Plumbing may not seem like a lucrative career option to those who don’t know enough. But if you research properly and are interested in the wide range of activities that a plumber undertakes, it may turn out to be a rewarding career choice. So, how do you become a licensed plumber in Connecticut?
There are certain steps that need to be followed in case you want to become a plumber in Connecticut. It is a journey that involves certain steps. You begin as an apprentice and after some time graduate to being a contractor who can perform most plumbing jobs.
Types of Plumbers in Connecticut
Before embarking on your journey to becoming a plumber in Connecticut, you need to understand the type of plumbing licenses that you can apply for. These will also determine the type of career you want to build, the scope of work you want to be involved in as you go along.
It would serve you well if you think about these questions at the outset and plan your training and apprenticeship based on this to avoid disappointments in the long run. However, these are not set in stone and you can always upgrade at a later stage.
There are several types of plumbing contractors in Connecticut:
P-1 Unlimited Plumbing Contractor
Those who train for this are eligible to undertake almost all types of plumbing tasks. To qualify for this, one needs to have appropriate training or work as an unlimited journeyperson plumber for a period of at least two years.
P-2 Unlimited Journeyperson Plumber
If you are working for someone, you can undertake a range of jobs using this license. However, the person you are working for must be at a higher qualification than you to manage the legalities. You, in a way, will be working for them.
You need to have completed an apprentice program to qualify for this license in addition to having the necessary training.
J-1 Limited Contractor
If you have this license, you will only be eligible to undertake some domestic contractual work such as water conditioning and fixing water pumps. To get this license, you need to have spent at least two years as a journeyman or make up by other forms of training.
J-2 Limited Journeyperson
These license holders can undertake the works of water conditioning and fixing water pumps only if they are working under a contractor who holds licenses for a variety of other things. In essence, you would have to be employed by a contractor fully licensed for this type of work.
Usually, completing a good apprenticeship program or equivalent experience should help you get this one.
P-6 Limited Journeyperson
If you are an employee of a contractor licensed for work, you can undertake work such as repairing and maintaining pipes, sewer and storm lines inside any structure, residential or commercial.
You would be required to have completed at least one year of an apprenticeship program in order to undertake this job.
P-7 Limited Contractor
If you have worked as a journeyperson for two years or possess relevant skills and training, you may apply for this license. With this, you can work to install, repair and replace sewer pipelines, storm lines, etc. these need to be situated inside a structure for you to take up the job.
P-8 Limited Journeyperson
After passing one year as a registered apprentice, you can apply for this license. This license relegated you to the repair and maintenance of petroleum tanks and related pumping equipment. However, you can undertake this work only as an employee of a licensed contractor.
P-9 Pump Contractor
If you hold two years of experience as a journeyperson, you can apply for this license. This limits your work to repairing, installing and maintaining piping for petroleum tanks and other relevant equipment.
How to Get Started
Now that you know the two types of licenses that you could potentially earn, you must be thinking about how to start this journey and the steps to follow. Here is a handy guide for you:
Find If You Are Truly Interested in the Profession
First and foremost, you need to be interested in taking up the profession. It is a diverse field and a lot can be done but you should choose this as a choice of profession only if you are seriously interested in it.
Remember, a career needs to be sustained over a period of time and if you don’t like it enough, you won’t last a long time.
The next thing that you need to do is to sign up for the right training programs. You can either go to a technical high school or choose a community college. You will be exposed to a range of coursework that will introduce you to the foundations of plumbing.
These include coursework on pipes, water system, heating, valve and vents. There will also be certain electives that you would need to undertake. These would vary from college to college and from one programme to the other.
Some schools that offer plumbing courses include:
- Eli Whitney Technical School
- Grasso Regional Technical School
- Oliver Wolcott Technical School
- Kaynor Technical School
Apprenticeships are the way to a glorious career. The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training is your best bet to find out the best apprenticeships. You should get associated with a plumbing firm for the best experience.
Doing an apprenticeship locally is going to be rewarding in the long run. You will not only become a part of the local network but also learn more about the codes and types of work usually done locally.
Most apprenticeships last for four to five years, but there is a minimum requirement of at least two years to be eligible for the plumbing license.
Apply for a License
Figuring a license in Connecticut is not an easy job. There are multiple licenses involved sometimes and you need to apply for all those in order to take up certain jobs.
Once you have finished your apprenticeship, you need to apply for a license. The Department of Consumer Protection handles these licenses and you can find all the required documents from their website.
You will also need to pay an application fee and fill in some information. In case all your documents are fine, you will receive a notification from the agency giving a verdict on your eligibility to take the license.
You will be either classified as a journeyperson or a contractor depending on your skill sets and apprenticeship duration while being awarded your plumbing license.
Job Outlook and Salary Expectations
Once you have received your license, you would be wondering about the job prospects. The day-to-day job of a plumber involves repairing pipes, fixing water heating and other fixtures in your home.
They work in a range of places such as commercial and residential. Think of it, almost every household is going to need plumbing work done and so is the case with a commercial space.
There are too many offices and workplaces that regularly hire plumbers. You can even choose to work in a particular space and build your career accordingly.
Some of the jobs that you would be expected to do:
- Install pipes and fixtures.
- Manage taps and other fixtures in homes, commercial buildings and the likes.
- Visually inspect pressure gauges and other fixtures in the house and see if there is a fault. You will also be expected to fix that which is broken.
- Unclog pipes and sinks and toilets.
There are some other soft skills that a plumber is supposed to have in order to excel in your career. These include:
- Problem solving and analytical skills.
- Good listening skills.
- Good physical agility and stamina to undertake a range of tasks.
Great at communication and explaining.
- Time management skills.
- Interpersonal skills.
When it comes to earnings, it depends on your experience and skillset. There is a range and there are all sorts of plumbers in Connecticut. If you are starting out, you may be on a lower end of the salary scale and if you are very experienced, you may be making a higher amount of money.
To get an idea of the range, you can think of the range as starting from $32,000 and there is no upper limit. There are freelancers who charge by the hour and make a lot of money. As you become more experienced and expand your network, you will be getting more jobs and money.
The median range that one can expect is $60,000 per annum and this can again vary.
The Parting Words
Becoming a plumber in Connecticut is a time-consuming yet rewarding process. If you do fruitful apprenticeships and work consistently on upgrading your skills, it can be a very rewarding career. All you need to do is to constantly keep working on your skills and increasing your professional network.