How to Become a Licensed Plumber

Gary Johnson
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Why Pursue Plumbing As A Career?

A career in plumbing has many rewards. If you enjoy working with your hands and solving problems and you like the idea of working for yourself, plumbing is a rewarding career.

If you are interested in making a change or augmenting your current income, plumbing can be a great addition to your resume.

With the growing population, increasing awareness of healthy living, aging infrastructure, and increased use of bath and kitchen appliances, the demand for plumbers is expected to increase over the next several years.

Overall, if you love what you do, it’s really hard to view your job in a negative way.

Different Stages of a Plumbing Career

Usually, you start working for someone else. After a while, you form your own company. At some point, you change it for a bigger company or just go for the global network.

Or, as a plumber, you just work away and maintain a steady business.

It is important to know what your ultimate goals are in your career so you can align yourself with the right people to help you reach that goal.

Steps To Becoming A Plumber

Before looking at the kind of license needed to become a plumber, you must first understand what a plumber does. Plumbers are those who install and repair pipes for the plumbing system.

They are responsible for is maintaining and fixing leaks in pipes, fixtures, and faucets. They are also responsible for placing appliances and fixtures in the right area, and re-installing the same if there is any need to do so.

In addition to these, they also install and maintain the piping and fixtures of water heater and heat fixtures and inspect other things that may lead to a problem in the future.

They may also be involved with gas and electricity as well. And to become a plumber, there is a lot that you need to learn.

In order to become a plumber, you should complete secondary college course. Also, you might also be allowed to complete secondary college work in college in any state which has a mandatory requirement for graduation.

You may also work for a licensed plumber for a specific amount of time. While working with your senior plumber, you will need to complete a 4-5 year period to be eligible to sit for the licensing exam.

For those who have worked for a licensed plumber for at least four years, you may then take the exam to obtain a license after being recommended by a member of the professional organization in your area of residence.

Plumbing Trade School Programs

Plumbing trade school programs are a great way for students to become a licensed plumber in a relatively short amount of time. The programs typically last for two years and the curriculum is designed for a student to become a master plumber upon graduation.

The topics covered in these programs include everything from toilet repair to pipe sizing. A typical program will cover how to read blueprints, how to use the tools of the trade, and how to install a variety of plumbing systems and fixtures. Students can even expect to learn about basic electricity.

Once a student graduates from a plumbing program, they are typically immediately eligible to take the licensing exam.

Plumbing Trade School Selection Criteria

There are two critical criteria when selecting a plumbing technician school: the curriculum and the instructors.

Important Curriculum

Check the curriculum to verify the amount of classroom time, hands-on training and lab time.

Ensure that the program includes the following core curricula, plus as many elective courses as possible:

  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Pipefitting
  • Excavation
  • Water/wastewater operation
  • Backflow prevention

Check out the school’s affiliated career center, if it has one. You want to get experience in apprenticeships or internships with local contractors or plumbers. Also, check if the school offers top-notch career services post-graduation.

If the program includes HVAC, you’ll need a HVAC license for state licensure.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that it’s a plus if the school offers low student-to-teacher ratios and fast links to a state union, licensed contractors or local apprenticeships.

Preventing Backflow Incidents: The Backflow Preventions Device (BPD)

Accredited Plumbing Trade Schools Near Me

Becoming a Plumbing Apprentice

To become an apprentice you will need to pick a qualified plumbing employer. Be sure to look for an employer that can communicate and explain the trade to you.

The plumbing employer will be responsible for making sure you are going to school and learning the plumbing trade.

The employer will also be responsible for helping you get all the tools you will need for the job. Tools that are needed for the job are, blueprints, pipe cutters, levels, bolt cutters, and a lot of more.

The tools will also help you with the job when you become a real plumber.

There are a couple different ways to become a plumber apprentice. You can go to school for plumbing. If you want to go to school for plumbing make sure you can make the high payments for the school.

You can also go on the internet and search for plumbing schools. You can find these plumbing schools on the internet and see if they are the school you want to attend. Be careful of the plumbing schools there are more bad plumbing schools than the good ones.

Getting a Plumber’s License & Certification

Becoming a plumber is both an easy and complicated task, depending on which route you decide to go.

Like many career paths, you can choose to get a local certificate, a state license, or a national license.

Going the state license or national license route involves more education and experience under a licensed plumber, but is the recommended option for anyone wanting to make a career out of plumbing.

The third option, getting a local certificate, is the easiest path because there are no educational requirements, but you can only work in other buildings that have certificates.

Therefore, if you’re not planning to make a living being a plumber, then a local certificate is the way to go.

However, it’s also the most recommended route if you’re in a rush to get into the industry. If you want to make a career out of it, then the state license or national license are the way to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following paragraphs address some of the more frequently asked questions regarding licensure in the state of Texas. You will find that many of these answers are the same for aspects of the plumber profession that other states regulate in other ways.

Is A Master Plumber License Needed In Texas?

A plumber in Texas is allowed to install, alter, maintain, service, or repair piping from a public water system. An applicant for a plumbing license must possess the knowledge about the installation, alteration, maintenance, service, and repair of piping from the public water system that is required for a plumber to become a master plumber, and obtain a master plumber license. This is the same knowledge required to become a master plumber.

What Is The Path To Master Plumber?

There are many paths someone can follow to become a master plumber. For both journeyman and master plumbers, the first path is to apply for a plumber apprenticeship. The path that will take you onto the journey to become a master plumber is to first become a journeyman plumber. You will first go through the journeyman plumber apprenticeship program in the state of Texas.


In this era of technology, it can be tempting to disregard or even belittle the importance of plumbing-related skills, since the professionals are usually called to fix issues rather than fix things. However, plumbing should not be taken lightly; it can be complicated, dangerous, and expensive if the right steps are not taken at the right time. And if knowledge is the only thing needed to be a successful plumber, then anyone can be one, right? Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Plumbing requires passion, patience, and commitment to succeed. The efforts of those who wish to master this craft must be championed by those who wish to experience the fruits of their craft. Drivers and maintenance of mechanical parts are two very important skills for a plumber to learn before attempting to get certified. However, plumbing is not a one-size-fits-all compromise; the best plumber for the job is the one equipped with all the skills required based on the task at hand. As a certified individual, it is up to you to use your best judgment when deciding if you can handle any given project.