the complete plumbing contractor license guide

Colorado does not currently have a state wide contractor license.There are only two trades which are regulated at the state level:

For other licenses, the laws differ depending on the county. 

However, several Contractor Licenses are offered in Denver through the Department of Community Planning and Development.

Plumbing Contractor Classifications in Colorado

In Colorado there are 3 levels of licensing for plumbing contractors:

Residential Plumber - Two Years Experience Required (3,400 Hours)

  • Includes new construction, remodeling and additions to buildings for residential occupancy.
  • Also include plumbing installation in one, two, three, and four-family dwellings, which do not extend more than two stories above ground.

Journeyman Plumber - Four Years Experience Required (6,800 Hours)

Master Plumber - Five Years Experience Required (9,780 Hours)

the complete guide to the contractor license in colorado for plumbers

Who Needs to Have a Plumbing License in Colorado?

Anyone performing plumbing of any kind or work requires pulling a building permit.

Projects that involve installing, fabricating, or repairing residential or commercial plumbing systems.

Projects include but are not limited to:

  • Water Supply
  • Installation Techniques
  • Plumbing Fixtures, Residential and Commercial Piping
  • Blueprint Reading and Calculations
  • Storm Drain and Sanitary Systems
  • Waste Piping 
  • Water Heaters
  • Residential Fire Sprinklers
  • Piping Support  and System protection
  • Vents, Fixtures and Equipment
  • Isometric Analysis
  • Irrigation sprinkler systems, swimming pools and spas


Colorado Plumbing License Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • Valid USA Identification 
  • Social Security Number or ITIN #
  • Not currently on probation or parole

You must also 

  • Have 2, 4, or 5 Years of Journeyman Level Experience (depending on level)
  • Pass Plumbing Exam
  • Have an Active Contractor Bond
  • Have a Registered Legal Entity (Sole, Partnership, LLC, or Corporation)

What is Journeyman Level Experience?

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) will require that you have journeyman level experience as a plumber.

While different regions may have varying definitions for what a journeyman is, typically this is someone who:

  • Can perform all of the duties associated with their trade
  • Has worked un-supervised performing their trade
  • Has supervisory level experience
  • (in some cases) has completed a Journeyman certification

How Do I Prove My Plumbing Experience?

several plumbing tools, to get the colorado plumbing license you will need to apply with DORA

You will need to provide:

  • Letters of verification
  • Signature from either a supervisor, contractor, employer or journeyman
  • The dates when your experience was gained

Verification of plumbing installation experience by submitting letter from current and/or former employers (master plumbers).

Letters of verification must be on company letterhead and signed a master plumber.

The letters you submit must include the exact dates of employment and a specific job description, detailing the type of plumbing work performed (for example: residential remodeling, commercial new construction, maintenance, etc.) 

It should also include the amount of time you worked in each category. You must submit original letters; fax or photocopies of letters are not
accepted. It is recommended that you keep copies of letters for your files.

Colorado Plumbing License Application Processing 

You can apply for the Plumbing Contractor License Online here

Documents that must be included with your application are:

Some things to remember:

  • According to Colorado law: all addresses and phone numbers on record with the Division of Professions and Occupations (DPO) are public record and must be provided to the public when requested.
  • You will be responsible to keep all records current within the DPO system

Licensing Fees

  • You must pay a $210 application processing fee with a credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa or Discover) or electronic check to complete the application process.
  • All fees are non-refundable.

Colorado Plumbing License Exam

two books on a table. you must pass a trade exam to get the colorado plumbing contractor license

All applicants must pass the Colorado plumbing contractor exam. The exam is administered by a third party company called PSI.

There are separate exams for the Residential, Journeyman and Master Plumber's licenses:

Residential Plumbing Exam

120 Scored Items - 270 Minutes

70% (84 Items Correct) to Pass

Up to 10 Non-Scored Items - 30 Minutes

The residential plumbing exam covers the following topics:

  • Water Supply 
  • Vents
  • Fixtures and Equipment
  • Piping Support and System Protection
  • Traps
  • Sanitary Drainage Systems
  • Residential
  • Fire Sprinklers
  • Water Heaters

Journeyman Plumbing Exam

100 Scored Items - 240 Minutes

70% (70 Items Correct) to Pass

Up to 10 Non-Scored Items - 30 Minutes

The Journeyman plumbing exam covers the following topics:

  • Water Supply 
  • Vents
  • Fixtures and Equipment
  • Piping Support and System Protection
  • Traps, Interceptors, and Separators
  • Storm Drainage Systems
  • Sanitary Drainage Systems
  • Indirect and Special Waste Piping
  • Isometric Analysis
  • Residential Fire Sprinklers
  • Water Heaters

Master Plumber Exam

120 Scored Items - 270 Minutes

70% (84 Items Correct) to Pass

Up to 10 Non-Scored Items - 30 Minutes

The Master Plumber exam covers the following topics:

  • Water Supply 
  • Vents
  • Fixtures and Equipment
  • Piping Support and System Protection
  • Traps, Interceptors, and Separators
  • Storm Drainage Systems
  • Sanitary Drainage Systems
  • Indirect and Special Waste Piping
  • Isometric Analysis
  • Residential Fire Sprinklers
  • Water Heaters

Colorado Business License

two contractors looking up at a building. If you are applying for the colorado plumbing license you should think about starting a business entity

Colorado allows those applying for the Contractor License to choose if they would like to set themselves up as a business entity. 

If you already have a registered business entity and you would like to apply for a license in Denver, than you must include the following documentation about your business along with your application.

Typically, there are 4 common business structures among construction professionals:

  • Sole Proprietor - License held through an individual
  • Partnership - License held through a partnership
  • LLC - License held through a company that exists as its own entity
  • S-Corporation - License held through a corporate entity

For a complete look at the differences between these business structures, check this guide.

For more information about getting a business license in Colorado and the nature of your business you can contact any of the following agencies:

Worker's Compensation

Colorado requires all business that have employees to carry worker's compensation insurance, regardless of their construction trade.

Worker's Compensation requirements for Colorado contractor license applicants can be found on the website of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Colorado Contractor License Look-up

For consumers or homeowners looking to search an active Colorado contractor license, you may access information on the Department of Regulatory Agencies search portal

Construction Apprenticeships in Colorado

the plumbing license in colorado requires a solid trade skill set

Whether you are looking to become a journeyman plumber in Colorado or begin a career in the construction industry, you will want to begin by mastering a trade.

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation in your career is by looking into an apprenticeship program.

These types of schools can provide you with valuable training in a trade.

Colorado plumbing license holders must have skillsets beyond simply trade knowledge. You must also understand the fundamentals of running a construction business and safety.

If you are new to the world of construction and have heard the term “journeyman” or “apprentice” and are not sure what these terms mean, or perhaps where to even start.

Each state has different requirements and standards for certifications. To Learn more about the step by step path from an Apprentice to Journeyman!

Blueprint Reading Course

blueprint reading is a fundemental skill for those looking to get the colorado contractor license

For those looking to do pursue a career in construction or get the ​Colorado General Contractor license, reading construction blueprints is fundamental. 

Blueprints communicate important information about the way in which a structure is built as well as what materials are necessary or have been used for its construction.

Being comfortable with construction blueprints is an invaluable skill for those looking to get the Colorado plumbing license.

See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

OSHA Safety Certifications

two contractors working high up on a beam. to get a colorado contractor license, or licensed in denver you may be asked to know osha safety regulations

Statistically, 21% of all work-related fatalities are in construction.

That equals about 1 and 5 worker deaths on average.

In the construction industry, the leading cause of worker deaths is reported as falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.

Safety is a huge part of managing a construction site. General Contractors as well as licensed plumbers should know everything about safely supervising a project.

If you or your workers are not properly trained, it can place unnecessary risk to not only your personal safety but your bottom line as a business. 

For employment with a licensed general contractor in Colorado, you may be asked to complete some level of Osha Safety Training.

Get Started

Getting the Colorado plumbing contractor license can be a huge step up in your career if you are looking to start your own business or become an RMO for a company!

The Construction industry is highly lucrative. Whether you are looking to get licensed in other states or offer handyman services in Colorado.

The key is to take action and follow these steps from beginning to end.

If you have found this article, be sure to let us know! and check back for more updates in the future.

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