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Do You Need a College Degree to Become a Plumber?


Plumbers are essential to both home and business owners, making plumbing a secure and dependable job in today’s economy. We’ve all had to call a plumber to fix a leaky faucet, but there is a lot more to a plumbers job than just water maintenance.

Here at Shamrock Plumbing we also install plumbing fixtures, repair gas pipes, and help you maintain your appliances that you love so much. But where do plumbers learn these skills? The majority of certified plumbers get their education from both trade schools and apprenticeships. In order to become a plumber you have to get a certain amount of classroom hours and field hours, depending on your state. In Utah, you are required to complete 8,000 hours of training both in the classroom and as an apprentice.

Trade Schools

Though you don’t need a college degree to become a plumber, most states require you to take a technical plumbing course from an accredited institution. These technical courses will help teach you a variety of plumbing skills and prepare you for your plumbing career. The benefits of these trade schools include:

  • Takes about two years to complete
  • Flexible training schedules
  • Business and administrative training
  • Theoretical training in both commercial and residential plumbing

Trade schools are a great alternative for a two or four year college because you can usually finish your education faster than a traditional college or university, allowing you onto the field sooner. It is important to note that before you can apply to a trade school, you’ll need to have either a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. Before picking the perfect trade school be sure to consider your location, schedule, and other needs.


Apprenticeships with a licensed plumber/plumbing company are a great option because they often sponsor you through your technical courses and you are more likely to be offered a job after your training. Apprenticeships can take anywhere from four to five years and you are typically paired with a licensed plumber.

The benefits of an apprenticeship include:

  • On the job training
  • Paid for schooling
  • Fulfil classroom hours and field hours simultaneously
  • Paid for hours worked



Apprenticeships are great because they allow you to both work and learn at the same time. On average apprenticeship plumbers make about $31k a year. Being able to work while in school for your intended career is a great opportunity. For more information on apprenticeships take a look at our blog “From Plumbing Apprentice Padawan to Master” here!

Plumbing License

You might be thinking, “Great! I just need to find a plumber mentor, and take a few classes, and then I’ll be a plumber!” Well, not exactly. In the majority of states you need a plumbing license in order to become a professional plumber.

By becoming a licensed plumber you are ensuring, to your clients, that you have gone through training and understand the in’s and out’s of plumbing. This builds trust with your clients and will almost always guarantee better work than non-licensed plumbers.

In order to get your plumbing license you will have to take a plumbing test. The type of test you take varies from state to state, but what you can expect to see on these tests include:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Communication
  • Basic Mathematics
  • General Plumbing Practices



Once you have passed your plumbing test, you officially become a licensed plumber and you will be classified as a “journeyman”. This allows you to work as a plumber for a company or you can start your own plumbing business.

Journeyman vs Master Plumber

Now you may be wondering what a journeyman plumber is. A journeyman plumber is a plumber who has successfully completed their training and now has the knowledge and skills needed to work without supervision from a licensed plumber. But what if you are wanting to take your plumbing knowledge to the next level?

That next level would be a master plumber. A master plumber is the highest tier of plumbing and in order to become a master plumber you must go through additional schooling and take a second harder plumbing exam. Men and women typically become master plumbers because they are wanting to run their own business and team of contractors.

Both journeyman and master plumbers are great career paths. It isn’t uncommon for a journeyman plumber to stay where they are because they’re happy with their salary and the amount of experience they have. By becoming a master plumber you are extending the knowledge you already have and can find more opportunities.

Benefits of Plumbing Careers

Now that you know what it takes to become a plumber, what are some of the benefits of a plumbing career? Some of the benefits include:

  • On average salary is between $53,000 and $71,000
  • Advancement Opportunities
  • Inexpensive Education
  • Job Security
  • Great Benefits

These are only some of the benefits of a plumbing career. Becoming a plumber can be a challenging and rewarding career. And if you are thinking about taking that first step to becoming one, we suggest you do it. You won’t regret it.

Already a Licensed-Apprentice Plumber?

If you’re a plumber with some experience, looking for an apprenticeship, apply with us at Shamrock Plumbing! Here at Shamrock we will teach you the best plumbing practices for both residential and commercial locations. You will learn hands on from our experienced plumbers and your work can range anywhere from clogs to full-scale plumbing installations. On top of that we offer amazing benefits, such as:

  • Paid Schooling
  • Opportunities for Advancement
  • 401K
  • Paid Vacations
  • Job Stability
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance

We take pride in our team and are always looking to add to the Shamrock family. We value our employees and thanks to our team of experienced plumbers we have become one of the most trusted plumbing contractors for homes and businesses in Northern Utah.

In Need of a Plumber? Call Shamrock Plumbing!

If you are in need of any plumbing services, give us a call here at Shamrock Plumbing. Our plumbers are professionals that are dedicated to your satisfaction! Give us a call and we’ll send one of our experts out to you to assess your needs and resolve your plumbing problem!

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CALL NOW: 801-505-9505
TOLL FREE: 866-262-8007

340 W 500 N
North Salt Lake, UT 84054
United States