Build a Successful Career in Plumbing
Discover what it takes to put your gifts to work as a plumber.
Why is Plumbing a Good Career Choice?
Imagine putting your science, technology, engineering and math skills to work in a rewarding career without years of schooling and thousands of dollars of debt. The plumbing career path provides just that, along with paid training, unlimited job opportunities and benefits from the moment you start learning the trade.
A few reasons to choose plumbing as a career include:
- You won’t have burdensome student loans. Vocational programs are affordable for many students, which means you can get a quality education in the trades with little to no student debt.
- There’s a high demand for plumbers. Because so many Baby Boomers are retiring from the trades, there’s a shortage of workers in the industry. There’s an ever-increasing need for more plumbers, so you can expect plenty of job openings and job security.
- You can take pride in your work. After every job, you can find satisfaction in your craftsmanship and the fact that you’re playing an essential role in the public health and safety of your community.
- You’ll get paid to learn. Instead of having to work unpaid internships like many college students, plumber’s helpers earn wages while gaining experience through plumbing apprentice jobs.
- You can guide yourself toward the specialization that satisfies you. Whether you’re moving up the leadership ladder through promotions or specializing in one of plumbing’s many focus areas, you can grow your career in the way that best highlights your strengths.
- You can start your own plumbing company. After getting the proper licenses and certifications, you can lean into your entrepreneurial spirit and open your own business. As an independent contractor, you’ll be your own boss.
$55,160 per year, or $26.52 per hour.
4% growth, with 49,800 jobs open each year.
High school diploma or equivalent.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
How to Become a Plumber
The journey to becoming a plumber depends on a few factors, including your interests and the educational options and licensing requirements in your area. But once you decide what you want to do and what opportunities are available where you live, you can hit the ground running. These are the typical steps you’d take to pursue a plumbing career:
1. Start With The Plumbing Basics
After earning a high school diploma or the equivalent, learn the basics of the trade by working for a local company or attending a vocational-technical school.
2. Get On-The-Job Experience
Refine your skills through a four- or five-year plumbing apprenticeship. Each year usually consists of 2,000 hours of paid training and some technical instruction.
3. Become A Licensed Plumber
Once you complete a training program, your next step will likely be to take a plumbing journeyman test so you can work independently and supervise apprentices. As your experience grows, you can get other licenses to advance your career.
4. Expand Your Professional Opportunities
Obtain additional certifications to sharpen your expertise and grow your career. You can become a master plumber, supervisor, project manager or even a business owner.
We checked in on our pros during the pandemic to see how they were doing. See what they had to say and how they've been handling times of uncertainty.
We’re pleased to work alongside Home Builders Institute (HBI) to develop the next generation of building and construction professionals. RWC is the title sponsor of HBI’s 22 Job Corps Plumbing programs across the U.S.
These HBI programs help students get the skills, instruction and placement services they need to have a successful career while helping the trade address labor shortages.