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 the plumbing trade.

What are the different levels of plumbers?

There are 3 common levels of plumbers:

Apprentice plumber – An apprentice plumber is just starting their training and typically works under the supervision of a licensed plumber. To become an apprentice plumber, one must first complete a certain amount of classroom and on-the-job training.

Journeyman plumber – A journeyman plumber has completed their apprenticeship and is knowledgeable in all aspects of plumbing work, including installation and repair. This includes installing plumbing fixtures, understanding drainage systems, and reading building plans. To become a journeyman plumber, one must pass a licensing exam and have a certain amount of work experience.

Master plumber – A master plumber has extensive experience and may also own their own business or oversee other plumbers. To become a master plumber, one must pass an advanced licensing exam and have several years of work experience. Additionally, some master plumbers may also specialize in specific areas, such as gas fitting or plumbing for commercial buildings. These plumbers would typically have additional certifications and training in those specific areas. Overall, the level of a plumber can vary based on their experience and training in the field.

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 the plumbing basics, such as installation, repair, and maintenance. They also learn how to use various tools and equipment. Hours can oftentimes 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 have interviews 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.

For more specific information on the steps on how to become a plumber, be sure to check with your state’s licensing board or department of labor. For example, getting a Texas plumbing license will have different requirements than getting a California plumbing license.

What you should know about the plumbing trade

Aspiring plumbers often have a lot of questions about what the trade entails and what they need to do to be successful. Although each job is different, there are some basic things that all plumbers need to know. First and foremost, plumbing is a trade that requires both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. As a result, it is important for plumbers to have a strong understanding of the science and math behind plumbing systems.

In addition, plumbers must be able to apply this knowledge in order to troubleshoot and repair problems. Plumbers also need to be well-versed in the various code requirements for plumbing systems. This code dictates how plumbing systems must be designed and installed, and it is important for plumbers to be familiar with these requirements in order to ensure that their work meets all safety standards.

Finally, good communication skills are essential for plumbers. Plumbers often need to explain complex technical concepts to non-technical customers, and they must be able to do so in a clear and concise manner. By understanding these basic requirements of the trade, aspiring plumbers can put themselves on the path to success.

Is becoming a plumber easy?

While it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a licensed plumber, the process is actually quite straightforward. In most states, plumbers must complete an accredited training program and pass a comprehensive exam before they can receive their licenses. Once they have met these requirements, plumbers are then able to apply for jobs and start working in the field. While there is no guarantee of success, those who are willing to put in the effort can find themselves well-positioned to begin a successful career in plumbing.

Can you become a plumber online?

Some colleges offer online plumbing courses that can count towards vocational training. However, in order to become a licensed plumber, on-the-job training and hands-on experience is necessary. This means completing an apprenticeship program, which typically cannot be done entirely online. It may be possible to supplement your education with online courses, but ultimately you will need to gain in-person, practical experience in order to become a licensed plumber.

What are the different plumbing career paths?

There are many different paths you can take in your plumbing career. Below is a list of common plumbing careers.

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.

Can I become a plumber if I’m older?

Yes. If you are changing careers and have the necessary education, it is possible to become a plumber at any age. However, keep in mind that this job requires physical stamina and the ability to lift and carry heavy objects. It is important to consider whether or not your age could potentially impact your abilities in these areas before pursuing a career as a plumber. Additionally, some apprenticeship programs may have age limitations, so be sure to check with the program before applying.