On August 11, ABC hosted an informational webinar with officials from the Division of Occupational Licensure and the Division of Apprentice Standards to review licensing and apprentice requirements for pipefitters and refrigeration technicians. 


The two agencies recently issued new guidelines on the process for licensing.  The path to obtaining a journeyperson’s license for pipefitters and refrigeration technicians is more complicated than for other licensed trades in Massachusetts.  Apprentices must both be registered with the Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS) and licensed with the Division of Occupational Licensure (DOL)…meaning they must have two state cards from the two different agencies. 


There has been confusion and misunderstanding over this two-tiered process. In some cases, apprentices and contractors did not realize they were not in compliance with requirements of both state agencies until they went to apply to exam. 


To help address this, earlier this year the Bureau of Pipefitters, Sprinklerfitters and Refrigeration Technicians adopted a grace period running through next June to assist apprentices seeking take their license exam who did not hold both state cards throughout their apprenticeship.  DAS and DOL have also collaborated on new document providing guidelines on the process. 


The webinar reviewed the licensing process and requirements of both agencies, as well as the grace period and how it works, and addressed member questions. 


Participants were Kara O’Brien, the Executive Director for Licensing and Regulated Activities at the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Licensure.  She also serves as chair of the Bureau of Pipefitters, Sprinklerfitters and Refrigeration Technicians.  Joining Kara was Patrick Mitchell,  the state’s Director of Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning, and he oversees the Division of Apprentice Standards. 


Also assisting with questions were, from Division of Occupational Licensure, Cesar Lastra,  and from the Division of Apprentice Standards, Margie Gilligan and Debbie Cassano.  We thank them all for participating.

A recording of the webinar can be found here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/8794004375133283847

The PowerPoint the state used in the webinar will be published on the DAS and DOL websites shortly and we will also make it available to members. 


The state officials said questions on the status of applications to exam for pipefitter and refrigeration tech licensing, and related licensing application questions,  should be sent to [email protected].


Additionally, members can contact ABC and GCI for information as well.