Are you looking into trade school to become a plumber? Or are you simply interested in what qualifications and individual must meet before they are able to become a licensed plumber in Texas? Regardless of why you are looking, this article will explore different career paths and whats our state requires.
There are four types of plumbing licenses: Tradesman Plumber-Limited, Journeyman, Master, and Plumbing Inspector. To obtain a license, you must meet all eligibility requirements, take and pass an examination, and pay a fee. Licenses renew annually. When you are issued your license for the first time, you will be assigned a random expiration date anywhere from 6-18 months from the date you passed your licensure exam…unless you are a Plumbing Inspector. All Plumbing Inspectors expire in January. All licensees must complete six hours of continuing professional education to be eligible to renew.
You may hold both a Journeyman and a Master Plumber License at the same time. When you receive your Master License, it is automatically assigned an expiration date that matches the expiration date of your Journeyman License. When you renew your licenses, you only have to pay the renewal fee for the Master License. You may also hold a Plumbing Inspector License in addition to your Journeyman or Master Plumber License, or both. However, your Plumbing Inspector License will renew in January instead of syncing up with the expiration date of your other license(s). If you hold all three licenses, and you are an unaffiliated Plumbing Inspector, you have to pay the renewal fee for both the Master and Plumbing Inspector Licenses. If you hold all three licenses, and you are an affiliated Plumbing Inspector, you only have to pay the renewal fee for the Plumbing Inspector License.
Most schools offer plumbing programs lasting between 3 to 12 months. After that, you can apply to become a plumber’s apprentice. The initial coursework will include information about installing and repairing plumbing pipe systems for drinking water and sewage. You’ll also learn about heating and gas pipe systems and the proper tools of the trade. Some classes might provide tools for classwork, but it is advised to build your own toolbox.
The tuition for these vocational courses range from $3,000 to $15,000. Before you can enroll, you must be a high school graduate or possess a GED certificate.
Upon graduation from the plumbing trade school, you can seek out an apprenticeship with a master plumber. Most trade schools will provide you with a list of plumbers seeking apprentices. As an apprentice, it is your responsibility to keep track of your work hours.
A tradesman plumber is a plumber who has been a certified apprentice for up to 2 years. Passing a license exam is required for this level. The exam includes a written test and a hands-on workshop test. The hands-on portion involves cutting and fitting pipes, water heater installation, and designing a sanitary drainage and vent system. A tradesman plumber primarily focuses on residential properties.
To obtain a journeyman plumber license, you will need 8,000 hours in the field, and you must pass another exam. A journeyman plumber is required to know all types of plumbing in residential and commercial buildings.
Master plumber is the highest license level. There are no required classes for this application, but you must pass another exam. The exam includes 210 questions about plumbing codes, OSHA regulations, and other related plumbing issues.
All of the license exams are conducted by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners.
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