How to Become a Plumber in Massachusetts

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If you’re searching for a fulfilling and practical career in Massachusetts, consider becoming a plumber.

This is a trade that is very significant to our everyday lives yet occasionally goes unnoticed.

Plumbing is the backbone of modern infrastructure, ensuring clean water supply and efficient wastewater removal.

If this sounds like the career you want to pursue, this article will serve as a guide on how to become a plumber in Massachusetts.

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How to Become a Plumber in Massachusetts – Step by Step

To become a plumber in Massachusetts you have to obtain both on-the-job training and formal classroom education.

The state issues the following licenses:

  • Apprentice Plumber License (training)
  • Journeyman Plumber License
  • Master Plumber License

Apprentice Plumber License – Training and Schooling

The apprentice plumber license isn’t an actual license.

It is the period while you are registered as an apprentice.

Before you can apply for any of the plumbing licenses Massachusetts issues you must complete a training program that will consist of both an apprenticeship and formal classroom education.

The first step into your apprenticeship is submitting a board-approved application to become an apprentice.

Within 9 months of the acceptance of your application (becoming an apprentice) you must begin your educational program.

When it comes to training choices you can choose between enrolling in a:

  • secondary student in a Public Comprehensive High School Career
  • Vocational Technical School Program
  • Apprenticeship program
  • or become an employee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensed master plumber

No matter what sort of program or work you choose within your training you must obtain 6800 of work experience, which you can get as an apprentice or working directly under the supervision of a journeyman plumber who is the employee of a Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensed master plumber.

The other requirement is that you must obtain up to 165 hours of formal classroom education annually, or 550 hours total throughout 4 years.

After completing these requirements you can go on to apply for your Journeyman Plumber License.

Journeyman Plumber License

To apply for your Journeyman Plumber License you are required to have at least 5100 of experience as an apprentice or a worker under a Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensed master plumber, and at least 330 hours of classroom education (theory).

When applying for your journeyman plumber license you must submit an application form and pay the $52 application fee.

If your application has been accepted you will pay the $80 exam fee and go on to take the exam.

The exam consists of 2 closed-book parts.

The first part consists of 80 questions and has a 160-minute time limit.

The first part of the exam consists of the following questions:

  • 9 questions: General regulations, inspections, and permits
  • 21 questions: Gas piping, equipment, and appliances
  • 12 questions: Venting
  • 2 questions: Traps and cleanouts
  • 2 questions: Fixtures, equipment and clearances
  • 3 questions: Water heaters
  • 3 questions: Piping, valves and controls
  • 6 questions: Water supply
  • 2 questions: Hangers and supports
  • 13 questions: Drain, waste, and vent
  • 5 questions: Separators, interceptors, and grease traps
  • 2 questions: Joints and connections

The second part of the exam has 40 questions, and there is a 160-minute time limit.

The questions in the second part include:

  • 20 questions: Isometric analysis
  • 5 questions: General trade calculations
  • 7 questions: Gas piping
  • 8 questions: Gas venting

You need a score of 70% or higher on both parts separately to pass the exam.

If you have passed the exam you can go on and apply for your license.

There is a $52 licensure fee.

Master Plumber License

To apply for your Master Plumber License you must have worked at least 1,700 hours as a licensed journeyman.

You must also have completed the 110-hour Tier Five of the Plumber Educational Program.

The examination process is similar to journeyman.

You must submit an application form and a $78 application fee.

The exam fee is $80.

The master plumber exam is also a 2 part closed-book exam.

Just like the journeyman exam, there is a 160-minute time limit on each part, and the questions are divided in the same way.

If you have passed the exam you can go on and apply for your license, and pay the $78 licensure fee.

Plumbing Schools in Massachusetts

Massachusetts offers aspiring plumbers great options for their apprenticeships, and formal education.

The Plumbing Academy, Inc.

The Plumbing Academy, Inc. offers a few different options for aspiring plumbers.


For those sixteen years old and older who have never had formal instruction, they offer an apprenticeship, which prepares people to make a living while gaining expertise in a specific specialty.

As an apprentice gains more and more abilities, their pay usually increases, and by the time they complete their apprenticeship, they should be earning almost the same as a skilled journeyman licensee in plumbing or gas fitting.

Class Course

This course is for apprentices who want to become journeyman plumbers.

This course will allow you to gain the 550 hours of classroom education needed.

They have evening sessions which last from 6 pm to 9 pm.

The requirements they have are the following:

  • All students must have the 2021 PHCC Code Book
  • All students must have access to a computer with an ethernet-(hard wired) connection with a webcam and a working microphone
  • Tablets, iPads, and cell phones are forbidden to use in class

Their next sessions begin in January.

To learn more about the programs they offer and apply visit their website.

School Name Address
The Plumbing Academy, Inc. 18 Lonergan Rd, Middleton, MA 01949, United States


Massachusetts pays its plumbers a fair wage for the hard work they put into maintaining the state’s plumbing systems and water supply.

Annual wages can vary anywhere from $51405 to $87207.

The current annual average wage is estimated to be $69236, which is a higher average than in most other states.

Boston, Cambridge, Lynn, and Quincy all tie as cities with the highest annual wage currently, estimated to be $71679.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Boston $71,679
Cambridge $71,679
Lynn $71,679
Quincy $71,679
Brockton $69,471
Lowell $69,401
New Bedford $67,690
Fall River $67,690
Worcester $67,136
Springfield $66,465

Regional Salary in Massachusetts

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Barnstable Town, MA600$69,070$33.21$95,940$46,900
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH11,180$82,580$39.7$133,900$45,850
Leominster-Gardner, MA170$67,550$32.48$100,790$44,840
New Bedford, MA170$70,310$33.8$96,390$39,790
Pittsfield, MA150$75,430$36.26$122,960$40,290
Springfield, MA-CT1,020$79,640$38.29$125,500$41,010
Worcester, MA-CT970$84,190$40.47$136,890$44,730
* 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

When should I renew my Massachusetts plumbing license?

All plumbing licenses in Massachusetts expire on May 1st of every even-numbered year.

Next renewals should be done by May 1st, 2024.

How much do plumbing license renewals cost in Massachusetts?

License renewals are different depending on the license you’re renewing.

  • Journeyman plumber license renewal – $52
  • Master plumber license renewal – $78

Who issues the plumbing licenses in Massachusetts?

The Board of Examiners of Plumbers & Gas Fitters issues all the plumbing licenses in Massachusetts.

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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