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Utah Plumbing License: How to Become a Plumber in Utah

category-iconPlumbing, UT

Table of Contents
  1. Types of Plumbers Licenses in Utah

  2. Steps to Getting a Plumber’s License in Utah

  3. Benefits of Getting a Plumbers License in Utah

  4. What Is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in Utah?

  5. How Much Does It Cost to Get a Plumbers License in Utah?

  6. How to Get a Plumbers License in Utah

  7. How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbers License in Utah?

  8. Utah Plumber Training programs and schools

  9. Utah Plumber Licensing Exam Details

  10. Who Issues Plumbers Licenses in Utah?

  11. Does My Utah Plumbers License Work in Any Other State?

Learning the many skills required for the plumbing trade takes time, hard work, and perseverance. In Utah, you can expect it to take years — multiple years of classroom training and experience, but that time and effort can lead to a career that is long-lasting, lucrative, and fulfilling. Almost every state requires plumbers to be licensed to safeguard everyone’s health and safety.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 490,200 plumbers nationwide, and Utah employs 5,840 of them. That number is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029 across the country. In Utah, according to CareerOneStop, the U.S. Department of Labor’s job search website, the projected growth rate is significantly higher at 33% for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters and 32% for Helpers of Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.

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Contractors are struggling to find skilled tradesmen like plumbers, electricians, and HVACR professionals.  According to the Associated General Contractors of America 2020 AGC-Autodesk Workforce Survey, 60% of firms in the U.S. and 73% of firms in Utah had unfilled hourly craft positions, So, if you get the training you need, you should find that those hard- earned skills are in demand.

Licensing requirements for plumbers vary from state to state and, in some cases, from locality to locality. Utah requires a state license for anyone working in the plumbing business, beginning at the apprentice level.

Licensing Requirements for Plumbers in Utah

Is a license required for plumbers in Utah? Yes, and it is mandated from the very beginning.

In the state of Utah, you must be licensed to legally perform plumbing work of any kind. Utah issues plumbing licenses at every level — apprentice, journeyman, master and contractor. All Utah plumber’s licenses are issued through the Utah Department of Commerce — Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL).

Types of Plumbers Licenses in Utah

What are the different types of plumbers licenses in Utah?

There are seven different plumbers licenses issued by the state of Utah.

Apprentice Plumber

Journeyman Plumber (JP)

Residential Journeyman Plumber (RJP)

Master Plumber (MP)

Residential Master Plumber (RMP)

General Plumbing Contractor (P-200)

Residential Plumbing Contractor (P-201)

Each license has specific requirements. 

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS:

Apprentice Plumber

  • Must be at least 18 years old and a high school graduate or GED equivalent.

  • Must be registered with the Utah Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL).

  • Must be enrolled in a plumbing apprenticeship program or be working for a licensed master plumber, licensed residential master plumber, licensed journeyman plumber, licensed residential journeyman plumber. 

  • May perform work only under the supervision of a licensed MP, RMP, JP, or RJP.

  • Must file an application and submit appropriate fees.

The apprentice license must be renewed by Nov. 30 of even numbered years until the apprenticeship is complete.

Journeyman Plumber (JP)

  • Must have completed a plumbing apprenticeship consisting of at least four years of full-time classroom training and 8,000 hours of training on-the-job; OR

  • Must complete “Verification of Plumbing Experience” form documenting at least 16,000 hours of required training as an apprentice.

  • Must take the statewide exam and pass with a score of at least 70% on the written portion and also pass all parts of the practical exam.

  • Must file an application and submit appropriate fees.

Residential Journeyman Plumber (RJP)

  • Must have completed a plumbing apprenticeship consisting of at least three years of full-time classroom training and 6,000 hours of on-the-job training; OR

  • Must complete “Verification of Plumbing Experience” form documenting at least 12,000 hours of required training as an apprentice.

  • Must take the statewide exam and pass with a score of at least 70% on the written portion and also pass all parts of the practical exam.

  • Must file an application and submit appropriate fees.

Master Plumber (MP)

  • Must have earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree and have 2,000 hours (1 year) of supervisory plumbing experience as a licensed journeyman plumber with W-2 form to verify that work experience; OR

  • Must have 4,000 hours (2 years) of supervisory plumbing experience as a licensed journeyman plumber with W-2 form to verify that work experience.

  • Must take the statewide exam and pass with a score of at least 70% on the written portion and also pass all parts of the practical exam or already passed the JP practical exam.

  • Must file an application and submit appropriate fees.

Residential Master Plumber (RMP)

  • Must have earned Associate in Applied Science Degree and have 2,000 hours (1 year) of supervisory plumbing experience as a residential licensed journeyman plumber with W-2 form to verify that work experience; OR

  • Must have 4,000 hours (2 years) of supervisory plumbing experience as a residential licensed journeyman plumber with W-2 form to verify that work experience.

  • Must take the statewide exam and pass with a score of at least 70% on the written portion and also pass all parts of the practical exam or already passed the RJP practical exam.

  • Must file an application and submit appropriate fees.

General Plumbing Contractor (P-200)

  • Must have a master plumber license.

  • Must take a 30-hour Pre-Licensure Course from Associated Builders and Contractors Inc (ABC), Utah Home Builders Association (UHBA), or Associated General Contractors of Utah (AGC).

  • You must obtain general liability insurance with a minimum of $100,000 coverage for each incident and $300,000 in total.

  • Register your business with the Utah Division of Corporations if you are a corporation, LLC, LLP, or partnership.

  • Obtain a Federal EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are a sole proprietor you use your Social Security Number.

  • If you have employees, you MUST:

  • Have obtained a certificate of workers compensation insurance with DOPL as certificate holder.

  • Have obtained a state withholding tax registration from the Utah State Tax Commission.

  • Have obtained an unemployment registration from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

  • Experience Requirement:  Two (2) years of experience in the construction industry. This experience must be at least 4,000 hours (or 2 years) of paid work experience at any time in your life in the construction industry. You must self-certify that you have this experience. The other ways to satisfy the experience requirement (pick one):

    • Qualifier on current or previous Utah Contractor License for at least 2 years

    • Construction Management Degree (2 or 4 year Degree)

    • Licensed Utah Professional Engineer

    • Pass NASCLA (National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies) Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors, or

    • One (1) year of licensed experience working in another State, District or Territory of the U.S. in the similar scope of practice sought in Utah if the license is currently active and in good standing.

  • Exam Requirement: (One of the following)

    • Utah Business & Law Exam: Apply directly with the authorized exam provider. Provide a copy of your test results with the contractor application to DOPL.  

    • One year of licensed experience working in another State, District or Territory of the U.S. in the similar scope of practice sought in Utah if the license is currently active and in good standing.

    • Qualifier on Utah Contractor License prior to May 9, 2017

  • Complete Contractor Application and submit with appropriate fee to Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

  • Complete 12 hours of approved continuing education during each two-year renewal cycle.

Residential Plumbing Contractor (P-201)

  • All of the above except with Residential experience and exam requirement.

Steps to Getting a Plumber’s License in Utah

  1. Enroll in a plumbing apprenticeship program or work for a licensed master plumber, licensed residential master plumber, licensed journeyman plumber, licensed residential journeyman plumber and register with the DOPL. 

  2. For JP of RJP license, complete required apprenticeship; OR

  3. Complete documented work experience training as an apprentice.

  4. Take corresponding exam and pass with a score of at least 70% on the written portion and also pass all parts of the practical exam.

  5. File a plumber application and submit appropriate fees.

  6. To qualify to test for the MP or RMP license, earn an Associate in Applied Science Degree and have 2,000 hours (1 year) of supervisory plumbing experience as a licensed journeyman plumber with W-2 form to verify that work experience; OR

  7. Complete 2 years of W-2 documented supervisory plumbing work experience.

  8. Take the corresponding statewide exam and pass with a score of at least 70%.

  9. File an application and submit appropriate fees.

  10. If you want to become a contractor and own your own business, rather than working indefinitely as a plumber for a licensed contractor, you will need to take a 30-hour Pre-Licensure Course.

  11. Obtain general liability insurance with a minimum of $100,000 coverage for each incident and $300,000 in total.

  12. Register your business with the Utah Division of Corporations if you are a corporation, LLC, LLP, or partnership.

  13. Obtain a Federal EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are a sole proprietor, you use your Social Security Number.

  14. If you have employees, obtain a certificate of workers compensation insurance with DOPL as certificate holder.

  15. Obtain a state withholding tax registration from the Utah State Tax Commission.

  16. Obtain an unemployment registration from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

  17. Meet the experience and exam requirements.

  18. File an application and submit appropriate fees.

  19. For all licenses, complete 12 hours of approved continuing education during each two-year renewal cycle.

Benefits of Getting a Plumbers License in Utah

There are many benefits to getting your Utah plumbing license:

  • Most important, it is required by law in Utah to be licensed through the state to legally perform any plumbing work.

  • A trade license is proof of your experience and skill.

  • Only licensed plumbing contractors can: operate a business and advertise services, obtain commercial insurance, pull building permits and pass inspections, bid on public and government projects.

  • Having a license protects your company and customers.

  • A license gives you a competitive advantage in the job market and increases your earning potential as you acquire more experience.

What Is the Mean Salary for a Plumber in Utah?

The annual mean salary for a plumber in Utah is $54,070 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can expect that salary to increase as you acquire more experience, according to indeed.com.

Apprentice: The average wage for an apprentice plumber is $19.19 per hour in Utah and $5,429 overtime per year.

Journeyman: The average wage for a journeyman plumber is $26.53 per hour in Utah and $10,331 overtime per year.

Salary can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Plumbers License in Utah?

Utah is experiencing a construction boom, so it is a very good time to get into the trades and construction in general. HVAC, plumbing and electrical companies are looking for people interested in learning those skills and often are willing to pay for your training. That means you can get started as an apprentice in Utah for relatively little. The apprentice application fee is $116. You can gain the training and experience through a licensed plumbing business or enroll in a community or technical college program. For instance the Plumbing Apprenticeship program at Mountainland Technical College costs $3,032. The written plumber exam for each level of licensure is $68, and the practical exam has a fee of $100. The application fee for a JP, RJP, MP, and RMP license is $116. If eventually you want to own your own plumbing business, you’ll need to pay for the required pre-licensure course, which is $300 for the course offered through the Utah Home Builders Association, and the application fee of $225 for a sole proprietor in a single license classification.

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How to Get a Plumbers License in Utah

Becoming a plumbing professional in Utah isn’t fast, but it’s straightforward.

APPRENTICESHIP/WORK EXPERIENCE: In most cases you will need to be at least 18 years old and have graduated from high school or earned a GED equivalent before you enroll in a plumbing apprenticeship program or work for a licensed plumber and register with the DOPL. As a plumber’s apprentice, you will work full-time hours training with a licensed JP, RJP, MP, or RMP. You’ll also typically have a classroom component, either through a technical college, local union or trade organization or directly from your employer. You will need to renew your apprentice registration with the DOPL every even numbered year. To be eligible to test for the JP, you must complete a plumbing apprenticeship consisting of at least four years of full-time classroom training and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training OR complete the “Verification of Plumbing Experience” form documenting at least 16,000 hours of required training as an apprentice. To be eligible to test for the RJP, you must complete a plumbing apprenticeship consisting of at least three years of full-time classroom training and 6,000 hours of on-the-job training; OR complete the “Verification of Plumbing Experience” form documenting at least 12,000 hours of required training as an apprentice.

To be eligible to test for the MP or RMP you must have earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree and have 2,000 hours (1 year) of supervisory plumbing experience as a licensed journeyman plumber or licensed residential journeyman plumber with W-2 form to verify that work experience; OR have 4,000 hours (2 years) of supervisory plumbing experience with W-2 forms to verify that work experience.

TAKE LICENSING EXAM: Once you have satisfied the training requirements for journeyman status, you will need to take the JP or RJP written journeyman exam and practical exam administered through PROV, and the same is true when you meet the master level. The Candidate Information Bulletin provides detailed instructions on how to register for the exams, how to pay for them, where they are administered and what you can expect on test day. Before you begin any exam, you will be asked to self-certify, under penalty of perjury, that you meet the necessary requirements to take the exam.

SUBMIT APPLICATION: After successfully passing the written and practical exam, you can apply for your license. You will need to sign an affidavit stating that you are qualified in all respects for the license for which you are applying and disclose any misconduct or criminal history. You can mail your completed application and fee to:

DOPL PO Box 146741 Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741

Applications can also be hand-delivered to the DOPL at 160 East 300 South, First Floor, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.  After your application has been received by DOPL, you’re asked to wait four to six weeks for application processing before checking on its status. 

DOPL also suggests that you always make a copy of anything you send and use verification, such as certified mail, to provide proof of delivery.

CONSIDER BECOMING A PLUMBING CONTRACTOR: Contractors own and operate their own businesses and can hire other licensed employees to work for them. Plumbing Contractors must be licensed to legally operate a business. DOPL requires anyone who wants to be a Plumbing Contractor in Utah to take a 30-hour Pre-Licensure Course and pass the Utah Business and Law exam. The Contractor Candidate Information Bulletin explains the process and describes the test. You will also need to obtain general liability insurance with a minimum of $100,000 coverage for each incident and $300,000 in total, register your business with the Utah Division of Corporations if you are a corporation, LLC, LLP, or partnership, and obtain a Federal EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are a sole proprietor you use your Social Security Number. If you have employees, you’ll need to obtain a certificate of workers compensation insurance with DOPL as certificate holder, obtain a state withholding tax registration from the Utah State Tax Commission, obtain an unemployment registration from the Utah Department of Workforce Services, meet the experience and exam requirements, and file an application and submit appropriate fees. 

For all plumbers licenses, complete 12 hours of approved continuing education during each two-year renewal cycle.  

How Long Does it Take to Get a Plumbers License in Utah?

It will take about four years to complete an apprenticeship and then earn a journeyman plumber license in Utah. It will take at least another year to meet the eligibility requirements to test for a master plumber license. If you choose to become a contractor the license application process will take additional time. The great news is that as an apprentice you begin earning a wage from the very beginning and that compensation goes up each year as you acquire more training and knowledge until you are a fully licensed journeyman. Then it goes up again when you acquire your master license and as a contractor you can own your own business!

Utah Plumber Training programs and schools

Plumbers are responsible for a lot more than just fixing leaks or clogs. They design, install and renovate systems that carry liquids or gasses, so they must know more than just the mechanics. They must know plumbing code. The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) is made up of the state’s eight public colleges and eight technical colleges. There are plumbing apprenticeship programs offered at many of them, including Davis Technical College, Ogden/Weber Technical College, Mountainland Technical College, and Bridgerland Technical College. Dixie Technical College has a residential plumber program and then also offers a commercial component after the residential is complete, and Salt Lake Community College offers an apprentice program for independent plumbers and a plumber/pipefitter program through the JATC.

Tuition: Tuition varies slightly from school to school, but most of Utah’s technical college plumbing programs cost between $2,000 and $3,000 plus the cost of books and materials.

Apprenticeship: There are several formal apprenticeship opportunities to get the training you need in Utah as well. The Utah Career Center offers a five-year apprenticeship. The tuition is $458 per semester, plus fees. It’s a joint venture through Local 140 Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee in cooperation with UA Local 140 Plumbers, Pipefitters, HVAC&R, which offers a union apprenticeship at the training center as well.

Utah’s Department of Workforce Services also maintains a website of Registered Apprenticeships that meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor.  Apprenticeships through the Department of Labor are recognized nationwide, so your credentials will move with you. Or you can simply look for an entry-level position on Indeed or Zip Recruiter or another job board and work for a licensed contractor to learn on the job.

Program Prerequisites: For any of these paths, you need to be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or a GED (General Educational Development) degree. All applicants should have a driver’s license or letter verifying reliable transportation to work, must pass a drug test, and have passed high school algebra or its equivalent.

On-the-Job Experience: While on the job you will need to have good customer service skills, be detail-oriented, have some mechanical capability, and be physically fit, because the job can include some heavy lifting and hours of walking, standing and working in tight spaces.

Utah Plumber Licensing Exam Details

DOPL has contracted Prov Exams to administer all of the plumbing exams as well as the contractor exams. Each of the written plumber’s license exams are made up of 120 questions and have a time limit of four hours. Again, all of these details about the theory exam are explained in the Utah Plumbing Candidate Information Bulletin. The practical examinations are both two and half hours long and require you to complete two projects. The Utah Contractors Business and Law exam is made up of 60 questions about business organization; licensing; estimating and bidding; contract, project, financial and risk management; labor, lien, and tax laws; and safety. You will have two hours to complete it.  Where to take it and anything else you need to know is in the Contractor Candidate Information Bulletin.

You must get at least a 70% to pass any of these exams. All of the written exams cost $68 paid directly to Prov. The practical exams are $100 each.

Who Issues Plumbers Licenses in Utah?

Plumbing  licenses are issued through the Utah Department of Commerce — Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). Be sure to check with local governments where you intend to work to make sure you meet any additional licensing or permitting requirements.

Does My Utah Plumbers License Work in Any Other State?

Utah does not have reciprocity but does offer licensing by endorsement from specific other states at each level of licensure for plumbers. They have maps detailing which states reciprocate for Journeyman Plumber, Residential Journeyman Plumber, Master Plumber, and Residential Master Plumber. There is a separate map that identifies licensing by endorsement for contractors.

Plumbing Certifications

Other certifications can help you demonstrate your proficiency to potential employers and clients. National Inspection Testing and Certification (NITC),  International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (ASSE Certifications) and other professional certifications are not required but may make you a more attractive hire or can increase your marketability to customers.

Continuing Education

Utah law requires plumbers to obtain continuing education as a condition of license renewal. Plumbing licensees must complete 12 hours of continuing education each two-year license period. All courses must be approved by DOPL There is also a continuing education requirement for contractors — six hours per licensing period.

Renewal 

Plumbers licenses all expire on Nov. 30 of even-numbered years and must be renewed. The cost is $69 and can be done online.

Contractor licenses must also be renewed every two years. They expire on Nov. 30 of odd-numbered years. The fee for renewal is $113. You can renew online using this portal.

Resources

You can stay up to date on all plumbing industry news several ways:

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