Learning a skill like plumbing can be a very profitable career route. Everyone needs a plumber at some time in their lives to keep their home or business running well, which means you’ll never be short of work and will be in high demand.
There has never been a better moment to think about a career as a plumber. It’s one of the few professions that can withstand a downturn.
Plumbers are responsible for maintaining public health and sanitation systems, repairing leaking systems in residences, and assisting with installing new pipes and lines in commercial structures. Plus, they’re specifically trained to maintain, repair, and improve a slew of other critical platforms.
Furthermore, plumbing is a rewarding profession. Being a plumber would be the best career for you if you appreciate connecting with people daily and repairing critical systems in homes and offices with your own two hands.
This employment provides stability, regular work, and a good salary. It necessitates a set of specific skills, training, and license, all of which can take some time to complete. It is, however, well worth it after the training and instruction.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plumbers earned median annual pay of $56,330 in 2020. Over the next decade, job growth in the plumbing industry is predicted to increase by 5%.
There are several benefits of becoming a plumber; economic benefits and a plethora of work options are just a few of the benefits. In this article, we have rounded up a complete guide on how to become a plumber.
How To Become A Plumber
Some of the detailed steps include:
1. Build a Foundation
One of the best things about becoming a plumber is that you don’t necessarily need any formal education in the sense of traditional schooling.
Many plumbers have only a high school education or a GED, but many successful plumbers dropped out of school when they were teenagers and went straight into the trades.
If you don’t have a high school certificate, the first step is to pass the GED, which requires a refresher course. Your academic achievements will aid you in navigating plumbing training courses more efficiently, particularly if you have a high school diploma or a college degree.
2. Learn Technicality
The next step is to locate a technical trade school, or a plumbing company prepared to hire you as an apprentice to assist you in becoming a plumber and, eventually, a licensed journeyman plumber.
Before applying for a plumbing apprenticeship, check your state licensing requirements to see whether you live in one of the states requiring you to complete a certain number of classroom hours to obtain your plumbing license.
If your state mandates classroom instruction, technical and vocational colleges frequently offer plumbing, pipefitting, and steamfitting courses, as well as two-year degrees that integrate a number of these subjects.
The cost of an associate’s degree in plumbing technology can range from a few thousand dollars for the most basic programs to around $10,000 for a bachelor’s degree in plumbing technology.
You can find more information regarding technical trade schools and training opportunities via community colleges, local chapters of plumbing associations, and plumbing unions. If formal training is required, even local plumbing companies should lead you in the correct route.
3. Apply For Apprenticeship
Most of the states in the United States demand that you work as an apprentice for two years. A plumbing apprenticeship allows you to learn on the job from master plumbers before becoming a licensed journeyman plumber and, perhaps, a master plumber one day.
The apprenticeship includes around 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and specific technical seminars each year. There are two types of pre-apprenticeship plumbing programs: associate degree programs and certificate or diploma programs.
A certificate or diploma program is a more fundamental and quicker choice and is usually completed in a year or less. Basic plumbing information and abilities are taught in certificate or diploma programs.
Associate degree programs offer a more comprehensive education. You’ll take general education classes in addition to plumbing-specific ones; maths and science are two among them.
Associate degree programs might take two years to finish. This is time wisely spent for many aspiring plumbers. Plumbing apprenticeship programs provide you with more hands-on training and understanding about how plumbing systems work than classroom programs can.
Another benefit is that you will be compensated for your learning rather than paying a technical school to train you. You’ll assist the plumber while earning a wage and learning as much as you can from them during your apprenticeship.
You can take your licensure exam once you’ve gained all of the essential abilities, but these apprenticeships are normally four or five years long instead of a two-year or less school program. Finding an apprenticeship might be as simple as talking to local plumbers or contacting a local plumbers’ union.
4. Understand The Licensing Requirements
Depending on local laws, rules, and regulations, you’ll have the option to pursue a journeyman plumber license or a master’s license to advance your plumbing career after your apprenticeship is completed.
These license applications are typically quick and straightforward to complete, and you will nearly always be required to pass a licensing examination.
There are some useful tools available that can help you prepare for the types of questions that will be asked on these tests and exams, but it’s also a good idea to ask coworkers who are journeymen or master plumbers about their experiences.
You’ll need to show that you’ve completed your apprenticeship requirements, pay a nominal fee, and then proceed with the rest of the process. The actual process of getting your license can take anywhere from two to six weeks.
The following requirements are common in most licensing procedures:
- A high school diploma or a GED
- A criminal record that is free of felony convictions
- An application that has been completed
- A passing grade on a test
- You must be at least 18 years old to begin the licensing process.
5. Find a Job
You can work as a plumber now that you have the necessary education, license, and experience. Joining a plumbing union may help, but you are not required to join one to find work. You can work as a licensed plumber for the same company where you completed your apprenticeship.
Before you can switch plumbing professions, some companies will have criteria such as working for them for a particular number of years if you get an apprenticeship with them.
Because it is so profitable, the plumbing industry is highly competitive. Suppose you’re serious about succeeding in this demanding field.
In that case, you’ll need to prepare thoroughly, work diligently, and master all of the abilities necessary to progress through each phase and acquire a level of competency. You must register and be licensed with the appropriate agency in state or territory.
More specialized work areas, such as gasfitting, draining, hydraulics, and fire prevention, may require post-trade qualifications from the Construction, Plumbing, and Services Training Package to meet registration criteria.
Also, construction workers must acquire a Construction Induction Card after completing safety induction training (CIC).