to wait will depend on where you live or want to work.

How much does it cost to take the Journeyman Plumber Licensing Exam?

The cost of the actual exam will depend on which state you live in or which local government or state you are planning to work in.

When can I take the exam?

The plumbing test is usually done a few times a year at a testing center in various locations. To determine when the next plumbing test will be, you can contact the state agency or facility that handles the plumbing test.

a young woman on a plumbing training

Final thoughts

Without the proper preparation, taking the plumbing test can be daunting. But if you prepare properly, you can pass the plumbing test and take the next step in your career.

You do this by finding out what you will be in your test in your state. You can also contact other plumbers and ask for their advice on taking the plumbing test. There are also online resources such as courses, JobTestPrep’s study materials and YouTube channels to help you prepare. So go hit the books!

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