How to Become a Residential Plumber: A Career Guide

What Does a Residential Plumber Do?

There are three types of plumbers in the world: commercial plumbers, industrial plumbers, and residential plumbers. 

Residential plumbers are those that are called in to inspect and repair issues within a residential home. Some common issues include a clogged sink, toilet dilemmas, and broken piping. 

They’re also used to fix dilemmas in the septic and sewer systems of a home, as well as install different water fixtures that the client might request. 

What Kind of Education and Training Do You Need?

First things first, you’ll need to have graduated with a high school diploma or something of equivalent education. 

Next, in order to learn the proper skills for the job, you’ll need to apply to attend a technical school. There you’ll learn things such as welding, pipefitting, and begin learning about local codes.

The technical school classes should only take no more than a year to complete, then you’ll move on to an apprenticeship with a local expert. The apprenticeship takes 4 or 5 years to complete and requires up to 2,000 hours of training each year.

Luckily, that training is required to be paid, so you’ll be making a fair living while you build your career as a residential plumber!

What Skills Will You Need?

A plumber has many different responsibilities, and thus needs many different skills to accomplish them.

There are two types of skill sets that apply to the career of a residential plumber: those that you should already have, and those that you will learn over the course of your career.

Fortunately, the latter is more extensive than the former. Over your time as a residential plumber, you can expect to develop troubleshooting skills unlike any other. Since the piping system is complex, there’s no shortage of issues that your customer might be experiencing.

Not only will you be able to use your knowledge to troubleshoot, but you’ll also learn the proper amount of patience while doing so.

Then there comes the industry-specific skills that you’ll learn such as how to install pipes, how to properly measure pipe fitting, and how to test piping systems. You’ll also learn how to safely replace worn-out parts and specify which material is needed for the job.

Any experienced residential plumber will tell you that there are occasionally situations they haven’t come across in their career. In those situations, it’s important to remain calm and use your plumbing knowledge to find the root of the problem.

What Salary Can You Expect to Make?

As with most tradesman jobs, residential plumbers are in high demand and make an above-average salary as a result. However, the average salary you can expect will depend on the state that you live in.

For example, residential plumbers in New York can expect to make somewhere in the range of $55,000. Residential plumbers in Maryland should average around $50,000 or so annually. Then there are those that make as much as $80,000 a year, if not higher!

Many depend on the cost of living by state, as well as your level of experience and your seniority at your company. The more years you have under your belt, the more knowledge you have… thus, the more you’ll get paid for your expertise. 

Not to mention, a career in plumbing offers several different paths. You can one day become a superintendent, pipefitter, supervisor, or journeyman plumber, among other positions. The options are endless, you can shoot for many long term goals as a residential plumber.

How Can You Land a Residential Plumbing Job?

There are many different ways to search for residential plumber jobs and land the ideal position that you’re looking for. 

One of the most common is to turn your apprenticeship into a full-time job once you gain the necessary years of experience. Of course, if that doesn’t work out, you can always use your mentors to land a position.

The residential plumbing industry is vast. You’ll make several connections over your career and will get jobs as a result. You may very well jump ship for a position that pays more at a different company.

Of course, you can always use an online job finder such as plumbingjobs.com to land the perfect position. Maybe you’re moving to a new state and don’t have any connections. Perhaps you’re looking for a fresh start at a new company.

Whatever the case might be, using an online plumbing job finder can help you find the perfect residential plumbing job for the next step in your career.

Start the Path Towards Becoming a Residential Plumber Today

There’s never been a better time to take your first step towards becoming a residential plumber than right now.

Be sure to read this article on the basics of a plumbing contractor career to see if that’s the route you want to take instead. It’s always nice to have options!

For more inquiries, please feel free to reach out via our contact us page and we’ll be happy to assist you further!