How To Become A Plumber

The plumbing industry is one of the largest trade sectors in our economy, and has a fast growth rate. Plumbing is an essential part of any building structure, both residential and commercial, and is a career that has remained strong from an employment standpoint. Many individuals mistake this field as simply fixing leaks and unclogging pipes. Plumbing has expanded into a more complex occupation that aims to develop and maintain water systems and heating systems.  This career is suitable for those who enjoy physical work and look for challenging tasks.

How to Become a Plumber
Becoming a plumber involves plenty of training and hands on experience. In most states, plumbers are required to have at least a high school diploma or an associate's degree in this field. There is no defined academic route towards becoming a plumber; however, acquiring relevant training and education will be useful. A number of community colleges and trade schools are offering plumbing certificate programs and training programs. These programs are designed to provide students with expertise knowledge and skill needed for pursuing a career in this field.

The curriculum for plumbing programs typically entails a range of subjects that cover in-detail various components such as plumbing systems and heating systems. The program will initially cover introductory subjects that provide individuals with a thorough understanding of fundamental aspects of plumbing design. Further in the program, more advanced and complex areas are covered. A few subjects that are most likely to be found in plumbing courses have been listed below:

  • Valves and fixtures
  • Pressurized water systems
  • Natural gas distribution
  • Building draining systems
  • Water chemistry and treatment

Along with theory-based subjects, the program will help students develop practical skills. Some courses are covered in learning labs, which are designed specifically to allow students to practically implement skills.

Training and Licensing
With education complete, training is the next step for becoming a plumber. All professionals in this field must undergo formal training through an apprenticeship program. At least 1700 hours of training must be completed. The main purpose apprenticeship programs is to provide students with knowledge about local plumbing codes, blueprint reading, and safety regulations that exist in a state. Once training has been completed; one can apply for professional plumbing license in his or her state. This license is mandatory in most states, and may only be obtained after completing a test. You could seek information about the minimum training and licensing requirements form the license issuing authority in your state.

Career Opportunities
As a plumber, you could seek work at a plumbing firm, or even work as a self-employed individual. The basic duties that fall within a plumber job description are:

  • Installing pipes and systems
  • Analyzing blueprints
  • Troubleshooting
  • Replacing and maintaining pipe systems
  • Inspecting water and heating systems

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for plumbers was $49,140 in 2012. This field is expected to grow at a faster than average rate in the coming years, which could reflect an increase in income as well as demand.


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