How to Become an Apprentice Plumber

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How to Become a Plumbing Apprentice

Before becoming a journeyman plumber or master plumber, you must become a plumbing apprentice. Typically, you complete the plumbing apprenticeship under a union plumber or attend a vocational school to master plumbing system basics. Many colleges offer apprenticeship training through an associate degree or certificate program.

What is a Plumber’s Apprentice?

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.

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. 

Search for “plumbing apprenticeships near me” to find out what training you can expect from local programs. 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 degree, you practice under a journeyman for on-the-job training.

Example Plumber 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. 

  1. First, obtain your high school diploma or GED. As a 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. 
  2. Get your vocational training. 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. Find trade schools in your area here.
  3. Complete an apprenticeship program. For the most comprehensive learning experience, join an apprenticeship program, which takes 4 or 5 years to complete as you get paid to learn all aspects of plumbing.
  4. Get licensed. Most states require a plumbing license. In order to obtain your license, you need to pass an exam. Generally, you need 2-5 years of experience and knowledge of local codes to sit for the licensing exam. To learn about licensing requirements in your state, click here.

How Much Do Plumbing Apprentices Make?

According to our plumber salary guide, plumbing apprentices make $35,872 per year, with a range of $29,000 to $41,000. Factors influencing your salary include education, certifications and years of experience. If paid hourly, plumbing apprentices make between $17 – $20 per hour.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for plumbing positions is excellent, with an expected increase in demand of 14% through 2028. 

Find Plumbing Apprentice Jobs

You can find plumbing apprentice jobs in your area here on You can also reach out to local plumbing companies and see if they’re interested in hiring.

Once you finish your apprenticeship, you can look for plumbing jobs in your area and learn more about the trade on