How to Become a Plumber in Idaho

The person who fixes a blocked or leaky toilet is a plumber. So is the person who designs the network of pipes that bring water to a modern office building, and the person who brings medical gas pipes to the operating room of a hospital. It’s a skilled profession that requires fortitude, understanding of math and physics and a rigorous understanding of exacting safety regulations. Plumbing takes many years to learn but is a rewarding and valuable lifelong profession.

Requirements for Becoming a Plumber in Idaho

Idaho’s Division of Building Safety registers apprentice plumbers and licenses journeymen and plumbing contractors.

Apprentices must be at least 16 years of age, pay a $50 fee and submit a notarized form.

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To qualify as a journeyman, apprentices must have completed four years in a registered program including on-the-job training and at least 144 hours of approved classroom education per year, plus 8,000 hours of on-the-job training supervised by a journeyman or plumbing contractor over the four-year training period. They must also pass a written exam.

To qualify as a plumbing contractor, also known as a master plumber, journeymen must prove two and a half years of plumbing work in Idaho and pass an examination. They must also submit a $2000 surety bond. Plumbing contractors can bid on jobs and design as well as build new plumbing systems.

Plumbing Schools in Idaho

The apprenticeship application form linked above helpfully lists the training programs Idaho will accept for completion of apprenticeships. Here are a few examples:

  • College of Southern Idaho‘s four-year program involves paid on-the-job training and classroom education, and will complete your full apprenticeship training requirements. Scholarships are available for the classroom training.
  • Idaho State University‘s plumbing program also takes four years and involves a paid apprenticeship, with salary increasing yearly as you learn to perform more complex tasks. The classroom portion will familiarize you with the various types of plumbing as well as the physics and math required for the job.
  • The Plumbers and Pipefitters Union in Pocatello, Idaho, administers a joint plumbing apprenticeship program as well as a training program with area employers. Applications can be made online, and the union will directly connect successful applicants with apprenticeships and classroom instruction.

Plumbing Apprenticeships in Idaho

If you’re considering a career as a plumber in Idaho, you must start with a plumbing apprenticeship. This is a good thing, as you are paid a competitive salary while you gain on-the-job training with a licensed plumber. You will complete your apprenticeship with no educational debt and with the experience and knowledge required to take the next step of becoming a licensed journeyman plumber. If you choose to do so, you can then work your way up to the master plumber level.

To become an apprentice, you would register through the Idaho Division of Building Safety. You need to follow certain requirements, including being 16 years of age or older, submitting a notarized form and paying the $50 fee. Your apprenticeship program will provide at least four years of hands-on training supervised by a journeyman or master plumber, as well as 144 hours of classroom training in plumbing subjects.

You have various apprenticeship programs available to you in Idaho. You can pick between union or non-union programs if you have a preference. Non-union ones may be offered through career schools, colleges, companies or other sources. To find local Idaho plumbing apprenticeships, search your area through Google or a job site like Indeed. These are a few of the many available apprenticeships in Idaho:

Certification and Licensing for Idaho Plumbers

All apprentices must register at the Idaho Division of Building Safety website, and journeymen and plumber contractors must be licensed. Registration and licensing require meeting the requirements, filling out a notarized form and paying a small registration fee. The examinations for journeymen and plumber contractors also require a fee. Contractors must renew licenses every three years and must complete 16 hours of continuing education every three years.

Job Outlook and Salary Expectations

In Idaho, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters earn an average annual salary of $60,950, which is slightly above the national average of $60,090. The lowest 10% of earners in Idaho make $36,450, which is marginally lower than the national lowest 10% at $37,250. At the higher end, the top 10% of earners in Idaho can make up to $92,370, which is lower than the national highest earners who reach up to $101,190.

National vs. Idaho Salary Comparison

Location 10% Low 25% Low Median 75% High 90% High
United States $37,250 $46,630 $60,090 $78,960 $101,190
Idaho $36,450 $43,700 $60,950 $72,350 $92,370

Salaries by Regions in Idaho

Region 10% Low 25% Low Median 75% High 90% High
Boise City, ID $37,040 $44,500 $63,400 $72,350 $86,190
Coeur d’Alene, ID $37,180 $42,180 $56,690 $77,450 $95,810
Lewiston, ID-WA $36,960 $45,050 $62,180 $81,250 $97,500

Plumbing Trends in Idaho

The employment outlook for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters in Idaho is experiencing robust growth. From 2020 to 2030, the sector is expected to grow from 2,070 employees to 2,700, marking a significant increase of 30%. This growth rate is notably higher than the national average growth rate of 2% projected from 2022 to 2032.

Idaho anticipates approximately 290 job openings annually over this decade, which includes positions due to new job creation and replacements for vacated roles. This robust job market reflects the expanding needs for skilled labor in the state’s growing construction and maintenance sectors.


Location Employment (Start of Period) Projected Employment (End of Period) Projected Growth Projected Annual Job Openings
Idaho 2,070 (2020) 2,700 (2030) 30% 290
United States 482,700 (2022) 493,600 (2032) 2% 42,600

Sources of data:

  1. State Data: The projections for this State from 2020 to 2030 are provided by Projections Central, which offers long-term projections for occupational employment.
  2. United States Data: The nationwide employment projections from 2022 to 2032 are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which regularly publishes detailed employment projections for a wide range of occupations across the United States.

Working as a Plumber in Idaho

After your four-year apprenticeship, as a journeyman plumber you will be qualified to work for a plumbing contractor of your choice or to go into business for yourself. If you become a plumber contractor, you’ll be able to bid for larger projects and to design plumbing systems.

Plumbers are always in demand, meaning job security and flexibility are available to the right candidate. You can find work via plumbers’ associations, on state and federal job websites or on websites like ZipRecruiter, Monster and Indeed.

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