How to Become a Plumber in Arizona

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If you want to have a long term job that will always be lucrative, you can consider becoming a plumber.

This article will guide you through the steps you need to take towards this career, in Arizona.

Job Description and Requirements

Plumbers belong to a very old trade, and in the beginning, they were working with lead, found usually in the sewage system.

The name of their occupation comes from the word for lead in Latin.

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These days, they still work with pipes, but not really with lead.

Plumbers install, repair, and maintain:

  • Water supply systems
  • Roof drains
  • Storm drainage systems
  • Plumbing fixtures (including water heaters)
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Fuel, sewer, water and gas lines

They also need expertise related to:

  • Measuring
  • Soldering
  • Drainage waste and vents
  • Indirect waste
  • Specialty plumbing, interceptors, and traps
  • Hydronics and excavation
  • Isometric analysis
  • Backflow prevention

To enter the trade, a person always had to undergo some training, and nowadays they need to also pass a test and obtain a license from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC).

The licenses you can get are:

  • Residential Plumber (R-37)
  • Commercial Plumber (C-37)
  • Dual License (CR-37)

Training as a Plumber in Arizona

The preferred way of training for these professionals is through an apprenticeship.

However, there are people who will prefer enrolling in a vocational school or college.

Apprenticeships are needed for this type of training as well.

You’ll have to be at least 18 years old to be accepted either in the apprenticeship programs or in the vocational schools.

You also need the following:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Pass a drug test
  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Basic knowledge of reading and writing
  • Advanced knowledge of math and science

You should have passing scores and knowledge in geometry, algebra, biology, thermodynamics, and metric measurements.

Classroom education should be at least 144 hours.

You’ll learn:

  • How to read blueprints
  • Septic tanks
  • Leaching lines
  • Piping equipment for swimming pools
  • Venting and sanitary drainage systems

The apprenticeship period lasts for 4 years at the end of which you can take the journeyman exam.

Expect receiving a certificate at the end of the apprenticeship period, that showcases your experience.

As an apprentice, you’ll perform various plumbing related duties while being overseen by a licensed plumber.

Becoming a Journeyman Plumber in Arizona

The journeyman license for plumbers is only available in the City of Phoenix.

The remaining of the state goes directly to a master plumber license or one of the three licenses mentioned earlier.

The requirements to obtain the journeyman license are:

  • Proof of completed apprenticeship
  • 4 years pf experience
  • Current picture ID
  • Fill out the application form
  • Pay the test fee at the testing center – $100
  • Score 75% on the test

The license lasts for 3 years, and to renew it, you’ll have to pass another exam.

The passing score on the license renewal exam is 70%.

Becoming a Licensed Plumber in Arizona

As mentioned earlier, to become licensed, you’ll have to pass an exam.

In fact, there will be 2 exams you need to pass:

  • One for the trade
  • A business exam

PSI Services LLC administers these exams that cost $56 each.

The passing score for the exams is 70% and the result has a validity of 2 years.

The requirements to take the exams are:

  • Paying the licensing fees
  • Having a government photo ID
  • Pass a background check
  • Fill out the application forms

The background check is not free of charge, and you also have to pay for it.

Arizona Plumbing License Reciprocity

A license reciprocity agreement between two states, allows the license holder to work in either state with no restrictions.

Currently, Arizona doesn’t have any such agreement with any other state.

There is one exception though, that applies to professionals married to military personnel.

For the reciprocity agreement to be valid, the licensed professional must agree with their spouse in Arizona.

Those who qualify will still have to pay some fees for the licensing process.

These professionals need at least 1 year of experience in the state they hold a license.

Additionally, they also need to be free of any disciplinary action against them.

Employment and Salary Information

These professionals start working in the apprenticeship period.

Sometimes, these positions transition into full-time jobs.

Some of the most common employers are:

  • Construction companies
  • The city hall
  • Gas and water providers

The salary will depend on the experience you have, the city you work in, as well as the type of license you have.

In cities like Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria, the median salary is generally higher than in most other cities in Arizona.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Phoenix $56,957
Tucson $54,009
Mesa $55,872
Chandler $55,872
Scottsdale $55,872
Glendale $56,957
Gilbert $55,872
Tempe $55,872
Peoria $56,843
Surprise $56,061

Regional Salary in Arizona

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Flagstaff, AZ150$51,630$24.82$66,240$36,660
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ230$51,740$24.87$65,610$35,220
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ8,070$59,230$28.48$88,230$38,100
Prescott, AZ290$50,780$24.42$64,410$37,320
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ90$48,780$23.45$61,130$33,830
Tucson, AZ960$53,170$25.56$78,240$36,720
Yuma, AZ190$47,550$22.86$62,920$32,690
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters, OCC Code 47-2152, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Additional Information

Safety is very important in this field, so don’t be surprised if, for employment, you’ll also have to show proof you completed the OSHA Arizona Safety Training program.

Your future job as a plumber will also require you to ensure the safety standards and the building regulations are being met.

Schools Offering Plumbing Programs in Arizona

School Name Address
Piping Industry Progress & Education Trust Fund 125 S 52nd Street · Tempe, AZ · 85281
Arizona Western College 2020 S. Avenue 8E, Yuma, Arizona 85365-8834
GateWay Community College 108 N. 40th Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85034
Pima Community College 4905C East Broadway Blvd., Tucson, Arizona 85709-1275
Rio Salado College 2323 W 14th St, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Tohono O'odham Community College Highway 86, Mile Post 125.5, Sells, Arizona 85634-3129
Arizona Pipe Trades 2950 W. Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016
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