Do you love working with your hands? Does the thought of working in cramped conditions and being knee deep in mucky waters creep you out? If you’ve answered Yes and No respectively to these questions then becoming a plumber will give you plenty of opportunities to start your own business.
Being a plumber or heating engineer requires a life-long dedication to learning but it does come with good wages, a variety of career paths and you can progress to teaching, design, consultancy, and management.
However, you’ll need to be good in science, math, adept at solving problems and physically fit since your daily life will be physically demanding. But how do you become a plumber?
How to become a plumber in 4 easy steps
To become a plumber, you’ll first need to become a plumbing apprentice, and for you to be eligible, you need to meet some or all of these general requirements. The requirements vary by each province so be sure to check your own.
Step One: Graduate high school
If you’re interested in becoming a plumber or any other career, then you first need to get your high school diploma. Moreover, your future employers and plumbing union will require being proficient in mathematics. Even though it’s not a mandatory requirement, it will give you an edge over others.
Additionally, if there courses such as blueprint reading and drafting available, then be sure to sign up since they’ll help your career.
The plumbing industry has become very competitive over the recent years and having an above average score in maths, the metric system and geometry might make all the difference.
Step two: Vocational Training
To become a qualified and certified plumber, you don’t necessarily have to have a college degree. With that said, you should sign up for any vocational plumbing courses whether in community college, technical school or trade school. These courses are very competitive and will help you stand out from the crowd.
Most of the certificates you earn on completion will provide you with basic to advanced knowledge of drainage systems, water supply, and their corresponding piping equipment. Each province has its mandatory requirements before you can become an apprentice so be sure to check.
Step Three: Complete a plumber’s apprenticeship(important)
Plumbing apprenticeships are usually conducted by plumber unions which mean you’ll get to be taught by experienced professional plumbers. The knowledge you get from technical institutes serve to give you a basic foundation on plumbing, but it doesn’t compare to the hands-on and practical training you get from a master plumber.
These apprenticeships are open and available to individuals over 18 years with a high school GED. But if you’re 17 and have graduated high school you can still sign up. You also need to have completed 144 hours of classroom plumbing training which you may or may not get from your local plumber’s union.
Applying for an apprenticeship usually requires a written application, and you may or may not be required to complete an aptitude test. Other additional requirements may include a driver’s license, no criminal record, and drug testing.
Step four: plumber’s exam
Once you’ve completed the required classroom and field hours all that’s left is to acquire the Journeyman Plumber’s status. For you to achieve this status, you have to have a signed affidavit from your plumbing instructor verifying you have complete the necessary hours.
For you to take your province’s exam, you need to have finished and had a thorough knowledge of plumbing systems since they’ll be tested on the exam. If you feel confident enough at this point, then you can register for the journeyman’s plumbing exam while you revise different materials.
If you have completed the steps below, then all that’s left is for you to get a master plumber certification. To acquire this certification, you only need to continue your education and garner more field experience. There you have it, a short and sweet guide on how to become a plumber.