How to Get a Plumber’s License in West Virginia

Becoming a licensed plumber in West Virginia requires completing training, passing exams, and applying for the appropriate license. This guide provides an overview of the different license types, steps to getting licensed, renewal requirements, and other key details for aspiring plumbers in West Virginia.

Types of Plumber’s Licenses

West Virginia issues four types of plumbing licenses:

  • Plumber in Training – Entry-level license to work under supervision of a Journeyman or Master Plumber.
  • Journeyman Plumber – Allows independent work once exam is passed.
  • Master Plumber – Highest level of plumbing licensure in West Virginia. Required for contractors.
  • Plumbing Contractor – Allows plumbing business ownership. Requires Business & Law exam in addition to Master Plumber exam.

Steps to Getting Licensed

The key steps to getting licensed as a plumber in West Virginia are:

1. Complete Training

Complete plumbing training through one of the following:

  • Plumbing apprenticeship
  • Technical/trade school plumbing program
  • On-the-job training under a licensed Journeyman or Master Plumber

2. Apply for Plumber in Training License

3. Gain Supervised Experience

  • Work under direct supervision of a licensed Journeyman or Master Plumber.
  • No minimum hours required, but need adequate experience to pass exam.

4. Pass Journeyman Plumber Exam

  • Register and pay $51.95 exam fee.
  • Pass exam with minimum score of 70%.
  • Testing centers located in Charleston, Martinsburg, Morgantown, and Wheeling.

5. Apply for Journeyman License

6. Consider Master Plumber License

  • Wait minimum 1 year after passing Journeyman exam.
  • Pass Master Plumber exam ($51.95 fee).
  • Submit Master Plumber license application and $75 fee.

7. (Optional) Become a Plumbing Contractor

  • Pass Business & Law exam ($51.95 fee) in addition to Master Plumber exam.
  • Submit Plumbing Contractor application with $90 fee.
  • Provide proof of workers’ comp, unemployment insurance, and wage bond.

License Renewal

All West Virginia plumbing licenses must be renewed annually before the expiration date. Important renewal details:

  • No continuing education requirement.
  • Renewal fees:
    • Plumber in Training – $25
    • Journeyman – $75
    • Master – $75
    • Contractor – $90
  • Late renewals incur a $25 late fee after 15 days past expiration.
  • Renew using online portal or paper form.

Reciprocity Agreements

West Virginia has license reciprocity agreements with Ohio and Tennessee. Plumbers with current licenses from those states can have their credentials recognized in West Virginia.

Bond Requirements

Contractors in West Virginia must obtain a contractor bond ranging from $1,000-$100,000 based on their gross payroll. This wage payment bond ensures contractors pay owed wages and benefits.

Plumbing contractors may also need a sales and use tax bond ranging from $1,000-$50,000 based on their contract values. This ensures payment of sales and use taxes.

Insurance Requirements

There are no statewide insurance requirements for plumbers in West Virginia. However, plumbers should consider:

  • General liability insurance – Covers property damage and bodily injuries caused by the plumber’s work.
  • Workers’ comp insurance – Required for plumbing contractors and businesses with employees. Covers medical and lost wage costs of on-the-job injuries.
  • Business insurance – Covers tools, equipment, vehicles and other business assets from loss or theft.

Reputable insurance agents can provide guidance on recommended insurance coverage. Learn more about the intricacies of West Virginia plumbing insurance cost to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your business.

Licensing Contacts

  • West Virginia Division of Labor – Administers licensing and exams.
    • Phone: (304) 558-7890
    • Email:
  • West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board – Oversees contractor licensing.
    • Phone: (304) 558-7890
    • Email:

Plumbing License Resources

Getting licensed as a plumber in West Virginia requires dedication and preparation. But the investment in education, testing, and certification can lead to fulfilling and financially rewarding work. This guide outlines the key steps – follow them closely to successfully begin your plumbing career.