HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN UTAH

A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN UTAH

As per the records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are approximately 5,840 people employed in the plumbing industry in Utah. Utah is a state in the Mountain West region of the United States of America. Being home to over 3 million people, Utah ranks 30th in the nation in terms of population. it has the 2nd fastest growing population in USA. Utah is the 13th largest state by area. Utah has an extremely diversified economy and had a gross state product of $192 billion in 2019. The average income in Utah is also very high and it has been projected that it will be one of the best states to live in the future. With Utah’s rapidly growing population, The Utah Division of Water Resources is trying it’s level best to improve the infrastructure and implement water conservation techniques. It is in this context that this article will focus on the career prospects of a plumber and provide a guide on how to become a plumber in Utah.

Plumbing in Utah

JOB OUTLOOK

As mentioned above, there are about 5,840 plumbers, pipe-fitters and steam-fitters in Utah. 3.92 persons people out of every 1000 people are employed in this sector. The average annual salary of a plumber in Utah is $54,070. Wages typically start from $48,006 and can go up to approximately $63,151. On an average, apprentice plumbers enjoy hourly wages of around $19.17. Plumbers enjoy an average wage of $23.22 per hour. Journeyman plumbers earn an hourly wage of $26.87.  Wages keep increasing as and when plumbers gain more education and experience. The cities paying the highest wages to plumbers in Utah are Salt Lake City, West Valley City and Provo. Utah’s population is expected to double in the next 3-40 years and this will create a huge demand for plumbing services in Utah in the days to come.

WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN UTAH

Insurance coverage is very important for professionals in every industry and especially for plumbers. Several risks could emerge at work every day. In order to protect their business, finances and other assets, it is recommended that plumbers consider getting insurance coverage. In Utah, it is mandatory for plumbers to be insured in order to carry out their plumbing services.

The insurance requirements are:

  • $300,000 for property damage insurance (each occurrence)
  • $100,000 for general liability insurance (each occurrence)

General Liability Insurance costs between $671 and $1,740 each year.

Since plumbing works expose technicians to waste water and various other contaminated zones, it is suggested that plumbers get the following vaccinations:

  • Polio
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid Fever

There are other important types of insurances like Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Commercial Auto Insurance that plumbers could look into as per their requirements.

Vaccination for plumbers

HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN UTAH

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • High School or GED Certificate
  • College Degree or Vocational Courses (optional)
  • Complete an apprenticeship
  • Pass the Licensing Tests

Provided here is a step by step guide on how to become a plumber in Utah.

HOW TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE PLUMBER IN UTAH

The first step in becoming a plumber is to join an apprenticeship program. One must have a high school diploma or GED and be at least 18 years of age in order to apply for work as an apprentice plumber and acquire their apprentice plumber license. Apprentice plumbers can perform various types of work like installations and repairs etc. Apprentice plumbers work under the supervision of master plumbers. After completing the work, the next step is to apply for a plumbing license.

Apprentice training

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PLUMBER IN UTAH

The Utah Department of Commerce Division of Occupational and Professional licensing offers the following kinds of plumbing licenses:

  • Apprentice plumber license
  • Journeyman plumber license
  • Residential journeyman plumber license
  • Master plumber license
  • Residential master plumber license

Applicants need to pass examinations for both kinds of licenses. The examination fee ranges from $100-$150 per test. Both the journeyman and master plumber examinations have two parts – a written test and a practical test.  Candidates must score 70% to pass the examinations.

Journeyman plumbers must complete at least four years (8,000 hours) of apprentice training. Journeyman plumbers work under the supervision of master plumbers. 

Residential journeyman plumbers must complete at least 6,000 hours of training. Residential journeyman plumbers work under the direction of master plumbers.

A licensed plumber at work

Master plumbers are supervisory plumbers and do not have to be supervised. Applicants must have a journeyman license and 4,000 hours of supervisory experience. Master plumbers perform a variety of commercial and residential plumbing tasks.

Residential master plumbers are also supervisory plumbers. Applicants for this license must have a journeyman residential license and 4,000 hours of supervisory experience. Residential master plumbers perform a variety of residential plumbing services like drainage, gas fittings, repair, and installations without having to be supervised.

PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN UTAH

Vocational courses in plumbing are offered by a number of trade schools. These trade courses expand the knowledge base of plumbers and gives them an added advantage for acquiring apprenticeships. To apply for these courses in Utah, one must be 18 years of age, have a high school or GED certificate and must possess a valid driver’s license or identification card.

This section of the article will offer a list of plumbing/trade schools in Utah.

  • Utah Career Centre, Salt Lake City– offers an apprentice training program for plumbers. It includes classroom training from skilled senior plumbers as well as hands-on training.
Vocational training
  • Davis Technical College, Kaysville – offer an apprenticeship program in plumbing. In addition to learning about the history and importance of plumbing, students also receive training in plumbing math, installation and repair of pipe fittings, general safety, sanitary drainage, heating appliances etc. The schedule of the course and other details can be found on the college website.
  • Mountainland Technical College, Orem – offers a plumbing apprenticeship program. The program duration is 720 hours during which students learn about installation, maintenance and repair of various types of pipe systems. Students receive on the job training in addition to classroom instructions.
  • Dixie Technical College, St. George – offers a plumbing training program in residential setting. Students learn about assembling, installation and repair of water, drainage and heating systems, hydraulics, soldering, welding, plumbing safety, blueprint reading etc. Students have to complete 540 hours of classroom training and 6000 hours of on the job training as a licensed apprentice, in order to take the residential journeyman exam. After completing this program, students can take up another course in commercial plumbing.
  • Ogden-Weber Technical College, Ogden – offers an apprentice training program in plumbing. Students learn about plumbing systems and fixtures, cutting and welding pipes, blueprint readings, drawings, water and drainage systems, troubleshooting, safety, plumbing code etc. The completion of this program enables students to take the license exam. The program lasts for 48 months (4 years).

Every occupation in the world has suffered a huge blow due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic. There have been negative economic impacts on almost every industry with offices being shut for an entire year.  The plumbing industry in Utah has however registered a different picture. Plumbers have been reported saying that the local businesses have actually picked up due to the pandemic. With more people staying at home, the plumbing systems of homes are being used more than ever. The numbers of calls received by plumbers have also gone up and they are providing what has been declared as an “essential service”. The plumbing industry in Utah is booming. As per a recent update, there has been a change in the licensing requirements. Plumbers no longer have to go through 4 years of schooling and the exam has also become easier. While this makes it easier for more people to enter the plumbing industry, the clients are worried about inexperienced technicians performing the tasks. The picture therefore looks a little dicey, but one can be rest assured that the plumbing industry in Utah will keep growing and prioritising the health and safety of the citizens in the state.

Growth of plumbing industry

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