In Oregon state, the license for journeyman plumbers expires every 3 years. A journeyman plumber is usually trained under a master plumber and can perform all plumbing activities like installations, repairs, and remodeling in both commercial and residential projects.
Before renewal of the license, they have to complete a 24-hour continuous education (CE) course on plumbing. This is a state requirement. If the licenses are not renewed within the deadline, the licenses will come under the bucket of expired-renewable, and eligibility to work would be on hold. The licenses which were due for renewal by 1st December 2020, would get an extended deadline of January 2021.
The State Plumbing Board supervises the licensing process and also the plumbing program in the state of Oregon. Any change in the plumbing course for CE or credit requirement for renewal of plumbing license is forwarded to the board for their approval by the Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD). Once, the board recommends or confirms the criteria, the information related to CE is published by the BCD on their website.
As per the safety measures to be followed for COVID-19, currently, you can visit the BCD offices only on a prior appointment basis, but you can also contact them through phone or email.
You can complete your Oregon plumbing license continuing education course online, keeping in mind the pandemic situation. You have to register online, pay the fees for the course, and complete it. There would be online quizzes at the end of each section and your answers may be spot-checked. At the end of the course, it is compulsory to answer a questionnaire. If you are successful, a certificate validating the same would be issued.
You can also opt for home-study after you have purchased a course package. The answer sheets have to be scanned and mailed or faxed.
Under normal conditions, approved instructors or providers are assigned for in-person classes for CE. However, social distancing norms make it difficult to conduct in-person classes. So, the BCD has recommended online classes by approved instructors through video – conferencing or any other online teaching platform. The course content and timeline would remain the same.
For the benefit of course providers, there is a circular issued by BCD, relating to the course content and time allotment for each subject along with break time between the lessons. The providers can design their course materials based on specific guidelines. It is available on the BCD website.
For the Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, it is compulsory to go for in-person classes as it cannot be conducted online.
There is a list of approved instructors or course providers on the BCD website. The corresponding addresses and course details are also provided. Depending on your location, and course preference, you can choose to contact a specific provider.
Types of courses
You can go for the type of course of your choice at your convenience. The courses are approved by the BCD and can be completed anytime during the renewal cycle:
- Courses of 4 hours duration for each subject to be completed individually
- 24 hours Oregon plumbing license continuing education package course
The courses include the following subjects:
- Lessons on Oregon Rule and Law for plumbers
- Oregon plumbing specialty codes
- Updates introduced in the OPSC and UPC changes.
- Rainwater harvesting for Oregon plumbers
It would give an idea about the process, setup, and equipment required for rainwater harvesting.
- Safety issues for Oregon plumbers
You have to perform a self-check of your license record to understand the required amounts of credits that you have to qualify for. There are specific credit criteria for different sections. For license renewal, a certain amount of credit is compulsory in code change CE.
Renewal for the following plumbing licenses is exempt from CE:
- Water treatment installer (WTI)
- Water heater installer (WHI)
Post completion of the classes, you would receive an official certificate stating that you have successfully completed the course. This can be kept for your records, while the course conducting institution would inform the state from their end about your course completion.
BCD may go for some changes in the Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code (OPSC) and Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) in the month of April 2021. A committee is already in place for this purpose. Based on this, providers would also have to redesign their course materials through any one of the below ways:
- Submit applications for change in the course structure after the changes are officially announced
- Request for approval directly from the concerned board for redesigning the course
CE course providers and applicants for licenses would have to ensure that they are updated about the newly approved courses. Providers should take care that their courses have the necessary approval from the board before training the applicants as credits from unapproved courses would not be considered and it would be a loss of time and money on part of the applicant.