About five years.
Although it is possible to decrease the time frame from technical school to becoming a plumber, the average time from start to finish is about five years. In order to become a master plumber, the requirements are generally a few additional years or a specific number of experience hours. Before starting this process, look at the states plumbing association to get specific requirements.
For anyone considering a career as a plumber and wondering, how long is plumbing school, the answer can vary. Plumbers are one of the most closely regulated professions today. Almost all states have licensing requirements for journeyman and master plumbers. However, the requirements and exams to become a plumber will vary from state to state. There are a few basic steps that are consistent across the states.
Education Requirements for Plumbing
In order to train as a plumber, the first step is to get a high school diploma or a GED. For those that may be finishing high school, this position requires a basic knowledge of science, math, reading, and writing. Focusing on these areas in high school will make it easier to succeed in the position. The job requires being able to make accurate measurements to being proficient in units of measure, algebra, and geometry are all important. The only thing that will hinder your education are a lack of high school education as well as hits on your record. Avoid any DUIs, misdemeanors, and other felonies to prevent problems.
After achieving a high school diploma or GED, attend a technical or trade school. Most states require a certain number of hours in the classroom to become a licensed program. Community colleges, trade institutes, and even the Professional Plumbing Association offer programs in plumbing. Each state has different requirements for the classes required as well. Typically, classes in draining/venting, local plumbing codes, water heating systems, and pipe cutting are required. In general, this program will take about two years.
Become a Plumbing Apprentice
An apprenticeship is usually required in order to become a journeyman plumber, the lowest level of plumber. An apprenticeship should prepare people for the journeyman licensing exam. The apprenticeship provides hands-on training that is led by a licensed plumber and is a great way to start a career. This process usually takes about two years although may require up to three in some states. Check with local plumbing businesses or unions to find programs.
Pass the Plumbers Licensing Exam
Most states have requirements for years or hours of plumbing experience completed before being able to sit for the exam. For example, in Colorado, a journeyman plumber has to show proof of up to four years or 6800 hours of experience. In Alabama, the requirements are two years of experience as an apprentice or completion of an apprentice training program approved by the board. After the requirements listed by each state are met, plumbers will take a written and practical exam. Once the exam has been passed, it is now possible to start working independently as a licensed plumber.
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