The cold weather and freezing temperatures in Alaska can cause a host of plumbing problems. With an Alaska plumbing license, you can tackle jobs that range from repairing broken pipes to installing new toilets. In this guide, learn how to get that license and possibly start your own plumbing business.
You cannot do any plumbing work in Alaska unless you have a state license.
Alaska offers three types of licenses: plumber utility, plumber gas, and journeyman. A plumber utility license allows you to do work with sewer and water lines, while a plumber gas license allows you to install and set up gas lines. Once you have a journeyman license, you can do plumbing work on both commercial and residential properties. Plumbers working in this state earn an average salary of $32.07 per hour.
Alaska is one of the few states that gives you the option of getting a plumbing license based on your experience or education. You can get a plumbing utility license when you complete 125 hours of schooling or 1,000 hours of fieldwork. To get a plumber gas license, you either need to complete 500 hours of schoolwork or 4,000 hours of fieldwork.
The state also offers a journeyman license that allows you to supervise other plumbers. This license is only available to those who have 8,000 hours of plumbing experience or 1,000 hours of schooling. You will need to submit proof of your education or experience and take a test to get a plumbing license. There is a $50 application fee and a $200 licensing fee.
Alaska Technical Center, Alaska Vocational Technical Center, and Ilisagvik College are the top three schools that can help you get an Alaska plumbing license. You will need to submit an application to the school along with a high school or GED transcript and do one full year in the program. All three schools offer both practical and classroom training. Financial aid options vary by school. If you need additional experience, you can do an apprenticeship through an Alaskan union.
Union 367 and Union 637 in Anchorage are open to both plumbers and steamfitters. It offers opportunities for students to do apprenticeships with leading plumbing companies and find jobs after getting their licenses. You also can join Union 375 in Fairbanks. All of these unions can help and support your plumbing career.
The Alaska Department of Labor requires plumbers to have insurance. Most insurance plans offer between $200,000 and $500,000 of coverage each year.
Alaska refers to apprenticeships as training programs and offers these programs through several unions. You can choose a program in Juneau, Fairbanks or Anchorage, though you may find programs available in other cities, too.
Each union offers programs that run for 5 years. The first year serves as your orientation, while each remaining year focuses on an aspect of plumbing. You can use an apprenticeship to meet the minimum number of hours required to get your license.
Apprentice programs accept new students each year who are committed to becoming licensed plumbers. To get a spot in one of these programs, you will need to apply and then meet with representatives from the union. They have the final say over who can enroll and base their decisions on applicants’ resumes and admission questions.
The Alaska plumbing license will only be applicable within the state.
The Alaska Mechanical Contractors Association hosts a conference each year in Fairbanks to help plumbers learn about updates and changes in the field. You can also stay up to date with Alaskan plumbing codes by joining a union and attending regular meetings. The Alaska Legal Resource Center also offers free access to plumbing codes in the state.
If you have any questions about making address or name changes to your license, you should contact the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. It does not cost extra to update your address. However, a small fee is required when you request a replacement license.
Alaska plumbing licenses are valid for two years after the issue date. The fee ranges from $200 to $250.
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