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How Long Does It Take to Become a Plumber?

by Neighborly on April 12, 2017
 

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It’s a great time to get into the $105 billion plumbing industry.

Solid growth and exciting opportunities are ahead for prospective plumbers, and a career roadmap is more important than ever. But how long does it take to become a plumber? It depends on what you want your career to look like! There are a few options for starting a plumbing career, and choosing the right one depends on your individual goals. Let's explore the details of how to become a plumber.

Exploring Trade Schools and Apprenticeships for Your Plumbing Career

If you’ve completed high school or earned a GED, you have two primary plumbing certification options: attend a plumbing trade school or complete a plumbing apprenticeship. Typically, it takes about two years for plumbing training at a trade school. Meanwhile, apprenticeships can take two to five years, depending on the program.

The benefits of a trade school include flexibility of where you work after training, as well as more control over your education. An apprenticeship, however, is typically sponsored by a union or a business. While this route may provide less flexibility, you’ll have paid training opportunities. Either choice is an effective way of learning how to become a plumber.

Explore apprenticeship opportunities with Mr. Rooter®.

How to Become a Plumber: Journeyman Plumber Status

To become a journeyman plumber, you will need industry experience on top of your education. The requirements for experience vary by state, but many locations require an average of five years’ experience. Once you’ve acquired this experience, you can sit for the plumbing certification test. Many apprenticeships adequately prepare students for the journeyman licensing exam.

Some people continue to work at this level throughout their plumbing careers; others choose to advance to a master plumber. So the answer to “How long does it take to become a plumber?” depends on how advanced you want to go. Even if you choose to stay at the journeyman level, you may need to complete continuing education, depending on your state.

How to Become a Plumber: Master Plumber Status

Like the journeyman plumber requirements, the process to become a master plumber is different in every state. Many states require at least two years of work experience as a journeyman, while some require up to ten years. While a master plumber’s status gains you more opportunities and lucrative plumbing career options, you may also have increased responsibilities, like maintaining your own liability insurance.

Because every state is different, it’s essential to become familiar with the licensing requirements to perform plumbing work in your locality. Check state-by-state requirements here to find out exactly how to become a plumber legally working at the master plumber level in your state.

How long does it take to become a plumber at this level? In many states, you can be a fully licensed plumber (not a master plumber yet!) within five years. From there, you can pursue your master plumber credentials or even start your own plumbing business. Learn more about joining the Neighborly family of home service providers with your own Mr. Rooter franchise, or call a Mr. Rooter franchise advisor today at (888) 492-3396.

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Topics: Neighborly, Mr. Rooter

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