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Education Requirements for Master Plumbers

Higher Education Articles November 27, 2015

This article talks about education requirements for master plumbers along with career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Information on Becoming a Master Plumber

Master plumbers employ various tools and blueprints in the installation, maintenance, service and repair of commercial and residential commercial water systems. Their work may involve gas, drainage, waste, or potable water systems. Commonly, these professionals also install bathroom fixtures and appliances, in addition to planning water service systems and sketching blueprints.

Master plumbers are plumbers, who, besides having experience in the field and being armed with on-the-job and classroom training, have passed their state’s master plumber’s examination. Plumbers can reach the master level through completion of a basic plumbing training program, often via a union apprenticeship, but sometimes through an associate’s degree or certificate program. After they gain experience, these professionals can take the journeyman plumber’s exam and set about gaining the experience and knowledge necessary to qualify for the master plumber exam. Core coursework may cover courses in blueprint reading, building codes, safety and even physics, in addition to extensive on-the-job experience.

Education Requirements

A plumbers’ union apprenticeship program including classroom instruction usually serves as an initiation into a master plumber’s career. These workers may also seek enrollment to an associate degree program in plumbing technology, plumbing, and heating, or a related field, or to a community college certificate program. Students and apprentices become adept at reading and drafting blueprints. They learn about workplace safety, basic physics and chemistry, and building codes. Through hands-on work, apprentices learn to identify materials and tools, install, maintain, service components and repair water pipes.

Career Choices

Master plumbers may own their own plumbing business or seek employment with government entities or contractors; they commonly seek union membership. Given the project-based nature of work, there can be wide fluctuation in a master plumber’s work opportunities.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 21% has been predicted for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This growth is attributable to new work that could involve constructing, renovating or maintaining existing structures along with a rise in the use of environmentally-friendly and energy efficient plumbing materials. In May 2014, pipefitters, plumbers, and steamfitters brought in an average annual wage of $54,620 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

After they complete their chosen program and develop several years of supervised work experience, plumbers may gain state licensure by taking the required journeyman plumber licensing examination. Additional on-the-job experience under a master plumber’s supervision and additional classroom learning will enable a journeyman plumber to sit for the master plumber examination. In some localities or states, master plumbers may be required to pursue continuing education, usually on energy efficiency or new regulations and codes.

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