Embarking on a career as a licensed plumber in Maine is a rewarding decision. This profession not only offers a stable income but also provides a sense of accomplishment as you solve critical problems for homes and businesses. However, becoming a licensed plumber involves a series of steps, including education, hands-on experience, and passing a state examination. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process, providing you with the necessary resources and information to start your journey.

Eligibility Requirements

Before you can apply for a plumbing license in Maine, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements ensure that all licensed plumbers have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties safely and effectively.

Education and Experience

The first step towards becoming a licensed plumber in Maine is gaining the necessary education and experience. The specific requirements vary depending on the type of license you’re applying for:

  • Master Plumber: To become a Master Plumber, you must have at least 2 years (4,000 hours) of experience as a licensed Journeyman Plumber.
  • Journeyman Plumber: To become a Journeyman Plumber, you need at least 4 years (8,000 hours) of experience in the plumbing trade under the supervision of a Master Plumber. This experience must include work on both water and drainage systems.
  • Trainee Plumber: As a Trainee Plumber, you’ll work under the supervision of a Master or Journeyman Plumber to gain the necessary experience.


After gaining the necessary experience, you’ll need to pass an examination administered by the Plumbers’ Examining Board. The exam tests your knowledge of plumbing installations and the Maine State Plumbing Code. The exam includes both a written and practical component, ensuring that you have both the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for the job.

Military Experience and Training

Maine values the service and experience of its military members. If you have military experience and training in the plumbing field, you may receive credit towards your licensure requirements. The Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation can provide more information and assist you in preparing your application for licensure.

Application Process

Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements, you can apply for a plumbing license. The application process is designed to ensure that only qualified individuals become licensed plumbers in Maine.

Complete the Application

The first step in the application process is to fill out the appropriate application form. These forms can be found on the Plumbers’ Examining Board’s website. Be sure to fill out the form completely and accurately to avoid any delays in the processing of your application.

Pay the Fee

Along with your application, you’ll need to submit the required application fee. The fee varies depending on the type of license you’re applying for. It’s important to note that this fee is non-refundable, even if your application is denied.

Submit Your Application

After completing your application and paying the fee, you’ll need to submit your application to the Plumbers’ Examining Board for review. The Board will verify that you meet all the requirements and have paid the necessary fee before issuing your license.

License Renewal

Maintaining your plumbing license involves more than just passing the initial examination. You’ll also need to renew your license regularly to ensure that it remains valid.

Complete Continuing Education

Before renewing your license, you may need to complete a certain number of continuing education hours. These courses are designed to keep you up-to-date with the latest developments in the field of plumbing.

Submit Renewal Application

When it’s time to renew your license, you’ll need to fill out the renewal application form. This form can be found on the Plumbers’ Examining Board’s website. Be sure to submit your renewal application before your current license expires to avoid any lapse in licensure.

Pay Renewal Fee

Along with your renewal application, you’ll need to submit the required renewal fee. This fee varies depending on the type of license you’re renewing.

Plumbing License Reciprocity in Maine

Maine has a reciprocity agreement with the state of New Hampshire for the Master and Journeyman plumbing licenses. This means that if you hold a valid plumbing license in New Hampshire, you can apply for a reciprocal license in Maine without having to take the Maine plumbing examination. However, you must meet all other licensing requirements, including proof of experience and the payment of applicable fees.

To apply for a reciprocal license, you need to submit the following:

  • A completed application form
  • A copy of your current New Hampshire plumbing license
  • Verification of your license from the New Hampshire licensing board
  • Proof of experience
  • Payment of the reciprocity fee

Remember, reciprocity is not automatic. The Maine Plumbers’ Examining Board will review your application and determine your eligibility.

License Bond Requirements in Maine

In Maine, plumbers are not required to post a license bond as part of their licensing requirements. However, a surety bond might be required in certain contractual situations or by local municipalities. It’s always a good idea to check with local regulations and any contractual obligations you might have.

Insurance Needs for Plumbers in Maine

Insurance is a crucial part of running a successful plumbing business in Maine. Here are the types of insurance you should consider:

  • General Liability Insurance: This insurance 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 insurance 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 insurance 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 insurance 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 insurance 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.
  • Product Liability Insurance: This insurance covers claims of physical injury or property damage as a result of a defective or flawed product, such as pipes, tubes, or tanks.
  • Tools and Equipment Insurance: This insurance covers the cost to repair or replace equipment that is damaged or stolen.

Remember, the cost of your plumbing insurance will depend on a variety of factors such as business location, number of employees, nature of your plumbing work/types of projects you work on, claims history, and the amount of coverage. Always consult with a professional insurance agent to ensure you have the right coverage for your business. Learn more about the intricacies of ensuring your business with our comprehensive guide on Maine Plumbing Insurance Guide & Quotes to help you make an informed decision.


Becoming a licensed plumber in Maine requires time, effort, and dedication. However, with the right resources and information, you can navigate the process successfully. Remember to always check with the Plumbers’ Examining Board for the most up-to-date information on licensing requirements.