To become a successful plumber, you need to have certain education and knowledge.
In majority of cases, plumbers are trained at technical schools, community colleges, and apprenticeships offering on-the-job training.
During a one-year certificate program, you will be prepared to install and repair plumbing systems, while a two-year associate’s degree may teach you related coursework in pipefitting, basic electricity, pump system design, and basic heating.
If you choose this added coursework, you can reach advanced careers in plumbing and pipefitting, as well as the related fields of heating and gas technology.
When apprenticeship training programs are in question, they usually take longer to complete, but apprentices earn a salary while they learn on the job.
An online training program in plumbing costs $800-$1,000.
You can enroll in the Penn Foster plumbing technology program which costs $868, or Ashworth College which costs $800.
Another option is to enroll in a certificate program in plumbing that costs $1,250-$3,000 and AC/C Tech in Indianapolis offers a five-course program in plumbing technology for $1,250.
If an associate’s degree in plumbing technology is what interests you, the cost is $3,000-$23,000.
Southwestern Illinois College offers an associate’s degree program for $6,080 if you belong to in-district students and $23,744 for out-of-state tuition.
Montana State University in Havre, MT has a very similar program for $23,000.
Apprenticeships in plumbing cost $0-$1,000 and last 4-5 years.
The Construction Industry Training Council in Colorado’s apprenticeships program cost ranges from $710 per semester and $120 to $150 for books for the four-year program.
The Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union sponsors apprenticeships for a $620 fee to cover books.
Upon finishing your education, you can apply for state licensing for plumbers.
The cost of becoming licensed ranges from $75 to $300 and lasts 1-2 years.
Tennessee issues a two-year plumbing license for $75, Georgia ‘s plumbing license fee is $30 for the application, and a $75 renewal fee every two years, while Alaska’s fee is a $50 application and $200 license fee every two years.
In case you want to get a certification through the American Society of Plumbing Engineers, you will have to pay between $300-$625 based on the individual’s membership and practical work experience.
When enrolling in any of the above-mentioned ways of becoming a plumber, you need to think about additional costs for plumbing training.
These costs range from $500-$10,000 and may include books, tools, uniforms, and living costs.
AC/C Tech in Indianapolis estimates the following additional plumbing program costs – $328 for tools and $369 for books, uniforms and safety equipment, while New England Tech in Warwick, R.I., estimates additional costs at $1,200 for books and supplies, $3,000-$7,000 for room and board, and $4,300-$5,900 for other expenses.
Scholarships may be available for qualified applicants attending a plumbing technology program and you can apply for the national Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association scholarship which awards more than $25,000 each year.
Also, the Tennessee Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors offers several $1,000 scholarships each year.
The Contractor’s License Reference Site details licensing qualifications and costs for plumbers practicing in each state and it usually requires plumbers to have 2-5 years of work experience and to pass a licensing exam.
This page is also available in Spanish.