Plumbing courses are crucial to success for anyone working toward a rewarding career as a plumber. While not all US states, Canadian provinces, or employers, require formal qualifications, many do—lack of credentials from a recognized school is a formidable barrier to many career plans.
Whether you are just starting out in your career, or already have some on-the-job training, a formal training course will greatly improve your future job prospects.
In some localities, plumbing is a regulated profession: anyone working in the profession must have qualifications from a plumbing school, and employers will insist that the requirements are met. If you lack credentials, you will only be able to work in places where these requirements don’t exist.
The trend however, is toward proper credentialing for all professions and more state and provincial governments are likely to pass legislation requiring plumbing courses in the future. Students attending a plumbing school learn about the construction of plumbing systems: water supply, waste water systems, plumbing fixtures, venting systems and other equipment used in water distribution, removal and treatment.
Plumbing courses teach students about building codes, blueprint interpretation, and maintenance routines, preparing them for work in building projects ranging from new home construction to large commercial development.
As a plumber, you may work for a large construction firm or be self employed. You may be performing maintenance in a large building or responding to homeowner complaints and emergencies. You may find yourself troubleshooting difficult plumbing problems. Graduates of plumbing courses also find work on offshore oil rigs and in other types of industry where there are specific plumbing needs. Knowledge obtained at a good plumbing school will prepare you well for any of these challenges.
Not only will training at plumbing school make it easier for you to move from job to job and from place to place, it will also likely assure you of higher wages—those with higher education tend to earn more. Plumbers in the United States are currently earning an average of about $42,000 a year. New graduates of plumbing courses earn less, but predictably above the bottom of the pay scale, which is about $25,000 a year. After you have gained years of experience and seniority, you can expect to earn well over $60,000 a year in most localities.
The plumbing occupation is growing and job opportunities are expected to increase by about 16 percent by 2014. Most individuals entering the profession will be graduates of plumbing courses. States predicted to see the largest increases include those in the west: Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Arizona, and California, with some of these states predicting a 40 percent increase or more.
Top Plumbing Schools
Looking to get ahead in your plumbing career? Learn about the following top programs and find out how you can get ahead:
New England Institute of Technology
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