How to Become a Licensed Plumber in South Dakota

Becoming a licensed plumber in South Dakota requires completing an apprenticeship program and passing state exams. This guide provides an overview of South Dakota plumbing license requirements, exams, fees, application process, and renewal rules.

Licensing Requirements for Plumbers in South Dakota

In South Dakota, plumbing work requires a state-issued license. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulations Plumbing Commission oversees plumbing licensing.

The Plumbing Commission issues licenses for:

  • Apprentice Plumbers
  • Journeyman Plumbers
  • Plumbing Contractors
  • Sewer and Water Installers
  • Water Conditioning Installers
  • Underground Irrigation Installers

Types of Plumbers Licenses

South Dakota offers several plumbing license types:

Apprentice Plumber License

  • Requires a high school diploma or GED
  • Allows working under a journeyman or contractor
  • $10 fee
  • Renewal fee $10 per year

Journeyman Plumber License

  • 4 years experience as an apprentice
  • 1,900 hours per year
  • $205 exam and license fee
  • $105 annual renewal

Plumbing Contractor’s License

  • 6 years experience
  • 2 years as a plumbing contractor or plumber
  • 1,900 hours per year
  • $375 exam and license fee
  • $275 annual renewal

Specialty Licenses

South Dakota also requires licenses for sewer and water installation, water conditioning, and underground irrigation. Full details here.

License Reciprocity

South Dakota offers license reciprocity without testing for plumbers licensed in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Colorado. Applicants must pay the required fees.

How to Become a Licensed Plumber in South Dakota

Follow these main steps to become a licensed plumber in South Dakota:

1. Gain Relevant Experience

South Dakota requires plumbers to complete a multi-year apprenticeship program to qualify for licensing.

  • Apprentice – 4 years (3,800 hours)
  • Journeyman – 2 years experience after apprenticeship
  • Contractor – 6 years total experience including 2 as a plumber or contractor

2. Submit a License Application

Fill out the license application form for the specific license type. Applications require:

  • Proof of experience (written statements from employers)
  • License fee payment
  • Reciprocity requires copy of current license

3. Pass the Plumbing Exams

South Dakota requires passing exam scores to qualify for a journeyman or contractor license.

  • Exams test knowledge of the Uniform Plumbing Code
  • Exams include practical hands-on assessments
  • Testing locations in Pierre, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City
  • Schedule exams by appointment after submitting license application

4. Maintain Your License

Active South Dakota plumbing licenses require:

  • Annual renewal before December 31
  • 4 hours of continuing education each year
  • $10-$275 renewal fee depending on license type

Licenses can be renewed online up to 60 days after expiration. After that, applicants must re-apply and re-test.

Plumbing License Exam Details

The South Dakota plumbing exams assess knowledge of plumbing codes, regulations, and practical job skills.

Exam Content

Plumbing exams cover:

  • Definitions
  • General regulations
  • Plumbing math
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Water supply and drainage
  • Traps and interceptors
  • Appliance installation
  • Safety and administrative procedures

The exams emphasize the Uniform Plumbing Code used in South Dakota.

Exam Locations

Testing centers are located in:

  • Pierre – Schedule exams by appointment
  • Sioux Falls – Scheduled monthly based on applicants
  • Rapid City – Scheduled monthly based on applicants

Contact the Plumbing Commission to schedule an appointment. Allow 2-6 weeks for processing.

Exam Fees

Plumbing exam fees:

  • Journeyman Plumber – $205
  • Plumbing Contractor – $375

Fees must be paid when submitting the license application.

Exam Preparation

Recommended study resources:

Practical skills are also tested during exams. Hands-on practice is key.

Getting Licensed as a Plumber in South Dakota

Follow these steps to become a licensed plumber in South Dakota:

Apprentice Plumber

  • Complete high school
  • Find a licensed plumber to supervise your work
  • Submit $10 license application to Plumbing Commission
  • Renew $10 annually

Journeyman Plumber

  • Complete 4-year apprenticeship with 1,900 hours annually
  • Submit license application and $205 exam fee
  • Pass plumbing exams
  • Renew $105 annually with 4 hours continuing education

Plumbing Contractor

  • Complete 6 years experience including 2 as a plumber or contractor
  • 1,900 hours minimum per year
  • Submit license application and $375 exam fee
  • Pass contractor exams
  • Renew $275 annually with continuing education

Plumbing License Reciprocity in South Dakota

South Dakota offers license reciprocity to plumbers already licensed in:

  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Colorado

To apply for reciprocity:

  • Verify your home state license is current
  • Request certification of your license
  • Submit reciprocity application and fee in South Dakota

No testing is required. Allow 2-6 weeks for license approval.

Plumbing License Renewal in South Dakota

Active plumbing licenses must be renewed annually by December 31.

Renewal Requirements

  • Complete 4 hours of continuing education
  • Pay renewal fee
  • Renew online or by mail

Late Renewals

Licenses can be renewed up to 60 days after expiration (by March 1). After that, full re-testing is required.

Renewal Fees

Annual license renewal fees:

  • Apprentice – $10
  • Journeyman – $105
  • Contractor – $275

Plumbing Bond Requirements in South Dakota

Public works plumbing projects over $100,000 in South Dakota require contractor bonds:

  • 100% Performance Bond
  • 100% Payment Bond

Performance bonds guarantee the contractor will complete the project per the terms of the contract. Payment bonds protect subcontractors and suppliers.

Plumbing contractors may also need a license bond when working in certain cities:

  • Sioux Falls – $10,000 Plumbing Contractor Bond
  • Pierre – $1,000 Plumbing Bond

Contractors can get fast plumbing bond approval by applying online. Typical bond premiums are 1-3% of the bond amount.

Insurance Requirements for Plumbers in South Dakota

Plumbers in South Dakota should carry adequate insurance coverages:

General Liability – Protects against property damage and bodily injury claims. Minimum $1 million coverage recommended.

Errors & Omissions – Covers faulty workmanship and negligent acts. Highly recommended for plumbers.

Worker’s Compensation – Required for plumbers with employees. Provides medical and lost wage benefits for job-related injuries.

Commercial Auto – Required if using business vehicles. Provides liability and physical damage coverage.

Tools & Equipment – Optional coverage for company tools and equipment against theft and damage.

Umbrella Policies – Provides additional liability limits above general liability and auto. Recommended $2+ million for plumbers.

Reputable insurance brokers can provide guidance on appropriate plumbing insurance coverage. To understand better about the costs associated with South Dakota Plumbing Insurance, read our in-depth article.

Resources for South Dakota Plumbers