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How Long Does it Take to Become a Plumber?

Posted on: November 19, 2013

If you are interested in becoming a licensed plumber, your first step is to locate a plumbing school and apply to its program. The next step is to complete a plumbing apprenticeship. Altogether, schooling takes about four years or longer. The third step in fulfilling your plumber requirements is to pass the state licensing examination. Once you have completed all of these requirements, you are eligible to become a licensed plumber.

What to Look for in a Plumbing Apprenticeship Program

With a skilled trade like plumbing, it is important that your apprenticeship includes a combination of classroom lectures, hands-on experience working in the field and advanced training under the supervision of an experienced plumber. The course instructors should have several years of experience teaching and working as a plumber. It is important to ensure that your plumbing school offers a well-rounded education before you enroll. At a minimum, it should offer the following:

  • OSHA safety training
  • Detailed instruction in chemistry, mathematics, physics, blueprint reading and drafting.
  • In-depth examination of state codes.
  • Advanced training about water treatment systems, water heaters, plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures.

We teach all of the above topics at Illinois Plumbing Consultants. We also make sure that our students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the following:

  • Natural gas piping and installation
  • Installation of residential water and waste systems.
  • Repair and troubleshooting techniques
  • Installation of sewer, venting and waste systems.

Day-to-Day Life as a Plumber Apprentice

Before you can apply for a plumbing apprenticeship program, you are required to have obtained a sponsor. He or she must be licensed and bonded for your hours to count towards your apprenticeship. You will work side-by-side with your sponsor providing plumbing support as you learn the trade. To get the most out of the experience, be certain to ask your sponsor to explain plumbing techniques you don’t understand.

Preparing for the State Plumbing Exam

After spending years in the classroom and working as a plumber apprentice, you need to demonstrate your skills on a state plumbing exam. Our plumbing school offers a mock plumbing test to help you prepare for the exam with confidence. This is an excellent way to determine your strong and weak areas before you take the actual test. It also helps you to be prepared for the practical application portion of the state plumbing exam.

At Illinois Plumbing Consultants, we designed our exam to mimic the type of material you will find on the actual state exam. The five sections of the exam includes cast iron, copper, drawing, practical and PVC. Any practice exam that you are considering taking should cover all of these areas. The best time to take your mock plumbing test is during the third or fourth year of your apprenticeship.

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Our Educators
Our Instructors Have Real-World Experience
John Bertram

John Bertram has been in the plumbing industry since 1985. He has worked in both commercial and residential shops for over twenty years, and John has been a plumbing inspector since 2005.

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.

Guy Curtis Smale

My duties as the City of McHenry plumbing inspector include plan review of all new plumbing work as well remodeling projects, inspection of all plumbing being installed or repaired in the City as well as the Village of Prairie Grove, property maintenance issues related to the State Plumbing Code, working with the County Health Dept.

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