FAQ’s for a Master Plumber

What is a Master Plumber and Why should you hire one?

What is a Master Plumber

…and Why Do You Want to Hire One?

Plumber vs Master Plumber

The most important difference between a plumber and a Master Plumber is that master plumbers have much more experience and usually are familiar with business management and other business and planning aspects such as finance. In contrast, plumbers, also called Journeyman Plumbers,” tend to have less experience and focus only on the technical plumbing aspects of their work. A Master Plumber begins as a journeyman plumber, and then augments this through education, more experience, and more stringent licensing requirements. Rest assured, when you hire a Master Plumber like Daniel the Plumber, you are hiring a pro, and putting your home safely into the hands of a true expert.

Aspects of the Work

A journeyman plumber is more limited in the aspects of plumbing work that can be performed, and the degree of supervision. A journeyman plumber can maintain water/sewer lines, install pipes for sprinkler systems, and repair pipe fixtures under the direction of a master plumber. A master plumber can repair and install plumbing systems without supervision.

Earning the Title in Virginia

Reference 2 was used to accurately define the difference between a Journeyman Plumber License and a Master Plumber License. Licenses must be renewed every two years.

To obtain the Journeyman Plumber License, one must pass the statutory/regulatory and trade portions of the Virginia plumber’s examination. Other journeyman plumber license requirements include:

  • Two years of plumbing experience and a degree/certification from a community college, technical school or trade program; or
  • 5 years of practical plumbing experience and a minimum of 160 hours of vocational training; or
  • 6 years of practical plumbing experience and a minimum of 80 hours of vocational training; or
  • 4 years of practical plumbing experience and 240 hours of plumbing training; or
  • A bachelor’s degree in an engineering curriculum from an accredited university or college and 1 year of practical plumbing experience; or
  • 10 years of practical plumbing experience.

To obtain a Master Plumber License in Virginia, one must pass the statutory/regulatory trade portions of the Virginia plumber’s examination. Other master plumber license requirements include:

  • One year of practical plumbing experience as a licensed Virginia journeyman plumber; or
  • 10 years of plumbing experience.

The Master Plumber examination includes a mixture of subjects. Some questions focus on plumbing-specific topics including questions about building code and how to approach various plumbing challenges. Others deal with business law, discussing contracts, obligations, and other aspects of the trade that a master plumber may encounter. These questions ensure that master plumbers are fit to draft contracts and will work professionally with their clients; the licensing process is designed as a form of consumer protection to help homeowners avoid unscrupulous or untrained contractors.

Daniel The Plumber was licensed as a Master Plumber in both Virginia and WSSC by 2014, with four years of Plumbing School and over 10 years of experience at that point. He also holds an Associates Degree, and has focused curriculum work on marketing and business administration.

Continuing Education

Changes in Virginia plumbing codes can occur at any time. Daniel The Plumber participates in required code update courses to continue learning and implementing new measures enacted to protect the health of the nation.

Hire a Pro

Licensing for individual plumbers is publicly available on the state website for review by homeowners. Individual states are moving toward requiring that the plumber in the home be licensed themselves. Unfortunately, Virginia does not require this yet, only that one Master Plumber shall have the other technicians work under his license. Always inquire whether your technician is a licensed plumber so that you are certain you are hiring a true professional. So reach out to Daniel the Plumber for your next plumbing need!


(1) https://www.networx.com/article/masterplumber

(2) https://www.housecallpro.com/working-in-the-trades/plumbing-licensing/virginia/

Call Now Button