The plumbing industry in both the residential and commercial segments can expect continued growth into 2024, especially for smart plumbing devices for enhanced control and optimization, eco-friendly plumbing products and practices, such as low-flow fixtures, greywater recycling systems, and water-efficient appliances, and enhanced leak detection and repair systems. “In addition, given the unprecedented frequency and intensity of natural disasters, each occurring at a record cost of $1 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the significance of plumbing and mechanical resilience remains pivotal as we approach 2024,” said Mark Fasel, director at the International Code Council (ICC).
While the plumbing industry outlook is positive, an influx of new plumbers is needed to fill the industry’s labor pipeline as many retire. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), an estimated 60,000 plumbers retire each year, and only 30,000 new apprentices enter the field annually.
If you’re considering entering the plumbing industry, which provides job stability, independence, and work variety, there are specific license requirements per state. Let’s look at the requirements for plumbers to get licensed in Arizona.
What Types of Plumbing Licenses Does Arizona Offer?
According to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC), there are three types of statewide licenses:
Specialty Commercial C-37
This classification allows the licensee to install, alter, and repair all plumbing when performed solely within property lines and not on public easements or rights-of-way.
Specialty Dual License CR-37
This classification allows the scope of work permitted by the commercial C-37 Plumbing and the residential R-37R Plumbing licenses.
Specialty Residential R-37
Installation and repair of water and gas piping, fire protection, and sewage treatment systems. Included are all fixtures, vents, devices common to the industry, and solar applications. This scope consists of all C-37R sub-classifications.
Getting Your Plumbing License
You must have at least four years of experience for each license above and pass the Statutes and Rules Exam and the appropriate Trade Exam. The license you seek is determined by the type of work you intend to perform. The most common method of gaining experience is through an apprenticeship program. You can also work under the supervision of a licensed plumber you find on your own.
In addition, you must submit to background checks and form a legal entity — a sole proprietorship (individual), partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. LLCs and corporations are required to register with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Partnerships are required to register with the Arizona Secretary of State. You must also obtain and submit proof of a license bond.
Issued by the ROC, your plumber’s license must be renewed every two years.
Benefits of Having a Plumber’s License
First and foremost, in getting your plumber’s license, you comply with Arizona law. The license also demonstrates your experience and skill. Only licensed plumbers can run a business and market their services, receive commercial insurance, obtain building permits, pass inspections, and bid on public and government projects. A license protects your business and its customers. A license gives you an advantage in the job market and raises your earning potential as you gain experience.