Fact Checked

What Should I Expect from a Plumbing Test?

Jessica Bosari
Jessica Bosari

To become a plumber, you must first perform an apprenticeship and then take a journeyman plumbing test. What to expect on the test will vary by location. Many areas have locally or government run exam-preparation courses you can attend. These courses will detail exactly what you can expect on the test so you can properly prepare for it.

Before you can take the plumbing test, you must fulfill your apprenticeship requirements in full. This will include a specified number of hours working under a master plumber along with a certain number of course hours. Only when these requirements are fulfilled can you take the plumbing test. Most areas also require you to be at least eighteen years old with a high school degree.

Pipe fittings.
Pipe fittings.

Even though tests vary by location, there are certain basic skills a plumber needs that are likely to be tested. You will need the ability to read and understand documentation, technical diagrams and blueprints. You will also need the basic math skills necessary to prepare job estimates for customers. In addition, plumbers must have a mechanical aptitude and be comfortable using power and hand tools. Plumbers also need to draw up paperwork showing the materials used and work performed on a job.

Copper pipes.
Copper pipes.

While fulfilling your apprenticeship requirements, you may wish to take the local government run courses that will prepare you for the test. You can take these courses at night in your spare time. Then you will be able to register for the exam and take it quickly after completing your apprenticeship.

You should register for the local journeyman plumber exam with the appropriate agency well in advance. In most cases, you can register in person, by phone or online. You may be required to prove you have satisfied the exam prerequisites in order to register, like showing proof you have worked under a master plumber for the required number of years and taken the necessary number of course hours.

Plumbers working.
Plumbers working.

It is also a good idea to do some refresher studying immediately before the course, covering the material you have learned over the past few years. Having the information fresh in your memory makes it more likely that you will pass the plumbing test the first time. Test yourself with practice questions the night before the test. If you can answer all of your practice questions, there is a good chance you will pass your plumbing test.

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Discussion Comments


@indemnifyme - Those are pretty good tips!

I think for plumbers, it's probably easier to pass the test because they do their apprenticeship first. So they're already working in the field before they even go to take their exam. I know for insurance you have to take you exam before you can even start working.


One of my grandfather's was a plumber. From what I understand, it's a pretty good field to go into. I know by the time he and my grandmother were retired they had a brand new home that was paid in full and two cars that were paid off also.

Anyway, I'm not sure what the testing was like when he started out as a plumber 60 or so years ago. However, I had to take a state-run test to get my insurance license, so I can offer a few tips.

First of all, as the article said, take classes that are from or approved by the organization that is giving the test. This seems like a no-brainer, but it needs to be said.

Second of all, if the organization that administers the test sells a study guide, buy it! This was invaluable to me when I took my insurance license exam. I already had a pretty good idea of how the test was formatted and what the questions would be like. It made me feel much more comfortable.

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