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Master Plumber License

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;

  • Be fit to perform the work authorized by the particular license;

  • 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 planning or 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 required practical experience must be obtained as a Department of Buildings’ registered Journeyman Plumber.

  • Have received a bachelor's degree in mechanical 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 planning or 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 planning or 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 planning or 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 required practical experience must be obtained as a Department of Buildings’ registered Journeyman Plumber. 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;

  • Have experience as 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) Years 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 planning or 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 & Exams 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 locations in the State.

  • The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of the NYC Constructions Codes, rules and applicable regulations. You will not be allowed to use reference materials during the exam.

  • Passing score is seventy (70) percent, if you pass the written exam you will receive your report (printed by the site proctor) at the exam site at the time of testing, and a practical exam will be scheduled.

  • If you pass the practical exam, you will receive a letter via US Mail by CPS approximately 3-4 weeks after the date the candidate takes the practical 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:

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

  • Examination Score Reports;

  • LIC2 application;

  • LIC34, if applicable;

  • Notarized Supplemental Investigation Questionnaire;

  • 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.
  • Certified 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’s license, learner’s permit, state ID, green card, or passport);

  • Original Social Security Card;

  • Original birth certificate, current passport or green card;

  • Proof of Residence (Utility Bill, Bank Statement, Lease or Deed) or a typed notarized letter and bill from the person with whom you are residing;
    Note: Cell phone bills will not be accepted.

  • Latest pay stub or W-2;

  • Two (2) passport sized photographs;

  • Child Support Certification Form;

  • $500 background fee

Applicants have ONE year to complete the submission of all documentation.

SECTION 5: OBTAINING THE LICENSE CARD

Once you have passed the exams and background investigation, you need to obtain your Master Plumber license.

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

  • You have one (1) year from the date of that letter to submit 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 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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