Industry-wide reports show that the need for licensed plumbers in Alaska is surging. In contrast, the number of certified plumbers in the state has been dwindling. Becoming a licensed plumber in Alaska could help bridge the gap in the industry and start filling plumbing jobs in Alaska.
Alaska Licensing Requirements for Plumbers
As is the case elsewhere in the United States, plumbers in Alaska must be licensed to provide services legally.
That applies to all members of the industry, from newcomers to masters of the trade. Plumbing licenses can be obtained through the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The state’s Labor Standards Division carries out testing as well as verification of credentials and handing out Certificates of Fitness for plumbers.
What Types of Plumber Licenses Are There in Alaska?
Plumber licenses come in varying levels in Alaska. The more training and experience a plumber amasses, the higher his or her certification can be. Each level has specific licensing requirements with the levels being as follows:
- Plumber Apprentice or Trainee. Must be at least 16 years old and provide proof of work in an accredited apprenticeship program as well as a letter from the trainee’s employer.
- Plumber Journeyman. Up to 1,000 hours of classroom training and at least 8,000 hours of experience in commercial and residential plumbing.
- Plumber Utility Trainee. Similar requirements to those of a general plumbing trainee and must work with plumbers certified in plumbing utility work.
- Plumber Utility. Must have 1,000 hours of experience in installing sewer, storm, or water lines and can use up to 125 hours of classroom training as part of that prerequisite.
- Plumber Gas. Requires a total of 4,000 hours of plumbing work with at least half of that time being in gas pipe installation. Up to 500 hours of classroom training can be submitted as part of those requirements.
These state-level licenses are known as Certificates of Fitness. Restrictions apply to both gas and utility certifications.
Additionally, plumbers are held to further licensing requirements in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Plumbers must also renew their certifications every two years.
Cost of Acquiring a Plumber’s License in Alaska
Several expenses enter the mix when acquiring a plumbing license in Alaska. Apprenticeship program prices vary, but those are often funded by employers, the plumbing union, and other sources.
From there, the cost of a trainee Certificate of Fitness application and license is $250. Journeyman license applications cost $50 with an additional $200 fee after passing the certification exam.
Extra costs enter the mix when applying for various certifications in Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Alaska Plumber Licensing Exams
To take a plumber licensing exam, those interested must submit an application at least two weeks in advance of their desired testing date.
Along with the application, they’re required to submit an Alaska Experience Verification Form or a letter from their employer to prove they’ve met their required hours of experience.
The previously mentioned $50 fee must be provided as well. Testing is conducted via appointment only.
Who Issues Plumbing Licenses in Alaska?
Plumbers’ licenses are issued through the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Mechanical Inspection Section of the Labor Standards Division.
This is the same division through which testing is conducted. Those who apply for specific licenses in Fairbanks and Anchorage will receive licensing through additional sources as well.
Additional Plumbing Certifications
While the licensing mentioned earlier is required to legally operate as a plumber in Alaska, additional certifications are also available.
They can help to reinforce a plumber’s credentials. These include the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and National Inspection Testing and Certification.
Can I Transfer a Plumbing License into Alaska?
There is no plumbing license reciprocity in Alaska, meaning out of state licenses cannot be transferred into Alaska.