Know the Facts about Plumber Courses
Plumber courses for general training or apprenticeships are required by state laws regulating plumber licensing. Typically, plumber apprentices must take at least 24 to 144 hours of plumber courses in order to receive a plumber license. Courses vary according to the key areas of the profession which include pipe fitting, sewer lines, and oil and gas lines. Separate courses exist for journeymen working as apprentices and licensed plumbers wishing to become master plumbers.
Selecting Plumber Courses
The main goal for taking most plumber courses is passing licensing exams upon the completion of all coursework. Thus, courses are selected based on their relativity to personal interest as well as their ability to cover information that will be tested for licensing such as building codes and blueprint drafting. Exam materials and formats vary by state, so itís important to check with the state licensing board to determine the contents of licensing exams so that choosing coursework is based on useful criteria.
Journeyman Level Plumber Courses
In addition to a 4 to 5 year apprenticeship under the supervision of a master plumber, journeyman plumbers must also complete a certain number of hours of plumber courses. The number of hours vary by state, but can be in the range of anywhere from 24 to 144 hours. Texas, for example, mandates 48 hours of plumber courses for journeymen. Coursework includes basic plumbing science such as recognizing and distinguishing types of pipes and knowledge of building codes as well as skills-focused courses such as the ability to lay pipe, read and draft blueprints and follow safety rules.
Master Plumber Level Courses
Master plumber level courses are more specialized according to the particular expertise of the plumber. Most states require successful completion of the master examination with a grade of 70% or higher, so itís important to select the best master plumber courses possible. Courses should cover the government regulations and plumbing codes for the profession. Itís also wise to take courses that draw from previous plumbing experience. Although some states make their master plumbing licenses exams an open-book test, exam preparation courses can still be of benefit.
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Qualification for coursework may vary according to state licensing requirements as well as according to school or training programs. Most require candidates to be 18 years or older and physically able to handle the rigors of hands-on plumber courses. Some also require a high school diploma or GED, but few, if any, require previous experience. Previous coursework in other areas such as math, science and computers could prove beneficial and may even transfer as credit toward the completion of plumber courses.
When selecting plumber courses and programs, itís helpful to keep in mind the main goal of plumber coursework Ė preparation to pass licensing exams. Different levels of coursework exist for the journeyman license and the master plumber license, so be sure to properly distinguish the coursework youíre researching and choose the correct level. Generally, plumbing schools do not require previous experience, but be sure to inquire whether related coursework can transfer as credit toward completion of plumber courses.