Dec 10

The 5 Step Guide to Becoming a Commercial Plumber

Three Home Repairs that Are Better Left to ExpertsIf you’re interested in becoming a commercial plumber for a major company like SMS plumbing, there are certain steps that you can take to get on the right path to that career. The average plumber makes over $46,000 annually, with jobs expected to grow 26 percent over the next decade. Read on for the five-step guide to a lucrative job in a field with plenty of room for advancement.


1. Get a High School Diploma

In order to be eligible for a plumbing apprenticeship program, you must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma. In addition, you must be prepared to take a basic math and reading test as well as pass a drug screen. If you are still in high school, some districts may offer a vocational training program that you can take in conjunction with your regular classes.


2. Attend a Technical School

While this step is not required, attending a community or technical school to learn about plumbing may help you connect with an apprenticeship program, the next necessary step on your journey to become a commercial plumber. If you choose to go this route, you may consider working part time at a plumbing company also in order to get your foot in the door.


3. Complete an Apprenticeship Program

Learning to become a plumber takes approximately four to five years through an apprentice program offered by a union or a business. To become licensed, an apprentice must complete 1,700 to 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 246 hours of related technical education. Upon graduation from the program, you will become a journeyman and are qualified to work independently.


4. Become Licensed

Most states require plumbers to become licensed. You are eligible for the required tests after gaining two to five years of experience. The exact requirements for licensure vary by state, however, so check with your state’s licensing board.


5. Find an Open Position

Many plumbers continue to work for the company where they did their apprenticeships. Therefore, it makes sense to train with a union or company that specializes in commercial plumbing. If there is not a job available or you’d like to move on, your local union may also be able to help with job placement. Fortunately, demand for commercial plumbers is expected to increase over the next decade according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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