How to Become a Plumber in Texas

Texas is an excellent place to become a plumber: according to the Dept of Labor, it has the 2nd highest employment rate for plumbers in the nation!

Education & Training

Beginners without experience need to enroll in a foundational program, like the ones below:

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How Does the Course Benefit Students?

These goal of the course is to impart comprehensive knowledge of the trade to its student.  Grads will know everything required to get an entry level plumbing job.

A free toolkit is also included in the cost.

Enroll at anytime.

What Do You Study?

Classes will address the following:

  • Practices for plumbing safety and cautionary procedures for hazardous materials and equipment use.
  • The mechanisms and components of standard piping and water supply systems and their construction.
  • Reading specialty drawings and symbols concerning construction diagrams.
  • Identifying piping materials and fixture types in plumbing and appropriately installing standard plumbing fixtures.
  • Essential mathematical skills, geometric concepts, and prerequisite knowledge for completing standard services.
  • Plumbing codes required for various services, and customer service communication skills.

Program Length & Cost

It takes about  12 months.  It can be completed even faster if you study more often (its a self paced online course).

The total price is $2,300.  If you want to pay on a monthly basis, financing is available.

Other Local Trade School Programs

Salary Range

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average plumber salary in Texas is $56,890.

Below are some numbers from major jobs sites, for comparison sake.

Here are average salaries and wages for other parts of the state, per BLS data.

Area Hourly Annual
Abilene $24.09 $50,110.00
Amarillo $25.17 $52,350.00
Austin-Round Rock $28.81 $59,910.00
Beaumont-Port Arthur $32.58 $67,770.00
Big Thicket $21.79 $45,310.00
Border Region $19.87 $41,330.00
Brownsville-Harlingen $21.05 $43,780.00
Coastal Plains $24.83 $51,650.00
College Station-Bryan $25.23 $52,470.00
Corpus Christi $28.47 $59,210.00
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington $28.56 $59,400.00
El Paso $24.30 $50,550.00
Hill Country $23.07 $47,990.00
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land $28.66 $59,610.00
Killeen-Temple $24.64 $51,260.00
Laredo $20.07 $41,750.00
Longview $25.29 $52,600.00
Lubbock $24.56 $51,070.00
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission $22.23 $46,230.00
Midland $27.16 $56,490.00
North Texas $21.27 $44,250.00
Odessa $27.27 $56,730.00
San Angelo $23.91 $49,730.00
San Antonio-New Braunfels $25.63 $53,310.00
Sherman-Denison $23.48 $48,840.00
Texarkana $23.99 $49,900.00
Tyler $23.75 $49,400.00
Victoria $25.27 $52,570.00
Waco $26.18 $54,450.00
West Texas $22.08 $45,930.00
Wichita Falls $24.34 $50,640.00

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

Obviously, the average salary of a plumber depends on many factors: location, experience, education, certification level, etc.

Texas Requirements

Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners logoThe first step to becoming a plumber in Texas is to get an apprentice license. The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE) governs the licensing process for this occupation.

Apprenticeship

To become licensed, you must complete an approved apprenticeship program with a master plumber or journeyman who holds a valid TSBPE certificate. The apprenticeship must be completed within four years, but it can take longer if you are working full-time while completing your training.

Exam

The next step is to pass the Texas Journeyman Plumbing Exam. You can register for this exam at the TSBPE website or through Prometric Testing Centers.

Once you pass the exam, you will be eligible to apply for a master plumber license through TSBPE. This requires proof of two years of experience as a journeyman in Texas as well as passing another exam that covers safety rules and regulations set down by TSBPE.

Journeyman

The state of Texas requires plumbers to be licensed by the state if they are practicing as a journeyman plumber or master plumber.

Journeyman Requirements

The first step is to meet the state’s journeyman requirements:

• You must be at least 18 years of age or older

• You must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent

• You must complete an apprenticeship program, which can take between 4 and 7 years depending on which union you join (more on this below).

Once you’ve obtained your license, you’ll need to get more training if you want to further your career by becoming a master plumber or starting your own business. This license is good for two years before it needs to be renewed by taking additional classes and exams.

TSBPE logo variation

Master Plumber

To become a master plumber in Texas, you’ll need to complete a four-year apprenticeship program and pass an exam. The apprenticeship program is offered through the state’s Department of Labor and Industry, and it’s open only to people who have graduated from high school or earned their GED.

You’ll also need at least one year of experience as a journeyman plumber before you can take your exam.

The exam covers topics such as plumbing codes, safety regulations, and water conservation techniques.

After taking your exam and passing it, your certificate will be good for five years; after that, you’ll have to repeat the process all over again if you want to continue practicing as a master plumber in Texas.

Are There Any Official Associations?

There are actually a couple of different organizations that can help you get your start as a plumber in Texas.

Associated Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Texas ( PHCC) and The American Society of Plumbing Engineers(ASPE) are both great resources for new plumbers looking to find out more about the industry. Each association has its benefits.

For example, ASPE offers various discounts on products and services for members, whereas the PHCC provides networking opportunities and training programs for new members to help them get started in their careers.

Both associations have their own websites where you can find more information about becoming a member or gaining access to resources like manuals and books on plumbing techniques.

Does My Texas Plumbers License Work in Any Other State?

The answer to this question depends heavily on your current work status. I

If you’re a plumber who is just starting out and looking for a job, then your Texas plumbers license won’t be of much use outside of the state.

However, if you’ve already been working as a plumber in Texas for some time, then you may be able to find work with your current license—but it depends on where you want to work.

This is because every state has its own regulations and requirements for those who want to become plumbers.

If you decide that you want to become a plumber in another state, then you should contact the plumbing licensing agency there and find out what they have to say about getting licensed. You may even have to take an exam before they will permit you to work as a plumber in that state.

 

Career Outlook

Texas is a state that has a wide range of career opportunities for plumbers. The state has over 60,000 plumbers working in the state, so it’s no wonder why it’s one of the top states for plumbing jobs.

The future of plumbing careers in Texas is bright.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment opportunities for plumbers will grow by 10 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the national average.

The BLS projects that there will be about 76,900 plumber jobs by 2026. However, the growth rate of this field may be even higher than these numbers indicate because they do not include self-employed plumbers who are not required to register with any agency or government body.

What’s more is that plumbing professionals can also expect good job prospects throughout their careers due to the aging population and increased demand for new homes and commercial buildings.

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