As we approach the flu season, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners prioritizes the well-being and health of our candidates, staff, and community. We encourage everyone to exercise caution and use common sense to ensure a safe environment for all.
Protect Yourself and Others
- Frequent Handwashing: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover Coughs and Sneezes: Use a tissue or the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose. Dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with local health advisories and flu season alerts.
Feeling Unwell? Please Stay Home
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or feeling under the weather, we urge you to prioritize your health and the health of others. If you’re scheduled for an exam and are not feeling well:
- Do Not Come to the Exam Center.
- Reschedule your exam for a later date. Our team will assist you in making the necessary arrangements.
- If you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the flu or any contagious illness, please follow local health guidelines and postponing your exam.
Your health and safety come first. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners Team
We are excited to announce the launch of our completely revitalized website! As part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring the Texas plumbing community has easy access to essential information, we’ve made a series of updates to improve your online experience.
- Updated Look & Feel: The new site features new fonts, vibrant colors, and an enhanced layout. Our aim was to make the website not only more attractive but also more intuitive.
- Persistent UI Navigation: No matter where you find yourself on our site, our user interface stays consistent. This makes navigation simpler and quicker, saving you time and reducing any potential frustration.
- New Contact Page: We’ve added a contact form to the contact page that will help streamline email communication with the TSBPE.
- New Board Meeting Video Archive Page: The TSBPE website now includes archived videos of all Board meetings held since we began broadcasting them online in 2020
- Streamlined Content: We’ve made the conscious effort to declutter our site by removing outdated pages and information. Now, everything you find here is relevant and up-to-date, ensuring you have the best resources at your fingertips.
Now that the new site is operational, we’re not stopping here. We’ve got some exciting new features planned that are designed to further assist and empower our plumbing community.
On behalf of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners, thank you for your continued support and trust.
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners Staff
In what can be considered the third phase of the TSBPE’s effort to bring plumbing curriculum to the next generation of Texas plumbers, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) has worked in partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to make grant funding available to qualified Texas schools interested in teaching an approved plumbing course outline.
Over the past two years, the TSBPE, acting on the authority granted by the Texas State Legislature, has paved the way for students who successfully complete a high school/trade school program based on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) created, TSBPE-approved curriculum, to immediately test to become licensed Tradesman plumbers. Now, with the financial support of the TWC’s Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) program, the TSBPE has helped address the most prominent hurdle schools face when considering introducing a plumbing program: funding.
Current Master and Journeyman plumbers will soon receive a letter addressed to high school principals and superintendents and signed by TSBPE Chair Frank S. Denton and TWC Chair Bryan Daniel that details this new opportunity. It is both agencies’ hope that current licensees will help distribute the letter to the administrators of their local high schools and trade schools to encourage more young people to consider plumbing as a career. Per a provision in HB 636, the TSBPE may offer CE credit (based on number of hours of instruction provided) to licensed plumbers who participate in the instruction of students in a high school or trade school plumbing program.
The letter signed by TSBPE Chair Frank Denton and TWC Chair Bryan Daniel can be downloaded here.
Now that Computer-Based Testing (CBT) is in full swing, here are answers to the most common questions we’ve received. Note: this post is a living document and will be continually updated as necessary. Newly added or changed sections are designated “UPDATED.”
How do I know that I meet an exam’s requirements before I apply? – DO THIS FIRST
The best way to confirm that you have met all of the requirements for the exam you’re applying for is to check your current license page using the TSBPE’s Public License Search. This page lists everything the TSBPE has on file for the licensee including: fingerprint status, training classes and even hours certified by your employer (if they’re on file). Because the TSBPE does not process or approve incomplete applications, it is very important that you make sure you meet each of the requirements of the exam you’re applying for on this page before submitting your application to the TSBPE.
What is Computer-Based Testing (CBT) and Who is Pearson VUE?
The TSBPE recently began rolling out a convenient and efficient new way to take what was previously referred to as the “written” plumbing license examination. The new exams are administered via computer by our partner, Pearson VUE, a leader in Computer-Based Testing in Texas. Pearson VUE has over 40 locations statewide, including multiple locations in every major metro area.
So no more written exams?
Yes. Computer-Based Tests (CBTs) will eventually replace all written examinations. The practical (hands-on) examinations will continue to be administered at TSBPE locations in Austin and Waco.
How do I apply for an examination now that CBT has been introduced?
The application process has not changed; exam applications can be submitted online via the Online Licensing System or in person through US Mail using a printable form. Please include all required documents as we do not process incomplete applications.
How do I schedule a computer-based examination once I’ve submitted my application to the TSBPE?
Once the TSBPE approves your exam application, Pearson VUE will email everything you’ll need to schedule and complete your CBT. For this reason, it’s crucial that you make sure the email address you’ve submitted to the TSBPE is correct. If you need to change your email address, please go to tsbpe.texas.gov and choose “Update Your Address” in the Contact Us menu.
How much different are the new Computer-Based Tests from the old written exams? Do I have to study for an entirely new test now?
The tests themselves remain the same length and the same format; if you prepped for the TSBPE-administered written exam, you prepped for the CBT.
My application was approved but I have lost the email from Pearson VUE, what do I do now?
1. Search for the words “Authorization to Test” in your inbox, junk/spam, and trash folders to make sure it’s not in your email.
2. Are you positive that your application was complete? Remember, the TSBPE does not process or approve incomplete applications. Please login to your account on the Online Licensing System and look for the application in the Quick Start Menu. If it is listed, then it is still open and requires more information to be approved.
3. If you’re still convinced that your application was approved and that you should have received an email, please call Pearson VUE Customer Service: 888-304-3589. Hours of operation and more information is available on the Pearson VUE website.
Are the new application(s) updated and online now?
Yes, right now the exams that are computer-based are the Tradesman-Limited, Journeyman, Med Gas Piping Installation and Water Supply Protection Specialist (WSPS) exams. These applications have been updated in the Online Licensing System and can be accessed right now. More exam types are coming soon.
What happens once I pass/fail the computer-based exam?
You’ll receive your results immediately upon completion of the Computer-Based Test. Don’t forget to check out with Pearson VUE staff before leaving the testing center. Failure to do so could prevent you from receiving your pass/fail letter. If the exam you applied for includes a practical portion, your practical exam will not be scheduled until you have passed the computer-based portion.
If you passed: Your test results will be posted to your TSBPE online account within 2 business days. If the exam you applied for includes a practical exam (Apprentice to Journeyman, Apprentice to Tradesman and MedGas), allow approximately 30 days to receive your TSBPE email regarding your scheduled practical exam.*
If you passed the Tradesman to Journeyman: a “Journeyman Initial” license application will be opened and added to your TSBPE online account within 2 business days. Simply login to your account and pay the fees associated with the Journeyman Initial license application and your plastic card will be mailed in 7-10 business days.
If you did not pass: You are allowed up to five attempts at passing your Computer-Based Test and you must pass the exam within one year from the initial TSBPE application authorization. Do not reapply for additional authorizations through the TSBPE until you have exhausted all five of these attempts. Study up while waiting the required 30 days from your initial failure, then reschedule with Pearson VUE and try again. After a second failure you’re required to wait 60 days, 90 days after a third attempt and so on. If the exam you applied for includes a practical portion, your practical exam will not be scheduled until you have passed the computer-based portion.
*Please have patience as we are currently transitioning a large amount of existing applicants to this new program.
What can I do to make sure my exam application is approved quickly so that I can reduce my wait time?
Make sure you have prepared all necessary documents (government-issued photo ID, additional forms, etc.) before you submit an application. Submitting an incomplete exam application will significantly delay or even nullify your application.
I submitted an application but I haven’t heard from anyone… should I submit another application?
No. If you’ve submitted an application that you know is complete (see next question and answer), please allow time to process. Submitting a second application will only delay the process more.
How do I know that my application has processed?
If you submitted a complete application but can no longer see the open application in your TSBPE account, then it has processed and you should see an invitation email from Pearson VUE.
Important hint: If you are certain you have submitted all of your documents and met all requirements, search for your license using the TSBPE’s Public License Search. If you see your hours posted in the training section, your application has been processed. The last item to post to complete the process is your verified hours.
Is there a fee associated with Computer-Based Tests?
Yes. The fee for a CBT is $68.50 which is paid directly to Pearson VUE. For those exams that also include a practical or “hands-on” exam (Tradesman-Limited from Apprentice, Journeyman from Apprentice, MedGas), the standard TSBPE examination fee is still applicable in addition to the $68.50 Pearson VUE CBT Fee.
NEW: Are the new Computer-Based Tests available in Spanish?
Not currently. We are working with Pearson VUE to provide CBTs in Spanish but for now they are only available in English. If you would like to take an exam in Spanish, please send an email to email@example.com after submitting your completed application, and you will be scheduled to take the written exam in Austin. Please only email this address if you would like to take a Spanish language written exam.
¿Están disponibles en español las nuevas pruebas basadas en computadora?
No actualmente. Estamos trabajando con Pearson VUE para proporcionar CBT en Espanol, pero por ahora solo están disponibles en inglés. Si desea realizar un examen en español, envíe un correo electrónico a firstname.lastname@example.org después de enviar su solicitud completa y se programará para tomar el examen escrito en Austin. Envíe un correo electrónico a esta dirección solo si desea realizar un examen escrito de español.
TSBPE Signs Reciprocal License Agreement
Louisiana Journeymen with Gasfitter Licensees in Good Standing are Now Eligible to Obtain the Equivalent License in Texas, No Exam Required
Reciprocal licensing, a long-requested licensure option in the plumbing community, has proven difficult for agencies to implement due to state-to-state variations in license requirements. “The plumbing skillset and licensing requirements in Louisiana are substantially equivalent to ours here in Texas.” said TSBPE Board Chair Frank S. Denton, “this agreement makes good sense for both states.”
Extreme weather events like Hurricane Ida and the deep freeze that hit Texas in early 2021 highlight the unique way in which both states will benefit from a streamlined out-of-state license registration and approval process.
This arrangement is as much a message of support to working plumbers as it is a net positive for plumbing companies in either state who will now have more options when hiring a licensed plumber. Ultimately, the consumer stands to benefit most from the landmark deal; both agencies expect it to significantly increase the availability of trained plumbing professionals across the Gulf Coast and beyond.
Louisiana Plumbers Can Complete the Reciprocity Application Online RIGHT NOW. Follow These Instructions and You’lI be Licensed to do Plumbing Work in Texas in No Time!
- Click Here to create a new online account
- Login to your new account using the temporary password that was emailed to you and then choose your own password when prompted.
- In the “Start a New Application” section on the Quick Start Menu, choose “Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners” in the top menu and then
“Reciprocity” from the second menu and then click Select.
- Follow the instructions from there until you’ve made the payment and then you’re done! Your new Texas plumbing license will arrive via US mail within
Pursuant to House Bill 636, all applicants and licensees are now required to submit a copy of their fingerprints so that the TSBPE can conduct a criminal history check. That means all plumbers and plumbing inspectors in the state of Texas, regardless of license type, will be required to have their fingerprints on file with the TSBPE.
Who Does this Affect?
All licensed, or soon-to-be licensed Plumbers and plumbing Inspectors in the State of Texas. The fingerprint requirement applies to all exam applicants as well. If you are planning on applying for an exam in the Fall of 2021 or thereafter, you must follow the instructions listed below in “How Should You Do It?” when submitting your exam application. Otherwise, your application will not be processed.
WHAT ABOUT REINSTATEMENTS?
Reinstate candidates must also submit their fingerprints. Requests for reinstatement of any previously issued license or registration type require the applicant to obtain fingerprints before the application will be processed.
What Should You do?
Get ahead of the curve. The fingerprint requirement will eventually become a deficiency that will prevent you from renewing your license or applying for examinations and endorsements. If you have not had your fingerprints scanned and submitted to the TSBPE, schedule your appointment today.
How Should You do It?
The TSBPE has made a handy-dandy instruction sheet with all the info you need to get this done. Print it out, email it to your fleet; do whatever you need to do to help yourself or the plumbers you work with satisfy this obligation.
But What if You’ve Already Submitted Your Fingerprint Data to Another State Agency?
In order to protect your privacy, state agencies are not allowed to share fingerprint data. The TSBPE does not establish these laws but is compelled to develop procedures and rules to implement them. We appreciate your cooperation as we all work to comply with these legislatively-mandated fingerprinting requirements.
IS THERE AN EASIER WAY TO CHECK YOUR FINGERPRINT STATUS?
Yes! You can check to see whether or not the TSBPE has fingerprints on file for any plumber using Public License Search. Not sure how to use the Public License Search? Check out our How-To Guide here.