Plumbing apprenticeships are one of the first steps to becoming a plumber. After a few years of classwork and training, apprentices can begin a career in plumbing.
What is an Apprentice Plumber?
An apprentice plumber is a trainee position in the plumbing industry that includes classwork and job training.
Apprentices learn the ins-and-outs of plumbing while training under the mentorship of a licensed plumber.
As an apprentice, you will work with journeyman plumbers, depending on the specific laws of your state.
The journeyman teaches you the local building codes, how to use plumbing tools and equipment and how to install, maintain and repair plumbing fixtures.
How Do Plumbing Apprenticeships Work?
You start by learning to read and create plumbing blueprints. You also learn local building codes, workplace safety concepts and best practices, and some math and science — geometry, chemistry, and physics — as they apply to plumbing systems.
In general, you can expect material covering the types of pipes, tools and equipment used by plumbers. You also learn how to install, maintain and repair plumbing systems.
After completing your apprenticeship, you can advance to earn the next plumbing license in your state.
Example Plumbing Apprentice Job Description
Here is an example of a plumbing apprentice job description from a previous listing of ours:
Under the supervision and direction of one of our technicians, an apprentice will be expected to assist with general plumbing, heating and air conditioning, including repairs, installations, alterations, and preventative maintenance.
- Build plumbing, heating, and air conditioning knowledge while assisting technicians on service calls.
- Know how to establish customer rapport to sell the right products and services.
- Show yourself as professional and knowledgeable to win new referrals and repeat business.
- Work alongside customer service and dispatch to ensure overall success of the business.
- Maintain a clean, organized job site and well inventoried truck.
- Participate actively in all training exercises and morning meetings.
How to Become an Apprentice Plumber
Here are the steps needed to complete a plumbing apprenticeship and become a licensed plumber.
- Obtain your high school diploma or GED: As a future plumber, you need a strong foundation in math (algebra and geometry), computers (computer-aided drafting) and science (physics). If possible, take classes in blueprint reading and drafting.
- Consider vocational training: If you lack experience, you can receive plumbing training at a vocational school, community or technical college. The certificate earned credits your knowledge of water supply, drainage systems and piping equipment.
- Apply for an apprenticeship program: These programs are offered by schools, plumbing companies, or plumbing unions. You can also browse Google for apprenticeships near you.
- Complete the program and get licensed: After you complete the apprentice program, you can then get an apprentice license or work towards a journeyman license.
Plumbing Apprenticeship FAQ
According to our plumber salary guide, plumbing apprentices make $35,872 per year, with a range of $29,000 to $41,000. If paid hourly, plumbing apprentices make between $17 – $20 per hour.
The length of a plumbing apprenticeship can last anywhere from 2 – 5 years, depending on the program and location. These programs are long enough to quality apprentices for licensing and experience requirements.