How to Find the Right Trade School for Plumbing Training


Becoming a plumber is one way to guarantee that you will have a job for the rest of your working life.  In addition, many plumbers – depending on their training, experience and certifications – earn as much or more than attorneys, doctors and business professionals.  But, finding the right trade school for your plumbing training is essential to getting a job instead of another debt that cannot be repaid.

When you think of a plumber, you probably think of someone who comes to the house when a pipe has burst or the toilet is clogged beyond hope.  The truth is that this is only one minor aspect of the plumbing trade in modern times, which is the reason that choosing the right trade school is essential in securing a job.

What Do Plumbers Do?

Knowing what a plumber does is the key to knowing what to look for in a training environment.  Plumbers for residential and commercial structures that do not require high-pressured or specialized materials are required to be able to:

  • Reading architectural plans and understanding the specific requirements for structures
  • Design the route of water, waste and other fluid lines in home and commercial buildings working with and using architectural schematics
  • Install the low pressure pipes and fixtures according to the architectural drawings and designs
  • Design, install and repair pipes and fixtures for heating and cooling systems installed in residential and commercial structures
  • Installing fire sprinklers according to local fire codes


As you can see, this requires more than a few nights of study and mandates that you must learn all your local codes and regulations, as well as the various materials used.

Selecting the Right Trade School

There are several elements that any school you select should offer if you plan to work as a plumber whether for others or for yourself.  Good schools break the courses down into segments depending on the certification level you need to take.  The initial classes are for Apprentice Plumbers, followed by Journeyman Plumber and Master Plumber.  You must prove yourself in each class with training, experience and certification before becoming eligible for the next level.  From the first apprenticeship class to becoming a Master Plumber takes approximately 10 -15 years depending on the qualifications set by laws your governing location.   Your training school should offer the following for an apprentice program:

  • Safety issues and requirements
  • Math and calculations for angles and areas
  • System design
  • Interior and exterior pipes, fittings, fixtures and materials
  • Building, fire and safety codes for your location


Additionally, the training school should be able to refer you to an apprenticeship program that is coordinated with your state and local plumber associations for on-the-job training.  Your work during the training period should be paid, not free labor, and under the guidance of a certified journeyman or master plumber.


What Are Apprentice Plumbers Paid?

Apprentices are always paid less because of lack of experience after passing certification.  The first two years, you can expect to make approximately $23,000 USD per year but in the third year, you should be getting or requesting a raise if you believe that your job performance is above average.


Plumbers are always in demand and as more people are opting for college degrees for the white-collar jobs, the need for blue-collar workers increases.








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July 25, 2014 by

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