In Virginia, plumbers have it pretty good. While some other types of tradesmen have to renew their licenses every two years, you get a full three years between renewals, per the state’s Administrative Code. And you don’t have to do a ton for your renewal, although you do need a little bit of continuing education.
And that can be a pain if you don’t know how to get the CE hours you need — or even how many hours you need in the first place. Fortunately, you can use this guide. Here’s everything Virginia plumbers need to know about their continuing education requirement for license renewal.
Don’t panic. You’re not going to need to take time off work to get the continuing education hours you need to renew your plumbing license with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR). That’s because they only require three hours per renewal cycle.
That doesn’t mean you can just sit in on any old class for a few hours and call it good. To make sure your continuing education actually keeps you up to date on the things you should know as a professional plumber — like the most current statewide plumbing code — the DPOR requires you to take your three continuing education hours with a provider that they’ve approved.
Take a minute to double-check that any education provider you’re considering has the DPOR’s stamp of approval. To see what their approval letters look like, you can scroll down to the bottom of our tradesman CE page. We’ve posted their approval letters to us there.
As long as you take your CE from a DPOR-approved provider and the course focuses on plumbing, you don’t need to worry about what the content covers. Plumbing education providers are required to meet the DPOR’s specifications for the topics they cover in their courses. In other words, it’s on them to make sure certain areas are addressed, not on you.
To make it easier for you to get the CE you need, the DPOR has approved some education providers to offer 3-hour plumbing continuing education courses online. With this option, you can knock out your hours whenever you find time so you don’t have to take any days off work.
The one thing you should know is that you can’t wait until the last minute to complete your CE. The state gives education providers seven days to report your course completion to the DPOR, and it usually takes the Department at least a few days to update their own records. To ensure your CE completion is on your record by the time you need to submit your renewal, it’s probably smart to aim to finish your three hours at least a few weeks before your renewal is due.
The good news is that you don’t need to do any paperwork on your end to show the DPOR you’ve taken the required hours. Your education provider is legally required to send your course completion data to the DPOR on your behalf.
Take three hours of continuing education during each renewal cycle, and do it with some wiggle room before your renewal is due. By doing those two things, you should make it easy for yourself to renew your Virginia plumbing license.