Plumber

Description

A plumber is responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining pipes, fixtures and other plumbing used for water distribution and waste water disposal in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings and structures.

  • Reads blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the layout of
    • plumbing systems
    • venting systems
    • water supply networks
    • waste and drainage systems
  • Detect and diagnose the causes of faults in plumbing appliances and systems
  • Troubleshoot and repair fixtures, fittings, and other plumbing related equipment
    • Locate and mark positions for pipe connections, passage holes, and fixtures in walls and floors;
    • Connect tubing and fittings using solder paste, or solder and torch, to form sewer, drain, and water lines.
    • Join pipes and fittings together using soldering techniques, compression fittings, threaded fittings, and push-on fittings
    • Measure, cut, bend, and thread pipes using hand and power tools or machines
    • Locate and mark positions for pipe connections, passage holes, and fixtures in walls and floors
    • Test pipes for leaks using air and water pressure gauges
  • Manage and direct workers engaged in preassembly and installation of wall systems, such as risers, air chambers, and shower assemblies
  • Work in cooperation with other trades and laborers to
    • Ensure all specifications, legislation and policies are met
    • Ensure efficient completion of any project
    • Ensure all water supply networks and waste and drainage systems are installed, repaired and maintained to meet all standards of building codes and safety.

Pipefitters install, assemble, fabricate, maintain, repair and troubleshoot mechanical piping systems carrying fuel, chemicals, water, steam and air in heating, cooling, lubricating and various other process piping systems. Pipefitters are employed in the maintenance departments of power stations, refineries, offshore installations, factories and similar establishments, by pipefitting contractors.

Training Programs

Five years of training are needed to become a journeyman pipe fitter/Welder.

The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners oversees the licensing process for the Plumbing Trade. For this industry, multiple levels of registration and licensure exist. A 16 year old may obtain a Plumbing Apprentice Registration card which will allow the commencement of the journey towards licensing by the state of Texas.

The licensing process can be achieved solely by time on the job. It can also include formal, classroom training at a Department of Labor approved Apprenticeship School. Most of these formal programs are 4-5 years in length. At the end of this training, Apprentices are qualified to take the Tradesman or Journeyman Exam depending on their hours worked in the field under a Master Plumber. Through a combination of hands-on, classroom, and on the job training, a Plumbers Apprentice can move through the ranks of the Plumbing industry.

Plumber training programs are approved by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Texas and by the local training organizations associated with the Mechanical Contractors Association of Texas. Please see the contact information below.

Qualifications

Applicants must

  • Present evidence of high school graduation or GED
  • Take a math test to demonstrate proficiency in basic math skills.
  • Be at least 16 years old to obtain an Apprentice Registration Card from the State of Texas

An apprentice must work under the supervision of a licensed Master Plumber.

In order qualify for a Tradesman’s license, one must have 4000 hours in the field as a Plumbers Apprentice.

In order to qualify for Journeyman license, one must have a total of 8000 hours in the field.

A Master level license can be obtained after three more years as a Journeyman. However, should you attend a DOL approved training program and graduate, you only need to work as a Journeyman for one year prior to obtaining a Master level license.

A criminal free background and a drug free lifestyle are both required to work in this industry.

Application Procedures

Most programs last for 5 years. Training Program offerings will vary by location. Generally, some programs may require participants to attend classes two nights per week during 16 week periods. Many of the training programs listed on this web page accept applications for spring and fall semester classes.

Apprentice Registration Cards information may be obtained through the following link:
http://www.tsbpe.state.tx.us/common/PlumbersApprenticeAppNovember2015.pdf

Tradesman Licenses information may be obtained through the following link:
http://www.tsbpe.state.tx.us/common/TradesmanPlumberExamAppAugust2014.pdf

Journeyman Licenses information may be obtained through the following link:
http://www.tsbpe.state.tx.us/common/JourneymanPlumberExamAppAugust2014.pdf

Master Licenses information may be obtained through the following link:
http://www.tsbpe.state.tx.us/common/MasterPlumberExamAppAugust2014.pdf

What it Takes

In addition to the formal, on the job and hands-on training, these jobs require someone to like working with their hands, enjoy solving problems, are self-motivated, and have strong work ethics.

Financial Aid

Plumber Apprentices work full or part time for a plumbing company. While working, the apprentice adds hours to the requirement for the next level of licensing. In addition, the apprentice will attend formal training, either through a Department of Labor approved program, or from various approved providers of education in the State of Texas. This training is either paid for by the student, the employer, a grant for education, or a combination of all three.

In many cases tuition, books and material costs may be furnished by the employers. Several of the training programs listed on this web page are “earn while you learnâ€Â where employers pay for training at night while employees work, earn wages and receive on the job training during the day.

Typical Annual Gross Pay In Texas

The average starting salaries for the following levels of Plumbing:
Apprentices: $13.24 per hour
Tradesman: $16-$19 per hour
Journeyman: $20.60 per hour
Master: $24.35 per hour
Overall, the income for those in the Plumbing field ranges from $50,000 to $65,000 on average.

Other Information

Many apprentice training programs are affiliated with local community colleges. Apprentices can earn academic credits towards an Associate’s Degree plan.

TOP TEN REASONS FOR PURSUING A CAREER IN PLUMBING

  1. HOT OPPORTUNITY - Human resource issues are a serious threat to the Plumbing industry. There is an ongoing shortage of skilled workers and the coming wave of Baby Boomer retirements will cause the current large problem to explode into a gigantic one.
  2. GREAT PAY - Plumbing is one of the highest paid construction occupations. Pay rates of $20-30 per hour are common for journeyman plumbers.
  3. AWESOME BENEFITS - The competition for quality Plumbers is causing employers to put together amazing benefit packages including: paid vacations, retirement plans, and medical coverage including dental and vision insurance, and profit sharing plans.
  4. INCREDIBLE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES - Most people enter the Plumbing trade through an accredited apprenticeship program. By training as an apprentice you’ll earn a living wage and train with seasoned veterans.
  5. EMPLOYMENT STABILITY - Employment of Plumbers is less sensitive to changes in economic conditions than other construction trades. When construction activity declines, maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement of existing systems provide many jobs for plumbers. It’s practically recession-proof.
  6. JOB ADVANCEMENT - Starting out as an Apprentice and then reaching Journeyman status you can accelerate your career by becoming a Foreman, General Foreman or even a Superintendent. With additional training you could move into Construction Management.
  7. CREATE SOMETHING THAT LASTS - Plumbers help build homes, offices, schools, hospitals, churches, factories and sports facilities. You can be a part of something that lasts for generations, building the future of your community.
  8. NEVER BORING - As a Plumber you can work with gas piping, medical gas systems, water supply, waste water treatment, vacuum piping, underground utilities, residential service, residential and commercial new construction and remodeling … the possibilities are endless.
  9. LIFETIME FRIENDSHIPS - The construction community is a close knit group that serves and protects its members better than almost any group. Working as a Plumber, you’ll make lasting friendships with other Plumbing Professionals as well as members of other trades you work closely with.
  10. RECOGNITION - Get the recognition you deserve by doing quality work in the Plumbing trade which has been an integral part of our society for centuries and continues to advance with new and improved technologies.

Contacts

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Texas
Alicia Dover, CAE
Executive Director
alicia@phcc-tx.org
(800) 992-7422

Plumbing/Pipefitting/Welding
Local 529
Don Masters, Coordinator
(254)756-1860
510 Crescent Street
Waco, Texas 76705-2032

Mechanical Contractors Association of Texas
Glenn Rex
Executive Director
5629 FM 1960 West, Suite 354, Houston, Texas 77069
glenn@mcatexas.org
281-440-4380

Plumbing/Pipefitting/Welding
Local 286
814 Airport Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78702
Joe Cooper, Director
(512)385-1817

Plumbing/Pipefitting/Welding
Local 412
8409 Lockheed Ste. 19&20
El Paso, Texas 79925
Raymond Trujillo, Coordinator
(505)256-9257

Plumbing/Pipefitting/Welding
Local 142
Frank Southers, Director
(210)226-2661
3630 Belgium Lane
San Antonio, Texas 78219

Local 404
Tony Taylor, Director
(806)374-2895
2002 Avenue J
Lubbock, Texas 79411

1505 W. 7th Street
Amarillo, TX 79101

125 FM 369 N
Iowa Park, Texas 76367

Pipefitting/Welding
Local 211
2507 Old Galveston Rd
Houston, Texas 77017
Ira Schramek, Director
(713)649-0201

3194 Hwy 69 North
Nederland, Texas 77627
Steve Parker, Director
(409)727-1686

Plumbing/Pipefitting/Welding
Local 146

Chris Moranha, Director
(817)534-5566
9920 White Settlement Road
Fort Worth, Texas 76108

Plumbing/Pipefitting/Welding
Local 100
Debbie Vukovich, Director
(214)341-6199
3541 W. Miller Road
Garland, Texas 75041

Plumbing Local 68
454 Link Road
Houston, Texas 77009
Robert Cross, Director
(713)861-3202

695 Chamberlin
Beaumont, Texas 77707

5233 IH 37, Ste. A-2
Corpus Christi, Texas 77249-8653