How Long Does a Plumber Have to Train Before Becoming a Professional?

Plumbers are highly trained specialists, so it takes several years for aspiring professionals to qualify. Before you can start your training, you have to get your high school diploma or GED. Then, you can either choose to attend plumbing school, or you can skip straight to the apprenticeship. Because every state has different rules, you should check with your local plumbing association or research your options online.

Usually, the entire qualification process takes between three and five years. However, apprentices are paid by their employers, so they can support themselves from a young age and they don't have to take on a lot of debt. Once you're qualified, you can start working full-time and your income will increase. If you want to supercharge your career and salary, you can continue studying to become a master plumber and take on your own apprentices.

High School 

Most plumbers don't go to college, but they do have a high school degree. Many of the subjects taught in school, such as math and science, give you a good foundation and make plumbing school and the apprenticeship easier.

If you didn't complete high school, you can get your GED by taking classes at local institutions and by studying at home. In some areas of the country, you can even enroll in online GED classes, which are often cheaper and more convenient.

Plumbing School

In the US, plumbing apprentices have to be paid minimum wage, and the employer has to pay for all classroom training. For this reason, the criteria for acceptance are often quite strict, and you might not be able to find a good apprenticeship unless you have an advantage over the competition. One way to impress master plumbers is to attend plumbing school for a few months or a year before you apply.

Many community colleges and trade schools offer plumbing courses, which can teach you the basics and help you understand the theory behind what you'll be doing. Sometimes, associate degrees or even four-year courses are offered, but this isn't usually necessary. Most aspiring plumbers don't spend more than a year at plumbing school.

The Apprenticeship 

As mentioned, plumbing apprenticeships are highly sought after because they are paid positions. If you live in a large city, where there are plenty of workers available, you might have to do some time as a basic laborer before you can land an apprenticeship. Once you've been taken on by a master plumber, you will spend around three years learning the trade.

During your apprenticeship, you will work together with more experienced professionals, and you will learn about your trade. However, you'll also get the chance to see how a successful business is run. Some of the skills the master plumber might teach you include how to interact with customers, how to organize your schedule, and how to advertise your services.

Becoming a Master Plumber 

After passing the licensing exam, you'll become a journeyman plumber. While this is a good job, you can keep training to increase your reputation and salary. There is a separate exam for master plumbers. To take this test, you have to have been a journeyman for at least two years, and you have to study advanced concepts.

Once you've passed the master plumber exam, you can expect a higher salary and a greater range of jobs. In some cases, plumbers specialize in one area, for example in commercial installations, new buildings, or gas service. What's more, many of them eventually take on their own apprentices.

Is Plumbing Right for Me?

There is no doubt that plumbing is a good career choice for many people. However, it isn't the easiest trade out there, and the barrier to entry is high in some regions. If you believe that this job could be right for you, you should spend a few days with a qualified plumber to see whether the work would suit you.

Some of the tasks you might have to complete as a plumber include installing or fixing water, drainage and heating systems, responding to emergencies like leaks, and repairing faulty appliances. What's more, you'll have to plan your work, estimate the costs of a job, and provide your customers with friendly, efficient service.

What Can I Do with a Plumbing License?

With your plumbing license, you can work as a journeyman, or you can specialize in a certain field. Most newly qualified plumbers work for a company. This can give them some stability and allow them to build up a retirement account. However, salaried positions are not always the best choice for good plumbers. Instead, they should consider starting their own business.

If you have good organization skills, you can market yourself well, and you enjoy a challenge, setting up a plumbing company could be right for you. This is one of the best ways to increase your income because you'll be able to set your own hours, set your own price, and hire others to complete some of the work for you. Nowadays, there are tools like home service software that can help you organize your schedule and increase your firm's efficiency.

Plumbers are highly sought after around the country, and this isn't likely to change in the next few decades. If you want to get a stable and well-paid job, you should consider training in this industry. Most plumbing schools take under a year, and the apprenticeship might take three to four years. Once you're qualified, you can set up your own company. Call us at ServiceBox to find out how to organize and optimize your plumbing business from the start.

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