How to Become a Plumber in Alaska


Being a plumber is not always an easy job and this is not just in Alaska. So, determination and commitment are key. But it is worth the effort and can be done with a little bit of homework.

Remember that there are a couple of things to keep in mind in terms of qualifications and eligibility just to get to the licensing exam. You also want some contacts to help you with apprenticeships and jobs. That’s what we will help you with.

But it’s not as simple as catching the next flight. So, you need to bag an apprenticeship and work with a mentor. Then you become a journeyman plumber and once you are competent enough (which takes many years), you can apply to be a master plumber.

You must also remember that there is no exception to getting your license if you want to be a contractor. That applies to being a plumber too. So, you must familiarize yourself with the process.

Requirements to Be a Plumber in Alaska

For starters, you need to have a resume which details your educational qualifications and work experience. Then you must provide paperwork to support that. You need to get what is called a Certificate in Support of Applicant’s Experience and Qualifications from three people employed in the industry from any state.

So, in your case, it will be from plumbers. They must know about your educational qualifications and work experience.

Then you must get transcripts from your trade school or college to the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing if you are depending on educational qualifications instead of apprenticeship to gain eligibility.

The PSI exam results are usually valid for a year. So, keep that in mind too. Once you get approval, you must schedule this through PSI Exams. In their Candidate Information Bulletin, a list of reference materials will also contain the contact details of PSI Exams.

If you have a current license, you must provide verification and ask the state division to submit it to their Alaskan counterparts. This must have the outline of the contents of your exam too. If you are going by qualifications, here’s what you need to have for a license in industrial plumbing.

  • Practical experience of a journeyman plumber of 4-6 years right before the application is sent.
  • Management experience in the field at the rank of a superintendent for 4-6 years right before you apply.
  • Relevant degree from an accredited college or university along with practical experience as a journeyman plumber for at least a year before you apply.
  • Registered as a plumber and management experience in the industry equivalent to a field engineer for at least a year before you apply.

Apprenticeship Programs in Alaska

There are three very good options in Alaska for this purpose. Here they are.

Alaska Vocational Technical Center

This center has a course that combines both heating and plumbing. This is a great advantage in Alaska because there is a massive demand for these technicians in this state whether you are looking at rural areas or urban areas.

While there is classroom education, you will also spend half your time getting practical experience which is great.

It is important to remember that this program is not at all easy and unfolds pretty quickly. You need to have aptitude, math along with reading skills to get through it.

And let’s not forget management skills which are an important requirement of the state. The classes are usually during the week from Monday to Friday from 8:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the evening.

It consists of a total of 630 hours which include:

  • 235 hours of plumbing
  • 280 hours of heating
  • 84 hours of electricity
  • 31 hours of employability classes

So, when you are done with this course you will be completely prepared for the job market. Which is why it is worth the effort even though it is difficult.

Anchorage Plumbers Apprenticeship

This is another extremely exclusive apprenticeship to get. To even be eligible to apply for it, you will need to go through a few rounds of tests. To get through, you must be good at a few different things like:

  • Locating information
  • Reading information
  • Applied math

On the tests, you need a 4 for the first two rounds and a 5 on the final one. If you get there, you are eligible to apply. It also has a practical training program which lasts for 10,000 hours and it goes on for 5 years.

But at the end of it, you will be more than ready to do the job and also make good money. Plus, you can earn a salary while you are learning, which is a huge plus.

Once you complete 2,000 hours and 12 months of the course, your pay, which begins at $2o.50 an hour, will increase by 10 percent. Exciting stuff, isn’t it?

There is a compulsory element which is classroom time and shop training. This will be for 6 weeks per annum and you won’t be paid for this. But you can plan ahead to qualify for unemployment benefits for these 6 weeks. What you need to qualify is to have a GEd or high school diploma and be 18 years of age.

Plumber’s Training Institute

Finally, there is the very popular PTI which lets you pick different courses in this state. You will need to complete a total of 16 hours in terms of continuing education to get the certification. These 16 hours are divided into 8 hours on code and 8 hours on skills that will help you in the industry.

You have the option of buying an 8-hour course first, which will have three hours about valves, hydraulic calculations and fire sprinklers. Then there will be three hours on handling confined spaces. And finally, there will be three hours of pricing for your skills so that you can make a profit.

You will also need to buy another 8-hour course which is all about plumbing codes which are a requirement by the law. This breakdown is to help you pay for it instead of going for a bulk payment with the 16-hour course package.

Salary Expectations for Plumber in Alaska

If you become a plumber in Alaska, here’s what you can expect to make in terms of your salary.

Typically, the pricing is about $28.18 per hour. That means you will be looking at about $58,000 per annum which is a lot more than the average of the country in this field. Overtime pay is not included in this because that varies from person to person. These estimates were made by Indeed.

And the growth rate for plumbers is pretty impressive in the coming few years (2018 to 2028) according to the estimates made by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The growth rate is about 14 percent which is more than the average of other jobs.

Working as a Plumber in Alaska

A lot of plumbers work for contractors in the air-conditioning, plumbing and heating industries, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only a small part of them are self-employed and go into construction, manufacturing or government work.

It is a rewarding job opportunity in any state but particularly in Alaska because it is lucrative too. The requirements are a bit stringent but you can see why. It is also a growing field and you can start making money while you are still gaining eligibility for a license.

Organizations for Plumbers to Know in Alaska

If you want to be a plumber in Alaska, these are three organizations that can help you with apprenticeships and job opportunities. And if things go wrong on the job, they will help you with the union too.

  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Alaska
  • Alaska Workforce Investment board
  • Alaska Works Partnership


Q: How Much Money Do Journeyman Plumbers Earn in Alaska?

A: If you are looking at the average salary per hour, in places like Anchorage, you can expect to make $32.83. You must try for overtime gigs because as of November 2021, that number is at $10,875.

Q: What about a Union Plumber in Alaska?

A: If you are a plumber with the union in Alaska, you are looking at a range of salaries. It could range anywhere from $20,000 to $91,000. Most of them in the union are at about $35,000 to $59,000 on average for a year.

Q: How Many Working Plumbers Are in Alaska?

A: The answer to this depends on which year you look at. According to BLS, in 2018 the estimate was about 1,307 and the projection for 2028 is at 1,411.


Alaska is a great choice if you want to be a plumber. If you think you can navigate the standard of living and the harsh weather conditions, you really have a chance to make some serious dough. But getting the license is a bit tough so get on it now!

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