What Does it Take to Become a Plumber?

Today’s Plumber Lexington KY do much more than just fix clogged toilets. They install, repair, and maintain residential, commercial, and industrial piping systems that carry water, gases, wastes, and other materials throughout buildings. This work requires advanced skills, including the ability to read blueprints and understand building codes. As such, becoming a plumber can be a challenging but rewarding career path for those willing to commit to extensive training and certification.


Aspiring plumbers can complete formal apprenticeship programs, earn an associate degree at a trade school, or pursue a certificate program that teaches basic plumbing concepts. Students may also seek out professional plumbing associations and unions that offer seminars, classes, and other opportunities to learn new skills. Regardless of the training pathway chosen, prospective plumbers must first obtain a high school diploma or GED certificate. In addition to the required education, many states require that plumbers have a license, which often requires 2-5 years of experience and passing an exam on plumbing-related topics like local codes, safety procedures, and technical knowledge.

In this program, students get hands-on, practical training that prepares them for jobs in residential, commercial, and industrial service plumbing. The curriculum includes instruction in the use of hand and power tools, reading drawings, and interpreting plumbing specifications. Through hands-on projects, students learn to solder, braze, and thread pipe and tubing. Students also complete assignments that mimic real-life residential, commercial, and industrial plumbing challenges.

The program’s instructors are experienced trade professionals who provide a highly interactive learning environment. The course utilizes classroom instruction, hands-on labs, and industry-standard equipment from RIGID, Uponor, and Viega. Students who successfully complete this program can secure a position with Deluxe Plumbing & Heating, Elek Plumbing, and H.T. Lyons as well as a wide range of other construction companies. Classes start every 7 weeks and are offered in both Brooklyn and Queens. Financial Assistance is available. Contact an Enrollment Specialist for more information.


The plumbing industry is regulated at the state and local level, with most states mandating that plumbers be licensed. Many states offer journeyman and master plumber licenses, as well as specialty licenses for plumbers who work with gas piping. In addition to licensing, most states require that plumbers be insured and carry workers’ compensation insurance. Some also require a cash deposit or surety bond.

New York City has its own unique licensing requirements for plumbers, with applicants asserting a certain level of experience before being allowed to take the exam. In addition to the required work experience, New York City requires applicants to pass an exam and pay a fee. Angi’s contractor licensing tool can help you find out what requirements exist for your local jurisdiction.

In the rest of New York State, licensing is handled at the city and county levels. Each municipality sets its own experience and exam requirements, though most have similar licensing procedures.

Plumbers who want to be licensed must also pass a written and practical exam. The exam content varies by state, but is typically based on the state’s construction codes. Many schools offer exam preparation courses for aspiring plumbers to prepare them for the test.

In some states, such as Hawaii, the licensing process includes a minimum amount of work experience, as well as documentation of that experience. In other states, such as New York, it is only necessary to be licensed if you intend to perform plumbing work for more than a certain dollar amount.

Aside from licensing requirements, reputable plumbers often belong to professional organizations, which can provide networking opportunities and other benefits. These groups may include the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), or the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Wisconsin (PHCC).

A career as a plumber offers lucrative wages and job security. It takes dedication and perseverance to become qualified, but the rewards are great for those who choose this path. To be a successful plumber, it’s important to understand all the state and local requirements involved, from licensing to insurance and bonding. And always choose a reputable plumber with proven experience and training.

Work Environment

A career in plumbing offers many rewards for a skilled and dedicated professional. The work environment for plumbers is often exciting, varied and social. Most plumbers enjoy the opportunity to meet new people, and they also get a lot of job satisfaction out of making a tangible difference in their community.

Many plumbers choose to work on service calls rather than in a central office or shop. This means they can be working in a different location every day and spend time with a variety of customers. This gives them a chance to interact with people in a positive and uplifting manner and can make the job much more interesting than simply working behind a desk.

Plumbing emergencies can happen at any time and require a lot of flexibility from plumbers. They may need to work nights and weekends in order to deal with a plumbing issue that could affect the health and safety of a family or business.

Plumbers are often needed at construction sites in order to install piping systems according to building blueprints. This requires them to collaborate with a number of other tradespeople in order to complete the entire project in a timely fashion. It also demands that they be able to work with a range of materials and be comfortable working in tight spaces.

There has been no scientific exploration into what personality types can best fit the role of plumber, but ISTPs, the Myers Briggs personality type that describes individuals who are analytical and independent, are often the ones to find the profession rewarding. These types tend to have an innate mechanical aptitude and enjoy working with their hands, which can be very useful in the job of a plumber.

Many plumbers are self-employed, so they get to decide when and how much work they want to take on. This can be appealing for those who prefer to be their own bosses, but it is important to remember that this can mean less stability in terms of employment levels and income. Additionally, plumbers who are self-employed need to invest in their own tools and equipment to ensure they are always ready for a plumbing emergency.

Job Duties

Plumbing is a hands-on career that requires physical strength and stamina to lift heavy equipment and tools. Plumbers must also be able to think critically and solve problems quickly. They must be good communicators and able to explain technical subjects in ways that laypeople can understand. Many plumbers gain experience through an apprenticeship, which offers a combination of classroom instruction and paid on-the-job training. In addition, some vocational schools offer certificate programs in plumbing.

Plumbers often work on construction sites, where they install and repair pipes and fixtures for new buildings or renovations. In these situations, they follow building plans and specifications to lay out piping systems, hook up appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines, and connect drainage pipes. Plumbers can also find jobs in the maintenance sector, maintaining and repairing existing water, heating, and ventilation systems in residential and commercial properties.

Other job duties include reading and understanding blueprints, sketches, and schematics; cutting, soldering, hammering, bending, crimping, solvent welding, assembling, building, repairing, and installing various types of pipes and fittings; diagnosing a problem, determining the best course of action, and implementing solutions; locating underground piping; and testing water, steam, air, and chemical systems. Plumbers also must be able to climb, crouch, and crawl in tight spaces on a regular basis and be exposed to outside elements, such as rain, snow, and ice.

The work schedule for a plumber is often unpredictable. They may be called on to deal with emergency situations at any time, including evenings or weekends. Because of this, they need to be flexible with their hours and willing to work overtime when necessary. They must also be able to adjust their work schedule to accommodate school or personal commitments.

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum educational requirement for a plumber. Some vocational schools offer certificate programs in plumbing, while others offer bachelor’s or master’s degrees in engineering or business management that can lead to career advancement opportunities. Plumbers who want to advance in the field may choose to continue their education by taking classes to learn about new technologies, regulations, and techniques.