Who is a plumber?
A plumber is a tradesperson who specializes in installing, repairing, and maintaining systems used for the distribution of water, gas, and sewage in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
Plumbers typically work with pipes, fixtures, valves, and other plumbing equipment to ensure that water and waste are properly transported and disposed of within a building.
They may also be responsible for diagnosing and fixing problems with plumbing systems, such as leaks, clogs, or low water pressure. Plumbers may work for plumbing companies, construction firms, or be self-employed.
A Guide on How to Become a Plumber
If you are looking for a stable and rewarding career, becoming a plumber may be a great choice for you. Plumbers are in high demand, and the field offers good pay, job security, and opportunities for advancement. In this article, we’ll explore the steps you can take to become a plumber.
1. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent
Before becoming a plumber, you will need at least a high school diploma or GED. This is because plumbing requires a certain level of math and science knowledge and strong communication and problem-solving skills.
If you are still in high school, consider taking courses in math, science, and communication to prepare for a career in plumbing.
2. Find an Apprenticeship Program
The most common way to become a plumber is to complete an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships typically last between 4-5 years and involve on-the-job training with a licensed plumber, as well as classroom instruction.
During your apprenticeship, you will learn about plumbing systems, safety procedures, and building codes. You will also gain hands-on experience by assisting licensed plumbers with various tasks, such as installing and repairing pipes, fixtures, and appliances.
There are a few ways to find an apprenticeship program. One option is to contact local plumbing companies and ask if they offer apprenticeships.
You can also check with trade associations or unions that represent plumbers, such as the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters or the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association. Additionally, some vocational schools and community colleges offer plumbing apprenticeship programs.
3. Meet State Licensing Requirements
In most states, plumbers are required to obtain a license to work. The specific requirements for licensing vary by state but typically involve passing an exam and meeting certain education and experience requirements. Some states may also require plumbers to have a certain amount of liability insurance or bonding.
To prepare for your licensing exam, you will need to study plumbing codes, safety regulations, and plumbing system design. You can find study materials and exam prep courses through trade associations or vocational schools.
Once you pass your exam, you will need to renew your license periodically and may be required to complete continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on new technology and techniques.
The following requirements are common in most licensing procedures:
- A high school diploma or a GED
- A criminal record that is free of 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.
4. Consider Additional Certifications
In addition to obtaining a plumbing license, there are a variety of additional certifications you can obtain to demonstrate your expertise and specialization in certain areas.
For example, you may want to become certified in backflow prevention, which involves installing devices that prevent contaminated water from flowing back into the main water supply.
Or, you may want to become certified in green plumbing, which involves installing water-efficient fixtures and using environmentally-friendly practices.
To become certified in a specific area of plumbing, you will need to complete additional training and pass a certification exam. You can find certification programs through trade associations or vocational schools.
5. Gain Experience and Continue Education
To stay competitive in the field and advance your career, it is important to gain experience by working in a job and continuing your education. As you gain more experience, you may be able to take on more complex jobs and eventually become a master plumber, which is the highest level of licensure in the field.
Continuing education can also help you stay up-to-date on new technology and techniques. You can attend seminars and workshops, read trade publications, and join professional organizations to network with other plumbers and learn about the latest trends and best practices.
Becoming a plumber requires a combination of education, training, and experience. If you are interested in pursuing a career in plumbing, you can start by researching apprenticeship programs and requirements in your state. With dedication and hard work, you can build a successful career as a plumber and enjoy the benefits.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Plumber?
The length of time it takes to become a plumber can vary depending on the specific path you take. However, on average, it takes about 4-5 years to complete a plumbing apprenticeship program and obtain a plumbing license.
During your apprenticeship, you will typically work full-time while also attending classroom instruction for a set number of hours each week. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you will need to pass a licensing exam and meet any other requirements set by your state.
What is the Plumber’s salary?
Regarding the salary of a plumber, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $56,330 as of May 2021. The lowest 10% of plumbers earned less than $33,430, while the highest 10% earned more than $98,550.
Keep in mind that the salary for plumbers can vary depending on factors such as location, years of experience, and level of licensure. Additionally, plumbers who specialize in certain areas or work for larger companies may earn higher salaries.