Written by Kacie Goff
Whether you’re working as a plumber, electrician, or HVAC professional in the state of Kentucky, you’ve probably at least started the process of securing your license from the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet Department of Housing, Buildings, & Construction. But don’t assume this is a one-and-done process. After you get your license, you’re required to take continuing education units (CEUs) and renew your license periodically. Fortunately, staying on top of everything you need to do to keep your license active is fairly easy. You can even take your CEU online.
We’ve built this guide to teach you everything you need to know to keep your license active, even if you’re licensed in more than one trade. Use this and complete your online continuing education on a regular basis and you’ll have no trouble staying properly licensed.
Put simply, yes. It’s a crime to work as an electrician, plumber, or HVAC professional without the proper licensing. For electricians, for example, the conviction of working without a license is a misdemeanor that can cost you up to $5,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
Even if you get away with working without a license, it could still cost you business. The state offers a License Lookup Portal so any potential customer can check on your licensing. Smart customers will compare their bids and, in doing so, will likely use this tool. If your rates a comparable to a licensed professional, your customer will most likely choose them over you because they show up in the Kentucky license checking portal.
To protect yourself and to build your business, a license is key. Convinced? Great. Let’s take a look at what the state requires if you’re a licensed HVAC, plumbing, or electrical professional — or if you carry more than one of these license types.
The process for electrical license renewal depends on your license type but, regardless, you need to complete it each year. Your license is valid for one year from the date you received it but the state expects you to renew it on or before the last day of your birth month. That means you might be off-schedule your first year, but from then on your license will be valid for a full twelve-month period.
If you’re a standard electrician, you just need to complete six hours of CEU online and send in your renewal application along with the $50 renewal fee. If you’re a master electrician, the process (including the application) and hours requirements are the same, but your fee bumps up to $100.
If you’re an electrical contractor, you’ll also need six hours of CEUs and submittal of your application along with your $200 fee. Plus, you need:
Just like many other Kentucky trade CEUs, you can take your electrical continuing education online. But make sure you take them from an education provider approved by the state or they won’t count towards your license renewal. Once you’re done with your CEU online, your education provider will issue you a certificate showing that you’ve completed the required hours. Submit that along with your renewal application.
Whether you’re a master plumber or a journeyman plumber, renewing your license is a straightforward two-step process. Complete the required hours of KY plumbing continuing education classes and send in the relevant renewal fee ($250 for master plumbers, $60 for journeymen plumbers). If you’re a master plumber, you also have to submit proof of insurance.
The Kentucky Division of Plumbing continuing education requirements are similar to those for other license types. You need to complete six hours of Kentucky plumbing continuing education from a state-approved provider. And, fortunately, you can take your CEU online so you can do it on your time, at your pace.
If you want to renew your HVAC license, the process is pretty similar. You need to do a few things each year to renew each year:
Two things you should know. First, make your check for your renewal fee out to the Kentucky State Treasurer. Secondly, make sure you take your HVAC continuing education from a provider that’s been approved by the state otherwise your hours won’t count towards your renewal. And, good news, you still have the option to take your HVAC classes online. That way, you can do them when they’re most convenient for you.
Send in your renewal by the last day of your birth month to keep your license active.
What if you’re a jack of all trades? Do you have to go through each of those processes separately? No! You will need to submit separate renewal applications along with the relevant fee for each license type, but you don’t have to take multiple sets of CEU online.
Instead, you can choose the first-in-the-state Multi-Trade Complete CE Course (scroll down to find it). This eight-hour online continuing education course meets all the continuing education requirements to renew journeyman and master HVAC licenses, journeyman and master plumbing licenses, and electrical contractor licenses. It’s been approved by the Kentucky Division of HVAC, Division of Plumbing, and the Electrical Division so you can rest easy knowing all of your renewal applications will go through issue-free.
See? Renewing your Kentucky license doesn’t have to be a hassle, even if you have multiple license types. Just make sure you get started with sufficient time to complete your CEU online before your renewal is due on the last day of your birth month each year.