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Disaster Recovery Assistance: Hurricane Beryl

Agency Response to Hurricane Beryl

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) understands the challenges posed by Hurricane Beryl. We are in the process of deploying Field Investigators to affected areas to ensure that plumbing services are provided by licensed professionals and to prevent exploitation by unlicensed contractors.

Rebuilding Efforts

TSBPE welcomes licensed Plumbers and Apprentices from other states to assist in the recovery. The TSBPE reciprocates plumbing licenses from both Arkansas and Louisiana as well as a streamlined licensure process for plumbers from other states.
Reciprocal License Verification Request (Louisiana and Arkansas ONLY)
Out-of-State Examination Request

Additional TSBPE Resources

Contact the TSBPE

Please use the following form for expedited assistance with questions related to disaster assistance. You may also call us at 512-936-5200 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. PLEASE ONLY USE THIS CONTACT METHOD FOR DISASTER RECOVERY PURPOSES.

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    Hundreds of plumbers at the TSBPE's San Antonio Townhall.

    San Antonio Meeting Marks Notable Success for TSBPE’s Townhall Initiative

    San Antonio Meeting Marks Notable Success for TSBPE’s Townhall Initiative

    Community Engagement Soars as Over 200 Plumbers and Plumbing Industry Staff Converge at TSBPE’s Latest Townhall Event
    Hundreds of plumbers at the TSBPE's San Antonio Townhall.

    SAN ANTONIO, TX, March 6, 2024 – The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) welcomed a significant turnout at its latest Townhall meeting in San Antonio, with well over 200 industry professionals in attendance. Hosted by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) of San Antonio and the Mechanical & Sheet Metal Contractors Association (MCA-SMACNA) of San Antonio, the event stands as the most attended TSBPE Townhall Meeting thus far.

    Frank S. Denton, Chairman of the TSBPE, shared his thoughts on the meeting’s impact: “We had a great time in San Antonio. The level of engagement and the incredible turnout tells us that our community outreach efforts are headed in the right direction.”

    That “incredible turnout” was noteworthy not just for its size, but also for its role diversity. Apprentices, Responsible Master Plumbers (RMPs), inspectors, continuing education and career high school administrators from all over the greater San Antonio region engaged in dialogues about the plumbing industry’s current policies and future direction. Topics covered included agency statistical information, its evolving examination policies and processes, artificial intelligence and the TSBPE’s new “Ask Kevin” tool, as well as the usual friendly pushback and grievance airing befitting the event’s true Townhall meeting-style setting.

    Heidi Trimble, Executive Director of PHCC San Antonio, commented on the event’s atmosphere, “PHCC was very happy to provide our members and the San Antonio community at large the opportunity for open discussion with their regulatory body. And the turnout exceeded our expectations on every level.”

    Mr. Denton’s introduction of the 2-hour long session was followed by TSBPE Executive Director Lisa Hill’s presentation of practical information related to agency statistics and policies. Ms. Hill’s portion covered everything from the raw numbers of licensees in Texas to the TSBPE’s new self-scheduling option, a feature licensed plumbers and inspectors have been requesting for years. At the conclusion of Ms. Hill’s portion, Mr. Denton joined her for the event’s Q and A section in which attendees were told “no topic is off limits.” The candid discussion that followed emphasized the TSBPE’s dedication to transparency and helped attendees parse through the significant noise and hearsay that inevitably challenges an industry with more than 70k licensees.

    “Our aim for these Townhall meetings is to ensure that we remain approachable and responsive to the industry we serve,” said TSBPE Executive Director Lisa Hill. “We achieved that goal in San Antonio and are looking forward to communicating the same message at future Townhalls.”

    The TSBPE’s Townhall Series has several more cities slated for events in 2024, including upcoming trips to Lubbock, Amarillo and Beaumont, Texas. More information is available on the Townhall Meeting Series page on the TSBPE’s website: tsbpe.texas.gov/townhallmeetings/

    TSBPE Investigator checking IDs on a job site.

    TSBPE Clamps Down on Unlicensed Plumbing

    45% of Disciplinary Actions Targeted the Illegal Practice in Fiscal Year 2023.

    The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) is pleased to announce significant progress in combatting unlicensed and other illegal plumbing activities for Fiscal Year 2023. Demonstrating its steadfast commitment to industry regulations and public safety, the TSBPE’s Enforcement Division conducted a notable total of 646 investigations during Fiscal Year 2023.

    Steve Davis, the TSBPE’s Director of Enforcement, offered a closer look at the year’s Enforcement strategies: “Our team is focusing significant effort on curbing unlicensed plumbing practices throughout Texas. In FY 2023, we executed a total of 292 enforcement actions against unlicensed individuals including 189 agreed orders and 103 cease and desist letters—that’s nearly 50% of our total enforcement activity aimed directly at unlicensed plumbing.”

    Lisa G. Hill, Executive Director of the TSBPE, commented on the year’s achievements: “Our approach this year as it has been every year is about ensuring the health and safety of Texans. The significant number of investigations and our targeted efforts against unlicensed activities highlight our dedication to maintaining high standards in the plumbing industry.”

    Building on the significant achievements in tackling unlicensed activity in 2023, the TSBPE is poised for an even more impactful year ahead. The groundwork laid by this year’s enforcement actions has set the stage for a 2024 agenda with broader initiatives aimed at further suppressing illegal plumbing practices.

    The TSBPE’s Enforcement Division’s performance in fiscal year 2023 serves as assurance to lawmakers and the public at large that the TSBPE remains committed to maintaining a safe and reliable plumbing infrastructure in Texas. The Enforcement team’s success is a testament to that commitment and serves as a compelling reminder of the importance of continued support and investment in the regulation of the plumbing trade in Texas.

    Empty desks in TSBPE Exam Center.

    TSBPE Achieves Over 50% Growth in Plumbing Examinations Conducted from Fiscal Year 2022 to Fiscal Year 2023

    Dramatic Increase in Exam Capacity is a Direct Response to Public Feedback and Legislative Mandate. 

    The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) proudly announces a remarkable achievement in its examination and licensure program for fiscal year 2023. Building on public feedback and directives from the 88th Texas Legislature, the TSBPE has dramatically increased the number of written and practical examinations conducted, alongside an impressive rise in pass rates. 

    In fiscal year 2022, the TSBPE administered 4,963 examinations with a 70% pass rate. In a striking advancement, fiscal year 2023 saw this number soar to 9,616 examinations, accompanied by an enhanced pass rate of 72.3%. This growth is a direct response to the public’s need for more qualified plumbers and the legislative mandate to strengthen the plumbing industry in Texas. 

    TSBPE Board Chair Frank S. Denton reflects on these milestones, saying, “The progress we’ve made this past year is a testament to our commitment to elevating the plumbing profession in Texas. By listening to public feedback and adhering to the legislative mandate, we’ve not only increased our examination capacity but also enhanced the quality of our licensure process. This success signifies our dedication to ensuring the highest standards in plumbing services for the people of Texas.” 

    A significant factor in this achievement is the opening of the TSBPE’s Exam Center in Waco, a venture made possible through a collaborative partnership with Texas State Technical College (TSTC). 

    TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser commends this effort, stating, “Our inter-agency efforts have been a model for how government in Texas can get stuff done by working together. Our common mission of supplying a high-quality workforce made it a possibility, but the TSBPE’s willingness to work together toward tangible results was the secret weapon in achieving a meaningful outcome. We’re making a difference statewide!” 

    Another pivotal development contributing to this success is the implementation of Computer-Based Testing with partner, Pearson VUE. This initiative has expanded the availability of TSBPE examinations to more than 60 testing centers across Texas, significantly increasing accessibility for aspiring plumbers. 

    The TSBPE remains dedicated to its mission of protecting the health and safety of Texans by ensuring the integrity and proficiency of licensed plumbers. These achievements mark a significant stride towards a future where every Texan can trust in the quality and reliability of plumbing services in our great state. 

    Welcome to the new TSBPE website!

    Welcome To The Refreshed Texas State Board Of Plumbing Examiners Website!

    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.

    What’s New:

    • 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.

    Coming Soon:

    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.

    Warm regards,

    The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners Staff

    TSBPE Seal behind the Texas State Capitol Building

    88th Texas Legislature

    The following is a list of TSBPE-related bills being considered by the 88th Session of the Texas Legislature which convenes from January 10, 2023 to May 29, 2023. The bill numbers are linked to the relevant Texas Legislature Online page for each bill where you’ll find the text of the bill as well as a detailed history of all actions taken on the legislation to date. For more information on the legislative process and how a bill becomes a law, visit the Texas Legislature Online.

    Bill NumberAuthorDescription
    SB 2446PaxtonRelating to an exemption from the plumbing licensing law for plumbing work performed on certain private property.
    SB 1659SchwertnerExtends the existence of the agency from 2027 to 2033 subject to review under the Texas Sunset Act.
    SB 939KingRelating to statutes of limitation and repose for certain claims arising out of residential construction.
    SB 734HinojosaRelating to the consequences of a criminal conviction on a person’s eligibility for an occupational license.
    HB 1747LeachRelating to the consequences of a criminal conviction on a person’s eligibility for an occupational license.
    HB 2024LeachRelating to statutes of limitation and repose for certain claims arising out of residential construction.
    HB 2334BurnsRelating to an exemption from the plumbing licensing law for plumbing work performed on certain private property.
    HB 2408ReynoldsRelating to building codes applicable in the unincorporated areas of a county; authorizing a fee.
    HB 2422LozanoRelating to an exemption from sales and use taxes for tools and equipment of skilled trade workers for a limited period.
    HB 2424
    Romero, Jr.
    Relating to training and certification requirements for public swimming pool and spa inspectors.
    HB 2689
    Bell, Cecil
    Relating to the adoption of a certain plumbing code by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.
    HB 3407SpillerRelating to requiring commercial automobile insurance for Responsible Master Plumbers (RMP).
    TSBPE in partnership with the TWC

    TSBPE Partners with the TWC to Get High School Initiative off the Ground

    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.

    Computer-Based Testing – Frequently Asked Questions

    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-LimitedJourneyman, 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 exam.scheduler@tsbpe.texas.gov 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 exam.scheduler@tsbpe.texas.gov 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.

    The TSBPE Seal and the State of Louisiana

    TSBPE Signs Reciprocal License Agreement with Louisiana

    The TSBPE Seal and the State of Louisiana

    TSBPE Signs Reciprocal License Agreement

    with Louisiana

    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.

    Click here to download the official press release.

    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!

    1. Click Here to create a new online account
    2. Login to your new account using the temporary password that was emailed to you and then choose your own password when prompted.
    3. 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.
    4. 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
      30 days.