There’s a little more to becoming a plumber than learning how to fix a leaky faucet or replace the wax ring in a toilet. In fact, it can take years of training to become a skilled plumbing professional cable of fixing any issues you come across. But before you can think about starting your own business and earning the big bucks, you’re going to need to get a license to practice in your chosen field.
Steps to Become a Professional Plumber
And while requirements for licensure will vary from state to state, you will almost certainly have to pass some kind of state board exam in order to practice. There are a handful of states that allow regulation at the local level, but even so a license is likely required. So here are a few steps you’ll have to go through before you can kick-start your career.
Earn a high school diploma.
Before you can begin training to be a plumber you’ll need to have at least a high school education under your belt, which means a diploma or a GED. And while you don’t necessarily have to attend college in order to get started down your career path, you will need to exhibit strong mathematical skills if you want to succeed. In some cases you may have to provide ACT scores in order to qualify for training programs, and you’ll need to score high in math in order to impress prospective employers.
Consider vocational coursework.
One great way to prepare not only for your career in the plumbing field, but also for your licensure exams is to enter a vocational school. The plumbing programs offered through such venues may not provide you with a ton of practical experience, but you will get the instruction you need in math, as well as the academic knowledge required for licensure exams. This won’t necessarily teach you everything you need to know to become a skilled plumber, but it will serve as a good start.
Secure an apprenticeship.
Whether you go to school first or not, you’re going to have to apprentice under a licensed professional in order to learn your trade. This will likely make up the majority of your education when it comes to the field of plumbing since you’ll gain hands-on experience working alongside a seasoned expert. This, more than anything, should help you to prepare for licensure exams and your career in general.
Research state requirements.
Every state has its own set of requirements for would-be professional plumbers to receive a license to practice. So it’s in your best interest to find out what you need to qualify in your state. In some cases, you may have to spend several years working as a journeyman (with attendant job restrictions) before you are eligible for licensure, for example. The point is that you need to find out what you are required to do in order to get a license.
Take licensing exams.
Once you have apprenticed to learn what it’s like to be a plumber and you’ve met any requirements for education and practical experience, you’ll have to apply for your plumber’s license and pass an exam to prove that you are capable of carrying out the duties of your job. If you pass you will become a licensed plumber in your state of residence. However, you may have to reapply to renew your license periodically after that.