Becoming a plumber requires a certain set of qualifications and certifications. In Pennsylvania, aspiring Plumbing Pros must complete four years of on-the-job training and 576 hours of classroom courses. Additionally, they must contact the local construction department for licensing and registration. After completing the necessary requirements, Plumbing Pros can work independently in the field without restrictions, although some states require additional licenses for certain types of work. Plumbers specialize in maintaining, designing, assembling, installing, and repairing piping systems.
They install, test, and repair pipes and fittings to conduct liquids and gases in homes, commercial buildings, and factories. Plumbers also troubleshoot malfunctioning systems, interpret drawings, write estimates, and determine material needs on worksites. Aspiring plumbers can find state-approved internships through several job search websites. Depending on the terms of the apprenticeship contract, the change of employer may be limited for a period of time or the plumber may be required to reimburse a portion of the training fees that the employer invested.
In general, a day plumber must have experience as an apprentice plumber working under the supervision of a licensed master plumber. Journeyman plumbers perform a variety of plumbing jobs that include pipe repairs, modifications, and installation of fittings. Master plumbers are responsible for the installation, repair, and evaluation of all plumbing-related machinery and appliances. They are also allowed to own their own businesses and supervise other plumbers and apprentices. Investing time to become a licensed plumber offers the path to a well-paying career with a strong demand outlook.
An experienced plumber can choose to temporarily deactivate a license by submitting a request to L&I online or by calling 311. Official plumbers in Pennsylvania perform the same tasks as master plumbers but must do so under their supervision.