How to Become a Plumber in Alaska
Plumbers work with piping and fixtures for water, gas and other systems. This professional can work in people’s homes but also on construction sites, in public spaces, in commercial areas and more. Their job entails many duties, including installing, inspecting, maintaining and repairing pipes and systems. They follow safety guidelines and building codes, use a variety of tools and work with clients. There are many plumbing jobs available both in Alaska and across the country, and the field is growing.
Requirements for Becoming a Plumber in Alaska
You wouldn’t need to complete a college degree or an educational program to become a plumber in Alaska. In most cases, plumbers go straight to on-the-job training provided they have a high school diploma or equivalent. You would start as a paid apprentice and work in that role for four to five years, which includes a combination of hands-on experience under a professional and educational training in plumbing concepts. Nonetheless, you have the option to take a training program in a vocational or technical school before beginning to work as a plumber, but keep in mind that an apprenticeship program may include this information.
Plumbing training programs may cover some of the following topics:
- Basic Mathematics
- Plumbing Tools and Equipment
- Construction Safety and Regulations
- Water Supply Systems
- Drain, Waste, and Vent Systems
- Gas Fitting Theory and Practice
- Facility Maintenance
Educational Programs in Alaska
These are some of the apprenticeship or training programs you could complete to become a plumber in Alaska:
- Anchorage Area Plumbers & Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee: This is an apprenticeship program through the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 367. The apprenticeship takes place for 10,000 hours over five years in Anchorage.
- ABC of Alaska Apprenticeship & Craft Training Program: Apprenticeship programs available include pipe-fitting and plumbing. The program provides hands-on training for four years in Anchorage.
- American Plumbing Institute: This school provides Alaska plumbing continuing education. It offers online courses that satisfy continuing education requirements of journeyman plumbers.
Before choosing an apprenticeship, check on potential prerequisites such as completing a welding course.
Working as an Apprentice Plumber in Alaska
Are you interested in becoming a plumber? In Alaska and other states, you can start working in this profession right away through an apprenticeship program. These programs offer paid, on-the-job training, so you’re able to devote yourself to your plumbing education while earning an income. Plumbing apprenticeships in the state include up to 10,000 hours of paid on-the-job training in addition to hours of classroom training.
Your apprenticeship would be supervised by a more advanced plumber, which could be a journeyman or master plumber. Then, after you gain experience as a paid apprentice and follow other state guidelines, you could move through the ranks to become a journeyman plumber and then a master plumber yourself.
Apprenticeships may be offered by a union or through a career school or company. You can find Alaska plumbing apprenticeship opportunities through searches on career sites like ZipRecruiter or by performing a Google search for one in or near your area.
While this list is not definitive, some programs in the state include the apprenticeship and craft training program through Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Alaska, the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 367 apprenticeship program in Anchorage or the Local 375 Plumber & Pipefitters Apprenticeship Program in Fairbanks.
Certification and Licensing for Becoming a Plumber in Alaska
To work as a plumber in Alaska, you need a state license from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which requires taking an exam. After completing 8,000 hours of experience as an apprentice or a combination of education and experience, you can get to the higher level of being a journeyman plumber. Optionally, you can seek out a plumber gas license, which is related to fuel gas piping, or a plumber utility license, which involves water, storm and sewer lines.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
You could expect to make an average of $37.88 per hour or $79,000 per year as a plumber salary in Alaska, with overtime pay in addition to that, according to Indeed. This salary is significantly higher than the national average for the field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a positive growth rate for plumbers in the decade from 2020 to 2030. During this time, the job outlook is expected to grow by 11 percent, which is much higher than the average across all occupations.
Working as a Plumber in Alaska
According to the BLS, most plumbers work for plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors. A small portion work for themselves or in construction, manufacturing or government capacities.
Plumbers are needed professionals who provide an important service to society. This knowledge could help you feel like you are working in a rewarding profession that helps society function. There are many opportunities in this growing field in Alaska and nationwide, and a perk of this profession is that you can start right away while earning money as you learn on the job.