How Hard is the Journeyman Plumber Test?

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you.

Spread the love


You’ve already heard of the Journeyman Plumber Test if you’re working towards a plumber career. However, these examinations vary depending on the state you want to be working in. However, while not all states require you to sit for the exam, it generally is a recommended step to finalizing your career path.

For instance, even if your state does not require you to sit for the exam, it generally is the ideal way to test the skills someone possesses. Hence, the exam aims to test your knowledge and extensive skills. It’s a mere stepping stone to becoming a licensed or certified plumber.

Throughout this article, you’ll find all the essential details about the Journeyman Plumber Exam. Moreover, we’ll provide you with a detailed assessment of the difficulty level.

What is the Journeyman Plumber Test?What is the Journeyman Plumber Test?

Journeyman Plumber Test

The most important thing to remember is the test is often required to obtain your journeyman plumber license. However, some states do not require that. Hence, it varies from one place to another.

As for the exam itself, it’s mainly the most widespread and direct method of testing a candidate’s skills in plumbing. It will try on your competence, and passing the exam insinuates that you’re ready to pursue a career in plumbing.

Most of the time, the state government is the agency that issues your license. Still, some are left under the local municipalities. For instance, New York and Illinois state that handles the plumbing licensing on a local level instead of a state government level.

If you’re yet confused about the specifics and regulations regarding your specific state, then contact your agency or organization and ask them about the requirements. Things will vary slightly from one state to another, and you would not want your information crossed.

The minimum requirements that qualify you to become a licensed plumber consist of two main parts. The first is the experience you’re expected to have. The other is the examination, which is thoroughly discussed throughout this article.

So, how long is the journeyman plumber test? The exams often span a timeframe between 2 – 5 hours. It includes 100 questions composed of either true/false formatting or multiple-choice answers. These will often only involve trade knowledge questions.

Keep in mind that most of the questions are not entirely straightforward; you will be presented with a specific situation, and you’ll have to play along with the scenario. Hence, it might be more complicated as you’re put in a real-life situation on paper.

Keep in mind that some states regulate the Journeyman Plumber Exam through contractors. Hence, you might also be required to have sufficient knowledge about business-related transactions and law.

What Should I Expect on the Journeyman Plumber Test?

What Should I Expect on the Journeyman Plumber Test?

what to expect on Journeyman Plumber Test

Depending on your state, they might be regulating the Journeyman Plumbers License through contractors. If that is the case, expect to have more items on the exam to cover regarding permits, law, and business. However, the essential topics that you’ll expect on any of the exams, regardless of the state, include:

  • Backflow Prevention
  • Drainage Waste
  • General Knowledge and Regulations
  • Interceptors and Traps
  • Isometric Analysis
  • Joints and Connections
  • Plumbing Fixtures; Water Heaters
  • Hangings and Supports
  • Septic and Sewer
  • Storm Drainage Systems
  • Venting
  • Water Supply Systems

However, if your state issues the licenses as contractors, then expect the following topics to be covered as well:

  • Accounting and Tax Matters
  • Bidding Process
  • Business Management
  • Contracting
  • Environmental Laws
  • Insurance and Bonding
  • Labor Laws
  • Permitting
  • Worker Safety

Note: remember that you’re not often facing the law and business questions. These are often recurrent in the Master Plumber Exam and not as frequently throughout the Journeyman Plumber Exam.

Depending on your testing location, you might be asked to take the exam through a computer or the traditional pen-and-paper format. If you’re confused about what you’re required to know, simply contact your state agency. They’ll be able to help you out through the process, including studying for the exam and the registration process.

The price for the Journeyman Plumber Test will vary according to state. However, the approximate amount you should be expecting is around $40. Also, keep in mind that the exam is not offered every day of the year. While it’s provided a few times annually, contact your state agency to determine which available dates work for you.

Is the Journeyman Plumber Test Hard?

Is the Journeyman Plumber Test Hard?

how hard is the journeyman plumber test

When wondering how hard is the journeyman plumber test, you should know that the answer is a mix of different variables. The problem with this specific examination is that the learning part is not the most challenging. Instead, the hard part is the mental struggle you’re going through while training and preparing for the exam.

While the exam itself is not difficult, things get tricky through the preparation. Most soon-to-be plumbers end up spending hours upon hours training and working. You might find yourself working late nights and spending days working through the trials and tribulations on the field. Hence, it’s not quite the piece of cake.

As a beginner, you’re bound to make some mistakes while on the job. However, remember that some mistakes are much more costly than others. If you break something, you’re most likely to have to pay for it, and no one wants to pay for something expensive.

Hence, when you’re struggling through the job, find a way to calm your nerves and your mental state. The most important thing is to be calm enough throughout your training, studying, and exam-taking.

But another note to keep in mind is that most states issues the exam as an open book, and the passing grade is around 70%, which can also vary according to the state.

5 Steps to Pass the Journeyman Plumber Test

5 Steps to Pass the Journeyman Plumber Test

how to pass the journeyman plumber exam

So, at this point, all you need to do is pass. But how to pass the journeyman plumber exam? Well, there are a few vital things you need to go through to successfully sit through the examination, and these are as follows:

Find the Exam Outline

Regardless of the exam, most students end up feeling quite overwhelmed simply because of the sheer amount of information they have to study. Hence, the first step you need to contact your state agency and figure out the outline for your specific exam.

You don’t ever want to overwork yourself or study items that will never be addressed during the exam. Simply know what you should know, and don’t overcompensate by studying trivial matters.

Prepare Mentally

The most important aspect is to prepare for your mental state. Hence, as the event is quite nerve-wracking, ask your mentor about the exam. You can even ask about their experience and how things went for them. You’ll often have people tell you how nervous they were but how incredible things turned out to be later on.

So, ask people who have already sat for the exam or the licensing or testing place. Know the requirements for the exam, which official documents you must have with you, and whether the exam will be on a computer or not.

Study the Right Way

For the practical part, know your material. Before going in, find out from other plumbers the fundamental and recurring tests that are most likely to surface.

As for the written part, a fantastic book to go through is the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC). First time studying, go to the questions at the end of the book, and understand all the answers without testing yourself. Do that around 2-3 times. Afterward, hide out the answers with a piece of paper and start answering the questions independently. This way, you’ll work on retaining the information first and then testing your knowledge.

Practice Tests

As an initial step after studying, check the free journeyman plumber practice test offered by Then, we recommend purchasing a few practice tests to get the full version of the exam. A great journeyman plumber practice test is the Journeyman Plumber Practice Exam Kit. It’ll help you prepare for your exam and offer over 300 questions for you to solve.


The easiest way to revise, and quite the most efficient, is going through flashcards. Use this as a revision mechanism and NOT as your primary studying tool. Check out the Quizlet cards, made of more than 258 cards to revise.

Wrapping Things Up: How Hard is the Journeyman Plumber Test?

things to keep in mind about the journeyman plumber exam

All in all, there are only a few things to keep in mind about this examination. First of all, the mental struggle seems much more challenging than the actual material you have to learn. The years of dedication all come down to one exam, and everyone wants to show what they’ve learned.

However, everything eases a little bit once you get over the mental block. Make sure you go through the study material efficiently, as otherwise, you might end up overwhelming yourself. Moreover, the more past exam questions you can do, the better. Hence, get a head start on your preparation and ensure you’re up to date with everything. Always contact your testing center or state agency for missing information.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

If you found this helpful, help us out by sharing this post!


Readers of this post also read...

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

A Guide to Effective Study Group Strategies

Perhaps you have exams coming up and you’re considering studying with your friends but aren’t sure how to kick things off. Crafting the ultimate study group involves making sure that the time you spend together...

Read More