What You Should Know About a Career As a Plumber

There aren’t many jobs that offer as much opportunity for advancement and job satisfaction as being a plumber. But, before you take the leap into this in-demand trade, there are some things you should know.

Plumbers install and maintain systems that provide water, heating, sewage, and waste disposal in residential and commercial settings. This involves working with a wide range of customers and requires customer service skills to listen to their concerns. Click the to know more.

A career as a plumber provides plenty of opportunities to learn and advance. There are a few ways to get started in the industry, including finding an apprenticeship and completing formal educational requirements like trade school programs. Other options include working as an assistant for a master plumber and undergoing training through a union or trade organization.

Regardless of the route you choose, it is important to find the right fit in terms of work environment and learning style. For example, working in a diverse city like New York can expose you to many different challenges and allow you to explore various solutions. Having the opportunity to work in different environments and on different types of projects can help you develop your skillset and build a strong portfolio for when you eventually apply for licensure as a Master Plumber.

Plumbing courses and education are available through vocational schools and community colleges across the country, as well as online. These programs typically cover topics such as piping techniques, blueprint reading, and plumbing codes. Many of these programs also include hands-on training that teaches students how to properly handle tools and practice safe work procedures. Some of these programs can even lead to a certificate of completion and can count toward your apprenticeship hours.

Once you’ve completed your education or training, it is important to make the most of the experience you gain. Take on as many projects as possible and ask your mentor questions when needed. Be sure to document your work experience and keep a record of all projects you complete. This will be helpful in preparing for the licensing process, which requires a certain number of years of experience.

In addition to seeking out work experience, you can also seek out additional training opportunities and resources by joining professional groups and associations in the plumbing industry. For instance, the PHCC and ASPE offer seminars, classes, and certifications that can improve your knowledge of the field. There are also manufacturers that offer training on their specific products. These courses can be especially beneficial if you are considering specializing in a particular area of the plumbing field.


A plumber is a tradesperson who installs the necessary piping for water, sanitary sewer and vent systems in homes and businesses. The job requires skills with tools of the trade and knowledge of building codes and physics. Plumbers also must be able to read blueprints and understand the principles of drafting.

Most plumbers complete an apprenticeship program, which combines on-the-job work with classroom related instruction to learn the trade. Many of these programs are sponsored by unions, employers or training organizations. Individuals can find an apprenticeship by visiting a website that lists available opportunities, checking with local unions or plumbing companies and contacting community colleges that offer specialized vocational training.

Those interested in an apprenticeship should have a high school diploma or GED certificate and a willingness to work hard and go through training to earn the right to be a plumber. They should be good at following directions and having a positive attitude. Those who take the time to practice and master basic plumbing skills can expect a rewarding career with a lot of opportunity for advancement.

A plumbing apprenticeship typically lasts for four years, although there are some shorter programs. Apprentices usually work full time during the day for a sponsoring employer and attend classes on evenings and weekends. In addition to gaining valuable work experience, plumbers typically learn the responsibilities of the job and how to keep the workplace safe for customers.

Apprentices are paid an hourly rate for their work and generally receive raises over the course of their apprenticeship. After completing the program, they receive a nationally recognized credential and may even earn academic credit toward a college degree. Almost all apprentices remain in the trade after completion of the program.

Those who are interested in becoming a plumber should consider applying to job corps programs, such as the Plumbing Pre-Apprentice training program offered by Job Corps. This program is a great way to prepare for an apprenticeship program and is supported by the National Association of Home Builders and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Those who complete this program will be well on their way to becoming a successful and qualified plumber.


Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes and fixtures that convey water, such as sinks, toilets, showers, and bathtubs. They also inspect systems for leaks and clogs, and use specialized tools to troubleshoot issues. Some plumbers work on residential plumbing systems, while others focus on commercial or industrial projects.

To become a plumber, you typically need at least a high school diploma or equivalent and extensive on-the-job training under an experienced professional. Many apprenticeships last four to five years and combine classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. After completing an apprenticeship, you can apply for a journeyman plumber’s license. Some states require plumbers to pass a written exam to earn their license, while others accept a combination of education, training, and experience.

Because plumbing is a hands-on trade, many apprentices learn on the job by working alongside experienced plumbers. This helps them gain a strong understanding of plumbing principles and practices. It also allows them to develop a wide range of skills that can be applied to various types of plumbing jobs.

In addition to technical knowledge, plumbers must be able to think critically and solve problems quickly. They must be able to weigh options and make decisions that maximize efficiency and safety. This can include determining the best way to fix a problem, such as which pipe to cut or how to best place a new fixture in a home.

Plumbers also must have good physical stamina and strength to lift heavy equipment and work in tight spaces. They often must stand for long periods of time, and they need to be able to work in hot or cold temperatures. In some cases, plumbers may need to travel to different locations to complete their work.

Another important skill for plumbers is communication. They must be able to listen to customers’ concerns and explain complex plumbing processes clearly. They also need to collaborate with other construction professionals, such as electricians and carpenters, to ensure that plumbing is integrated properly into building projects. They may also need to negotiate with customers and vendors, so having excellent interpersonal skills is important.


Aspiring plumbers should understand that although most states have licensing requirements, individual cities and towns often have their own rules and regulations. In addition, local plumbing businesses may need to carry workers’ compensation insurance, liability insurance and a bond.

For example, to get a license in New York City, you must pass both a written and practical exam. You also need to have a minimum of five years experience as an apprentice or journeyman and 750 hours of classroom study and hands-on training in the installation, maintenance, service and repair of water heaters, backflow prevention devices and gas systems. You can substitute directly related academic or technical training for up to one-half of the experience requirement. The City’s website has a step-by-step guide for getting your license.

Similarly, to become licensed in Wisconsin, you must have completed an approved apprenticeship program and passed the Journeyman Plumber exam. The State of Rhode Island requires you to have at least four years of experience as a plumber and 375 hours of education, though education can be substituted for some of the experience requirements. Other qualifications include passing a written and practical exam, having a minimum of two years experience as a journey plumber, and possessing a Master Plumber license in another jurisdiction. The City of Ithaca has a similar requirement, as does Buffalo.

Some aspiring plumbers pursue certification, such as the National Inspection Testing and Certification (NITC) or the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (ASSE). While these credentials are not required to work as a plumber, they can make you more attractive to prospective employers or customers and help you keep up with changes in the plumbing code.

While a career in plumbing can be lucrative, it’s important to remember that this is a highly regulated trade. To be a successful plumber, you need to have a lot of training and work experience under the guidance of a master plumber. Those who do well can earn some of the highest annual mean wages for plumbing professionals in the country. It’s essential to double-check the rules of your local area before starting a plumbing business so you can avoid costly fines and legal fees.