How to Become a Plumber


If you’re looking for a career that is both challenging and in-demand, becoming a plumber may be a good choice for you. But how do you become a plumber? In this article, we’ll take a look at what it takes to enter this skilled trade.

Steps to becoming a plumber

Here are the steps for becoming a plumber:

  1. Get a high school diploma or GED – Before you can begin training to become a plumber, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or GED. The reason a diploma/GED is necessary is that a career in plumbing requires a good deal of math and science. In high school, you are taught the basics of both of these subjects. Having proof you completed high school or its equivalent will show potential employers that you have the basic skills needed for the job.
  2. Get vocational training – Becoming a plumber can involve completing a vocational training program. These programs typically include both classroom instruction and hands-on training. During the program, students learn about different aspects of plumbing, such as installation, repair, and maintenance. They also learn how to use various tools and equipment. Hours can often times be used towards an apprenticeship. Some colleges even offer online plumbing courses that can be taken to complete vocational training.
  3. Complete an apprenticeship program – After completing vocational training, the next step to becoming a plumber is to complete an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Apprenticeships can last up to four years, and during that time, you’ll learn about every aspect of plumbing. This includes installing, repairing, and maintaining pipes, fixtures, and drainage systems. To find an apprenticeship program, contact your local plumbers’ union or a plumbing contractor.
  4. Pass a state-licensed journeyman or master plumber’s exam – Once you have completed your apprenticeship program, you will then need to pass a state-licensed journeyman or master plumber’s exam. Depending on the state you live in, the requirements for taking this exam may vary. But generally, you will need to have at least two years of experience working as a plumber before you can take the exam.
  5. Find a job – Once you have completed an apprenticeship or journeyman program, you can begin working as a plumber. Many plumbers work for plumbing contractors, but some also work independently. You will need to review your resume and interview with potential employers before you are hired. Be sure to ask about the company’s policies on continuing education and training.
  6. Maintain your license and keep up with continuing education requirements – In order to maintain your plumbing license, you may be required to take continuing education courses. Additionally, some states require plumbers to renew their licenses every few years.

What are the different plumbing career paths?

There are many different paths you can take in your plumbing career. For example, you could become a:

  • Pipefitter – A pipefitter is someone who installs and repairs pipes. Pipefitters typically work in the construction industry, but they may also work in the maintenance or repair departments of factories or other businesses that use pipes.
  • Pipelayer – A pipelayer is someone who lays the groundwork for a pipe system. Pipelayers typically work in the construction industry and are responsible for digging trenches, laying pipes, and backfilling the trenches.
  • Plumbing contractor – A plumbing contractor is a business owner who specializes in plumbing. Plumbing contractors typically have a team of plumbers working for them and are responsible for the overall management of plumbing projects.
  • Plumbing inspector – A plumbing inspector is someone who inspects plumbing systems to ensure they meet plumbing code standards. Plumbing inspectors typically work for municipalities or other government organizations.
  • Steamfitter – A steamfitter is someone who installs and repairs pipes that carry steam. Steamfitters typically work in the construction industry or in the maintenance or repair departments of factories or other businesses that use steam.
  • Licensed plumber – This is your typical plumber who installs and repairs plumbing systems in both residential and commercial settings. Licensed plumbers must have a valid plumbing license in order to work.
  • Gas service technician – A gas service technician is someone who installs and repairs gas lines. Gas service technicians typically work in the construction industry or in the maintenance or repair departments of factories or other businesses that use gas.
  • Plumbing project manager – A plumbing project manager is someone who manages plumbing projects. Plumbing project managers typically work for plumbing contractors and are responsible for the overall management of plumbing projects.

What is the job outlook for plumbers?

The job outlook for plumbers is expected to grow, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 5% growth in employment for the trade between 2020 and 2030. The demand for plumbing services is driven by a number of factors, including an increase in construction activity, population growth, and the need to upgrade and replace aging infrastructure.

What is the earnings potential for plumbers?

The median annual wage for plumbers was $59,880 in May 2021. Plumbers with more experience and training can earn higher wages, and those who work in metropolitan areas often earn more than those who work in rural areas. Some plumbers have a salary upwards of $100,000 per year.