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author RocketCert Staff
date 02.14.2020

What license do I need?

In the state of Tennessee, you need to have a contractor’s license if you wish to work on plumbing projects that require $25,000 worth of supplies and labor. The official title of this contracting license is “CMC-A Mechanical Plumbing Contractor.” If you wish to become a plumbing contractor, you must first get pre-approved to take the Tennessee Plumbing Exam. You must complete a pre-approval request form, provide proof of at least 3 years of certified and verified plumbing work experience, sign the form, and have the form notarized. Once all of these steps have been taken, submit the document to the Board for Licensing Contractors and the Department of Commerce and Insurance. 

Once you have been approved by the Board for Licensing Contractors, you will set up your exam time and date by calling 1-800-733-9267. Then, contact CPA/PA to prepare financial statements, provide a letter of reference to prove and back up your previous work experience, and provide proof of insurance. See our Tennessee Plumbing Contractor License webpage for more details on the insurance requirements. 

This exam is 110 questions and you have nearly 5 hours to take it (295 minutes). If you score at least a 73%, you have passed. Anything below a score of 73% is considered failing. You should be prepared to answer questions on the topics of backflow, storm drains, water supply and distribution, OSHA safety regulations, isometric analysis, and more. This exam is considered to be “open book” as you can bring certain references to the testing center. A few of the references you may bring are the International Plumbing Code and Fuel Gas Code of 2012, Mathematics for Plumbers and Pipefitters 8th edition, and the Code of Federal Regulations - 29 CFR Part 1923 (OSHA) with the latest amendments. 

In addition to the Tennessee Mechanical Plumbing Exam, you must complete and pass the Business and Law Management Exam. This is to educate future contractors on taxes, business, law, regulations, government, etc. 

Once you have completed and passed both exams, you can apply for your plumbing contractor’s license. You will submit this application package through the same board you request approval to take the plumbing exam, the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors. Ensure your application is completed, signed, and notarized. You also must include the application of $250. No continuing education is required for plumbing contractors in the state of Tennessee.