Before you can apply for a plumbing license in Connecticut, you need to establish your eligibility. The state offers several different license types within the plumbing and pipefitting work trade. The type of license you need depends on the services you intend to provide.

For example:

  • A J-1 Limited Contractor license is for work limited to domestic water pumps and water conditioning.
  • A P-1 Unlimited Plumbing Contractor license is for all plumbing and piping work as defined in section 20-330 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

The requirements to qualify for these license examinations vary, but generally, you need two years as a journeyperson or equivalent experience and training.

It’s important to note:

  • Every individual applicant must take an exam.
  • Separate fees will be due to the exam vendor at the time of exam registration.
  • Connecticut does not have reciprocal agreements with any other jurisdiction.
  • Only individuals can apply for a plumbing license in Connecticut; company applications are not accepted.
  • The Department does not pre-approve or review applications before submission.
  • The application fee for a contractor is $150.00 (Non-Refundable), and for a journeyperson, it’s $90.00 (Non-Refundable).

Applying for a Plumbing License

Once you’ve established your eligibility, the next step is to apply for your plumbing license. The application process varies depending on whether you’re applying for a Contractor License or a Journeyperson License, and whether you’re a Connecticut resident or an out-of-state resident.

Contractor License

Connecticut Residents

If you’re a Connecticut resident applying for a Contractor License, you need to:

  • Submit a copy of your current CT Journeypersons license and the date it was first issued.

Out-of-State Residents

If you’re an out-of-state resident applying for a Contractor License, you need to:

  • Submit a copy of each out-of-state plumbing journeyperson license that you currently have.
  • Include a notarized/certified letter from each state indicating that you are in good standing with the issuing board and the date that the license was initially issued.
  • Provide proof that you have successfully completed a Department of Labor registered Apprenticeship Program including on-the-job (OJT) training and related instruction.

Journeyperson License

Connecticut Residents

If you’re a Connecticut resident applying for a Journeyperson License, you need to:

  • Submit an original copy of the Letter of Apprenticeship Completion issued by the CT Dept. of Labor, Apprenticeship Training Division.

Applicants with Equivalent Experience and Training

If you did not complete an apprenticeship with the CT Dept. of Labor and are applying under equivalent experience and training, you need to:

  • Submit letters from current or previous employer(s) on company letterhead, dated, and notarized, including the dates of employment and a specific, detailed description of your on-the-job training and work experience.

Renewing a Plumbing License

All plumbing and pipefitting licenses in Connecticut expire annually on October 31st. To continue working as a plumber, you need to renew your license before it expires. The renewal fee for a contractor is $150.00, and for a journeyperson, it’s $120.00.

If you have the User Id and Password or the Fast Track Renewal PIN from your renewal notice, you can proceed to the online renewal website. If you did not receive a notice with your User Id and/or the Fast Track Renewal PIN, send an email to and include your name, license type, license number, and email address. The Department will then send you the necessary information to renew your license online.

License Bond Requirements in Connecticut

In Connecticut, plumbers are required to post a contractor’s license bond before they can be licensed to operate. This bond is a type of surety bond that provides a financial guarantee that the plumber will comply with all state regulations and codes in their work. The bond amount for plumbing contractors in Connecticut is $10,000.

The bond protects consumers from potential financial loss caused by poor workmanship, failure to complete a job, or violation of licensing laws. If a claim is made against the bond and found to be valid, the surety company will pay out up to the full amount of the bond. The plumber is then responsible for repaying the surety company.

To obtain a license bond, you will need to apply through a surety bond company. The cost of the bond (known as the bond premium) is typically a small percentage of the total bond amount and is determined by your personal credit score and business financials.

Insurance Needs for Plumbers in Connecticut

Insurance is a critical component of running a successful plumbing business in Connecticut. It protects your business from potential financial losses and is often required by clients before they will hire you. Here are the types of insurance that plumbers typically need:

  • General Liability Insurance: This covers third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. For example, 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.
  • Professional Liability 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.
  • Business Property Insurance: This covers business property or buildings that are damaged by certain accidents, weather events, or other hazards. If a fire breaks out in your office and destroys all of your plumbing equipment, your business property insurance would cover the costs to replace it.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This covers medical expenses of employees who are injured or get sick while at work. Most U.S. states require employers to have workers’ comp for their employees. If one of your plumbers falls off a ladder while fixing a pipe and dislocates a shoulder, your workers’ compensation policy would cover any related medical expenses.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: This covers vehicles that you use for business purposes, such as driving to plumbing projects. It covers accident-related expenses resulting from injuries, death, or property damage. If you’re driving your work van to pick up supplies and accidentally hit a car in the store’s parking lot, this policy would pay to repair the damage to the car.
  • Tools and Equipment Insurance: This covers the cost to repair or replace equipment that is damaged or stolen. You can sometimes add this coverage to another type of policy, like your general liability insurance.

The cost of your plumbing insurance will depend on a variety of factors such as your business location, the number of employees, the nature of your plumbing work, your claims history, the number of policies, and the amount of coverage. It’s recommended to get multiple quotes before making a decision about which insurer is right for your business. To better understand your specific insurance needs, consider reading our insightful article on Connecticut plumbing insurance cost which provides detailed information on the topic.

Plumber License Reciprocity in Connecticut

Connecticut has a reciprocity agreement with several states for the journeyman plumber license. This means that if you hold a valid journeyman plumber license in any of these states, you can apply for a Connecticut license without having to take the examination. The states with which Connecticut has reciprocity agreements for journeyman plumbers are:

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Vermont

To apply for a reciprocal license, you will need to provide proof of your current license, work experience, and pass a background check. It’s important to note that reciprocity agreements can change, so it’s always a good idea to check with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection for the most current information.

In conclusion, becoming a licensed plumber in Connecticut involves establishing your eligibility, applying for the appropriate license, renewing your license annually, meeting bond and insurance requirements, and understanding the lack of reciprocity with other states. By following these steps and meeting these requirements, you can become a licensed plumber in Connecticut and provide your services to clients across the state.