How to Become a Plumber

Plumbers install, repair, and maintain pipes and fixtures for water distribution and wastewater disposal in residential and commercial buildings. Plumber Edison NJ interprets blueprints and building codes and adheres to safety protocols.

Most plumbers gain skills through an apprenticeship, followed by a journeyman license. Others attend vocational school to earn a certificate or associate degree in the trade.


A plumber’s duties revolve around assembling, detecting issues, maintaining and repairing pipes that carry water, gas or waste within residential and commercial settings. Plumbers are patient individuals who possess manual dexterity, an eye for detail, and the ability to work efficiently. Their work is often arduous and can involve working in cramped spaces or with heavy tools. They must be able to read blueprints and technical documents, as well as understand plumbing codes and specifications. They must also be able to communicate with customers and explain complex plumbing issues in easy-to-understand terms.

Plumbers often install new plumbing systems during construction projects. This involves working with a variety of materials, including copper, steel, PEX, PVC and CPVC. Plumbers also use hand and power tools to make connections, cut pipe, remove old fixtures and more. They must be able to identify and troubleshoot problems, such as leaks or corrosion, to ensure that the new system is functioning properly.

After installing a plumbing system, plumbers must test it to ensure that all parts are working correctly. They may use video inspections, pressure gauges, and other testing equipment to locate and diagnose issues. They must also be able to repair or replace these parts as needed.

In addition to installing and repairing plumbing systems, plumbers may also be responsible for drain cleaning, fixture replacement and water heater maintenance. They may also be responsible for ensuring that all plumbing codes are followed when making changes to existing systems.

Because of the many responsibilities associated with this job, it is important for plumbers to be organized and have excellent time-management skills. They must be able to work quickly and accurately, especially when handling emergency situations. Plumbers must also be able to keep up with the demands of their schedule, which can include evening and weekend calls.

As with most skilled trades, soft skills are also essential for plumbers to have. They must be able to communicate effectively with customers and other team members, as well as be able to solve problems quickly and efficiently. They must also be able to maintain a positive attitude in stressful situations and work well under pressure.

Obtaining a high school diploma or GED certificate is the first step toward becoming a plumber. From there, pursuing vocational or technical education courses is beneficial to gain hands-on experience in working with tools and developing fundamental skills that can be applied in the field. These types of courses can be found at local community colleges, trade schools, or through professional plumbing associations. Additionally, completing courses or workshops that cover blueprint reading is helpful for understanding the layouts of plumbing systems and their components.

Apprenticeships are another way that aspiring plumbers can gain valuable work experience and training in the field. Typically, these programs last for 4 to 5 years and involve on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Those interested in apprenticeships should contact local union or trade organization branches to find out more about requirements and availability.

In addition to completing formal education and training, aspiring plumbers must meet state and local licensing requirements. These requirements vary by jurisdiction, but can include passing an exam and gaining on-the-job experience under the supervision of a master plumber.

Soft skills are also important for plumbers to have, as they may be required to interact with clients and other team members in a professional manner. Communication skills are key to understand what issues a customer is facing and how to best resolve them. Additionally, plumbers should be comfortable collaborating with others in teams or on large-scale projects to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Plumbers working in commercial and industrial settings often encounter more complex plumbing issues. These environments can include office buildings, retail spaces, restaurants, hospitals, and manufacturing facilities. In these cases, it is important for plumbers to understand how the plumbing system serves each space and how to repair or install new equipment accordingly. This can require a higher level of skill and more in-depth knowledge of building codes and regulations.

Plumbers are also on-call for emergency situations, so they must be prepared to work evenings and weekends if necessary. This can create a demanding schedule and requires flexibility from aspiring plumbers. Additionally, plumbers must be able to manage their time well and prioritize tasks in high-stress or pressured situations.

The work environment for a plumber is often physically demanding, and it can expose you to dangerous materials like sewage and high-pressure systems. It is important to follow all recommended safety procedures, including using the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for each job and identifying any potential hazards in your work area. In addition, some plumbing jobs require that you travel between work sites, so you may have to spend a significant amount of time away from home.

Most plumbers are self-employed or work for small businesses employing less than ten people, but some find employment with construction companies. The level of independence and flexibility you enjoy will depend on your chosen career path and how much experience you have. Plumbers who have extensive experience may choose to take on managerial roles, such as supervisor or project manager, and some even choose to start their own plumbing business.

Because every building requires a plumbing system to function, plumbers are needed for nearly all new construction and renovation projects. As a result, the demand for skilled plumbers is relatively stable, although it can fluctuate with overall economic trends.

According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for plumbers is $51,000. This makes it one of the more lucrative trades, but you should keep in mind that the cost of getting into this field is substantial, and you must consider this when deciding whether to pursue it as a career.

Many people who are interested in becoming plumbers choose to start out as an apprentice and gain on-the-job training before pursuing their license and certification. This is an excellent way to learn the skills of the trade while earning a steady income. However, it is also important to consider the fact that the pay for apprenticeships is significantly less than that of plumbers with a master plumber’s license.

A career as a plumber can be extremely rewarding, and it offers good opportunities for advancement and promotion. Plumbers are needed in most new construction and repair projects, and as a result, they offer very good job security. In addition, the skills learned by plumbers are transferable to other types of construction-related occupations, such as carpentry and electrician.

While some may think that becoming a plumber requires a lot of upfront costs and lower starting salaries, the career can offer job security and income growth potential. It also offers the chance to work with your hands and use creative skills in a trade that’s essential to keeping homes and businesses running smoothly.

People need running water and sewage disposal systems in their homes and workplaces, so there will always be jobs for plumbers. Some states have higher demand for plumbers than others, but overall employment for this trade is expected to grow by 5% in the this decade.

Plumbers can expect a variety of work settings, from small residential projects to installing and maintaining large plumbing systems in commercial buildings. This can be a demanding job that requires the ability to solve problems and adapt to changing circumstances. However, many plumbers find the variety of work stimulating and exciting.

A plumber can expect to earn an average salary of $36,700 per year as a beginner and up to $72,300 or more for a master plumber. This is a competitive salary for skilled tradespeople, especially since the initial training costs can be high.

Applicants for plumbing positions should be comfortable with manual dexterity and have good analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. The ability to learn and adapt quickly is important, as is a willingness to travel for work and take on multiple projects at once.

For those who want to enter this field, there are a number of resources available to help them get started, including vocational schools, community colleges and online colleges that offer certificate programs in plumbing. Many of these programs allow students to complete their studies in as little as a year, making them a great option for those who are eager to start their careers. In addition, most states require plumbers to have a state license or certification. This typically involves completing a certain number of years of experience under the supervision of a licensed master plumber and passing an exam.