How to Become a Plumber in Oklahoma

Becoming a plumber in Oklahoma can be a good choice to make due to the high demands for plumbers along with several plumbing opportunities in the state. The process involves several different steps and levels that you need to get through to be able to advance in the field.

While there are multiple steps involved, the process is fairly simple as long as you manage to meet all the relevant eligibility criteria and skill levels. You can go through the following sections to find out what you need to know about becoming a plumber in Oklahoma.

Through these sections, you will not only learn about the different levels and requirements for each level but also the time, costs, programs, license procedure, job opportunities, salary expectations and more.

Requirements for Becoming a Plumber in Oklahoma

There are several levels involved that you need to cross when it comes to becoming a plumber in Oklahoma. For each level, moreover, there are different requirements and job descriptions that you should be able to meet.

These levels not only require you to obtain practical skills and experiences but also equip you well theoretically so that you can get a good idea about what you can expect and what is required of you.

As a starting point, you will need to make the relevant applications and registrations to work as an apprentice. Once you manage to cross this stage, you can move on to becoming a journeyman plumber, following which you can go on to become a plumbing contractor.

You can learn more about the specifications of each of these levels by going through the information provided below.

Apprentice

An apprentice plumber needs to follow an educational program and take various courses to learn about the trade, such as the kinds of tools involved, how to carry out different tasks, various kinds of components and structures involved in plumbing and more.

A large part of the job involved as an apprentice is more practical in Oklahoma. You will be able to work under a journeyman or a contractor at their job locations. They will then teach you how to carry out different tasks and might also ask you to assist them in this.

This will help you build the relevant skillset and gain experience. As an apprentice, you will need to formally register online and then look for a job and relevant program.

Journeyman

A journeyman plumber is the next step or level after you complete your apprenticeship in Oklahoma. To become a journeyman, it is important for you to meet the relevant criteria to be able to give an exam for obtaining your license.

These criteria involve you being at least 18 years of age and having at least three years of work experience as an apprentice. You can also have other or alternative relevant achievements, such as serving in the military or working in another state.

Once you pass your exam, you will receive an official license that will allow you to start working as a journeyman plumber. Under this role, you can work under a plumbing contractor while being eligible to supervise a limited number of apprentices.

You can also carry out most kinds of tasks and projects as part of this role, whether they involve small tasks like installing fixtures and cleaning drains or bigger tasks like installing pipework and constructing plumbing systems in houses and buildings.

The time that you work as a journeyman can then help you become a plumbing contractor.

Plumbing Contractor

A plumbing contractor is the next and highest stage in the plumbing hierarchy in Oklahoma. To become a plumbing contractor, there are several criteria that you need to meet to become eligible.

These criteria include aspects such as your age as well as your professional experience in the field. For instance, you need to be at least 18 years old to be able to apply for this role. You also need to have at least three years of work experience in the plumbing field, plus an extra year in the trade.

You can also have alternative achievements in the military or in another state, along with an educational program under your belt.

You can then take and pass an exam to obtain your license. Once you get your license, you can start your own company and employ other junior plumbers. You can also make plumbing plans and work with other officials.

Requirements for Obtaining a License in Oklahoma

There are several requirements when it comes to obtaining a plumbing license in Oklahoma. These can differ according to the level that you are applying for.

  • You should be at least 18 years old.
  • You should have a high school diploma.
  • You should have at least three (journeyman) or four (plumbing contractor) years of work experience.
  • You can also have relevant out-of-state or military experience.
  • You will need to complete a criminal background check.
  • You will need to provide proof of bond and insurance.
  • You will need to pay the exam fees and license fees for your level.
  • You will need to pass the exam to obtain a license.
  • You might also be asked to provide other proof and documentation. You can read about the detailed criteria here.

Time and Costs

It takes several years to become a plumber in Oklahoma. This time can allow you to gain the relevant skills and experience to be able to get a license and advance to the next level.

For instance, you need to have at least three years of work experience in the plumbing industry to be able to apply for a journeyman license and four years of experience to apply for a plumbing contractor license.

Thus, you will need to invest a few years to finally start working officially in the plumbing field.

Further, you will also need to pay a total of several hundred dollars when it comes to your application fees, exam fees, license fees and license renewals. However, you can start earning in the plumbing trade even as an apprentice, which can be a good way for you to cover some of these costs.

In addition, if you also need or want to take an educational or training course as an apprentice, then you will need to pay more for that as well.

Programs

In Oklahoma, you can take educational courses or programs as an apprentice to help your career out even more. Generally, training institutes, community colleges and trade schools can provide you such courses that you can then opt for.

There is also an official list of approved classes and courses that you can go through so that you can make a reliable choice. All relevant timings, fees and other details are provided in this list. Some such centers mentioned here include:

  • Lexington CareerTech Skills Center
  • CCE Education Code Classes
  • Moore Norman Technology Center
  • Plumbers Training Institute
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters Training Center

Job Opportunities

As a plumber in Oklahoma, you will be able to gain access to several job opportunities across the state due to the high levels of demand. Oklahoma also tends to employ several plumbers across the state with the installation and repair sector forming a major part of the economy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oklahoma employs 5,920 plumbers in the state or 3.79 plumbers per 1,000 people. Along with a high growth rate in this industry, these jobs are likely to increase over the next few years.

As a plumber, you can perform both small and big tasks depending on your skills, where you work and what the clients require.

Salary Expectations

The average base salary of an apprentice plumber in Oklahoma is $17.41 per hour while that of a journeyman plumber is $26.71 per hour.

On average, the annual mean wage of a plumber in Oklahoma is $53,790 per year. This amount compares well to the national average in this industry, which is $56,330 per year.

The exact amount that you will receive will depend on your experience, education and the level that you are on.

Career Growth

You can expect several opportunities to grow and advance in your career as a plumber in Oklahoma.

While you will need to start out at the beginning as an apprentice, you will be able to learn several skills and perform different kinds of jobs that will add to your experience to become a journeyman, after which you can then advance to a plumbing contractor.

You will also get the opportunity to work either individually or as part of a company or even both. As a contractor, you can also start your own company. As you keep moving on to higher levels, your salary will also go on increasing.

Organizations to Know

Being aware of the following organizations can help you in case you ever have any queries or issues.

  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
  • MEPO of Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma Construction Industries Board

Concluding Remarks

You now have all the essential information about how to become a plumber in Oklahoma. To sum up, there are several levels that you can keep moving on to in the plumbing industry in this state, each of which has its own requirements and exams.

You are now also aware of the time and cost requirements to become a plumber in this state along with the programs and job opportunities available here. With accurate salary expectations and career growth conditions, you can now start planning for your plumbing career in Oklahoma.

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