How does one become a plumber?

Howdy smart folks of the Dope!

I am curious to find out what type of education a person needs to become a plumber. Well, actually, this information is for mr. skittles.

See, his father (rest his soul) was a Master Plumber by trade. My husband had worked with him for years and knows quite a bit of plumbing stuff. Now mr. skittles is showing interest in making that his career path. Now, I know typically you can apprentice under a Master Plumber for a certain amount of time and then eventually take some board test from the state to become certified. He has basically already worked with a MP - but that MP is unfortunately no longer with us to ‘speak’ as to this truth.

It seems silly that he should have to start with a new MP from the very beginning with all the basics and such. Are there schools that he can go to? I’ve tried searching online for plumbing schools and only found two online programs. I was thinking more of a trade school, brick and mortar type. Do any of you know of any of these places? How long should he anticipate being in school?

Important information for those helping…we live in New Jersey - in Elizabeth. Traveling to a school that isn’t too far from that area wouldn’t be a problem. This school would be best to have a night time program so he can continue to work his current job while obtaining his education.

Any help with these questions would be appreciated!

Thanks to the power of Google ads, there are links to plumbing schools below.

Yes, these show online programs - which I have already found. I am wondering if there are brick and mortar type schools where one can go to learn.

Have you tried this site? The only problem seems to be finding a campus near you.

Here’s a listing of trade schools in New Jersey. You could call to see if any offer plumbing.

As one who sometimes beefs the unions, I must speak in favor of the training programs provided by the electrical, plumbing, pipefitters, and other hard science trades. Their journeyman training program is excellent.

Thanks for those two links. I happened across the first one, and noticed that since we don’t live in those states the commute would be terrible!

I will start making calls on the second site though. I really am hoping that one will offer a plumbing program!

Mr. Biscuithead is a plumber but we’re way up her in Canada so I imagine things are rather different here.

I met the Mr. when he was half way done his apprenticeship. Here they work with a Journeyman (same idea as Master) and the Journeyman signs for the hours of the apprentice. There are four levels of schooling which are done at different rates - i.e. the guys you met in level one may or may not be with you in the next three levels. The first level is basic principles of plumbing, the second level taken after a minimum completion of work hours is on pumps etc, the third level gets you your gas ticket and is much more indepth on building design and as detailed as ions and basic chemistry. The four level, completed by Mr. Biscuithead about 7 years after he first started his apprenticeships is a review of all the info of the prior levels and was the easiest.

Here they get raises after each level is completed. And depending on who you’re apprenticing under you can qualify for different types of tickets. i.e. there is a maximum btu my husband can work under as he only has his ‘B’ ticket but he apprenticed under someone with an ‘A’ ticket meaning that he has the hours needed to take additional certification so that he could work any any gas appliance regardless of the btus. Not sure if that makes sense.

I realize now that I’m rambling but I might as well just finish my ramblings…here your Plumber Journeyman typically learns plumbing, heating, gas appliances and steamfitting. It can make a difference who you apprentice under as to what you specialize in and where you’ll get hired in the future. I really like plumbing myself - it’s fascinating and really enjoyed helping study for tests. For something we take for granted every day it’s a real exercise to pick apart how the vents work and the rules that govern the action of water on various materials.

Best of luck - it’s a demanding trade but I loved helping re-do all the plumbing and heating in our house. It was fun and saved tonnes of cash too:)

I thought he wanted to study plumbing, not masonry??