Get the Best out of Plumber Training
Plumber training almost always centers on obtaining a formal apprenticeship in order to gain the necessary hands-on experience and skills set needed to start work. Though there is no national certification process or requirements, various states, regions or municipalities may require their own exams of coursework. Qualifications for a training program are a high school diploma or GED, an age requirement of 18 years or over and a further requirement of sound physical fitness. Below is a brief look at the details of plumber training.
Becoming a Plumbing Apprentice
Though a plumber may come from any walk of life or career path, almost all must go through the apprenticeship process in order to take on plumbing work of their own. A plumbing apprenticeship begins when prospective journeymen plumbers sign on with a licensed master plumber and work with that mentor to gain skills and hands-on knowledge of safe plumbing practices. The general duration of an apprenticeship is extensive at four to five years, and includes 144 hours of plumber training coursework.
Plumbing Apprentice Details
Plumber training coursework generally consists of both educational and hands-on learning practices for a well-rounded plumber training program. Basic courses teach new students how to distinguish the various pipe types as well as specific uses for each type and the best materials and connectors to select when in the field. Students may also learn to read and draft blueprints, and have a good knowledge of safety procedures and building code details. For practical skills, students learn pipe and fixture installation as well as how to use simple piping tools.
Although most apprenticeships require no previous experience, it's almost always an advantage as well as a good indication that new candidates are well-prepared to complete the plumber training. In fact, any training is looked upon favorably. It's important to inquire with a master plumber whether previous training can be credited toward the apprenticeship requirements. Any classes or related coursework, such as math and computer courses, completed previously, could also be of some benefit and offer credit opportunities.
Exams and Certification
Once the journeyman plumber has completed the requisite number of coursework hours and has at least 4 to 5 years of apprenticeship training with a licensed master plumber, he can sit for the Journeyman Plumber Exam. These exams vary from state to state in terms of material and format and are designed to test knowledge of plumbing maintenance and installation as well as knowledge of government regulations and safety rules. Once the test is passed, the journeyman becomes a licensed plumber. Further testing is required to reach the masters level.
The requirements for obtaining a plumbing license are based on the successful completion of plumber training usually in the form of a 4 to 5 year apprenticeship. In addition, at least 144 hours of plumbing specific coursework must be complete as well as successful completion of the Journeyman Plumber Exam. The entire plumber training process can take years to complete and thus requires a significant amount of hard work, dedication and serious commitment.