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How to Switch to a Plumbing Career

As plumbers, we get how boring an office job can be. While some people are cut out for an office job, others aren’t and that’s okay. In the plumbing industry, it isn’t uncommon for plumbers to begin their careers later in life and one of the biggest benefits to the industry is that you can begin your plumbing career at any age. If you’re needing a career change and are wanting to start as a plumber, then you’re in the right place. We’ll go over the steps you need to take, to start your plumbing career.

How to Start Your Plumbing Career

The plumbing trade is a very popular career choice because even when the economy is slow, people are still going to be in need of plumbing services. However, before you can start applying for plumbing jobs, there are a few things you need to do.

plumbing checking underneath a sink

Get Your GED

You’ve probably already completed this step by graduating high school, but any plumbing company will require you to have a high school diploma or GED in order to obtain any specialized training. In a competitive setting, it’s also helpful to have a strong foundation in math and science to give you an edge over the competition.

Take a Technical Plumbing Course

It’s known that you don’t need a college degree to become a plumber. However, most states require that you take a technical plumbing course from an accredited institution. A technical course will teach you a variety of plumbing skills that will help you be successful in your career. The advantages to completing a plumbing technical are:

  • Gives you the advantage to receive a plumbing apprenticeship
  • Many schools will give you networking opportunities
  • Classroom hours may be applied to your accredited coursework during your apprenticeship

Typically, you’ll take your technical plumbing course in a trade school. Trade schools are a great alternative to a two or four-year college because you can finish your education faster, allowing you to get into the field sooner.

Complete a Plumbing Apprenticeship Program

The apprenticeship years are where you’ll learn what it takes to be a plumber. Through your apprenticeship, you’ll receive comprehensive training and hands-on experiences. Your apprenticeship is done with a licensed plumber/plumbing company and is great because you get to work through your schooling. To get their careers started faster, most plumbers will do their schooling and apprenticeship at the same time.

The easiest way to get your apprenticeship is through a local plumber’s union. Many unions provide the required classroom coursework as well as pair you with a licensed plumber or company. Here at Shamrock Plumbing, we love plumbing apprentices and welcome them to apply with us! On average, apprentice plumbers make anywhere between $31,000 to $45,000 yearly.

two plumbers standing in front of a van

Get Licensed!

At the end of your apprenticeship, you must pass a test, depending on your state, that allows you to receive your license and pass onto the journeyman level. In the state of Utah, you’re required to have your license to provide services. When taking the test, here are some things you can expect:

  • Reading and Comprehension
  • Basic Mathematics
  • Basic Arithmetic
  • Units of Measurement
  • Geometry
  • Conversions
  • Basic Plumbing Practices

Once you’ve finished your apprenticeship and have received your license, you’re ready to start your journeyman years!

The Journeyman Years

A journeyman plumber is someone who has passed the state exam and now holds their journeyman license. That means you can now work without a supervisor and can run your truck. On average, journeyman plumbers make anywhere from $56,000 to $72,000 yearly. It isn’t uncommon for plumbers to continue their careers as journeymen plumbers because they enjoy the amount of work and experience they receive in their field. However, if you’re wanting to own your own business or run your team of contractors, then becoming a master plumber might be the right choice for you.

Becoming a Master Plumber

Master plumbers are the highest tier in the plumbing journey. They are the plumbers who are interested in owning and operating their team of plumbing contractors. The salary of master plumbers is dependent on how successful that team is and how well their business is doing. To become a master plumber, you’ll need to do some extra schooling. After you complete your additional schooling, you’ll also need to pass your state exam to receive your master’s license.

Benefits of a Plumbing Career

Becoming a plumber is a great career choice. Some of the benefits include advancement opportunities, inexpensive education, job security, and more! Becoming a plumber can be challenging, but also rewarding. If you’re thinking about making a career switch, we suggest doing it. You won’t regret it.

plumber fixing sink

How Shamrock Plumbing Can Help

If you’re looking to become an apprentice plumber, then consider applying with us at Shamrock Plumbing. We’ll teach you the best plumbing practices for both residential and commercial locations. You’ll learn hands-on experienced plumbers and work on a variety of projects. We take pride in our team and are always looking to add to our family.

Have plumbing problems? Shamrock Plumbing can help! Our plumbers are professionals who are dedicated to your satisfaction. Contact us today and we’ll send one of our expert plumbers out to you and assess your needs to resolve your problem.

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