HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN COLORADO

A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN COLORADO

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 10,440 plumbers in Colorado currently. Colorado is the 8th most extensive state in the United States of America and has an estimated population of 5,758,736 people as of 2019. As of 2015, the total state product was $392 billion. Colorado has a diversified economy with heavy concentration on high-technology industries. As of 2008, the state ranked 20th in USA in terms of its economy. Colorado was recognised as the third-best state in the list of “top states for business for 2010”. However, with an increase in temperatures and a decrease in water levels, it has been projected that Colorado will be affected by climate change. This article explores the career prospects of a plumber and offers a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Colorado.

Flag of Colorado

JOB OUTLOOK AND SALARY

As mentioned above, there are 10,440 people employed in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry in Colorado currently. 3.9 out of every 1000 people are engaged in this occupation. On an average, plumbers are paid $26.14 every hour in Colorado. The average annual salary of a plumber in this state is $54,380. The rage typically falls between $50,002 and $65,773. The salaries keep varying depending on the years of experience. On an average, the hourly salary of an apprentice plumber is $18.32, that of a residential plumber is $22.95, that of a journeyman plumber is $28.64 and that of a master plumber is $30.93. After gaining close to 10 years of experience, a plumber in Colorado can earn as much as $32.37 an hour. The top 3 cities in Colorado in terms of highest wages for plumbers are Denver, Westminster and Fort Collins.

WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN COLORADO

In order to attain a plumbing license in Colorado, contractors are required to show proof of a minimum level of liability insurance. The coverage amount varies depending on the type of license, type of work being performed and also the location of the plumber. Most areas in Colorado require plumbers to have a general liability policy with at least $100,000 coverage to get a license. The more developed an area with larger projects, the higher the coverage levels. The different counties in the state require different levels of insurance with some coverage going up to $2 million. The Colorado state law also requires plumbers to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance if they have employees and a Commercial Auto Insurance if they have own vehicles used for commercial purposes.

Insurance

HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN COLORADO:

  • 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 step by step guide on how to become a plumber in Colorado.

HOW TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE PLUMBER IN COLORADO:

It is mandatory to join an apprentice plumbing program in order to get a plumbing license. Apprentices work under the direct supervision of a master plumber and learn about various aspects related to plumbing. An apprentice must register with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies within 30 days of taking a plumbing job. The registration fee is $30.

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PLUMBER IN COLORADO:

Licenses are issued by the Colorado State Plumbing Board. There are 3 kinds of plumbing licenses in Colorado:

  • Residential Plumber License
  • Journeyman Plumber License
  • Master Plumber License
Licensure

How to become a residential plumber in Colorado:

The license fee is $100. A residential plumber can perform plumbing jobs like repairs and installations at residential sites. The license requirements are:

  • Two years (or 3,400 hours) of plumbing work experience under a master plumber
  • United States citizenship
  • Valid Social Security number

How to become a journeyman plumber in Colorado:

The license fee for a journeyman plumber is $120. A journeyman plumber can perform a range of plumbing tasks at residential as well as commercial sites. The requirements are as follows:

  • 4 years (or 6,800 hours) of plumbing experience
  • Must be approved to sit for a journeyman plumber examination
  • Submit an Affidavit of Eligibility
  • United States citizenship
  • Valid Social Security number

How to become a master plumber in Colorado:

In addition to performing residential and commercial plumbing jobs, master plumbers can also supervise and direct apprentice plumbers. A fee of $140 must be paid for the license. The requirements are:

  • 5 years (or 9,780 hours) of plumbing experience
  • Submit an Affidavit of Eligibility
  • United States citizenship
  • Valid Social Security number

Candidates applying for residential and journeyman licenses need a score of 70% to pass the exam and master plumbers need a score of 75%.

Plumbing licenses in Colorado expire on the 28th of February of odd years. Licenses can be renewed up to 6 weeks prior to the license’s expiration date.

A licensed plumber offering service

PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN COLORADO

Vocational courses in plumbing are offered by a number of trade schools situated in various parts of Colorado. These courses equip plumbers with theoretical knowledge as well as practical skills that help them gain employment in the field of plumbing. This section of the article will list out a few plumbing schools in some of the largest cities of Colorado i.e. Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora.

BEST PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN DENVER:

Denver is the capital of Colorado. With a population of 727,211, it is also the capital of the state. In 2016, Denver was recognised as the best city to live in the United States by the US News and World Report.

  • Emily Griffith Technical College, Denver- offers an apprentice training program that lasts for 5 years. This is an on-the-job training that also involves theoretical coursework. It helps plumbers gain sufficient experience.
  • Construction Industry of Colorado Training Council – offers a 4-year apprenticeship program where plumbers learn a range of topics – introduction to plumbing, plumbing math, water distribution systems, pipe-fitting, installation, welding, types of venting, air compression, hydronics, waste disposal etc.
A classroom

BEST PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN COLORADO SPRINGS:

With a population of 478,221, Colorado Springs is the largest city in Colorado in terms of area. The city has been experiencing a growth in the service sectors and a fall in the unemployment rate.

  1.  UA Local Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, Colorado Springs – offers a 5-year training program. The curriculum includes math, drawing, blueprint reading, cutting, welding, OSHA classes, installation, hydronics etc. Along with abundant knowledge, students graduate with certificates and the necessary license. The program comprises of classroom and on-the-job training.
  2. Pipes Peak Community College, Colorado Springs – offers a certificate course in plumbing. It is a self-paced course that teaches everything from plumbing safety to pipe fittings, international codes, water distribution etc that ultimately helps plumbers to gain employment in the construction trade.

BEST PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN AURORA:

Aurora is a municipality in Colorado with a population of 379,289 people. It is the third most populous area in the state. Aurora is one of the healthiest places to live in the nation because it offers a relatively affordability in comparison to wages.

  1.  Pickens Technical College, Aurora – offers a vocational course of construction and development in Aurora. It is a multi-faceted program where students gain knowledge on plumbing, carpentry, construction management, building maintenance, HVAC work etc. the coursework is a blend of classroom and hands-on training and includes blueprint reading, cost estimating, building codes, frame construction and roof framing, hand and power tool use, and safety, among other topics. 
  2. Plumbers’ Local 3, Aurora – it is a union that offers a number of joint training and apprenticeship programs. These courses prepare plumbers to gain instant employment in this field.

Plumbers have been reported saying that one of the impacts of Covid-19 on the plumbing business is that it has brought in a new angle. Serving the customers continues to be the first priority, but plumbers now have an added responsibility to ensure safety. They must maintain safety and obey the protocols while dealing with the customers and even their own employees. A lot of environmental precautions have been taken.

There has also been a significant increase in call volumes. With the quarantine norms in practice, plumbers have also had to offer virtual diagnosis for issues that can be easily fixed. This has definitely added a new facet to plumbers’ lives. There is a certain amount of uncertainty when it comes to employment but given the importance and the rising demand for plumbers even amidst a pandemic it can be said that the scope for this profession will continue to grow.

Plumbing is a busy occupation.

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