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I n 2019, 41% of Americans aged 18 – 24 said they would consider attending a trade school over college or university. A career in trades not only allows you to get into the workforce quicker than a traditional 4-year degree program, but tuition costs are usually less thereby taking on less debt. For years parents and teachers have been telling young people “go to college so that you’ll get a good job”, but there are a great many number of college graduates who have degrees that do not translate into a good job.

Is Plumbing a Good Career Choice?

The short answer is YES! Not only is it a good career choice, it’s an excellent career choice. Plumbing is a career that offers high earning potential, job security (plumbers will always be needed, you can’t outsource plumbing jobs to other countries) and opportunities for advancement. Plumbers don’t just fix clogged drains and fix toilets, their expertise keeps hospitals, schools, office buildings and households running, and our society could not function without plumbers.

What Skills and Qualities Does One Need to be a Plumber?

You will learn the skills need to become a plumber at a plumbing trade-school, while the qualities and abilities you may already have may need further development such as:

  • Critical thinking Skills: Plumbing systems can be complex, and plumbers need to evaluate the situation to decide which is the best way to move forward.
  • Problem Solving Skills: Some things may not work they way one would expect, so plumbers need to be able to think through the problem and come up with a way to fix it.
  • Manual Dexterity:  A plumber needs to be able to work with small parts
  • Good Vision: A plumber needs to be able to see well in areas that may not have good lighting such as under cupboards
  • Flexibility: As a plumber, you will bending, stretching and twisting into various positions to get the job done.

Finding a Plumbing School?

There are many trade and vocational schools that offer plumbing programs. Be sure that the one you select, guarantees you an apprenticeship placement.

Certifications and Licensure to become a Plumber

Most states require plumbers to be licensed. While licensing requirements vary, states often require workers to have 2 to 5 years of experience and to pass an exam before allowing plumbers to work on their own.

Salary & Job Outlook for Plumbers
2019 Median Pay $55,160 /year / $26.52/hour
Job Outlook 2019 - 2029 4% (As fast as average)

* Source:  United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics September 10, 2020


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