HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN ALABAMA

A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN ALABAMA

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 6,700 plumbers in Alabama currently. The state of Alabama is situated in the South-eastern region of the USA and is home to approximately 4,903,185 people. As of 2019, Alabama had a real GDP of $202.94 billion. Alabama has a very diversified economy with multiple professions for citizens to choose from. This article will focus on the career prospects of a plumber and offer a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Alabama.

Flag of Alabama

JOB OUTLOOK

As mentioned above, there are 6,700 plumbers in Alabama currently. Every 3.39 out of 1000 persons are employed in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry. A plumber in this state earns an average annual wage of $46,650. Salaries usually start from $25,823 and can go up to $73,967. The average hourly wage of a plumber is $22.43. In Alabama an apprentice plumber makes $12.21, a journeyman plumber makes $20.84 and a master plumber makes $23.61. The cities Tuscaloosa, Hoover and Montgomery pay the highest wages to plumbers in Alabama. However, in spite of having a diverse economy, the unemployment rates and the poverty rates continue to remain high in Alabama.

WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN ALABAMA:

To work as a plumber in Alabama, it is mandatory to have insurance coverage. In some cases, employers provide insurance to their employees. But in cases where there is no company offered insurance or a plumber wishes to start a company by themselves, it may be suggested that they get the minimum amount of insurance:

  • $300,000 for property damage insurance
  • $100,000 for general liability insurance

A copy of the insurance certificate must be submitted to the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gasfitters Examining Board.

The state of Alabama also requires prospective registered plumbers to sign a surety bond for $2000. This bond is required by the State of Alabama Plumbers and Gasfitters Examining Board as a pre-requisite to allow plumbers to operate in lawful terms. It assures that plumbers will conduct their business in accordance with the rules and regulations of the state and the local government.

In general, plumbers could also consider getting a Workers’ Compensation Insurance which covers their employees against on-the-job injuries or other damages.

The most commonly sought form of insurance is the Public Liability Insurance which offers financial protection against property damage, or bodily damage to the customer or any member of the general public.

Insurance

HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN ALABAMA:

  • Must be 18 years of age or above
  • Must have a high School or GED Certificate
  • College Degree or Vocational Courses (Optional)
  • Must have work experience as an apprentice plumber
  • Must pass the Licensing Tests

Provided below is a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Alabama.

HOW TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE PLUMBER IN ALABAMA:

In Alabama, no sort of plumbing work cannot be carried out without a license. Therefore, an apprentice plumber license is mandatory to work as an apprentice.  The first step is to fill out an apprentice plumber registration form, the cost of which is $25. With an apprentice license, a plumber can then perform supervised plumbing activities like repairs and pipe fittings under registered journeymen or master plumbers. These programs provide a lot of experience and by the end of the program, plumbers have the required skills too. Local unions and employers offer a number of these programs. The State of Alabama Plumbers and Gasfitters Examining Board offers the latest information of apprenticeship programs in Alabama.

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PLUMBER IN ALABAMA:

There are three kinds of plumbing licenses in Alabama –

  • Apprentice Plumber License
  • Journeyman Plumber License
  • Master Plumber License

How to become a licensed journeyman plumber –

The journeyman license application fee is $110. The criterion that must be satisfied in order to become a journeyman plumber is to have at least 2 years of experience as a registered apprentice or completed a Board approved apprentice program. The applicants must pass a 3-hour open book exam to acquire a license.

How to become a licensed master plumber –

The plumber license application fee is $160. In order to become a master plumber, it is essential to have a minimum of 1 year of work experience as a licensed journeyman plumber. The applicant is required to pass a 4-hour open book exam to acquire a license.

A plumbing license in Alabama must be renewed annually by 31st December. The costs for license renewal are as follows:

  • Apprentice plumber – $25
  • Journeyman plumber – $50
  • Master Plumber – $150
Plumber Mario from the movie Super Mario Bros.

PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN ALABAMA

Vocational courses in plumbing are offered by a number of trade schools. These courses prepare plumbers with the necessary knowledge needed to obtain employment in this field. This section will provide a list of famous plumbing schools in some of the largest cities of Alabama.

BEST PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN BIRMINGHAM:  

With an approximate population of 209,403, Birmingham is the most populous city of Alabama. It is the primary Industrial centre of Southern United States and has witnesses rapid growth since 1881.

  • Lawson State Community College, Birmingham – offers a plumbing program that prepares students for employment or advancement in the industry. On enrolment, students are provided with an apprentice card. After one year of holding the card, students can apply for a journeyman license. After the completion of the program, students will be in a position to join a plumbers’ union or work for a company. Students learn about residential work in addition to installation and pipe-fitting.
  • UA Local 91, Birmingham – offers an apprenticeship training program. The coursework includes both classroom and on-the-job training. It is a 5-year training program where students earn while they learn various aspects of the trade. At a certain point, students are permitted to choose a specific path and become a journeyman plumber, a pipe-fitter or a HVACR technician.
Plumbing courses involve dealing with different kinds of pipes and learning about plumbing math.

BEST PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN MONTGOMERY:

Montgomery is the capital city of the US State of Alabama. With a population of 3,74,536 people, Montgomery is the fourth largest city of the state. The city has been recognised for its downtown revivalism and new urbanism projects. Owing to its prime and valuable location, Montgomery continues to be the regional hub for a wide range of industries.

  • Auburn University, Montgomery – offers a course titled “Foundations of Plumbing” which is a completely online course. Students learn about the basic concepts of plumbing safety, the functions of several components of piping and water systems, drawings involved in plumbing, identification of piping fixtures, installation of plumbing systems, basic math and interpretation of codes. In addition to this, students also develop the softer skills of communication and reasoning. On enrollment, students are allotted a time period of 12 months to finish the course. The fee is $2,195.
  • Trenholm State Community College, Montgomery – offers a beginner’s course on plumbing. The course fee is $150 and it is offered at the Patterson Site campus. There are 8 sessions. This course teaches students on how to work with different types of pipes and fittings. They also learn how to install fixtures, produce drawings, and join pipes using varied techniques.

BEST PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN HUNTSVILLE –

Huntsville is a city in the Northern region of Alabama. As of 2018, it is home to a population of 462,693 people. It is the second-most populous metropolitan area of the state.  57 Fortune 500 companies are located in Huntsville.

  • Huntsville Madison County Builders’ Association – students above the age of 18 years with a clean drug record can enroll in an 8-week or a more intensive 4-week program. Students will be taught about the basic of plumbing and upon graduation, all students can participate in a job fair to obtain an employment.
  • Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors’ Limited (APHC) – offers high-quality and cost-effective plumbing courses to both members and non-members. The courses focus on particular aspects of heating and plumbing so that plumbers can upskill and develop their knowledge in whichever areas they want to. They have also developed 3 one-day plumbing courses which are conducted online through webinars.

The entire world is undergoing a shortage of skilled laborers and in this situation the demand for plumbing services can be expected to grow in the days to come. The projection for Alabama is no different. Plumbing is counted as an “essential service” and services must thus be offered even in the face of a raging pandemic. With more people staying at home, the usage of appliances has increased and so has the need for plumbers and electricians to keep things in order. The demand for plumbing services and the volume of calls for plumbers will continue to rise but it is on the plumbers to continually evaluate the health hazards and risk factors because similar to every industry, safety is definitely the primary concern in the plumbing industry too.

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