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Career Focus: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Plumber

If you live in the Chicagoland area and are interested in becoming a plumber, you’ll be happy to know that as of May 2013 (the latest figures available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics), Illinois was among the top five states in the nation in the annual mean wage of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Add to that statistic the fact that plumbers are always in high demand, regardless of the state of the economy, and you have the basic ingredients of a recipe for a successful career as a plumber right in the town where you live. The following four steps will help move you toward your goal of becoming a licensed professional plumber:

Step 1. Lay the Groundwork With a Solid General Education

High school graduation is one prerequisite for a successful career as a plumber. Be sure to pay attention in class –  especially in math class, as you’ll need a solid mathematics background to succeed in this field. Apprenticeship programs and employers will be eying your test scores and looking for a high school diploma when they make program entry or hiring decisions.

Step 2. Follow Up With Plumber Continuing Education Courses

Plumber continuing education is crucial to your progress toward your goal of becoming a plumber. These vocational courses, which teach you the skills you need to know and help prepare you for your apprenticeship, are available from Illinois Plumbing Consultants. You may register for your classes online.

Step 3. Apply For and Successfully Complete a Plumbing Apprenticeship

To gain practical experience, you’ll need to complete one of several types of plumbing apprenticeships. These apprenticeships are generally available through your local plumber’s union, a licensed plumber in your area or, if you attend a trade school, your school’s on-the-job training program component. High school students as young as 16 may fulfill the requirements for Illinois plumbing apprenticeships.

Step 4. Take and Pass the Journeyman Plumber’s Examination

At Illinois Plumbing Consultants, we offer a mock plumbing test to help you better prepare for the real thing. Passing this test will help boost your confidence for taking the Illinois plumber’s licensing exam. If you don’t do as well as you hope on the mock test, your test results will alert you to the areas you need to work on before taking the actual licensing exam.

Apply for and pass your journeyman plumber’s exam, which will qualify you for employment under a licensed master plumber. You’ll later be able to go on to take the master plumber’s exam if you’d like, which will qualify you to employ and train other journeymen plumbers and work as a plumbing contractor.

Because it’s so lucrative, the plumbing trade is a highly competitive one. If you’re serious about making it in this challenging line of work, you’ll need to prepare well, work hard, and master all the skills required to move through each phase and achieve a level of proficiency that will make you a desirable candidate for the job. At Illinois Plumbing Consultants, we’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Our Educators
Our Instructors Have Real-World Experience
Jeff Swanson

Jeff brings over 50 years of experience in the trades. He is a Master Plumber, Master Pump Installer, Licensed CCCDI, EPA certified in lead removal, HVAC Certified Technician, EPA certified refrigerant practices instructor and IDPH Certified Instructor.

Rick Sperando

Rick Sperando has been in the plumbing industry for over 35 years. He successfully owns and operates a local plumbing and mechanical company as well as IPC.

Scott Underwood

Scott Underwood brings over 20 years of industry experience along with 10 years of instruction. He currently holds his IL Plumbers License as well as his CCCDI license. Scott is currently a co-owner of a successful plumbing company in McHenry County.

Read About Our Educators