How to Become a Plumber in Michigan

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In Michigan, a state steeped in rich history and thriving with modernity, plumbing serves as the lifeblood that sustains our homes, industries, and communities.

Behind the scenes, it’s the dedicated efforts of skilled plumbers that uphold the seamless functioning of our daily lives.

Undoubtedly, pursuing a career in plumbing in the Great Lakes State is not just about fixing pipes; it’s a path brimming with fulfillment and gratification.

This article, will serve you as a guide and inform you on everything you need to know to become a plumber in Michigan.

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How to Become a Plumber in Michigan – Step by Step

To begin your plumbing journey in Michigan you must be at least 18 years old.

In Michigan, the way to becoming a plumber is by enrolling in an apprenticeship program (on-the-job training).

Within 30 days of becoming an apprentice or working directly under the supervision of a licensed plumber, you must register as an apprentice under the board.

There is a $15 registration fee.

Within your apprenticeship you must obtain 3 or more years of experience, this equals to 6000 hours of on-the-job training.

After completing this 3 year process you can go on and apply for the journeyman plumber license.

Michigan issues the following plumbing licenses based on skill and experience:

  • Journeyman Plumber License
  • Master Plumber License
  • Contractor License

Journeyman Plumber License

After obtaining your 6000 hours of work experience you can apply for your Journeyman Plumber License.

You must also be registered as an apprentice plumber.

Having met these requirements you can go on and submit an application form and pay the $40 application fee.

There is also a $100 exam fee.

The journeyman plumber exam is an open-book exam that consists of 125 questions.

The time limit for the exam is 180 minutes (3 hours).

The exam will test you on the following topics:

  • drainage systems
  • vent systems
  • fixtures and water distribution along
  • backflow prevention
  • special waste systems
  • testing and inspections

The exam is created in a way that will test your theoretical knowledge and practical skills and knowledge of the state plumbing code, rules, and regulations.

You need a score of 70% or higher to pass the exam, and you will receive your results immediately after completing the exam.

If you have passed the exam you will go on and get your journeyman plumber license.

Master Plumber License

To apply for your Master Plumber License you must have at least 2 years of experience as a Journeyman plumber.

This equals to 2000 hours of work as a journeyman plumber.

The application and examination processes are similar to Journeyman.

You will submit an application form and pay the $300 application fee.

The exam fee is $100.

It is an open-book exam that consists of 130 questions and has a 180-minute time limit (3 hours).

The science and practice of plumbing, as well as an understanding of state plumbing codes, laws, rules, and regulations, will all be covered in the master test.

The graphic that shows the locations of adjacent restrooms is the only item removed from the practical section of the exam.

All necessary information is supplied so that the applicant may utilize the plumbing code to specify the number of fittings that must be used, the diameters of the vents and drains, and the venting techniques.

The questions include:

  • drainage systems
  • basic information
  • fixtures
  • storm drains
  • backflow prevention
  • water distribution
  • testing
  • inspections
  • venting
  • familiarity with the 2016 PA 407 Skilled Trades Regulations Act

You need a score of 70% or higher to pass and you will receive your results immediately after completing the exam.

If you have passed the exam, you will go on to receive your Master Plumber License.

Contractor License

A Contracting License insures you that the plumbing business you own is working legally.

To receive this license you must either be a licensed master plumber or have an employee that is a master plumber.

You must also own a sole proprietorship, or partnership, or serve as an official in a corporation or limited liability business is a requirement.

The final requirement is to provide the complete information of your employment/business from the previous 5 years.

There is an exam that you must pass and the examination fee is $100.

The licensure fee is $300.

Plumbing Schools in Michigan

Michigan offers great apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, and college courses for its aspiring plumbers.

West Michigan Construction Institute

West Michigan Construction Institute offers a plumbing course that will prepare you for fieldwork.

It is a 2-semester course.

The fall semester module includes:

  • Introduction to Construction Math
  • Introduction to Hand Tools
  • Introduction to Power Tools
  • Introduction to Construction Drawings
  • Basic Communication Skills
  • Basic Employability Skills
  • Introduction to Materials Handling

Their spring semester module includes:

  • Plumbing Safety
  • Tools of the Plumbing Trade
  • Introduction to Plumbing Math
  • Introduction to Plumbing Drawings
  • Plastic Pipe and Fittings
  • Copper Tube and Fittings
  • Cast-Iron Pipe and Fittings
  • Steel Pipe and Fittings
  • Introduction to Plumbing Fixtures
  • Introduction to Drain, Waste, and Vent (DWV) Systems
  • Introduction to Water Distribution Systems

Classes are held once a week during the evening hours, from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

The tuition for this course is $2000 per semester or $4000 total.

Additional fees include $165 for the course textbooks and $190 for lab materials ($95 per semester)

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

School Name Address
West Michigan Construction Institute 801 Century Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States


Michigan pays its plumbers greatly for the hard work they put into obtaining the state’s water supply and plumbing systems functioning properly.

The annual wages can vary anywhere between $46846 and $79472.

The current annual average wage for plumbers in Michigan is estimated at $63095.

Ann Arbor takes the lead as the city with the current highest annual wage estimated at $65648.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Ann Arbor $65,648
Westland $64,732
Detroit $64,324
Dearborn $64,324
Warren $64,324
Sterling Heights $64,121
Livonia $64,121
Grand Rapids $61,697
Lansing $61,582
Flint $59,301

Regional Salary in Michigan

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Ann Arbor, MI430$69,170$33.25$96,650$37,900
Battle Creek, MI130$58,210$27.98$85,170$32,080
Bay City, MI110$59,760$28.73$81,720$36,060
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI5,980$67,290$32.35$93,980$38,090
Flint, MI630$69,310$33.32$96,820$37,680
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI1,890$62,520$30.06$84,670$36,400
Jackson, MI170$64,000$30.77$102,020$36,490
Kalamazoo-Portage, MI740$68,480$32.92$79,870$38,280
Lansing-East Lansing, MI600$65,630$31.55$85,390$37,280
Midland, MI100$67,210$32.31$97,120$37,380
Monroe, MI170$67,030$32.23$99,940$37,070
Muskegon, MI190$64,720$31.12$92,300$35,420
Niles-Benton Harbor, MI120$56,280$27.06$90,370$35,800
Saginaw, MI270$68,420$32.9$99,450$36,240
* 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 plumbing license in Michigan?

All plumbing licenses in Michigan expire on April 30th.

Journeyman Plumber Licenses expire on April 30th every year.

Master Plumber Licenses expire on April 30th every three years.

Where are plumbing exams being held in Michigan?

All plumbing exams in Michigan are taken in the following cities:

  • Dearborn
  • Gaylord
  • Grand Rapids
  • Holt
  • Marquette
  • Southfield

Who issues the plumbing exams in Michigan?

Plumbing exams in Michigan are being issued by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
Plumbing Division and in partnership with PSI exams.

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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