How to Become a Plumber in Ohio

With the need for more workers in the industry growing due to new construction, plumbing offers job security and stability.

It is also a great way to earn a competitive salary while working flexible hours.

Education and Training

If you have little or no experience, then you should start with an online foundational course like the ones below.

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Get information on Plumber programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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What Are the Benefits of the Course?

Upon completion, you can be confident that you have all the skills and knowledge to get a job or start your own business.

Another benefit is the 50+ piece tool kit that is included in the price.

Students also have the opportunity to pursue their education remotely in a more flexible format, completing online coursework at a local affiliated university.

What Do You Study?

  1. Core Plumbing Principles:
    • Overview of plumbing history, regulatory codes, and foundational principles
    • Mathematical skills specific to plumbing, including measurements and geometry for system design
  2. Tools and Practices:
    • Essential tools of the trade and their applications
    • Safety protocols, first aid procedures, and rigging techniques
  3. Materials and Construction Techniques:
    • Characteristics and uses of different piping materials
    • Techniques for joining and installing piping, including advanced methods like gas welding and brazing
    • Use of plastic pipes and their specific applications
  4. Water Management Systems:
    • Sources and management of water supply, including water pipe sizing for various systems
    • Detailed exploration of plumbing fixtures, faucets, valves, and water heaters
    • Techniques for waste and sewage disposal
  5. Building Integration and Planning:
    • Methods for protecting building materials and structural integrity
    • Skills in reading and creating building drawings, including detailed schematics and isometric views
  6. Drainage, Sewage, and Ventilation:
    • Comprehensive methods for sewage management, including the use of sump pumps and sewage ejectors
    • Strategies for venting systems and installing plumbing traps
    • Calculations for drainage fixture units and building drains
  7. Professional Skills and Customer Relations:
    • Developing professionalism and effective communication within the plumbing industry
    • Comprehensive customer service skills, from understanding customer needs to resolving complaints
    • Strategies for enhancing customer service and tracking service performance

How Long Does It Take?

6 to 12 months, just depends on how often you want to study.

What is the Total Cost?

Total price is $2,300.  You can break up the payments with monthly financing if needed.

Associate’s degrees in plumbing can range from $3,000 to $23,000, depending on the institution. These programs may last multiple years.

    Salary Range

    Bureau of Labor Statistics data says that $67,630 is the average base salary for the state. Here are some numbers from common job sites:

    Below are some average salaries and wages for parts of the state, according to more BLS data.

    Area Hourly Annual
    Akron $32.62 $67,840.00
    Canton-Massillon $32.97 $68,580.00
    Cincinnati $32.95 $68,540.00
    Cleveland-Elyria $33.69 $70,080.00
    Columbus $33.03 $68,690.00
    Dayton $31.80 $66,140.00
    Eastern OH $29.80 $61,980.00
    Lima $31.29 $65,080.00
    Mansfield $28.12 $58,480.00
    North Northeastern OH $29.49 $61,340.00
    Southern OH $32.18 $66,930.00
    Springfield $31.09 $64,680.00
    Toledo $34.00 $70,720.00
    West Northwestern OH $29.52 $61,390.00
    Youngstown-Warren-Boardman $29.62 $61,610.00

    Occupation: Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters (SOC Code472152)

    Ohio Requirements

    These can be acquired after earning a Commercial Contractors’ Plumbing License from the state.

    Commercial Contractors Plumbing License

    Ohio department of commerceThe only statewide licensing requirement for plumbers in Ohio is a Commercial Contractors Plumbing License, provided by the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCILB).


    To be eligible to take this exam, you will need at least 3 years of plumbing experience if you are already a licensed Ohio engineer in construction and at least 5 years of plumbing education and work experience if you have yet to gain prior training.

    Prerequisite training for the Commercial Contractors Plumbing License Exam can include apprenticeships, trade school programs, a degree in plumbing at a college or university, or a combination of multiple.

    You also need to be at least 18 years old, with a GED or equivalent.

    State Reciprocity

    Ohio also has reciprocal agreements in plumbing with South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia, allowing contractors in these states to obtain licenses in other states while waiving the state trade exam.

    Municipal Requirements

    Specific cities in Ohio require plumbers to register for city-specific certifications.

    Namely, Columbus and Cincinnati require contractors to register for commercial city licenses.

    Dayton requires plumbers to have a city-issued Journeyman Plumber’s License, and Toledo also requires a locally-issued contracting license.

    Advanced Certifications

    Beyond mandatory licensing, plumbers in Ohio can gain additional certifications.

    This could be licensing to own and operate their own contracting business or licensing to work in more niche and technically demanding fields such as irrigation contracting.

    Additional certification may enable plumbers to work in higher-demand specialties, increasing their earning potential.

    Job Description

    Your role as an entry-level plumber will involve, first and foremost, appropriate communication with commercial and residential clients and any relevant record-keeping and documentation of your work.

    Before gaining adequate experience to work independently, you will likely assist senior plumbers with various duties:

    • Installing and repairing pipes, valves, fittings, and drainage systems.
    • Reading and interpreting various building plans and blueprints.
    • Performing maintenance and upkeep of pre-existing plumbing systems.
    • Inspecting work installed and operated on by other tradespeople.

    What Skills Are Needed?

    As a plumber, you will be expected to have diverse problem-solving skills that generally apply to all aspects of the job.

    Driving and Time Management:

    • Ability to drive company vehicles.
    • Strong time-management skills to ensure punctuality at the worksite.

    Technical Knowledge and Compliance:

    • Deep understanding of plumbing systems’ structure and function.
    • Stay current with field regulations, building codes, safety protocols, and inspection criteria.

    Practical Skills:

    • Knowledge of relevant terminology.
    • Ability to read and interpret construction diagrams.
    • Understanding of basic metric conversions and geometry for accurate measurements.

    Communication and Interpersonal Skills:

    • Excellent communication skills with tradespeople, senior plumbers, and clients.
    • Ability to clearly explain plumbing details to clients, regardless of their plumbing knowledge.
    • Personable and capable of collaborative work.

    Career Outlook

    Pros & Cons of the Job

    Career Benefits: Working in plumbing provides a stimulating and rewarding career with job security and a desirable income. Plumbing systems require constant maintenance, which is essential for public health, ensuring that plumbers are always in demand. The critical need for plumbers’ skills and the flexibility due to the unpredictable nature of plumbing emergencies contribute to high job security and adaptable working hours.

    Physical Demands and Risks: A career in plumbing is physically demanding, which might attract a younger demographic but could pose a risk as tradespeople approach retirement. Plumbers often handle hazardous materials, a standard aspect of working with sewage systems. Additionally, plumbers face liability risks for any mistakes on the job, necessitating costly plumbing insurance for individuals and businesses.

    Career Growth

    Assessing a Career in Plumbing

    Never Boring

    A career in plumbing is characterized by physical labor, intensive problem-solving, and variety, ensuring that no two jobs are the same.

    Plumbers often face the challenge of diagnosing issues on-site with little prior information, but this aspect of the job also facilitates daily interactions with new people, making it a potentially enriching career.

    Many Paths for Growth

    Plumbers have various career pathways available. One option is working for a contracting company, where benefits and opportunities for advancement in terms of seniority are possible. Alternatively, plumbers can enhance their earning potential by gaining certifications in high-demand, technically advanced areas while employed by another company.

    Running Your Own Business

    For those inclined towards entrepreneurship, starting a business offers a way to transition into a managerial role, overseeing operations and potentially hiring other plumbers to handle the day-to-day tasks. This route provides significant autonomy and the potential for substantial financial rewards.

    Always in Demand

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites that the demand for plumbers is expected to increase only by 2% between 2021 and 2031. Though this growth rate is considered sub-average, demand for plumbers will only continue due to the retiring workforce and new construction, with 50,000 positions for plumbers and adjacent tradespeople projected to open annually.

    Search Plumber Programs

    Get information on Plumber programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

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