What Main Skills Do You Learn in Plumbing School?
Some people who'd like to become plumbers apply for an apprenticeship right away, but many others first attend a school or technical college that can teach them the basics. This is often a good idea because it gives aspiring plumbers a solid background and allows them to avoid common mistakes on the job.
During your training, you'll learn all the hard skills related to plumbing, including how to use the tools, how to identify problems, how to work with other contractors, and how to deal with building codes. Additionally, you'll find out what it's like to work with customers, and you'll learn about how to remain organized when you have a high volume of requests.
The Basic Tools and Techniques
When you first start your plumbing course, most of your classes will be theoretical. You'll learn how plumbing systems work, how to identify various fixtures, how to cut and fit pipes, and how to work with pipes made out of different materials.
You'll also get introduced to the most important tools you'll be using as a plumber, and you'll get to try them out. In addition to the specific skills related to plumbing, you'll gain a lot of knowledge about construction in general. The plumbing system is an important part of every house, and you might later work with other contractors to build new homes or to renovate old ones. Therefore, it's important that you understand how everything works together and how the plumbing system is integrated into the rest of the building.
Troubleshooting and Fixing Problems
Aside from installing new plumbing systems, you'll also be fixing existing ones. In fact, most plumbers spend the majority of their day helping their customers to diagnose and repair faulty plumbing. When you arrive at a house or business, you'll be expected to evaluate the issue, come up with a solution, and carry out the repairs. Because troubleshooting is likely to be a big part of your job, it is one of the most important skills you'll learn during your education.
In the first few weeks or months, you'll learn the theory behind plumbing problems. Your instructors might show you photographs and diagrams of the various issues that can arise. But as your course continues, you'll also be able to gain some hands-on experience. Most schools and technical colleges expect you to practice the techniques with real tools and on real plumbing systems.
Understanding Building Codes
Building codes are the rules that govern construction. They are slightly different in each state, but some common ones are that certain fixtures such as your toilet and your sink can't be placed too close together and that plumbing must not weaken the building's structure. Local codes also regulate the kinds of materials that can be used, the sizes of pipes, and what kinds of valves have to be installed.
During your course, you'll learn about the local codes and how they affect your work. You'll also find out how to read blueprints of houses, so you can correctly interpret them and carry out your work without breaking any rules. This helps you to ensure the integrity of the buildings you work in and prevents costly mistakes.
Soft Skills when Dealing with Customers
So far, we've covered all the skills you need to carry out your job in a professional manner. But becoming a successful plumber requires more than that. You'll have to deal with people every day, so you have to develop several soft skills that help you serve your customers well. One of the most important ones is communication. Your instructors might show you sample emails, text messages, and advertisements from plumbers.
They'll also teach you how to make a good impression while answering the phone and what phrases you can use when dealing with customer questions or complaints. Some additional soft skills that will be addressed during your training program include problem-solving, teamwork, critical thinking, decision-making, and conflict management.
One of the biggest challenges for plumbers who open their own businesses or work in a self-employed capacity is staying organized. Once you have dozens of customers and several employees, keeping track of all appointments, requests, and invoices can become a nightmare.
During your course, your instructors will show you how experienced plumbers handle their schedules. They might also suggest using home service software, which can make scheduling easier because it allows real-time updates and is compatible with a variety of devices.
What School Is Best?
Most people who want to do a plumbing apprenticeship go to school for six months to three years. A college degree isn't usually necessary, and there are cheaper options out there. If you live near a large metropolitan area, it's likely that there are several training programs available, and you'll have to decide which one is best. Start by thinking about where you'd like to work in the future.
Are you looking for a program that can teach you local knowledge, or do you need something that will be useful even if you apply for an apprenticeship in a different town? Once you know what you're looking for, you can ask local associations or more experienced plumbers for guidance. Going to plumbing school is a great idea for people who are interested in a practical job and good at math.
In the course, you'll learn many of the hard and soft skills you'll need later on when you have your own plumbing business. Get in touch with us at ServiceBox to find out how our software can help you build up a solid company from the ground up. We'll be happy to answer your questions and offer you a free demo.