If someone wants to become a plumber, the first thing I would suggest is to partner with a competent company or tradesman who has a plumbing license. Going to school alone will not be a complete strategy. You also need to learn from someone who has the experience to help you actually become a competent plumber. The quickest way to do this is through the statewide apprenticeship program. It’s a four year learning experience that is combined with schooling. After enrolling in the program, students take classes about one night a week or one night every two weeks, depending on the school. Some of it can be done online.
To obtain a plumbing license recognized by the state and/or general public, you’re required to have 4 years of practical experience along with 240 hours of classroom time. The classroom time is reduced if you have more than 4 years of experience. For instance, 5 years of experience removes 80 hours from the required classroom time. If you have 10 years of practical experience, you can actually take your masters plumbing test without any classroom time at all.
It’s important to also realize the importance of combining professional training with on the job training. Traditionally, people learn the plumbing trade entirely by learning from a single tradesman. That can be challenging because you’ll likely pick up their skills and their bad habits. Learning everything from a single person is not the best strategy, so I would encourage everyone to learn both in the field with someone and from other people as well. If you can supplement with professional training, you’ll learn all the fundamentals and the ins and outs of the trade.
There are many different aspects of plumbing—there’s new construction plumbing, service plumbing, commercial plumbing, and industrial plumbing. That’s why diversifying your training is absolutely the way to go.
If you have any questions about entering the plumbing trade well-prepared, we would be glad to be a resource for you. Reach out to us today by or giving us a call at 540-483-9382.