Compared with a lot of other states, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) does a pretty good job of making renewal information available to their certificate holders. Their website is pretty straightforward and the renewal requirements are pretty clearcut. But because the continuing education (CE) requirement changed for some certificate holders in July 2021, you might want to double-check that you’re doing what’s mandated in order to keep your certification active.
We’ve got you covered. Let’s look at the steps — including the updated CE requirement — to renew a variety of different plumber certifications in Washington State.
New continuing education requirements
Not too long ago, most Washington plumber certificate holders just needed 16 hours of CE to renew. But that all changed on July 1, 2021. Now, that requirement has been bumped up by 50%. To make sure you’re getting the continuing education you need, we’ve broken it down by license type:
Journey plumbers and residential specialty plumbers
- During each three-year renewal period, you need 24 hours of CE. And those hours need to be divvied up into specific categories:
- 12 hours of Uniform Plumbing Code (Code)
- 4 hours of Industry-Related Electrical (IRE)
- The remaining eight hours can also focus on Code or IRE, or they can be on any industry-related plumbing (IRP) subject matter.
- You need eight hours of CE each year, or 16 hours total, in order to renew. You also need to get a set number of hours in specific categories:
- 8 hours of Code
- 4 hours of IRE
- Your four leftover hours can be on Code, IRE, or IRP. So if, for example, you take eight Code-focused hours in one year, make sure you take four IRE hours the next.
Domestic pump and pump and irrigation plumbers
- Like journey-level plumbers, you need 24 hours of CE. The issue is that you need 24 hours of CE in plumbing and 24 hours of CE in electrical. To avoid having to take 48 hours, look for class hours that combine plumbing and electrical subject matter.
There are a few things to note here:
- First, you can’t repeat the same class within a renewal period.
- Secondly, you don’t need to submit your certificate of completion to L&I. Your education provider will do it for you. You can check how many CE hours you have to date using the L&I verify tool, but it can take up to 30 days for courses to show up on your record.
- Finally, you’ll probably be glad to know that you can take your continuing education online via trainings like the ones we offer for WA plumbers here. That lets you meet this requirement without taking time off work or going to a specific classroom at a specific time.
Renewing your Washington plumber certificate
Once you have the CE you need to renew your specific certificate type, you have options. You can:
However you choose to renew, be ready to pay your renewal fee:
- $227.90 for journey-level/residential plumbers
- $228.00 for domestic pump/pump and irrigation plumbers
- $56.40 for plumber trainees
Keep an eye on your renewal date because if you miss it or don’t get your CE in on time, your fee doubles.
If you want clarification about the new CE requirement or anything else about the renewal process for Washington plumbing certificate holders, you can email L&I at email@example.com or call them at (360) 902-5207.