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How To Get A Job As A Plumber

job of licensed plumber

It might not be glamorous but the job of a licensed plumber is an important one. Without the jobs that plumbers do, modern civilization as we know it would come to an end. The first plumbers in ancient Roman times held a very high position in society. Today we see plumbing as just another trade but nothing is farther from the truth. Today's plumbers must be skilled in a number of areas, including math, code requirements, interpreting blueprints and OSHA safety regulations among other things.

To Get A Job As A Plumber, Where Do You Start?

First you will need to attend courses in plumbing technology at a community college or technical school. It is possible in a handful of states to begin working as a plumber's helper, or apprentice without attending school, however it is very advantageous to attend courses since you may not be able to learn all you need to know from the licensed plumber you are working under. Codes change, as does plumbing technology and accepted practices and it is better to take classes that get you up to speed on the things you will eventually be tested on. Plumber training courses are available at most community colleges and online.

A number of reputable online universities now offer vocational training in plumbing technology. Be sure the online school is accredited. If the school is eligible for G.I. Bill money this is also a sign that it is a credible institution. Schools like Penn Foster Career Schools allow you to do all of your course work at home.

Online career schools have certain requirements for the computer and software used to take courses. Make sure your computer meets the speed, memory and other requirements before beginning courses. Online schools however do not have the "hands on" advantage that taking classes in person at a technical college does.

Most states require at least 300 hours of coursework to have been successfully completed.

Working As An Apprentice Plumber

To become a licensed plumber trainees will start off by working as an apprentice for a licensed journeyman plumber. You will do many of the same tasks that you will eventually do when you are licensed, such as fitting pipe, installing fixtures, interpreting blueprints and cutting holes for plumbing. The difference is that everything you do must be approved by the licensed plumber, who signs off on the job and is ultimately responsible to the client and the regulatory agency.  Many states require from three to four years of apprentice work. Make sure that the plumber you are working under DOES have a license. There have been many stories of apprentice plumbers who have found out three years later that the person they were working under did not have a valid plumbing license.

Requirements To Take The Plumbing License Exam

Once you have completed the state or provincial required hours as an apprentice you are eligible to take the test, assuming you meet the minimum age requirements, have your GED or high school diploma and a clear criminal background.

Each authority has different licensing requirements but here are some of the most common ones:

  • Applicants must be at  least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • You must show proof of citizenship. A birth certificate and drivers license will suffice in most states.
  • You must provide two passport sized photos.
  • Provide copies of any other licenses you hold in the state.
  • Upon getting your license you may need to post a state bond, get workers compensation insurance and carry a certain amount of liability insurance. In addition some cities and counties require a business license. If you are working on your own you may need a separate contractors license. Contractors licenses are required by the state of California and other states for doing any work in which labor and materials exceeds $500.00   You can be fined up to $2500 for working without a contractors license.

    Plumber Jobs Will Always Be Around

    Getting a job as a plumber can take as much time as any other degree when you include the time spent as an apprentice. However, once you are a licensed journeyman plumber you can earn a good salary. The job of a plumber will not go away, unlike some other jobs have in the past. There will always be a need for qualified plumbers as long as there are homes and businesses.




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