Plumbing can be a very stable and lucrative career.
No matter what is happening in the local economy, there will always be a need for plumbers.
But this is a career path that is filled with challenges and hard work. It’s not for everyone.
If you believe that you’re up for the challenge and want to become a licensed plumber, here are the basic steps you’ll need to take.
Start with the Basics
First of all, it’s a good idea to get some basics out of the way. You’ll need a high school diploma or GED. Plumbing requires real knowledge, skill and understanding of mathematics, science and language. You’ll need solid reading and communication ability. You’ll need to be able to accurately measure water volume and flow, and you’ll need to be able to measure and cut piping to exact lengths.
You also want to be highly employable, so that means keeping a clean driving and criminal record and demonstrating the ability to pass drug tests. These things won’t technically keep you from going to trade school or taking your exam, but who is going to hire you if you have a track record of being irresponsible?
Attend Plumbing School
In some states, plumbing trade school education might be optional. If you just want to become a residential plumber, and if your state allows, then you might be able to simply call up a local plumber and ask if they are looking for an apprentice or if they offer continuing education. But in most cases, attending an accredited plumbing school is a good choice. You can usually be an apprentice while still putting in hours in plumbing school as well.
Become a Plumber’s Apprentice
Becoming an apprentice is not optional. You will need to spend anywhere from two to five years working alongside a licensed plumber. You can expect to put in several thousand hours of supervised work as an apprentice. The exact requirements will vary by state, but you can expect to put in about 2,000 hours per year and spend around three years as an apprentice before you’re eligible to take your state’s plumbing exam and get your plumber’s license.
Pass Your State Plumber’s Licensing Exam
Once you’ve met your state’s education and apprenticeship requirements, you can take the plumbing licensing exam. Once you pass it, you’ll be a licensed plumber and can take plumbing jobs unsupervised in your state.
There will be limitations to the kinds of projects you can do, however. So you’ll still be working to higher levels as a journeyman and finally as a master plumber. Again, you’ll have to check your state’s requirements there. But once you pass that initial exam, your career can start picking up speed.
Becoming a licensed plumber is a great career choice, but it will take a significant commitment of time and effort. Follow these four steps to launch your plumbing career and become a member of this much-needed profession.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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