How to Become a Plumber in Alaska

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Becoming a plumbing contractor requires both skills and qualifications which result in getting a license in Alaska.

This is an ideal career in Alaska being that it is the highest paying state for construction and extraction occupations, including plumbing.

As a plumber, you can get a higher wage to compensate for the weather and the increased cost of living.

In Alaska, you will start as an apprentice, meaning that you will be learning under the tutelage of a mentor.

Furthermore, you can become journeymen, meaning that you will be competent in your craft, but so as to become a master plumber you will need more years of experience.

This career track takes a lot of dedication, as Alaska requires plumber contractors to be licensed.

Alaska Plumbing License Reciprocity

If you do not know what license reciprocity is, we are here to explain to you.

In case you possess a license in one state, it is a question of whether you can practice plumbing out of that state.

Unfortunately, Alaska does not have any reciprocity agreements with any other states for journeyman plumbers.

Alaska Plumbing License Requirements

It is worth noting that experienced plumbers can choose from three additional certifications that they will need to acquire.

Two of them concern a Certificate of Fitness.

If you pass this exam, you will get a certification that is given to many professionals in different tiers.

You should not worry as this is the same exam with the same associated costs, but you can be certified at a different level when you pass.

Accepted payments include:

  • Money Order;
  • Check (made out to the State of Alaska);
  • Visa or Mastercard;
  • Cash (do not mail!)

Payments can be sent to the following address:

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

1251 Muldoon Road, Suite 113

Anchorage, AK 99504

Certificates are the following:

  • Plumber Gas Certificate of Fitness – Upon getting this certification, you will be allowed to work on commercial fuel gas piping and the only way of getting the certificate is by obtaining 4,000 hours of experience; 2,000 must be completed installing fuel gas piping, at least a 70 percent on the Certificate of Fitness exam, $50 for initial testing, and $200 for licensure upon passing.
  • Plumber Utility Certificate of Fitness – People having this certification are allowed to install water piping, sewage piping, and storm drains and so as to get it, they will need 1000 hours of experience installing water piping, sewage piping, or storm drains, at least a 70 percent on the Certificate of Fitness PU exam, $50 for initial testing and $ 200 for licensure upon passing.
  • Plumbing Contractor License – If your desire is to work on your own and have your company, you will need your own contractor certification and for plumbing, you will need a Mechanical Contractor License. So as to get it, you will need to provide a completed application, $10,000 surety bond, issued by either a surety company or your insurer, a certificate of insurance covering at least $20,000 for property damages, $50,000 for injury or death of one person, and $100,000 for the injury or deaths of multiple people, workers’ compensations provided by a private insurance company licensed in Alaska, unless your business does not have any employees, $100 application fee and $250 licensure fee. The application and fees should be mailed to Construction Contractors, State Office Building, 333 W. Willoughby, Juneau, AK 99801-1770. Your contractor license expires on December 31st on odd-numbered years and has to be renewed.

Alaska Plumbing Journeyman License Requirements

If you want to get only a journeyman license, you will need to have enough relevant experience to be considered competent in Alaska.

To be a plumbing journeyman, it is required that you possess:

  • 8,000 hours of experience;
  • Documented proof of that experience, notarized by either your employer, the Alaskan Department of Labor, or an Alaska-based union;
  • A completed application for a Certificate of Fitness;
  • At least 70 percent on each section of the Plumbing Journeyman Exam.

Plumbing Journeyman Exam

We would like to add that the plumbing journeyman exam is not at all complicated that it consists of questions from the Uniform Plumbing Code.

There are five sections and you will have four hours to complete:

  • General Plumbing;
  • Gas Piping and Appliance Vent;
  • Gas Piping Drawing;
  • Waste/Vent Drawing;
  • Water Piping Drawing;

All applicants are required to bring a government-issued picture ID on the day of the exam and pay $50.

If you successfully pass the exam, licensing will cost you an additional $200.

This certificate is valid for 2 years, and then you will need to retake the exam.

Plumbing Apprenticeship Requirements

A journeyman can become a person who possesses experience reached through a number of hours as an apprentice.

Apprenticeships are offered through vocational programs, community colleges, the military, or professional organizations.

Whichever you choose to attend, it is important that you get familiar with their requirements, as each of these will have different ones.

All in all, you can expect that all of them will require:

  • High school diploma or a GED.
  • Valid Driver’s License.
  • Competent math skills.

Plumbing Trade Schools in Alaska

Trades schools can put you a step ahead of the competition before your apprenticeship and there are a few trade programs in Alaska:

  • Alaska Vocational Technical Center— $10,343;
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks— around $300 per credit or $4000 per semester;
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters Training School— free, and it transitions into an apprenticeship.

If you want to enroll, you will be required 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.

Insurance for Plumbers in Alaska

The Alaska Department of Labor requires plumbers to have insurance and they can choose various insurance plans that offer between $200,000 and $500,000 of coverage each year.

Salary

You cannot do any plumbing work in Alaska unless you have a state license.

Those who have a journeyman license can do plumbing work on both commercial and residential properties and earn an average salary of $32.07 per hour.

How much you will earn depends on many factors, such as your skills, experience, and whether you own the company or just work for another plumbing contractor.

The average Plumber salary in Alaska is $64,325.

Annual Salary Range:

$55K
$64K
$73K

Average Salary of Plumbers in Alaska

City NameSalary
Anchorage$63,877
Juneau$63,252
Fairbanks$63,763
Sitka$62,391
Ketchikan$62,391
Kenai$63,017
Kodiak$63,017
Bethel$63,017
Wasilla$63,017
Barrow$62,902
* Salary information last updated 2020

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