According to the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association, the plumbing industry is a large one, mostly because every community needs water. Requirements to become a plumber vary from state to state. If you live in North Carolina, you will need to obtain a license to become a plumber. Expect the training and licensing process to take a total of four years.
Apply to become a plumbing apprentice. You cannot even apply to take your plumbing exam unless you have 4,000 hours of training from a licensed plumber.
Attend a technical school to learn essential plumbing skills. If you do this, you can use 2,000 of your school hours toward your total 4,000 required job training hours. You will still need to work under a licensed plumber to gain the other 2,000 hours.
Get a current current copy of the Board's Laws and Rules book from NCLicensing.org. You will need to study this information before you can take the plumbing exam.
Fill out the plumbing application packet and submit it as instructed in the application. You can get the application by calling (919) 875-3612 and asking. You must have your application approved before you can schedule your plumbing exam. Choose the Class I application if you are seeking a plumbing license for working on commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Choose the Class II plumbing application if you only plan on working on residential buildings.
Schedule your exam by calling (800) 733-9267 once your application has been approved. Set aside the entire morning or afternoon on your exam day to take the exam. The exam can take up to four hours to complete, but you can bring your book with you as the test is open book.
Receive your plumbing license if you score a 70 percent or higher on your plumbing exam.
Sign up for continuing education classes. You need to attend six hours of continuing education classes each year to keep your license.
Bring the exam fee with you to the test. As of December 2010, the fee for the test is $100.