Michigan plumber license and insurance requirements

Michigan plumber license and insurance requirements

Ashley Henshaw
By Ashley Henshaw
Feb 6, 2023
7 min read

It’s been over two centuries since indoor plumbing first became available in the U.S.1 At that time, indoor plumbing was rare and largely available only to the very wealthy. Today, plumbers are essential across the country as property owners require expert help for everything from leaky faucets to complete pipe system installations.

In Michigan, plumbers earn an average annual salary of $63,460, which is a bit higher than the average annual wage for electricians nationally.2

If you’re thinking about working as a plumber in Michigan, you’ll need to get your license first. To help make the process easier, we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to get a plumber license in Michigan. Read on to learn about the following topics:

Do you need a license to be a plumber?

In Michigan, you must have a license issued by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).3 The available license classifications include journey plumber and master plumber.

Before pursuing your license, you’ll need to have experience as a plumbing apprentice. You must submit a registration form and a $15 registration fee to LARA within 30 days of employment as an apprentice.

How to get a plumber license in Michigan

The same instructions apply to getting a journey plumber license and a master plumber license. You must submit a Michigan plumber license application by mail or online.

Include all requested documentation with your application, as well as the appropriate license fee:

  • Journey plumber license fee: $40
  • Master plumber license fee: $300

Michigan plumber license exam

Upon approval of your application, you’ll receive instructions on scheduling your exam from PSI, the third-party testing agency used by the state of Michigan. You must pay the required $100 examination fee when scheduling your exam.

Plumber license exams are conducted via computer at testing centers in the following Michigan cities: Dearborn, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Holt, Marquette and Southfield. Applicants can choose the location and date of the exam according to their preferences. 

The open-book exam takes 180 minutes to complete and covers the following topics:

  • Plumbing theory
  • Plumber practice
  • Michigan plumbing code, rules and regulations

You must achieve a score of 70% or higher on your exam to pass. PSI will provide your score immediately after you complete the test.

Michigan plumber license requirements

Plumber license applicants must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, you must meet the following work experience requirements when you apply for a Michigan plumber license.

Journey plumber experience requirements 

You must have at least 6,000 hours of experience as a registered apprentice plumber earned over three years while under the supervision of a master plumber.

Master plumber experience requirements 

You must hold a journey plumber license and have at least 4,000 hours of experience working as a journey plumber earned over a period of at least two years immediately prior to applying for your master license.

All applicants must submit notarized letters from current and former employers to document their work experience.

Requirements for plumber license renewals

Michigan journey plumbers must renew their license every year by April 30. If you have a master plumber license, renewal is only required every three years by April 30. The plumbing division will notify you approximately three months before your license is set to expire.

To renew your license, you must submit a signed renewal form and pay the appropriate fee:

  • Journey plumber renewal fee: $40 every year
  • Master plumber renewal fee: $300 every three years

To maintain your journey or master plumber license, you must take an approved five-hour code update course within one year whenever a new edition of the Michigan Plumbing Code goes into effect.4 The plumbing division will provide you with a notification when you need to complete this requirement.

Michigan plumber license reciprocity

Michigan does not have reciprocity agreements with any other state. You must submit a completed application and pass the exam in order to obtain a Michigan plumber license.

What kind of insurance does a plumber need in Michigan?

Once you become a licensed plumber, you may want to obtain self-employed plumber insurance. The following types of Michigan business insurance are available for professionals in the plumbing industry.

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance in Michigan can help provide coverage in the event of a work-related third-party accident or property damage.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

Most employers in the state of Michigan must have workers’ compensation insurance.5 This insurance can help cover costs related to lost wages and medical care if you or one of your employees gets hurt on the job.

Tools and Equipment insurance

Tools and equipment insurance can help cover repairs and replacements if your work gear is damaged or stolen.

Commercial Auto insurance

Plumbers driving to different job sites may need commercial auto insurance, which can help cover accident-related costs like property damage and medical expenses. 

Commercial Property insurance

If theft or property damage occurs, Michigan commercial property insurance can help provide coverage for buildings you rent or own for work as well as your plumbing inventory and gear.

How NEXT supports Michigan plumbers

At NEXT Insurance, we’re 100% dedicated to small businesses. We’ve helped thousands of plumbers, and other contractors get affordable insurance to protect their professional endeavors.

We make it easy to apply for plumber insurance online. It only takes a few minutes to get a quote, secure your coverage and obtain a certificate of insurance. You can access your account anywhere, anytime to adjust your coverage or share additional certificates of insurance with clients.

Get an instant quote online at NEXT today.

Are you interested in working as a plumber in another U.S. state? Find out what states require plumber licenses in our summary of plumber license requirements.


1 When Was Indoor Plumbing Invented?

2 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

3 Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

4 Skilled Trades Regulation Act

5 Workers' Disability Compensation Agency - Employers

Michigan plumber license and insurance requirements


Ashley Henshaw
About the author

Ashley Henshaw was a contributing writer at NEXT. She specializes in small business topics, covering everything from insurance and branding to web hosting and cryptocurrency.

Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, AOL City's Best, Citysearch, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle and Livestrong.

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