How to Become a Plumber in Pennsylvania

plumber working and showing customer a problem

In PA, experienced plumbers make well over $100K. Its a career that comes with job stability and lots of growth opportunities.

Education and Training

The best way to get started is to take an accredited online course such as 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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Course Benefits

After graduating, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the trade, preparing you for professional advancement:

  • Necessary information to pass the preliminary exam for entering an apprenticeship
  • Customer service skills crucial for obtaining sponsorship from a state-licensed plumber
  • A complimentary toolkit containing more than 50 items
  • Open enrollment allowing you to start the course at any time without waiting for a designated start date

What Will You Study?

You will take a wide range of classes to sharpen your skills:

Fundamentals of Plumbing:

  • Plumbing codes
  • Plumbing math
  • Tools of the trade

Safety and Techniques:

  • Plumber safety
  • Hoisting & rigging
  • Welding for plumbers
  • Soldering & brazing

Materials and Equipment:

  • Piping materials
  • Plastic fittings
  • Pipes and Piping
  • Fixtures
  • Faucets
  • Valves
  • Heaters

System Design and Construction:

  • Water sources
  • Waste & sewage disposal
  • Water pipe systems
  • Hot water flow
  • Building structures
  • Sewers
  • Drainage units
  • Building drains
  • Stacks
  • Venting drains
  • Pumps
  • Traps
  • Supports

Installation Techniques:

  • Joining
  • Pipe joining
  • Pipe identification

Planning and Documentation:

  • Building plans
  • Sketching
  • Drawings
  • Drainage systems

Professional Skills:

  • Communication
  • Customer service

Program Cost & Length

Its 145 course hours that usually takes about 12 months.  You can, however control the pace of the course and study more often to complete it in less time.

It will cost $2,300, with financing options available for those who prefer to pay on a monthly basis.

Other Local Trade School Programs

Salary Range

Survey of Average Salary in PA

Here is some regional data from the BLS.
Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for areas of the state.

Area Hourly Annual
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton $33.23 $69,130.00
Altoona $27.09 $56,340.00
Bloomsburg-Berwick $31.19 $64,880.00
Chambersburg-Waynesboro $26.83 $55,800.00
East Stroudsburg $27.86 $57,940.00
Erie $30.98 $64,440.00
Gettysburg $27.70 $57,620.00
Harrisburg-Carlisle $33.49 $69,670.00
Johnstown $26.91 $55,960.00
Lancaster $30.13 $62,660.00
Lebanon $27.87 $57,970.00
Northern PA $32.56 $67,710.00
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington $37.18 $77,330.00
Pittsburgh $33.94 $70,600.00
Reading $31.77 $66,080.00
Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton $28.61 $59,500.00
Southern PA $25.71 $53,470.00
State College $31.98 $66,510.00
Western PA $29.04 $60,400.00
Williamsport $27.70 $57,610.00
York-Hanover $30.99 $64,460.00

Occupation: Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters (SOC Code472152)
source: data.bls.gov

Pennsylvania Requirements

In order to become a plumber in the state of Pennsylvania, individuals must first obtain a plumbing license.

Apprenticeship

Those who want to get a plumbing license must first begin as an apprentice through a state-approved program. While doing an apprenticeship, you will need to complete 2,000 hours of on-the-job training and 224 hours of classroom learning.

Requirements for  Apprenticeship

To be eligible for a plumbing apprenticeship you must possess a high school diploma or GED, be at least 18 years of age, and should be legally able to work and study in the United States.

During the entrance exam, you may also need to present your PA driver’s license and proof of citizenship.

Journeyman Plumber’s License

Once you have finished the apprenticeship program, you can apply for a Journeyman Plumber’s license. Journeyman plumbers can perform a variety of different jobs that include repairing pipes, installing fixtures, and modifying pipes.

Master Plumber’s License

A Journeyman Plumbers who wishes to take the next step and become a Master Plumber may apply for a Master Plumber’s license. For people interested in obtaining a Master Plumber’s license, individuals will need to meet the following benchmarks:

  • Finish four years of on-the-job training
  • Completed work as a Journeyman for one year
  • Take 567 hours of classwork coursework
  • Pass the exam

Job Description

These workers install and repair water, gas, and other systems of piping inside homes and businesses. Plumbers may also install bathtubs and toilets, as well as kitchen appliances like dishwashers.

Additional Responsibilities

These workers can also be responsible for cleaning out drains, replacing broken pipes and plumbing fixtures, and safely taking out obstructions from pipes.

Skills Needed

When trying to locate a leak inside of a building, these workers must be able to accurately read blueprints to find possible locations of where the leaking is coming from. Plumbers will also be able to correctly estimate prices for clients based on the materials, equipment, and labor needed.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for plumbers is slightly lower than the national average. Experts predict that the demand for plumbers will grow about two percent from 2021-2031. Despite this low number, there will still be thousands of jobs available for new plumbers due to older workers retiring or individuals leaving the field.

Search Plumber Programs

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

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