Qualifications – Most plumbing apprenticeship programs require only a High School Diploma or G.E.D. exhibiting skills in math (i.e., algebra and geometry), science (i.e., physics), and computers (i.e., computer-aided drafting).
On the Job Training – While many career paths require years of schooling and expensive tuition; plumbers are trained on the job while earning a wage! According to salary.com the average Plumber Apprentice salary in the United States is $42,200 as of February 27, 2023.
No Student Debt – Plumbers begin to earn at the apprentice level without significant tuition payments or the burden of student loan debt associated with four-year college degree programs. Apprenticeships are a blend of hands-on and classroom learning.
There are over 22,000 active plumbing apprenticeships in the United States. While it varies by location, plumbing apprenticeships are approximately four years long with 8,000 hours of learning. A partial list of plumbing apprenticeship programs in California can be found at http://www.calapprenticeship.org/programs/plumber_apprenticeship.php.
At the end of the apprenticeship program, apprentices must pass a licensing exam to become a journey-level plumber. The license allows them to work independently. According to zippia.com, the average journeyman plumber earns $54,678 a year or $26.29 an hour with the top 10% earning $81,000.
Responsibilities as a journeyman plumber in residential service include installing new and existing plumbing, drainage systems, and gas lines.
Once you have completed five consistent years as a journeyman, you’re eligible to become a master plumber. Additional training as well as another exam, are necessary to achieve this licensure. The average earnings for a Master Plumber nationally are $68,459 with a top end of
$110,000 according to zip recruiter.
As a Master Plumber, you will be serving in a leadership capacity, often supervising journeyman plumbers and apprentices. Master plumbers are also responsible for creating plumbing schematics, planning water systems, and working with officials from the code and permit offices. Master plumbers can choose to specialize in one area of plumbing which include General Plumbing, Pipe Fitter, Steam Fitter, Pipe Layer, or Sprinkler Fitter.
Project Manager/General Manager/Business Owner
The final career step is transitioning to a project manager or a plumbing business owner. This requires extra training sessions in all plumbing areas to be knowledgeable and skillful about all practices, as well as some business management courses.
It is clear that qualified plumbers are in high demand all across the United States, and the field offers a great deal of job security.
For more information about career growth for plumbers or addressing all the plumbing issues you may encounter, visit https://socalplumbers.com/. If you have found this article to be of interest and you would like to continue to receive information from the SoCal Plumbers, please go to https://socalplumbers.com/email-signup/.