So you want to be a plumber?
It’s a good career choice for many reasons. First, the demand for plumbers continues to grow. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of plumbers is expected to grow 16% from 2016 to 2026.
Second, economic fluctuations don’t affect the plumbing profession that much. Even in a slow economy, people still need plumbing services. These include homes, offices, and other places that have pipes or septic systems, so pretty much everywhere.
That said, getting into the profession is becoming competitive. But it helps if you understand how to become a plumber and prepare accordingly.
How to Become a Plumber: 4 Steps to Take.
The specific path to becoming a plumber will slightly differ from state to state (and sometimes from city to city). But for the most part, the requirements are quite similar.
Below are the basic steps to take if you want to pursue a plumbing career.
Step 1: Get Your High School Diploma/GED.
Plumbers undergo specialized training at a trade or technical school. To enroll in one, you need a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
Also, keep in mind that to do well in the plumbing trade, you have to have a strong foundation in math, science, and computers. Just think how disastrous it will be if a plumber can’t make accurate measurements while gauging water.
If you could take courses in drafting and blueprint reading, better. Remember, the plumbing industry’s becoming competitive. Being considered for a plumbing apprenticeship could be down to having an excellent high school ACT score.
Step 2: Enroll in Technical Plumbing Courses.
Look for trade/technical schools in your area that offer plumbing vocational classes. Take note that most states require a specific number of classroom hours before you can take a plumbing license exam.
Now, if you’re having a difficult time deciding between schools, it’s best to check the curriculum offered. Aside from local plumbing codes, the curriculum should also cover topics such as pipe cutting and soldering, draining and venting, etc.
Step 3: Become a Plumber Apprentice.
Some aspiring plumbers complete their apprenticeship while enrolled in a trade/technical school. But if this isn’t an option where you live, you can contact your local union or plumbing companies to see if they’re taking on apprentices.
As an apprentice, you’ll receive training for 4 to 5 years. The number will depend on which state you live in. That’s because you have to log a certain amount of hours as an apprentice before you can take the plumbing license test.
Step 4: Get Licensed and Start Growing Your Career.
Aside from experience, you’ll need to pass an exam to get your plumbing license. Now, it could just be a written exam. But some regions also require a practical test.
Once you’ve passed the exam, you’re considered a licensed journeyman plumber. That means you could now work for a plumbing company or start your own business.
If you choose the latter, you’ll benefit from knowing more about marketing for plumbers. Not only will this help you get new clients, but it will also give you an edge over other local plumbers who don’t focus on online marketing.
Ready to Be a Successful Plumber?
Now that you know how to become a plumber, you can focus on realizing your goal.
But if you need more tips and advice on building a plumbing business, don’t hesitate to check out the rest of our site.