How to Become a Plumber in Colorado

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If you are looking for a practical career, that involves solving complex problems and providing essential services to your fellow citizens becoming a plumber in picturesque Colorado might be the perfect choice for you.

The demand for skilled plumbers in the state with breathtaking landscapes and urban cities is always high.

Becoming a plumber in Colorado ensures that you will have a flourishing and long-lasting career.

In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about becoming a plumber in Colorado.

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How to Become a Plumber in Colorado – Step by Step

To begin your plumbing journey in Colorado, you must be 18 or older.

The most common route to take to becoming a plumber in Colorado is becoming an apprentice straight out of high school, however, the state also offers great college courses for an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences, as well as other classroom programs with different certifications.

In Colorado, you must get licensed to legally work as a plumber.

The state offers the following licenses:

  • Residential Plumber
  • Journeyman Plumber
  • Master Plumber

Before you can apply to get licensed as a residential plumber you must have at least 2 years of experience, gained throughout an apprenticeship program.


Within 30 days of becoming an apprentice to a licensed plumber in Colorado, you must register with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).

The apprentice registration fee is $30.

As an apprentice, you will work under the supervision of a master plumber who will also serve as a tutor to you.

You will essentially assist in a variety of jobs including:

  • plumbing repairs
  • sewage repairs
  • pipe installation

You must be an apprentice for at least 2 years before applying for your residential plumbing license.

During your apprenticeship, you will be paid anywhere between $18 and $22 per hour.

Residential Plumber

To apply for the residential plumbing license you must have at least 2 years of experience, this equals to 3,400 work hours.

You also need to provide proof of US citizenship and a social security number.

Having met this criterion you can send an application to take the residential exam.

The application fee is $100 and the exam fee is $75.

The exam consists of 100 questions and you will have 240 minutes to complete it.

You need a score of 70% or higher to pass the exam.

If you have passed the exam you will be notified and can go on to apply to get your residential license.

As a residential plumber, you will legally be allowed to work on residential plumbing jobs including:

  • repairs
  • installations (fixtures and sprinklers)
  • pipe fittings

Journeyman Plumber

To apply for your journeyman plumber license you need to have a total of 4 years of experience, equaling 6,800 hours of experience.

This can be 2 years of apprenticeship and 2 of being a residential plumber, or it can be the college degree equivalent.

In addition, you will also need to provide proof of US citizenship, a Social Security number, and an Affidavit of Eligibility.

The application fee is $120 and the exam fee is $75.

The application and exam process is the same as for the residential license.

The exam also consists of 100 questions and the duration of the exam is 240 minutes.

To pass the exam you need a score of 70% or higher and then you can go on to apply for your journeyman license.

As a journeyman plumber, you are legally allowed to perform any sort of residential or commercial plumbing job.

Master Plumber

To become a Master plumber in Colorado you need at least 5 years of experience including your apprenticeship, residential and journeyman work.

Some college courses also last for 5 years preparing you to become a Master plumber.

5 years equal to 9,780 hours of experience.

Once again you will need to submit a US citizenship, Social Security number, and Affidavit of Eligibility.

The application process is the same as for the previous licenses.

The application fee is $140 and the exam fee is $75.

The Mater plumber exam consists of 120 questions and you will have 270 minutes to complete it.

With a score over 70%, you have passed and can go on and get your license.

A Master plumber is allowed to perform all the projects Residential and journeyman plumbers can, and they can also supervise plumbing apprentices.

As a Master plumber, you will also be able to register a Plumbing Contractor Company, the registration fee is $210.

Plumbing Schools in Colorado

If you want to take the formal education route to become a plumber in Colorado, here are some of the best schools the state has to offer.

Arapahoe Community College

Arapahoe Community College offers a course called Foundations of Plumbing.

This is a 12-month program with 145 course hours and it is completely online.

The tuition for the entire course is $2,245.

By taking this course you will learn about:

  • Basic concepts of plumbing safety and the safety procedures for material and equipment use
  • The function of components required for the construction of standard piping and water supply systems
  • The use and meaning of specialty drawings associated with construction detail
  • The application and installation of standard plumbing fixtures
  • To identify piping materials and fixture types used in plumbing work
  • To perform the essential math functions, calculations, and interpretation of the plumbing codes required to complete standard plumbing services

The course will be held by Adam Seek who has over 25 years of experience in the field.

To learn more and apply visit their website.

Red Rocks Community College

Red Rocks Community College offers a plumbing program fit to prepare the best future plumbers in Colorado.

The program gives a total of 18.5 credits.

The required courses include:

  • Piping Skills
  • Plumbing Service
  • Soldering & Brazing Skill
  • International Plumbing Code
  • Community First Aid and CPR
  • Electrical Safety Requirements
  • Electricity for HVAC/R or Basic Electricity

To learn more about the program, tuition, and how to apply visit their website.

School Name Address
Arapahoe Community College 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive – A1215 Littleton, CO 80120 US
Red Rocks Community College 13300 W 6th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228, United States


Plumber wages in Colorado are anywhere between $47,721 and $80,956.

The annual average wage currently is $64,273.

It is safe to say that the citizens of Colorado pay their plumbers well for the hard work and good job they do.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Lewis $65,272
Boulder $65,234
Denver $64,655
Westminster $64,655
Thornton $64,655
Arvada $64,655
Aurora $64,613
Colorado Springs $63,319
Fort Collins $62,397
Pueblo $59,699

Regional Salary in Colorado

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Boulder, CO360$67,270$32.34$97,670$45,690
Colorado Springs, CO1,000$58,270$28.01$76,600$37,460
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO4,980$64,860$31.18$94,920$40,170
Fort Collins, CO1,030$60,950$29.3$82,230$36,920
Grand Junction, CO250$55,610$26.73$80,980$35,800
Greeley, CO440$56,080$26.96$80,680$35,050
Pueblo, CO240$54,400$26.16$79,830$31,220
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters, OCC Code 47-2152, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who conducts the plumbing exams in Colorado?

The Colorado State Plumbing Board has partnered with PSI testing services, and all plumbing exams are carried out by them.

Do I need to renew my plumbing license in Colorado?

Yes, renewals are necessary to obtain your plumbing license in Colorado.

Licenses are renewed by Colorado DORA and they are valid up to 28th February of odd number years.

You will need to get your license renewed up to 6 weeks prior to this date.

Are there benefits to joining a union in Colorado?

There are a few benefits from joining a union in Colorado including a possible higher salary, job security, pension plans, and health insurance.

Plumber Info by State

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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