how to become a plumber in pennsylvania

How to become a plumber in Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Plumbing License

If you’re interested in how to become a licensed plumber in Pennsylvania we’ve put together this quick guide to help you work out how to become a plumber in PA.

Plumbing has always been a traditional trade – thanks to plumbers always being in demand and the relatively healthy starting salary new workers can expect. Now more than ever, though, more people are looking to find out how to become a plumber. It seems the recent recession and the sudden hike in University tuition fees have made a fairly stable and rewarding career like plumbing seem a lot more attractive.

There are a few different routes you can take to become a plumber, in this quick guide we will cover:

· Apprenticeships

· Plumbing qualifications

· Fast track plumbing courses

These are the most common and useful routes to becoming a plumber in Pennsylvania and apply to anyone interested in plumbing as a career.

How to become a plumber – Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are the traditional method of becoming a plumber – but these days they can be quite hard to get into due to the increased competition for a spot in the trades. Plumbing apprenticeships usually last between 2-4 years, in which your time will be divided between formal lessons and on-the-job experience.

This can be an excellent method as you will meet other plumbers and learn from them, as well as gaining the relevant qualifications. Apprentices, however, do not get paid a lot and usually get just enough money to cover necessary expenses.

To train as a plumber, the apprenticeship route is the best way in that you will get to know what exactly the job of a plumber constitutes. Various companies and labor unions, like Mechanical Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, and The National Fire Sprinkler Association to name a few, run these apprenticeship programs.

How to become a plumber – Professional qualifications

Perhaps the quickest way to become a plumber is to sign up for plumbing training courses, which can take you from novice to fully-qualified in about 8-12 weeks. There are many classes to choose from, which can provide NVQ’s and Diplomas in plumbing as well as valuable practical experience.

Taking industry recognized qualifications is perhaps the best way to become a plumber for people looking for a new career – as they can be re-trained quickly compared to apprentices and be earning as a plumber in just a few months.

Due to the wide range of plumbing qualifications available, it helps to research first. To find out how to become a plumber via plumbing requirements you’ll need to know exactly what qualifications are necessary to enable you to begin your career as a plumber.

How to become a plumber – Fast Track plumbing courses

For those who quickly need to retrain and start working as a plumber, there are a few fast-track options out there. Again, it is important to research these before jumping in as you need to be sure the qualification you are gaining is industry recognized and covers you to carry out plumbing work professionally. You need to be looking for NVQ Level 2-3 qualifications ideally.

Due to their very nature, fast-track courses can cut a few corners so are only really suitable for those who have some experience in plumbing and are confident in their prior knowledge of the job.

If you are looking at how to become a plumber, it can get a bit daunting. However, the more you research and consider it the simpler, it becomes. This guide is designed as a quick introduction and covers the basics of how to become a plumber. The general options are either to take an apprenticeship to gradually learn the ropes and gain qualifications under the guidance of experienced plumbers or to take your plumbing skills – which can turn out to be the most cost-effective method.

Become a Plumber’s Mate

Another way of getting into the trade is to become what’s known as a plumber’s mate…kind of an informal apprenticeship if you like. This is something often done by those who have family or friends already in the trade – many a plumber around these days learned from his dad! This can be a good way to get into the trade if you have the contacts although don’t forget you will always require qualifications in today’s health and the safety-obsessed world.

How Much Can A Plumber Hope To Earn in Pennsylvania?
According to Pennsylvania Bureau of Statistics, workers that are 18 years or older and possess a bachelor’s degree can hope to earn around $50,000 a year. Those with an advanced degree can expect to make around $75,000 a year. And a professional with a high school diploma can hope to make around $30,000.

According to estimates, there are many unfilled vacancies in plumbing and the number is growing. This is one more reason for you to opt for becoming a plumber.

There are more than 500,000 plumbers in Pennsylvania today. A third of them are over the age of 45. If the average retirement age of plumbers can be considered as 55, you can foresee a huge shortage of experienced plumbers shortly.

Moreover, a decline in the number of piping contractors is also anticipated. This augurs well for those having a bent for enterprise and willing to start their own business. After all the plumbing industry is now witnessing a consolidation phase. The recessionary period in housing is cyclical and is bound to vane. The demand for professional plumbers in no time can spurt.

Besides a good pay and great opportunities, here are some more good reasons for choosing this trade.

– High advanced training opportunities: There are many advanced skill options that let you be a specialist.

– Employment stability: Pipes leak and burst over time, customers need new modifications, and maintenance work is never ending. All these make the plumbing trade less sensitive to economic volatility.

– The absence of monotony: You can use a handle a plethora of jobs and will never get bored. Water piping, gas piping, domestic installations, underground piping, industrial systems and the list goes on and on.

How Long Does It Take to become a Plumber

There are various types of plumbing related packages accessible with various instruction program-terms that may possibly a selection from just a single week to a single 12 months. Nonetheless, if you choose to go for the intensive packages, you can merely be experienced to the level of a totally experienced local plumber inside of just six weeks.

Trade Schools Are An Excellent Choice the state offers

Trade schools make an excellent choice for Pennsylvania plumbing training courses as the courses are specific to plumbing, they allow a plumber to get through the courses as fast as possible and have the added benefit of many plumbers seek employees from trade schools.

Trade schools will tailor their courses to meet local requirements for becoming a fully licensed plumber.

The Internet is a good source for finding local trade schools that will help you to become a licensed plumber. The plumbing training courses they offer will help you to gain the knowledge needed to be a safe and effective plumber. If you require financial aid to attend the trade school, most schools will have avenues available for assistance.

Community Colleges Offer a Good Alternative to Train as a Plumber

If a trade school is not how you wish to get your training as a plumber, you can attempt to get your plumbing training courses Pennsylvania through a community college as many of them offer plumbing training courses. Community colleges tend to be a very good source for courses in plumbing or any trade for that matter, as they do not charge large fees on a per credit hour basis. The instructors tend to be trades people who wish to help educate up and coming people in the trade. The courses are likely to be offered during a time when it is convenient for a working person to take the course like an evening or weekend.

What are the Plumber licensing requirements at the state level?

A licensed plumbing business in Pennsylvania is licensed with the Department of The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not directly license plumbers.  Local municipal governments maintain licensing requirements at the local level.

To find out your municipality’s requirements visit your local governments website.

Take up this profession, and you will never regret your decision of becoming a plumber.


To read this article in Spanish, click here.

1 thought on “How to become a plumber in Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Plumbing License”

  1. Kevin Phillips


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