How to Become a Plumber in Utah
As a career choice, plumbing allows for many varied opportunities and has great potential for longevity. If you are good with your hands, have a high degree of physical stamina and don’t mind working in small spaces, this career might have precisely what you’ve been wanting. Are you interested in learning more about becoming a plumber in Utah? This article has the information you need to get started.
The work plumbers do is essential to the ongoing functioning of society. If that sounds like an overstatement, consider the systems that plumbers design, install, maintain and repair. They are in just about every structure in which humans live and work. Piping systems bring water, remove wastes, provide heat and air conditioning and are used in gas systems for industrial and medical facilities.
With such varied uses for plumbing, plumbers need to have a vast amount of knowledge and expertise. It’s essential to know what types of materials can be safely used in a given repair, and what building codes govern the work. Plumbers need to have the ability to quickly find and fix a problem and know how to use a wide variety of tools. Excellent communication skills are a must, as plumbers will often need to speak with clients and other contractors to keep a job running smoothly.
Licenses for Plumbers in Utah
Plumbers in Utah will need to obtain a license from the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. There are four classifications for Utah plumbers: Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber, Residential Journeyman Plumber and Residential Master Plumber. All licenses will involve taking both a written and practical examination. However, the practical exam can be waived for Master Plumbers who have already passed the exam as Journeyman Plumbers.
Utah Training Programs
In Utah, plumbers can seek training through one of several programs; however, a high school diploma or equivalent will need to be acquired prior to applying. It is also possible to search for an apprenticeship here. A few of the available programs in the state are listed here:
- Mountainland Technical College offers a Plumbing Apprenticeship. Apprentices work in both residential and commercial buildings gaining the skills and experience to work in the field. Graduates will be eligible to take the Journeyman’s licensing exam.
- Davis Technical College offers a Plumbing Apprentice Program as part of their School of Construction. Students will learn to design, install, maintain and repair piping while meeting safety requirements.
- Ogden-Weber Technical College offers a Plumber Apprentice Related Instruction, which awards an Associate in Applied Science degree.
Plumbing Apprenticeships in Utah
As in other skilled trades, apprenticeship is typically the first rung on the professional ladder for plumbers. Apprentices actively learn while following the guidance of their more advanced counterparts. In states like Utah, not just anyone can declare themselves to be a beginning plumber. Instead, you must go through a formal, regulated process.
The specific Utah body governing entry intothe plumbing industry is the Department of Commerce’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Current rules require you to seek an apprentice’s license from this agency. After serving as an apprentice, you can seek work as a journeyman or residential journeyman plumber.
If you’re looking for a Utah plumbing apprenticeship, you might want to consider a union-sponsored program. One such program is offered by Plumbers, Pipefitters HVAC&R Local 140 in Salt Lake City. Apprentices receive pay while building up their skills over the course of five years. Once you complete the program, you can work as a licensed journeyman plumber.
Mountainland Technical College is another potential source for a Utah plumbing apprenticeship. The school’s program is available in Orem, Lehi and Spanish Fork. It provides you with a total of 720 hours of jobsite and classroom training. While enrolled, you’ll be exposed to a variety of work environments and tasks. Davis Technical College in Kaysville also offers a similar, 720-hour plumbing apprenticeship. Fully 99 percent of program graduates find employment after completing their training.
Career and Salary Expectations
According to Projections Central, plumbers can expect a whopping 33.3 percent job growth over the next ten years. If you’re wondering what that means for employment potential, it translates to an estimated 910 job openings annually within the state. However, salaries in Utah are somewhat below the national average for the field, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reporting an average annual wage of $51,790 for plumbers in 2019. For comparison, the average nationally was $59,800.
Utah Plumbing Opportunities
In Utah, organizations that recruit for plumbers include Weber County, Utah Engineering, the City of Ogden, Salt Lake Community College and Lowe’s Companies, Inc. In general, plumbers can choose the career direction they wish to take. Whether you prefer a position in the public sector, with benefits and retirement, or the option to self-employ, this career is adaptable to meet your needs. Whatever you choose, a career as a plumber has the potential to help you navigate your future on your own terms.