How to Become a Journeyman Plumber

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Should I Become a Journeyman Plumber?

Many people try to find reasons well enough to become a Journeyman Plumbers.

We would like to say that a journeyman plumber or journey worker has to complete the 4- or 5-year apprenticeship program so as to be allowed to work alone.

These are professionals who are trained to work with water and drainage systems in residential and commercial settings.

Their job includes installing and maintaining sewage disposal and gas lines, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry fixtures or appliances.

Another thing worth mentioning is that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of injuries for plumbers is higher than the national average and if you decide that this job is the right one for you, you need to take precautions to prevent burns from hot pipes and cuts from sharp tools.

They either work shifts, but also there are plumbers who work evenings or weekends and are on-call for emergencies.

The good thing is that self-employment opportunities are available and that the median annual salary for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is approximately $53,910.

All these are good reasons to start this career path.

Average Salary by State

StateHourly WageAnnual Salary
New Hampshire$28.66$59,608
New Jersey$25.87$53,818
New Mexico$23.96$49,839
New York$29.73$61,832
North Carolina$21.80$45,348
North Dakota$27.10$56,371
Rhode Island$27.06$56,282
South Carolina$25.58$53,216
South Dakota$25.93$53,935
West Virginia$25.84$53,752

Career Requirements

So as to start your career as a plumber, you will need to have finished an apprenticeship or trade school program, which are required so as to be able to get the certification and it is good to know that most states require licensure.

Apprenticeship programs take 4 to 5 years to be finished and it provides on-the-job training.

Some of the qualifications that future plumbers should have are solid customer service, managerial, troubleshooting and mechanical skills; expertise with plumbing tools such as drain and pipe cleaning equipment, pipe and tube cutters, pressure gauges and wrenches; physical strength; an understanding of accounting, cost estimating, business data, word processing, and computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Steps to Become a Journeyman Plumber

There are a few steps that are required so as to become a journeyman plumber.

The first thing you need to do is to complete an Apprenticeship Program.

Another way is by attending a career-training program at a community college or vocational school.

During these studies, a certificate or degree program students will attend courses related to construction materials, domestic piping, blueprint reading, cost estimating, and plumbing code.

The journeyman plumber is in the majority of cases, an individual who has completed an apprenticeship program that is offered through unions or private businesses as paid positions.

So as to be accepted as an apprentice, you must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and pass drug screening and basic mathematics tests.

Four to five years are required to accumulate the hours of hands-on training needed to take the journeyman licensing test.

The United Association of Journeymen (UA) offers a 5-year apprenticeship program that is divided into classroom and on-the-job training.

These courses include a minimum of 246 classroom hours and between 1,700-2,000 paid, on-the-job training hours.

There are some general classes in welding, science, and pipefitting, as well as a specific career-training path in plumbing.

Once the program is completed, apprentices become journeyman plumbers and are considered qualified to work independently.

During the studies, you will become familiar with computer concepts as journeyman plumbers use a variety of different computer software in their work, including accounting and CAD software.

Our suggestion is to enroll in these courses, as it will be a great advantage for you to be familiar with these software programs.

So as to be allowed to start working, journeyman plumbers must become licensed and these requirements vary by state.

In the majority of the states,  a journeyman plumber must have 2-5 years of experience and pass an examination that tests their plumbing knowledge and training.

Our suggestion is to get familiar with the specific requirements for the states you live in.

There are some states that even require that a journeyman completes continuing education as a condition for license renewal.

The renewal is required every 12 months while there are some other state licenses that last three years.

The required number of hours and specific courses needed for continued education also vary by state.

If you want to advance even more in your career and be able to take on supervisory roles or provide additional services, such as the planning and design of plumbing systems, you can pursue the master plumber certification.

Journeyman plumber should have two years of work experience as a journeyman as well as passing scores on written and/or practical exams to get to this qualification.

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