Are you looking at training to become a plumber? Plumbing is an excellent career choice for those who love to work with their hands to solve problems. It is a profession that will always be in demand and is an excellent career choice for those who love to get stuck in and solve problems.

If this sounds like you and you like to get hands-on and are looking to train to be a plumber, this in-depth guide will tell you all you need to know, from what you need to know to be a plumber to the education needed to be a plumber and what you can expect to earn once you gain your qualifications and license.

What Do You Need To Be A Plumber?

The training to be a plumber requires a mix of educational qualifications, good technical know-how, the ability to work with your hands and problem-solving. Plumbers require many different skills to help them tackle the range of problems they might face at a call-out, deliver the highest possible customer service, and complete any work to relevant codes and standards per local state guidelines and national standards within the industry.

Aspiring plumbers will need to learn how to read blueprints, install systems, identify issues, carry out complex problem-solving, and have a working knowledge of codes and regulations of the industry.

High School Education

In the first instance, trainee plumbers will need a high school diploma or GED. Plumbing is a career that requires you to understand mathematics, follow instructions, and be clear and concise in your work and communication.

Additional Training

From here, you can enroll in a plumbing technician training program with NTI, which is a 12 to 16-week course that gives you the foundational skills you need to train to be a plumber. This course is designed to fit around your life and give you a head start into the education required to be a plumber and what you can expect from the career, as well as an insight into what you need to know and learn for a successful career as a plumber. While you can indeed learn these skills on the job, the plumbing technician training program allows you to get the basics skills needed to be a plumbing technician in place before progressing on your career path.

You can also undertake courses to complete your entry into the education needed to become a plumber in a community college or trade school.


The next step in your journey is to be accepted into an apprenticeship. This is the only way to get your license to become a fully certified plumber. An apprenticeship typically lasts four to five years to complete to qualify for your licence.

When you apply for an apprenticeship, you will be matched with an experienced plumber, and you will work and earn a wage as you train. You will pick up valuable job skills and learn the skills needed in a more practical way, including safety practices needed for plumbing professionals. You will receive feedback on your work and support to help you pass the program and become licensed.

During your apprenticeship, you will learn a variety of skills related to plumbing, including;

  • Correct tool usage
  • Fabrication
  • Safety procedures
  • Local codes
  • Mathematics
  • Reading blueprints
  • Piping

An apprenticeship will consist of around 144 hours of classwork and 2,000 hours of practical working time per year. The course can take up to 5 years to complete.

To get an apprenticeship, you can either apply via the Department of Labor or approach local companies to see if they have any spots available, or you can join them.


Once you have gained your experience and qualifications, you will be ready to acquire your licence to be able to get a job in the industry. Each state will have its own requirements for licensing, so you need to know these rules and have satisfied them prior to making your application. Typically, you will need to have two to five years of experience and have passed an exam that covers trade knowledge, techniques, and local and national codes. In some states, there may be additional requirements. For example, in Missouri, you need to be over the age of 21 to get your license.

How Much Do Plumbers Earn?

The earning potential is also good to know when choosing a career. As a plumber the national average salary for entry-level plumbers is $36,000 to an average of $60,000 for 4 years of experience or more. 

Again, this can vary from state to state, and if you train in a specific niche within plumbing or you develop additional skills, you can increase your earning potential. For example, a journeyman plumber can expect to earn over $63,000 on average per year, while a master plumber can command a higher salary, with national averages being just over $90,000.

What Are Career Prospects for Plumbers?

In the US, demand for plumbers is expected to rise thanks to new residential and commercial plumbing developments. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, there is a 55% shortage of plumbers right now, with fewer people taking up the trade. There are currently 480,600 licensed plumbers working, and demand is expected to grow by 14% between 2018 and 2028. 

Once you have undertaken the education needed to become a plumber and gained the relevant license and experience, you can then choose to follow a more specific career path. 

Some options to consider include;

  • Steamfitter
  • Service Technician
  • Journeyman plumber
  • Engineer
  • HVAC installer
  • Water supply plumber
  • Pipe fitter
  • Commercial plumber
  • Residential plumber
  • Drain technician

The future looks bright for those wishing to train to be a plumber, as there are multiple career paths you can choose once you have completed your training. If you are looking for a future-proof career that is well worth the time and financial investment, then training to be a plumber is an excellent choice.

Start Your Plumbing Career Today At NTI

If you want to find out more about getting started on your career path and learning more about what you need to be a plumber, then you can get in touch with us to find out how to enroll in our plumbing technician training program. Contact us today to speak with our team at NTI today!

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We are here to answer your questions about NTI and the path for your career as an HVAC technician, electrician, plumber, or paralegal. Our team is dedicated to helping you make an informed decision about your future. Whether you’re just starting to explore your options or you’re ready to take the next step, we can help. Connect with us today to learn more and get started on the application process.