Gaining expertise in a trade like plumbing might open doors to lucrative employment opportunities. There will always be a need for plumbers, as everyone will require their services at some point to ensure the smooth operation of their home or business. And, an aspiring plumber couldn’t have picked a more favorable time to start thinking about their future. It’s a strong industry that can weather economic downturns.
Plumbers are essential to society because of the importance of their work in ensuring public health and sanitation, mending broken plumbing in homes, and assisting with the installation of new lines and pipes in businesses. Additionally, they have the specialized training to fix and enhance a wide variety of other vital infrastructure.
In addition, the plumbing industry is highly rewarding. If you enjoy working hands-on to fix important systems in people’s homes and businesses, then becoming a plumber is the perfect profession for you.
This position offers security, regular work, and competitive compensation. It does also require a lengthy time commitment in plumber training to acquire the necessary expertise, education, and certification. Nevertheless, after you’ve had the proper guidance and training, it’s totally worth it. Read on to find out more about how to become a plumber.
What Do Plumbers Do?
If you’re thinking about becoming a plumber, you may be curious about the work a plumber does on a daily basis. Finding out about the realities of becoming a plumber can be difficult unless you have connections in the industry, but doing some thorough online research is a good place to start.
In general, a plumber’s services extend far beyond fixing clogged toilets and putting in new sinks. Plumbers are responsible for the installation and upkeep of a wide variety of piping systems in a wide range of buildings, including homes, businesses, power plants, waste disposal facilities, water treatment facilities, and manufacturing facilities.
In general, plumbers are in charge of setting up and maintaining a building’s plumbing. The tasks required of a plumber vary from one job to the next. It is expected of every plumber that they can read and interpret blueprints, use plumbing tools effectively, and identify the appropriate materials for any given task. When working on new building projects, plumbers may also be responsible for designing the plumbing systems.
Some plumbing jobs require basic carpentry skills, like getting to pipes that are hidden behind walls or steadying pipes to keep them from moving. As needed, you’ll also use techniques like soldering and welding to put parts together.
Where Do Plumbers Work?
There is a wide variety of potential employers for a qualified plumber. Some people find plumbing jobs because they know someone who is looking for an apprentice. Some people look for jobs on online classifieds like Craigslist. Jobs are often displayed in the hallways of technical institutions and announced by teachers who may still be working in the field. Plus, your own website and good marketing will pay dividends.
The work environment can change on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Most self-employed plumbers spend their days in residential houses, either installing new fixtures or fixing various issues. That’s why it’s not uncommon for plumbers to split their time between multiple sites during the course of a single day. On the other hand, a plumber may need to return to the same location several times throughout a single building or renovation project. This is because the plumbing work must be coordinated with the other trades and completed in phases.
One of the best things about being a plumber is that the job is different every day, and you need to use your knowledge, skills, and experience to come up with a wide variety of different solutions to the various problems and challenges you’ll come across.
There are a lot of plumbing companies that offer hands-on training, but you have to be 18 and have a high school diploma or GED. In fact, a lot of people get their first job as an apprentice plumber by going to a job site and asking if they need any help. This is a great way to start getting training and experience on the job, putting together a toolkit, learning about local plumbing codes, and picking up tips from a plumber.
If you want to know how to become a plumbing technician, you can also take a certificate course at a trade school or join an apprenticeship program. Classes and courses at a trade school offer a structured learning environment where you can quickly get the information you need to become a master plumber.
Is It Easy To Become An Apprentice?
While many people might be keen to learn how to become a plumber, they might be less keen on the idea of going back to the classroom, which is why an apprenticeship will always appeal. However, there is more to consider.
Most states in the US require at least two years of apprenticeship before you can be a qualified plumbing technician. A plumbing apprenticeship provides on-the-job training from experienced plumbers, paving the way to certification as a journeyman and eventually master status. But classroom-based work may well be required too.
Around two thousand hours of on-the-job training and yearly specialized technical seminars make up the apprenticeship. Pre-apprenticeship plumbing training can be obtained through either an associate degree or a certificate or diploma program.
You can finish the requirements for a certificate or diploma program in a year or less, making it a more basic and rapid option. Certificate and diploma programs often cover the fundamentals of plumbing.
The education you receive in an associate degree program is more all-encompassing. In addition to plumbing-specific courses, you will also be required to complete general education courses in areas like mathematics and the natural sciences.
Two years could be the average time needed to complete an associate degree program. Many prospective plumbers will benefit much from this investment of time. You can learn more about the inner workings of plumbing systems and gain a deeper understanding of the trade by participating in an apprenticeship program.
It’s a better deal than sending you into debt to pay for technical school when you consider that you’ll get paid to learn. You will work for the plumber for a wage and learn as much as possible from them during your apprenticeship.
Licensing And Certifications
After four or five years of apprenticeship, rather than two or three years in school, you can sit for your licensing exam and prove you have acquired the necessary skills.
Most states require four years as an apprentice or trainee before a plumber can get a license at the journeyman level.
After a plumber’s training period is over, they need to pass a test to get their license. To get a license as a plumber, you have to pass a test on the current Uniform Plumbing Code. Candidates may want to take a course at a trade school or use other structured study methods to get ready for the licensing exam. All plumbers should find out what license requirements their state has and work towards those particular requirements.
Now You’re Ready To Find Work
Having completed the required coursework, passing the associated exam, and gaining relevant work experience, you are now qualified to find employment as a plumber. A plumber’s union membership can be beneficial, but it is not necessary to get a job. In some cases, you won’t have to look any further than the company where you served your apprenticeship to find a job as a fully licensed plumber.
Some plumbing firms require their apprentices to stay with the business for a certain period of time after completing their training before they are allowed to switch to another plumbing company, so it’s best to know this in advance.
Continue Your Education
If you want to be a successful plumber, gaining an apprenticeship, taking on the relevant training courses, and obtaining your licenses are really just the beginning. You’ll need to continue your education for the rest of your career, ensuring you continue to not only renew your license when you need to, but stay up to date with all the changes and new regulations that are sure to take place within the plumbing industry.
Staying up to date with your education and knowledge is a crucial part of becoming an expert in your plumbing career. You don’t want to lag behind your competitors, whether you work for yourself or someone else.
What Are A Plumber’s Salary Expectations?
Because many plumbers are self-employed, it isn’t always easy to find an exact salary range. However, statistics suggest that across the United States, plumbers earn a median annual salary of $55,337, or $26.60 per hour. The annual salary range for plumbers is between $36,000 and $84,000, with the lowest-earning ten percent making around $36,000 and the highest-earning ten percent making $84,000.
An aspiring entrepreneur who is interested in working for themselves would do well to consider a career as a plumber. They can get their plumber’s license, buy a work van, and start their own plumbing business after around five years in the trade. Since insurance firms recognize the credentials of licensed plumbers, these professionals can command a high salary and even be subcontracted for substantial commercial projects. So why not start your plumbing career today?