How to Get a Plumbing License
Aspiring professionals who are serious about becoming a plumber will need to go through several years of training and complete an apprenticeship, then sit an exam. While this process can be time-consuming and challenging, it pays off. Over time, plumbers can work their way up and become respected members of the local community. What's more, they can earn a six-figure salary.
Get Your High School Diploma
To start your plumbing training program, there are some educational requirements. Because there is math and science involved in the course, you first have to spend four years in high school or complete a GED. If you already know you would like to become a plumber, you should focus on physics, algebra, and geometry because these three subjects will help you the most in plumbing school.
Attend Plumber Schools
Once you have your high school diploma, you can attend a specialized plumbing school, where you learn both the theoretical aspects and the practical applications of the job. Usually, you can find approved courses at your local trade school or community college, but if you're not sure where to turn to, you should speak to your local licensing agency. They can recommend the best institution in your area.
Most plumbing programs last between two to four years. Some states, like California, require a four-year education, while others allow you to become a plumber in a shorter time period. Aside from the specifics of the trade, you will also learn invaluable skills that prepare you to handle business transactions and effectively communicate with your customers.
Get Some Practical Experience
Even after completing your training program, you aren't ready to get licensed because you first need to get some practical experience. In many areas, you have to work with a licensed plumber for a certain number of hours, often between 4,000 and 12,000. During this time, you can learn all the practical aspects of the job and interact with customers for the first time.
While some educational institutions provide apprenticeship opportunities, others ask students to find their own master plumbers. You may be able to start getting practical experience while you study, which shortens the duration of your training. It's also important to note that you will be paid during your apprenticeship.
Pass Your State Licensing Exam
Most states require you to pass a licensing exam before you can work as a plumber on your own. Some of the topics covered include law, business management, the plumbing trade, and plumbing codes. Even if you're still in the early stages of your education, it makes sense to start preparing for your exam. Make a note of everything you learn, work together with a study group, and ask your supervisor for help if you get stuck.
Apply for Your License
Once you've completed all requirements and passed the test, you can apply for your journeyman license. This allows you to work for another business as a fully qualified employee or even set up your own company. After you've worked for several years, you can continue your education and become a master plumber, a title that allows you to supervise aspiring plumbers and become a prominent member of your local professional community.
To qualify as a master in your field, you have to prove that you have worked for 2,000 to 6,000 hours as a journeyman, and you'll have to pass a second exam. You can then expect a significant raise. Some master plumbers earn over $100,000 per year.
What Are the Job Prospects for Plumbers?
When you become a fully qualified plumber, you have great job prospects. The average hourly wage is $26, but depending on your location, skills, experience, and speed, you can earn over $70,000 a year in this profession. What's more, the job is very secure because every home and business has a plumbing system and needs your services. Therefore, it's unlikely that you will struggle to find customers, especially if you are reliable and highly skilled.
While newly qualified plumbers might want to work for someone else at the beginning, many professionals eventually take over or set up their own business. That way, they can set their own hours and choose what jobs they accept. What's more, independent plumbers can employ other workers once their company grows and thereby increase their revenue.
Do I Need to Maintain My Plumbing License?
When you have a plumbing certification, you can work all over your state. However, you'll need to renew your license on a regular basis, usually once a year or once every two years. Since the work is so universal and important, plumbing is one of the most regulated fields in the United States, and almost every local area has certain requirements. These vary significantly by state, so you'll need to contact your local licensing board to find out more.
To make sure you're fully protected and you don't put your business at risk, you'll also need to take out plumbers' insurance. This covers you if you accidentally damage someone's property or cause harm to a member of the public while at work. For example, if you install a shower and it damages your customer's wall, your insurance pays for the repairs, so you don't have to spend your hard-earned money.
Plumbing is a good career because it offers a high salary, flexible working hours, and the opportunity to work for yourself. Once you've completed the requirements of your course, you'll have to find some clients and set up your own small business. To avoid wasting time, it's best to team up with a home service software company straight away.
Get in touch with us at ServiceBox to find out how to best manage your quotes, appointments, and invoices.