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How To Become A New York City Licensed Master Plumber

SECTION 1: EXAM GUIDELINES

In order to obtain a Master Plumber license, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years old

  • Be able to read and write the English language

  • Have good moral character so as not to adversely impact your fitness to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Master Plumber

In addition, all applicants must meet one (1) of the following levels of experience:

  • Have at least seven (7) years of total experience* within the ten (10) years prior to application in the design and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber in the United States

  • Have received a bachelor's degree in engineering or appropriate engineering technology from a college or university registered by the New York State Department of Education and have had at least five (5) years of total experience within the seven (7) years prior to application in the design and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber in the United States. At least two (2) years of this experience must be in New York City

  • Be a New York State-licensed professional (Registered Architect or Professional Engineer) and have at least three (3) years of experience within the five (5) years prior to application in the design and installation of plumbing systems in the United States. At least one (1) year of this experience must be in New York City

  • Have at least seven (7) years of total experience* within the ten (10) years prior to application with at least two (2) years of experience working in the design and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber in the United States. The balance of experience may be obtained by performing maintenance, replacement and repair plumbing work on existing buildings while working for a New York City agency as long as the work is under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed Master Plumber supervisor employed by the City agency

  • Be an employee of a government agency, private inspection agency or other entity accepted by the Buildings Commissioner whose duties primarily involve the inspection of plumbing work for compliance with the New York City Plumbing Code and/or other laws relating to the installation, alteration or repair of plumbing systems and this experience** combined with your work experience equals seven (7) years of work experience required within the ten (10) Year prior to application

    **Such applicants can count 50 percent of the years he or she was satisfactorily employed in the above work towards the seven (7) years of total required work experience as long as it was obtained within ten (10) years prior to application. The number of years credited shall not exceed two and a half (2.5) years of the satisfactory experience. The remaining balance must be obtained by working in the design and installation of plumbing systems under the direct and continuing supervision of a licensed master plumber in the United States

As of July 1, 2011, at least two (2) years of the required practical experience must be obtained as a Department-registered Journeyman Plumber. Please see the full text of Title 28 of the New York City Administrative Code for all the qualifications requirements

SECTION 2: APPLYING FOR THE EXAM

You must pass a written and practical exam in order to become a Master Plumber.

Written
You must complete the exam application (LIC41), check the box that indicates you are a Master Plumber candidate and submit the application with the $525 fee to the Department (see contact information below).

Practical
After passing the written exam, you must apply to take the practical exam (LIC42). To do this you must complete the exam application, check the box that indicates you are a Master Plumber candidate and submit the application with the $350 fee, payable by money order only, to:

NYC Department of Buildings
Licensing Unit – Exams
280 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007

SECTION 3: SCHEDULING YOUR EXAM

After submitting your exam application, you must next schedule your exams.

  • If your application is accepted, you will receive an email from the exam administrator in three (3) to four (4) weeks with instructions on how to schedule your exam. Exams are given at several different locations in the City

  • The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of the NYC Administration Code. You will not be allowed to use reference materials during the exam

  • If you pass the written exam, a practical exam will be scheduled

  • If you pass the practical exam, you will receive a letter notifying you of your exam score in approximately five (5) weeks after date of the exam

SECTION 4: BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION

In order to become a Master Plumber, you must also pass a background investigation by submitting the below documents, in person and by appointment only, to the Department at:

Licensing Unit
NYC Department of Buildings
280 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007

  • Typewritten LIC2 license application

  • Examination Score Report Form

  • Notarized Background Investigation Questionnaire

  • Experience Verification Forms from all supervisors for the years you are claiming as experience

    Note: Experience Verification Forms from company Human Resources will not be accepted

  • Social Security History of Earnings for the years you are claiming as experience

    Note: There is a fee charged by the Social Security Administration for this service. You must request the report to be run by “company name”. You may request the information by mail or in person (ordinarily you can receive this instantly in person).Visit (http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-7050.html) for more information

  • Photo ID (driver license)

  • Original Social Security Card

  • Original birth certificate, current passport or Green Card

  • Proof of residence with a utility bill, lease or deed

    Note: Cell phone bills will not be accepted

  • Latest pay stub or W-2

  • Two (2) passport sized photographs

  • $500 background fee

  • Money Order for your fingerprint fee in the amount of $91.50 made payable to DCAS

SECTION 5: APPLYING FOR YOUR LICENSE

Once you have passed the exams and background investigation, you need to apply for your Master Plumber license. The Master Plumber and Master Fire Suppression Piping Contractor License Board investigates the character and fitness of all applicants for Master Plumber license.

  • If you pass both exams and the background investigation, you will be notified in writing by the Department’s Licensing Unit that you are eligible to apply for a Master Plumber license

  • You have one (1) year from the date of that letter to begin submitting the required documents for your license. If you do not complete the process within one (1) year of the date on the letter, you will be required to retake the exams

  • You must make an appointment to apply for a license by calling the Licensing Unit at (212) 393-2259. All documents submitted must be originals; copies will not be accepted. Candidates without appointments will not be seen

Other resources:

Printer Friendly (PDF)
Buildings Information System (BIS)
Licensing Forms
Licensing Frequently Asked Questions
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