How to Become a Plumber

Written by

College Mouse


August 14, 2014


A constant and safe water supply is essential in all homes and buildings. Plumbing is an important concept to the way of life for the need for clean water for drinking, bathing, and eliminating waste. Plumbers are necessary to install and repair piping systems and equipment.

What does a plumber do?

Plumbers are trained professionals that install piping systems for adequate plumbing and maintain and repair systems that have malfunctioned. They install and repair the water, drainage, waste disposal, and gas systems in residential, commercial, and public buildings. They also install plumbing fixtures and appliances such as toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers, water heaters, and dishwashers.

Plumbers follow blueprints or building plans to ensure that piping systems and equipment are installed properly and safely. They measure and mark the areas where the pipes will be installed and connected to the water line. They are also responsible for checking for obstructions and planning the pipes around them. They use a variety of different construction methods and materials depending on the type and complexity of the task. In residential water systems, plastic, steel, and copper piping are the materials that are commonly used.

What kind of training does a plumber need?

Most plumbers train for their career in community colleges, career and technical schools, or through formal apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeship programs typically offer the most comprehensive training available for plumbers because they provide a strong thorough foundation of all concepts of the trade. The programs are managed by unions and their affiliated organizations or by nonunion contractor companies. Both types of programs include 4 to 5 years of paid on the job training and a minimum of 144 hours of annual related classroom education.

Most states require plumbers to be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most require plumbers to have at least 2 to 5 years related work experience and a passing score on an examination that measures knowledge of plumbing concepts and codes.

What are the prospects for a career as a plumber?

Employment of plumbers is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% through 2016 (1). Building renovation and new construction of houses and other structures drives job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be great especially for plumbers who have extensive experience. Job opportunities will also arise from the need to replace plumbers who retire or leave the field.

How much do plumbers make?

As of 2012, the middle 50% of plumbers earned annual salaries between $33,551 and $46,060. The highest 10% of plumbers earned annual salaries of more than $52,461 (2).

A career as a plumber is a great choice for individuals who are in good physical health and do not mind getting their hands dirty. Plumbers must be very patient, have good problem solving skills, and be able to work effectively independently and as part of a team.

Becoming a Plumber Requires Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a plumber? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  College Mouse

College Mouse helps prospective students find information on careers and college opportunities. With hundreds of career profiles, and resources on college selection, application and funding, College Mouse is your number one resource.

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