Become a Plumber in Maryland

Have you always been interested in working in a skilled trade that allows you to work with your hands rather than sitting at a desk all day? If so, you might consider working as a plumber. It’s a career that pays well and offers plenty of opportunities for employment. Your skills will be in demand at both residential and commercial locations. You’ll install and repair pipes and fixtures, gas systems, waste disposal, troubleshoot problems, read blueprints, follow building codes and inspect and test installed pipes and equipment.

Requirements for Becoming a Maryland Plumber

The minimum age to become a plumbing apprentice in Maryland is 16. An apprentice is an individual who is learning the trade under the direction of a Licensed Master Plumber. You can apply to be an apprentice through the Plumbing Board, and hours worked as an apprentice can be applied toward a Journey Plumber license.

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Earning a high school diploma or the equivalent can benefit you when it comes to working with measurements and math, and it also makes it possible to pursue postsecondary education related to plumbing.

Plumbing Schools in Maryland

In Maryland, training is available at technical colleges and vocational schools as well as through apprenticeship programs. Some places that offer training in Maryland include:

  • College of Southern Maryland. This college offers a Plumbing Helper Workforce Training Certificate. This consists of two courses that provide students with core plumbing skills. Students can pursue additional training and earn a Plumbing Technician Workforce Training Certificate.
  • Maryland Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association. Interested candidates can apply for an apprenticeship through this organization. The apprenticeship program combines on-the-job training with professional instruction that prepares apprentices to learn the skills and knowledge required to pass the State Journey Test.

How to Become an Apprentice Plumber in Maryland

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a plumber in Maryland? Plumbing is a skilled trade that pays well, and it takes time to learn the skills you need to become an expert. In the state of Maryland, there are three levels of plumbing licenses starting with the apprentice.  A plumbing apprenticeship is a way to gain experience on the job, working under the direction of a journeyman or master plumber. 

Plumbing work can’t be performed without a license in this state. This requirement is to ensure public safety. To obtain a license to work as an apprentice, you’ll need to be at least 16 years old and complete an application for a plumbing apprentice license through the Maryland Department of Labor.

Available apprenticeships may be found through the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program. Earn and learn opportunities are available for students who  are at least 16 years old through Apprenticeship Maryland. You may be able to find an apprenticeship through a local union such as United Association. Nonunion opportunities may be found through private companies, and these may be listed on job boards such as

Another option is to go through formal training through a technical school or community college. An example of a school that offers plumbing education is College of Southern Maryland.

How Do You Become Licensed to Work as a Maryland Plumber?

The state of Maryland has three levels of plumbing licenses. While you’re learning the trade, you’ll obtain an apprentice license from the Plumbing Board. After you’ve held an apprentice license for four years and have completed 7,500 hours of experience under the direction of a Master Plumber, you’re eligible to take the exam to be a Journey Plumber.

Once you’ve held the journey license for two years and have completed 3,750 hours under the control and direction of a Master Plumber, you’re eligible to take the test to become a Master Plumber and apply for a Master Plumber license.

Employment Opportunities and Salary for Plumbers in Maryland

This comparison illustrates how salaries in Maryland align closely with national averages, showing a slightly lower median salary in the state.

National vs. Maryland Salary Comparison

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
United States $37,250 $60,090 $101,190
Maryland $36,620 $59,780 $89,000

Salaries by Regions in Maryland

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD $36,190 $58,490 $82,760
California-Lexington Park, MD $35,950 $51,780 $73,920
Cumberland, MD-WV $35,710 $50,880 $61,420
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV $31,810 $46,850 $74,430
Maryland nonmetropolitan area $35,680 $56,900 $73,950

Plumbing Trends in Maryland

The employment trends for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters in Maryland show a positive outlook. In 2020, the state had 11,380 employed in these professions. By 2030, this number is projected to increase to 12,580, reflecting an 11% growth. Each year between 2020 and 2030, Maryland is expected to have around 1,330 job openings due to growth and replacements.

Comparatively, the national growth rate for these professions is much lower, at 2% from 2022 to 2032, increasing from 482,700 to 493,600 employees, with an average of 42,600 projected annual job openings.


Region Employment (Start Year) Projected Employment (End Year) Projected Growth (%) Annual Job Openings
Maryland 11,380 (2020) 12,580 (2030) 11% 1,330
United States 482,700 (2022) 493,600 (2032) 2% 42,600

Sources of data:

  1. State Data: The projections for this State from 2020 to 2030 are provided by Projections Central, which offers long-term projections for occupational employment.
  2. United States Data: The nationwide employment projections from 2022 to 2032 are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which regularly publishes detailed employment projections for a wide range of occupations across the United States.

What’s it Like to Work as a Maryland Plumber?

When you pursue a career in the plumbing industry, your work will be anything but predictable. Plumbing problems may come up around the clock, and even if you work primarily during the day, you may have to be on call nights and weekends. You’ll need to be prepared to work in less than ideal conditions such as outdoors in all types of weather. You may have to climb ladders, lift heavy materials and work in tight spaces.

A career as a plumber can be rewarding, since you’ll know you’re helping others and providing an essential service. Job opportunities are available all over Maryland, particularly in or near large cities such as Baltimore.