Becoming a journeyman plumber can open your career to a world of benefits and opportunities. If you have the initial interest in becoming a plumber, you will need to learn what it takes to make your dream a reality. The road to becoming a licensed plumber varies from state to state. However, there are a few common requirements that apply across the board. Here are a few of them.
Have your educational foundation in check
Earning your high school diploma or an equivalent (such as the GED) is the first step towards a promising career as a plumber. Basic knowledge of math, science, reading handwriting is critical in attaining a career in the plumbing industry. Having advanced knowledge in math and science will make your work that much easier because the work mainly involves gauging water and making accurate measurements. Areas that should stand out in your high school diploma or equivalent include:
- Metric units of measurements
Keep your record clean
Having a clean record goes a long way in boosting your chances in excelling in any career you want to start. For a career in plumbing, this is also very important considering you will be working in people’s homes or business premises. Your background should show that you are of trustworthy character. Other areas that you should pay attention to are your ability to pass a drug test, your driving record, and your criminal background. Training institutions may be deterred from working with you if you have:
- DWIs or DUIs
- Several moving violations
- Felony convictions
- Failed a drug test
- Reckless driving convictions
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Enroll in technical courses
In order to become a licensed professional plumber, several states require that you spend a number of hours in the classroom. Various public and private schools offer technical courses that you can enroll for. The curriculum varies by state requirements but general topics include:
- Soldering and pipe cutting
- Venting and draining
- Local plumbing codes
- Water heating systems
- Electrical basics
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Find an apprenticeship
The best way to learn a technical skill is under the advise and supervision of an experienced person. Working alongside a certified and experienced plumber as an apprentice will greatly boost your chances at succeeding in the career. This can last from two to five years. Your training organization may be able to offer apprenticeship programs for which you can apply. Local plumbing businesses are also a good option and they may even offer to pay you for your time.
Take the test to be a professional plumber
Depending on your state, you may be required to take both a written and practical test in order to earn your plumbing license. You will generally be required to take the test after you have completed both your apprentice program and technical courses. The exam is usually cumulative of what you have learned in the classroom and on the job. Once you pass the test, you may be considered a licensed journeyman plumber allowing you to take on contract work without the assistance of another qualified plumber.