Plumbers install and repair pipes that carry water, air, or other liquids or gases in different settings. They may work in homes, businesses, factories, underwater or across vast open spaces. These workers also study blueprints and follow state and local building codes, inspect and test installed pipe systems and pipelines and repair systems that are not working. The career outlook for these workers stands at 26 % employment growth from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs for plumbers are expected to grow as the result of new building construction and stricter water efficiency standards for plumbing systems.
If you want to become a plumber, you should work towards plumbing degrees to acquire the knowledge and skills required for working in this field. A number of community colleges and technical schools offer training programs for aspiring plumbers. Students can pursue associate or bachelor’s degree programs in plumbing. The associate programs may take 2 years to complete while the bachelor’s degree may require 4 years for completion. However, the exact duration of these programs varies by school and the enrollment status of candidates.
Students in plumbing degrees study courses such as the advanced piping, plumbing theory, distribution systems and water hydraulics.
In addition to earning a degree, plumbers also need to complete apprenticeships which may take 4- years. Apprenticeship programs are offered by several unions and businesses. Apprentices learn mathematics, applied physics, local plumbing codes and regulations, and how to read blueprints.
Online Plumbing Degrees
The online schools also offer programs in plumbing. Students can work towards these programs without setting foot on campus. Those who reside in remote areas or those who cannot attend regular classes because of busy work schedules can pursue the online programs and acquire the skills required to get into this field. The online degree programs are self-paced. Unlike traditional degrees, students do not have to attend classes at fixed schedules. In fact, they can set their individual routine and earn a degree at their convenience. But students must look for accredited programs so that they can benefit from a certified education.
Aspiring plumbers may also need to have a license. Licensing requirements vary by state but generally candidates need to have 2 to 5 years of experience and pass an exam. To learn about the exact license requirements, students should get in touch with their state licensing board.
Job prospects for plumbers look good as employers continue to report difficulty finding qualified professionals. Many plumbers are expected to retire between 2010 and 2020, which will result in more job openings within this period. The ones who want to find the best prospects should get some welding and cutting experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plumbers earned a median wage of $46,660 a year in 2010. As plumbers gain more experience, their income can possibly increase. These workers work full time, including nights and weekends. Plumbers may even have to handle emergencies, and overtime is generally paid. Some plumbers are self-employed , so they can set their own work schedule.