Becoming a Plumber in Oklahoma

Plumbing is one of America’s oldest and most respected professional trades. That’s true because, in one way or another, people from all walks of life rely on the skills of plumbers. Such skills include installation of both commercial- and residential-grade water, gas and sewer pipes. They also include commercial- and residential-grade maintenance and repair for existing pipes.

Oklahoma is just as reliant on plumbing services as any other state in the nation. For this reason, many people in the state consider working as plumbers. If you’re one of those people, you’ll need to know how plumbers receive training and licensing in Oklahoma. For a solid overview of the state’s plumbing industry, just take a few minutes to read through this introductory guide.

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What Are the Plumber Training and Licensing Requirements in Oklahoma?

The Oklahoma Construction Industries Board (CIB) is responsible for setting the state’s standards for working plumbers. The CIB provides all licensing for apprentice plumbers. It also provides two types of licenses for experienced plumbers:

  • Plumbing journeyman
  • Plumbing contractor

To work as an apprentice or plumbing helper in Oklahoma, you must register with the CIB. In addition, you must be supervised by a licensed journeyman or contractor. Every hour you work at this level will help you meet the requirements for working as a plumbing journeyman.

Journeymen can work as supervisors on plumbing jobs, but they can’t own their own businesses. There are several ways to fulfill the main requirements for a journeyman’s license. Your options include:

  • Working as a registered apprentice for at least three years
  • Gaining an equivalent amount of experience while enrolled in the military
  • Holding a current out-of-state license that meets Oklahoma’s standards

You can also replace part of your practical experience requirement with a diploma from a CIB-approved plumber training program. With your qualifications in order, you can sit for your plumbing journeyman’s exam.

Oklahoma plumbing contractors can own their own businesses and hire other plumbers. To work as a contractor, you must hold a journeyman’s license. You must also work at the journeyman level for a minimum of one year.

Plumbing programs may cover some of the following topics:

  • Plumbing systems
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing mathematics
  • Water supply systems
  • Sewage pumps

Plumbing Schools in Oklahoma

Instead of apprenticing directly with an Oklahoma plumbing contractor, you can enroll in one of the state’s apprenticeship programs. Providers of these programs include:

  • Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 344 Training Center – Local 344 offers paid apprentice training in Oklahoma City. The training program takes five years to complete and provides you with the background required to work as a journeyman. Your salary increases every year of the program.
  • Mid-Del Technology Center – Mid-Del is based in Midwest City. While enrolled in this organization’s program, you’ll receive 900 hours of apprentice-level training. The CIB will count this time toward your journeyman qualifications. Mid-Del offers both daytime and evening classes.
  • Wes Watkins Technology Center – This organization is based in Wetumka. Its plumbing program provides a total of more than 1,000 hours of instruction. In addition to plumbing-related topics, the program includes introductory modules on carpentry and electrical work.

Plumbing Apprenticeships in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is one of the many U.S. states that require plumbers to serve some sort of apprenticeship. Apprenticeships serve two important purposes. First, they help ensure that you start your career by practicing essential skills crucial to all plumbers. In addition, apprenticeships help make sure that the general public enjoys access to well-trained plumbing professionals.

In Oklahoma, all working plumbers must follow guidelines established by the state’s Construction Industries Board. This board licenses apprentices as well as journeyman plumbers and plumbing contractors. Contractors are experienced journeymen who work independently and have the right to employ other plumbers.

There are two options for apprenticing as a plumber in Oklahoma. First, you can go to work for a licensed plumbing contractor. You can also spend part of your time in a formal apprenticeship program.

Apprentices who work for three years can obtain their journeyman status. However, you can skip apprenticeship altogether if you served in the military and gained equivalent plumbing experience. Out-of-state journeyman status is also transferrable to Oklahoma.

If you choose a formal apprenticeship program, your options include a range of in-state providers. One such provider is Midwest City’s Mid-Del Technology Center. This organization offers apprentices a full 900 hours of practical training and supporting knowledge. You may also choose Oklahoma City’s Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 344 Training Center. Like many union apprenticeships, this program is five years long and includes wages. To offset your time commitment, you can expect increasing pay as you gain experience.

Potential Income for Plumbers in Oklahoma

The data from O*NET Online shows that Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters in Oklahoma earn an average annual wage of $48,880, which is below the national average of $60,090. The lowest 10% of earners in Oklahoma make $31,590 or less, while the highest 10% can earn up to $77,440.

National vs. Oklahoma Salary Comparison

Location Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
United States $37,250 $60,090 $101,190
Oklahoma $31,590 $48,880 $77,440

Salaries by Regions in Oklahoma

Region Annual Low (10%) Annual Median (50%) Annual High (90%)
Oklahoma City, OK $31,770 $46,580 $77,440
Tulsa, OK $32,190 $51,540 $77,250
Lawton, OK $29,140 $48,880 $69,810

Plumbing Trends in Oklahoma

The employment trends for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters in Oklahoma indicate a positive growth trajectory. In 2020, Oklahoma employed approximately 6,400 workers in these professions. By 2030, this number is projected to increase to 7,080, marking an 11% growth rate. Each year from 2020 to 2030, Oklahoma is expected to have about 750 job openings due to growth and replacements.

This growth rate is substantially higher than the national average, which is projected at only 2% from 2022 to 2032, with the number of employees increasing from 482,700 to 493,600, and an average of 42,600 projected annual job openings.


Region Employment (Start Year) Projected Employment (End Year) Projected Growth (%) Annual Job Openings
Oklahoma 6,400 (2020) 7,080 (2030) 11% 750
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.

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