In Arizona, plumbing is a regulated trade. A license is required for anyone seeking to offer their services as a professional plumber. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the steps and requirements for plumbers to establish eligibility, apply for their plumbing license, and renew their plumbing license in Arizona. It will also outline license bond requirements and insurance needs for plumbers in the state.

Understanding the Types of Plumbing Licenses in Arizona

In Arizona, there are three distinct types of plumbing licenses that a contractor can apply for. Each of these licenses caters to a different aspect of the plumbing industry and has its own set of requirements.

  • Residential Contracting (R-37 Plumbing, Including Solar): This license is specifically for contractors who are working on residential structures. These structures can include houses, townhouses, condominiums or cooperative units and any appurtenances on or within residential property lines. The license also covers work related to solar plumbing installations in residential settings.
  • Specialty Dual License Contracting (C-37 Plumbing): This license is a comprehensive one that allows contractors to perform both residential and commercial work. It’s an ideal license for contractors who offer a wide range of services across different types of properties.
  • Specialty Commercial Contracting (C-37 Plumbing): This license is for contractors who specialize in commercial projects. These can include large-scale installations in commercial buildings, industrial complexes, and other non-residential properties.

Each of these licenses requires the Qualifying Party to have a minimum of 4 years of experience in the plumbing trades. The Qualifying Party must also pass the required licensing exams. This ensures that the licensed contractor has the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to provide a high standard of service.

Steps to Obtain a Plumbing License in Arizona

The process of obtaining a plumbing license in Arizona involves several steps. These steps are designed to ensure that only qualified individuals are granted a license to operate as a professional plumber in the state.

  • Meet the Experience Requirements: The first step towards obtaining a plumbing license in Arizona is to meet the experience requirements. The Qualifying Party must have a minimum of 4 years of experience in the plumbing trades. This experience can be gained through a combination of education, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training.
  • Request a Licensure Packet from the ROC: Once the experience requirements have been met, the next step is to request a licensure packet from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). This packet contains all the necessary forms and information needed to apply for a license. It’s important to read through this packet carefully and ensure that all the requirements are clearly understood.
  • Determine the Required Exams: The licensure packet will also contain information about the required exams. The required exams can be determined from the License Classification Requirements form included in the packet. These exams are designed to test the applicant’s knowledge and understanding of the plumbing trade, as well as their ability to adhere to the state’s regulations and standards.
  • Pass the Required Licensing Exams: The next step is to take and pass the required licensing exams. These exams are rigorous and comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics related to the plumbing trade. It’s recommended to prepare thoroughly for these exams, using study guides and other resources if necessary.
  • Submit a License Application: After passing the exams, the final step is to submit a license application to the ROC. The application must be accompanied by the appropriate fees. These fees vary depending on the type of license being applied for:
    • Specialty Residential Fees:
      • Application: $80
      • License: $270
      • Recovery Fund Assessment: $370
      • Renewal: $270
      • Renewal Recovery Fund Assessment: $270
    • Specialty Dual Fees:
      • Application: $100
      • License: $380
      • Recovery Fund Assessment: $370
      • Renewal: $380
      • Renewal Recovery Fund Assessment: $270
    • Specialty Commercial Fees:
      • Application: $100
      • License: $480
      • Renewal: $480

The application process is thorough and can take some time, so it’s important to be patient and ensure that all the necessary documentation and fees are submitted correctly.

Renewing Your Plumbing License in Arizona

In Arizona, plumbing licenses expire every two years on the date of initial licensure. This means that plumbers must renew their licenses regularly in order to continue operating legally in the state. The renewal process is straightforward and can be completed through the following steps:

  • Receive a Renewal Notice: The ROC will send a renewal notice in the mail when it’s time to renew your license. This notice will contain information about the renewal process and any requirements that need to be met.
  • Renew Online: The easiest way to renew your plumbing license in Arizona is to do so online. The ROC provides an online portal where licensees can submit their renewal applications and pay the necessary fees.

Reciprocity with Other States

Arizona has reciprocity agreements with several other states. This means that if you hold a plumbing license in one of these states, you may be able to obtain a license in Arizona without having to take the state’s licensing exams. The states with which Arizona has reciprocity agreements include:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • Utah

If you hold a license in one of these states, you can apply for a waiver of the Arizona state exams. This can make the process of obtaining a license in Arizona much easier and faster.

License Bond Requirements in Arizona

In order to obtain a license, a residential contractor must post a cash deposit or surety bond of $4,250 to $15,000. In addition, a residential contractor must either pay into the recovery fund or post a second bond of $200,000. The vast majority of residential contractors have chosen to participate in the fund. This bond requirement is designed to protect consumers from contractors who fail to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Insurance Needs for Plumbers in Arizona

In addition to the license bond, there are several types of insurance that plumbers in Arizona should consider to protect themselves and their business:

  • General Liability Insurance: This is a must-have for any plumber. It covers third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. For instance, if a client trips over a pipe you put on the floor while repairing a sink and breaks their wrist, this policy would cover their medical expenses, as well as any legal or settlement fees if they file a lawsuit against you.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If you have employees, you are usually required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. This policy pays for the medical bills of any employee who is injured on the job, as well as costs such as lost wages while the employee cannot work.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: Most plumbing businesses have some type of work truck or work van they use for transportation to each job site. A commercial auto policy protects your business from liabilities arising from your work vehicles (usually at-fault accidents). It can also cover the vehicle if it were damaged, whether it be a collision or some other cause.
  • Tools and Equipment Insurance: From small hand tools to trenching equipment, plumbers frequently have a significant amount of equipment they need to run their business. A contractors equipment policy covers the loss of or damage to the tools or equipment, whether the cause is an auto accident or theft from a jobsite.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as errors and omissions insurance, this covers claims of professional negligence, error, breach of contract, or failure to deliver a service on time. If you make a mistake in the installation that causes the system to fail, the owner could sue you for the error. This policy would cover your legal and settlement costs associated with the lawsuit.

The cost of these insurance policies will depend on a variety of factors such as your business location, number of employees, nature of your plumbing work, claims history, and the amount of coverage you need. It’s recommended to get multiple quotes before making a decision about which insurer is right for your business. Learn more about the intricacies and essentials of Arizona Plumbing Insurance Guide & Quotes in our comprehensive article.


Becoming a licensed plumber in Arizona requires a significant investment of time and effort, but it can lead to a rewarding career. By understanding the steps and requirements outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process more easily and efficiently. Remember, the key to success in any profession is preparation and knowledge, and this guide provides you with the information you need to succeed in the plumbing industry in Arizona.