How Old Do You Need to Be to Become a Plumber?
Since plumber jobs can be physically demanding and require extensive training and knowledge, each state has particular age and education requirements that these workers must meet. While many states allow 17-year-olds to get paid jobs as plumber apprentices, you usually have to be at least 18 to work independently. Depending on the employer, you may only be eligible for hire if you are 21 or older.
What Qualifications Do Plumbers Need?
Specific requirements for plumbers vary by state. Even so, standard qualifications include taking a trade school training course, completing hands-on training, and obtaining an official license.
Like with many skilled trades, plumber training mostly involves working in workshop and lab settings to develop the dexterity and hand-eye coordination you need for the job. However, students also receive traditional instruction on how to read blueprints and building plans.
One of the main requirements for becoming a plumber is obtaining the proper certification and license. Depending on where you live, you may need to do the following to earn this credential:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent
- Show proof of graduation from an accredited training program
- Provide documentation showing completed hours of apprenticeship training
- Take and pass a certification exam
How Long Does Plumber Training Take?
Completing a journeyman plumber training course can take anywhere from nine to 18 months at some schools. If you hope to become a private contractor or master plumber, consider enrolling in a two-year or four-year degree program.
Once you earn your certificate, diploma, or degree, you must work under a licensed plumber for another three to four years. School and apprenticeship training usually takes about five years in total.
What Do Plumbers Do?
Plumbers may work independently or be part of larger construction crews. Either way, their daily tasks usually involve:
- Reading building plans and blueprints
- Collaborating with other construction professionals, including electricians, HVAC techs, and general contractors
- Designing, installing, and repairing pipes, valves, fittings, and drainage systems in homes and businesses
- Troubleshooting new plumbing systems for possible errors
- Sitting, standing, kneeling, and lifting heavy equipment throughout the workday
Preparing for Plumber Jobs
Some vocational schools offer prep courses for high schoolers and teens hoping to pursue plumber careers once they graduate. You might also be able to find a local contractor that has apprenticeship roles available for underage applicants.