While online licensing programs for plumbers are not currently available, several community colleges offer apprenticeship programs to train apprentices to become journeyman plumbers. After completing an apprenticeship, they may seek their journeyman plumber's license. Students must have a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. Students will need 4-5 years of on the job training and will need to complete in-class instruction. Although plumbing certificates are not available online, those interested in distance-learning can pursue a construction management certificate program fully online.
Plumbing apprenticeship programs are not offered online, because apprentices must complete 6,800-10,000 hours of on-the-job training over 4-5 years. Although apprentices must take a minimum 246 hours of in-class instruction, classes are generally not offered online. Many apprenticeship programs are available at local community colleges, and the only prerequisites are to be 18 years of age and to hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.
Many of the programs are offered on a part-time basis to enable the prospective plumber to work while attending classes. Within the program, apprentices take courses in mathematics for plumbing, blueprint reading, drafting techniques, welding and safety. Students learn the differences between plumbing in a residential building compared to a commercial structure.
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To be licensed as a journeyman plumber in most states, candidates must have completed an apprenticeship plumbing program. After paying the registration fee, a candidate takes the state's licensing examination. Presently, a standard licensing exam doesn't exist; each state has its own exam and requirements. Therefore, the apprenticeship program that a candidate chooses should be reflective of his or her state's journeyman licensing requirements.
Continuing Education Information
Journeyman plumbers must renew their license every 1-3 years, depending on the state. A state may require journeyman plumbers to take a continuing professional education course(s). Active journeyman plumbers may take a course in medical gas, approved by the state. Upon completion of the course, they receive a medical gas endorsement on their license. Endorsements must be renewed as well.
Journeyman plumbers may earn a bachelor's degree in engineering and, with additional experience, apply to become a master plumber. Additional requirements include passing an exam (practical and written) and submitting supporting documents (actual requirements depend on the state of resident).
Plumbing certifications are not available online as students need almost 10,000 hours of on the job training. Aspiring plumbers can complete 4-5 year apprenticeships prior to becoming licensed journeyman plumbers.