One humorous plumber's tagline on his truck reads: "A good flush beats a full house every time! Call us!" This is only funny, of course, when your house is dry and your pipes are flowing smoothly. The moment any types of plumbing issue goes awry, individuals frequently become helpless victims with clogged drains, ruined carpets, and water-spouting pipes. Hopefully they at least remember to turn off the water main valve before calling in an expert to get the water back where it belongs, and only where it belongs. We hope you find the perfect plumbing school training program below.
It's amazing how little the average homeowner knows about plumbing. As long as everything functions as it should, then they are happily ignorant. When the plumbing encounters any sort of problem, however, the homeowners are not happy anymore, but still ignorant. These are the types of people who rely on knowledgeable, trained plumbing professionals to bail them out.
Helping homeowners with their problems fortunately is not the only venue for plumbers to share their expertise in. Wherever there's water or the need for water, or drains or pipes for that matter, a plumber is needed. And humans need lots and lots of water, from our sinks to our toilets to our baths to our sanitation systems, residentially and commercially. Plumbers and those not-too-adorable cracks of theirs that peek out from underneath the sink will never go out of style.
Plumbers do much more than fixing leaky pipes. Fortunately, there is a wide field of opportunity that awaits any up-and-coming plumber. Also, plumbers are being provided with a broader range of training that opens up new avenues of jobs for them as well. First and foremost, however, plumbers' prime area of application is within the individual building, whether public or private. Plumbers are not concerned with interconnected systems that run throughout neighborhoods or cities. So any pipes that run water or gas throughout a household, business, or public building are the primary focuses of a plumber's touch. Plumbers will be responsible for installing certain appliances (like water heaters), plumbing fixtures (like tubs or sinks), or integrating more complex systems within an individual building.
Because of these needs that buildings have, plumbers will have two primary career choices: they can decide to employ themselves in their own plumbing business, or they can work within a larger network of contractors. Both options that their pros and cons; while working for yourself means more potential freedom and profit, it also means that you have to learn skills that extend beyond plumbing, like marketing, accounting, and customer service. Worker for someone else means that you don't have to worry about these extraneous details, but then again you're on someone else's schedule.
An additional advantage that is opening up in the field of plumbing is that plumber's training is extending beyond the basics of pipes and wrenches. Plumbers who are educated and experienced about the building codes, types of pipes, and layout procedures have the opportunity to perform a wider variety of jobs. Plumbers are also being called upon to not only fix, but to design pipe systems for structures. The more sophisticated a plumber's education, the more likely they will be able to perform well in designing and implementing complex building layouts.
Plumbers are revered in society because they have access to unique sets of knowledge that can make an enormous difference in the quality of homes and other buildings. Although they are most known for simply handling wrenches and fixing leaks, their real contributions and your real opportunities are found in the pipes within every building we enjoy. Find a plumbing school below to get started with your career training.
As a plumber broken pipes, old fixtures that don’t work and worn out systems are a common everyday occurrence that you’ll need to solve. The life of a plumber is to expect the unexpected when it comes to the different types of jobs you’ll encounter.
Duties can include:
Trouble Shooting: As a plumber sometimes you’ll spend your time trouble shooting issues as every house is different in how someone originally configured them.
Inspection: Not all jobs will be installations. Home owners hire plumbers to make sure they are buying a house that won’t have any issues. This type of inspection could mean an overall inspection as well as a more advanced inspection where the plumber actually inspects the inside of pipes looking for decay.
New Home Installation: Some plumbers focus on new home installation where they are responsible for running all water, gas and even sewage lines.
Repairs & Additions: Existing home owner might need a new bathroom or something in their house isn’t working correctly. As a plumber you’ll diagnose the problem and give written proposals to the home owner for the fix.
As a commercial plumber you’ll work for typically a larger corporation that handles large installations. This could mean commercial buildings, large commercial properties such as hotels or office building or independent structures that contain and require more industrial plumbing needs.
The more common plumber is for residential properties. Most plumbers work on sinks or toilets that are blocked or run new water or gas lines for new appliances and additions.
As a master plumber you’ll be the one actually designing the layout for the jobs using the most updated code for the area to comply with all state and city plumbing regulations. This requires more schooling that an entry level plumber and many have years of experience first as installers.
As a plumber you’ll need to be familiar with a wide variety of tools including pipefitters, cutters and steam fitting tools. Working with copper, PVC and stainless steel pipes are common as most lines are made of these materials. The ability to know how to solder, use high impact cement and even weld are things your school will show you how to do as those are the main ways installers join pipes together.
Finding a plumbing school is easy. The easiest way to start to is to simply request information from any of the schools listed. Several of the schools are 100% online which is very convenient for those who are currently working and want to further their education. These plumbing diploma programs are typically under $800 and have affordable payment plans to get started. They also are what they call self-paced. What that means is you take modules and when you complete one your able to take the next one without waiting on a class. I’ve heard great things regarding these types of programs as they can get you trained quickly and into a career faster than a traditional school.
Class Start Dates – Do classes begin the same day you enroll or do you have to wait until the next start date. Most of the plumbing schools listed will start within a few days of you enrolling.
Reviews – Have you read any of the more recently reviews on the program and school? Make sure before you enroll you get a good viewpoint from other who have taken the plumbing course at the school you want to attend.
Talk to a Professor – Often you can learn a lot from talking directly to one of the instructors that teach the course. Their email address might be available where you can go on and ask additional questions perhaps that the Admissions Representative couldn’t answer
Social Media – Be sure to the school is connected to all different forms of social media. Perhaps they even have study groups online so you can get help from other students in your plumbing course.
Course Requirements – Make sure you look at the course requirements and agenda. Are these things you feel comfortable doing? Do you have access to a computer (at home, work or at a library) where you can access the program?
One advantage of attending an accredited school is they offer career services to all of their graduates which can include:
Resume Assistance – Learn how to write an effective resume for your plumbing career.
Job Leads – Many school can supply you with hot job leads in the area you are wanting to work.
Local Relationships – Schools often have special relationships already built at companies that are hiring.
Interviewing Help – Want to practice answering questions most often asked of plumbers? Want to know how to have the best interview ever? Let the stilled staff at the school you attend help. Many of them offer this assistance for life.
Plumbers come from all walks of life. Many decide to become a plumber later in life and start their own business where others decide right out of high school that this is the perfect career for them.
Independent Installer – Plumbers can be contracted by larger home or commercial builders to get a job done. They are typically paid by the job not by the hour. By owning your own business you can yourself do the job or you might have a team of plumbers that can help you.
Mobile Plumbers – Some decide to go to work for plumbing companies that service residential jobs 24/7. These would include emergency needs by the home owner including broken pipes and certain types of gas leaks. Many either start their own mobile business or buy into a plumbing franchise like Roto-Rooter, Mr Rooter or 1-800-Plumber.
Construction Companies – Large scale construction companies hire plumbers full-time, especially for jobs that can take up to a year to complete. Many large construction companies that build homes never stop building or build in phases that can have 100’s of homes. As a plumber you might be responsible for just one aspect of every home or work with a team of plumbers to get homes completed.
Hotels/Resorts – Many hotels and large resorts hire plumbers that work on the property. They handle everything from common issues to more advanced installations or plumbing additions. They can work on ice machines, in the kitchen or on HVAC systems.
Over 10% of all plumbers work as independent contractors that are self-employed. This usually happens once a plumber works in the field for a few years, gains more experience and the contacts needed to work independently.
Diploma: Most programs you’ll need to have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in. Be sure to check with the school as they might require your transcript.
Basic Testing: Many schools will have you take a basic test called the Wonderlic. This test is very easy and will test you on simple math and English skills.
Computer Skills: Not all programs but some will want you to have a basic knowledge of computers. They do this as some plumbing classes are online and some require you to use computer related equipment. Again, very few schools require this but if have had any computer training it will be beneficial.
There are 3 levels of plumbers, each requiring you to complete each one before moving on to the next level. The three are Apprentice Plumber, Journeyman Plumber and Master Plumber.
Apprentice Plumber: This is the base level plumber. As an apprentice you’ll get paid while working under direct supervision of a Journeyman or trained Master Plumber. This is typically where any plumber that just graduated from school starts. It gives you the hands-on experience while learning from someone who can teach you the safety and plumbing techniques. You’ll need to complete a certain number of hours in order to become a Journeyman plumber. Make sure to follow up with your state to know the exact number of hours and any other qualifications needed. You can expect to spend approx. 2000 as an apprentice before you can take your licensing test.
Journeyman Plumber: As with the other level you’ll still train under a Master plumber and once you pass your state license you’ll earn your Journeyman’s plumbers license.
Master Plumber: This requires a formal degree in plumbing and the proper number of years of experience as well as taking a master plumber licenses for your state. Most states require at least 4 years as an apprentice and 1500+ of hours of study from an accredited and approved school as well as your Journeyman card. Application and exam feels must also be paid.
Check out our latest study on the shortage of plumbers here!
BLS Plumbing Overview
Plumbing & Heating/Cooling Association
Plumbing Contractors of America
American Society of Plumbing Engineers