You may think your plumber has the easy life. After all, they twist a wrench and make bank. But there are many things you don’t know about plumbers. The requirements to call yourself a licensed plumber are pretty stringent, and the education involved can be expensive and time consuming.
The Educated Plumber
Your local plumber spent many years learning their trade. Many spend several years in a trade school or community college learning the technical aspects of the job. Once they get an education, they are then required to serve an apprenticeship under strict supervision.
Apprenticeships to become a certified plumber last from four to five years, and that’s after up to two years of trade school. So, after six years of education, they can test for a license as a journeyman.
And their journey isn’t over by far. It can take up to five more years to become a Master plumber.
It may surprise you, but your Master Plumber may have spent as many years becoming educated as your doctor or lawyer has!
The Well-Rounded Plumber
No one can deny that your plumber has technical skills. But one of the things you don’t know about plumbers is the extent of those skills.
In order to perform their jobs, they must be competent in a wide range of subjects. These include hydraulics and mechanical engineering, advanced math, and interpretation of architectural drawings and CAD renderings.
Your plumber is well-trained to deal with a variety of appliances and systems, from waste and venting to gas pipe installation.
The curriculum for a plumber’s education includes working with a variety of appliances, including both electric and gas water heaters.
While there is currently no continuing education requirements for plumbers in the state of Tennessee, local and national building codes are ever-changing. Your plumber needs to keep up with these codes on a constant basis. Not just to remain competitive but to ensure their work is approved during inspections.
Plumbing students are also required to understand and interpret local and national building codes, as well as understand energy and water saving practices advocated by the U.S. Green Building Council in order to advocate for eco-friendly plumbing strategies.
Scope of Training
In Tennessee, your plumber is likely to have one of two types of licenses – a contractor license or a limited plumber license. A contractor license allows them to bid and work on major commercial projects of more then $25,000.
Your local plumber or service technician is likely to have a limited license, but both have received the same education in plumbing services. Contractor licenses simply include training and testing on business and law topics involved with running a larger enterprise.