How to Become a Plumber in Texas

There are several steps involved when it comes to becoming a plumber in Texas. Overall, however, it can be a good opportunity for you to consider due to the high demand for plumbers and their services.

There are also several chances of growing and advancing in this career. In order to find out all the steps that you need to follow to become a plumber in Texas, you can go through the following sections that cover it all in detail.

Requirements for Becoming a Plumber in Texas

You need to meet various requirements before you can become a plumber in Texas. These are not only educational or learning-based but also practical. You will need to start off at a beginner’s level, after which you can advance to higher levels once you obtain an official license.

To start off, you will need to apply and register to become an apprentice plumber. After this, you can start building your skills and experience in this field to become a tradesman, a journeyman, a master or a plumbing inspector.

You can take a more detailed look at each of these levels below.

Apprentice

As an apprentice plumber, you will be able to accompany professional or advanced plumbers on their jobs and assist them in small tasks that they may ask you to carry out under their supervision.

Alongside this kind of practical experience, you will also need to take several courses that can teach you how to carry out different kinds of plumbing tasks, the materials you can use, the tools involved and a lot more.

At this stage, you can also become familiar with the codes and regulations of the state of Texas when it comes to plumbing.

There are generally several requirements that you will need to fulfill to become an apprentice. This apprenticeship generally tends to go on for up to five years. It is only after you finish this apprenticeship that you can apply for a license and move on to becoming a tradesman.

Tradesman

A tradesman is the next step when it comes to becoming a plumber. This is an intermediate level that gives you a Tradesman-Plumber Limited license if you pass the relevant examination and meet the work hour requirements.

As a tradesman plumber, you will still need to continue working under a professional plumber with a relevant license. You can start carrying out jobs and tasks that include installing, repairing, cleaning and maintaining several kinds of fixtures or pipework.

You can also manage an apprentice as a tradesman plumber. You are, however, only limited to small sites or locations as a tradesman.

Journeyman

To become a journeyman plumber, you need to have completed the above two steps and roles as an apprentice and tradesman. You should also have a tradesman license along with 8,000 hours of work experience in the field of plumbing.

You will then need to give and pass an examination to obtain the license of a journeyman plumber, after which you can obtain your certificate and card.

Once you obtain these, you can start working as a journeyman plumber under the guidance and supervision of a master plumber. You can also work on larger sites in this case. In some kinds of tasks, you will also be able to work on your own.

You will be able to carry out all the relevant plumbing tasks such as installation, repairing, cleaning, construction and more, under this kind of supervision. Managing an apprentice can also be another task that you can carry out.

Once you work as a journeyman for a few years, you can advance to the next level.

Master

A master plumber is the next step after becoming a journeyman. You will need to have an official license as a journeyman to be able to take the examination for becoming a master plumber and obtaining your license.

Moreover, you will also need to have held the journeyman license for approximately four years. This will ensure that you have the relevant skills and experiences in the field.

Becoming a master plumber will allow you to carry out plumbing tasks without any kind of supervision. You can also work on larger sites and supervise other junior plumbing positions.

You might also have to carry out different kinds of planning and coordination tasks while also working with other officials.

Plumbing Inspector

As a plumbing inspector, you need to hold the relevant license and meet other eligibility criteria to give an exam and obtain a license. This will allow you to carry out inspections and checks of plumbing work in different kinds of buildings to ensure that they meet all the standards and codes.

You will generally be appointed to a given region or building by a political division.

Requirements for Obtaining a License in Texas

There are different requirements involved in obtaining a license in Texas. Go through the following steps to get a general overview of the process.

  • You must be at least 16 years old to become an apprentice.
  • You should have at least 4,000 or 8,000 hours of work experience depending on the level that you are applying for.
  • You should have finished a 24-hour or 48-hour training course or an entire approved training program.
  • You should pass the criminal background check.
  • Submit your Employer Certification Form.
  • You should pay the application fees for the exam. This is $36 for the journeyman exam, $40 for the master exam and $175 for the inspector exam.
  • Make sure that you give and pass your exam to obtain the license.
  • Pay the license fees to obtain your certificate.

Time and Costs

You will need to spend up to five years to complete your apprenticeship to be able to move on to a tradesman.

Both tradesman and journeyman plumbers need to spend a few years in the field to gain some experience. This can then allow them to apply for becoming a master plumber or an inspector.

You will also need to spend hundreds of dollars overall on application fees, paying for licenses and exams in addition to paying for some of your courses as an apprentice. Luckily, you can also start earning as an apprentice to cover some of these costs.

Programs

You will need to find a program and take several courses while you are an apprentice to learn the ins and outs of the trade.

Usually, trade schools, training institutes and community colleges tend to provide such courses that you can go through and pick from.

Some approved programs are available in the following places:

  • Association for the Advancement of Codes, Education and Standards
  • Conger Construction Services, LLC
  • Pioneer Educational Services, Inc.
  • Winn’s Continuing Education, Inc.
  • Jerome Mendias, Sr. Construction and Plumbing Education

Job Opportunities

In nearly all parts of the world, a plumber tends to be highly sought after to be able to carry out plumbing-related tasks in houses, buildings and other commercial structures.

This can include construction, installation, cleaning, maintenance and inspection of plumbing work depending on how skilled you are.

You can also work independently, contractually or as part of a company. You can also start your own company. You might also be required to work with various departments of the government at advanced levels.

Salary Expectations

Texas is one of the biggest employers of plumbers and pipefitters in the country. It employs over 42 people per 1,000 jobs in the installation sector, making it a major sector in the state.

On average, plumbers in Texas earn an hourly mean wage of $24.44 and an annual mean wage of $50,840 as recorded up to May 2020.

The exact amount that you will earn as a plumber can vary according to your skill level. Apprentices will earn much less (up to $20,000 per year) while this salary will keep increasing with your license type and experiences.

Career Growth

You can expect the required career growth in the field of plumbing as you continue to work more in the trade. As an apprentice, you will be able to learn new practical tasks and assist master plumbers in their jobs.

As you go on to become a tradesman and a journeyman, you can carry out certain tasks on your own while also expanding the work that you can do under supervision. Every few years, you will be able to grow into a new position that will pay you more than before.

There are several sub-levels under each level as well that can promote growth in this career.

Organizations to Know

There are several organizations you should be aware of in case you have any doubts.

  • Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners
  • Association for the Advancement of Codes, Education and Standards
  • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • Associated Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Texas
  • Texas Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association

Concluding Remarks

You now know everything you need to be aware of about becoming a plumber in Texas. This includes all the levels that you need to or can cross to start working in the field, how and where you can apply for these licenses, what your job will entail as well as how much time and money you will need to spend.

You now also have a fair idea about the kinds of job opportunities you can access, how much salary you can expect at different levels and how much potential you have to grow and advance in this career.

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