How to Become a Plumber

Plumbers install, repair, and maintain the pipes and fixtures that convey water and waste in residential and commercial buildings. They ensure that these systems provide clean water and proper drainage, while also maintaining public health and safety.

Plumbing Shreveport involves a lot of hard work and practical knowledge. Getting into the trade requires training and certification, which can be found at community colleges and trade schools.

Having the right educational qualifications is a must-have for anyone looking to enter the plumbing field. Although there are many different pathways into this trade, one of the most common is to enroll in a vocational or apprenticeship program after graduating from high school or getting your GED certificate. This type of program provides on-the-job training along with classroom lessons and allows you to earn a living while learning. In addition, it can shorten the time it takes to complete your apprenticeship and give you a leg-up on entering the workforce.

Obtaining a degree from a vocational or community college is another way to get the education and training you need. These programs are typically shorter than an apprenticeship and cost more, but can give you a leg-up on finding employment after graduation. Additionally, some of these programs offer certifications, like the PHCC and ASPE, which can be beneficial in advancing your career.

Other forms of education and training include specialized coursework, seminars and professional memberships in related organizations. These opportunities provide a chance to network with fellow plumbers and learn from their experiences. They can also help keep you up-to-date on new plumbing techniques, regulations and equipment. In a city as large and complicated as New York, it’s important to keep up with the latest developments in plumbing to stay competitive in the job market.

In addition to ongoing education and professional development, plumbers must be physically fit to work on jobs that require them to climb and work in confined spaces. They must also pay attention to detail and be able to solve problems quickly. In addition, they are often required to wear protective gear while working with chemicals and dangerous tools.

Finally, plumbers must be able to work on unplanned emergencies at any time. This can make for a highly unpredictable schedule and can result in extra hours spent at the workplace. However, this is a rewarding career for those who are willing to work hard and take on challenges. With growing demand for skilled labor, there has never been a better time to pursue a career as a plumber.


A registered apprenticeship program is one of the most popular paths to becoming a plumber. It requires both class time and on-the-job training. An apprentice works with a professional plumber while doing the job and is able to ask questions and learn the ins and outs of the trade. Most programs last two to five years.

Plumbing apprenticeships are often offered through local plumbers’ unions, schools and state programs. Those interested should look for programs that are accredited and have clear educational criteria, such as a high school diploma or GED certificate and a willingness to work as a plumbing apprentice. In addition to technical instruction, apprentices are taught about the business aspects of the plumbing profession, such as OSHA safety protocols, industry plumbing codes and marketing.

An apprenticeship can be a good option for those who want to start out as a professional plumber or have an interest in entrepreneurship. It can also help them earn a higher salary than many other career options, particularly when they choose to become a union plumber. Union plumbers typically earn about 20% more a year than non-union plumbers, and they can receive valuable benefits like pension plans, sick pay, paid vacations and holiday hours.

The main duties of a plumber include preparing cost estimates for clients, performing plumbing repairs and replacements on residential and commercial properties, and inspecting and testing pipes and systems. A successful plumber must have excellent customer service skills and be able to communicate effectively with customers. They should be able to work on weekends and during the night, and they should be willing to travel to different sites to complete their jobs.

Plumbers must be able to operate hand tools and power tools, including wrenches, socket wrenches, pliers and cutters, as well as pneumatic and electrical tools. They need to be able to read and understand blueprints, isometric drawings and computer-aided design. They must also be able to do basic mathematics, and they need to know how to use plumbing fixtures. Other responsibilities include setting up, moving and repairing plumbing equipment, and cleaning the job site after completing work.

Work Environment

The plumbing industry is not for everyone, but it can be a rewarding career for those who are suited to it. It requires good manual dexterity, problem-solving skills, and customer service abilities. In addition, plumbers often work with chemicals and other hazardous materials. This work can be demanding, as plumbers may be required to perform emergency services outside of regular business hours.

Many plumbing technicians start out in apprenticeship programs, which combine classroom instruction with paid on-the-job training. These programs usually last between four and five years. In order to become a certified plumber, you must pass an exam. You may also need to obtain a license from your state, which can require additional coursework and training.

After working in the field for several years, plumbers who have demonstrated their technical and interpersonal skills may be promoted to supervisory roles. These positions allow them to oversee a team of plumbers and ensure that all work is performed in accordance with the highest quality standards. Plumbers with supervisory responsibilities can earn more money than their peers in entry-level positions.

Some plumbers choose to work for large plumbing companies, while others opt to work for small plumbing shops or on independent contracting jobs. Regardless of where they work, most plumbers spend their time on the job traveling to various locations and repairing plumbing systems. This type of work can be extremely rewarding for those who enjoy meeting new people and forging relationships that could generate future income.

Plumbing work is done in a variety of environments, including residential and commercial buildings, retail stores, hospitals, power plants, and factories. Commercial and industrial plumbing projects are typically larger in scale than those performed in homes or apartments, and may involve more complex plumbing equipment. Plumbers who specialize in commercial and industrial plumbing systems may be involved in the installation, maintenance, or repair of larger-scale water supply lines, drainage systems, fire sprinkler systems, and other large-scale plumbing components.

In this type of environment, plumbers must be comfortable working with a wide range of materials and can expect to encounter a variety of challenges and problems. This work can be stressful, as it can involve a high degree of pressure to meet deadlines and budgetary constraints. In addition, some plumbers must be willing to travel long distances to reach out-of-the-way sites, and they may be exposed to harsh environmental conditions such as sand storms or flooding.


A career in plumbing is a lucrative and satisfying option for people with the right skills and aptitude. The pay is competitive and plumbers can also build their careers into supervisory roles or even start their own businesses. However, it is important to know the ins and outs of this trade before making a commitment.

The demand for plumbers has been steadily growing as a result of rising environmental concerns and the need to repair old or outdated systems. As a result, wages have increased over the past several years.

In addition, plumbers with additional specialized skills are more valuable to clients and can command higher rates. These skills can include training in HVAC, solar heating systems, or energy-efficient solutions. Furthermore, plumbers with strong problem-solving abilities are more likely to win repeat business and referrals. This can lead to a steady stream of work and a more stable income.

The number of jobs available for plumbers can vary based on regional trends. Areas with a high population or commercial construction activity often have more plumbers than other areas. However, the exact number of plumbers can also depend on the climate and local economic conditions.

A qualified plumber can earn a good salary, particularly in states where there is a shortage of skilled workers. In some cases, a licensed plumber can even set their own hourly rate, which increases their earning potential.

Plumbers need to be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects. They must also be comfortable working in tight spaces and on their feet for extended periods of time. In addition, plumbers must follow safety procedures when handling hazardous materials and may need to wear protective gear.

Because plumbing problems are often urgent, plumbers can expect to be on-call during evenings and weekends. This can disrupt personal plans and require a flexible approach to work-life balance. Despite these challenges, many people find that the benefits of this career outweigh the disadvantages. People who are serious about pursuing a career as a plumber should research the different training options available to them, including apprenticeship programs, formal union or trade organization apprenticeships, and college degree programs. They should also ensure that they are licensed in the state where they plan to work.