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Last modified: 2022-08-15 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
A home or building with a flawless plumbing system is a serious luxury. The repair of these systems and fixtures isn’t taken care of by just any individual. The plumber is in charge of operations to keep water flowing smoothly. Plumbing is an underrated profession, and the necessity of plumber in modern-day society if growing more and more significant.
If you’re considering a career in the vast world of plumbing, what is there to know? A plumber needs a wide variety of skills that involve much more than simply unclogging a drain or two. In this article, we’ll go over what it takes to become a professional plumber.
Moving into the world of professional plumbing will begin with getting a base-level education. This profession requires a high-school diploma or equivalent. When it comes to getting a trade, it’s integral that you have basic reading, writing and math skills down. For work as a professional plumber, it will be necessary for you to have advanced math and science skills. This is because plenty of plumbing work will involve being able to accurately measure and gauge different aspects of water levels.
If you don’t have a diploma or GED and are looking into getting one to pursue this career; we would suggest focusing on the following areas of education, as they’ll be necessary to plumbing:
Not only do these areas require careful attention, but moving forward with a career in plumbing will require a clean record. This includes your driving record, criminal background, and history with substances. For many plumbers, having a license as well as access to a vehicle is a must and thus, a clean driving record is more than necessary. Not only this, but many employers may refuse to work with you if your record isn’t clear.
A clean record and high school diploma are the base level requirements for moving forward with a plumbing career. Once you have these things, you can start thinking about enrolling in technical courses. Technical plumbing courses will absolutely be required if you’re serious about this career. Depending on the city or municipality you’re living in, you’ll be required to complete a certain number of hours in the classroom as well as a certain number of hours apprenticing in the field.
The specifics of these requirements will greatly depend on where you’re living, so do be sure to look into community college or trade programs as well as professional plumbing unions or associations for all the important information about moving into this area. Here are some expected topics when it comes to finding education on the subject:
Some general skills that plumbers require include being able to read blueprints, an understanding of various types of piping systems, how the piping is connected, inspecting and determining potential piping or plumbing issues, basic carpentry as well as welding. Schooling and apprenticeship programs can take anywhere between 3 to 5 years, so do be aware that you’re in for the long haul.
In most cases, following the completion of all classes and your apprenticeship program, you’ll need to take a final test to confirm your plumbing license. This test will be an amalgamation of everything you’ve learned, on both the job front and throughout your time in classes. Again, the length and preparation methods will greatly depend on the city where you’re living as well as the requirements for being a licensed plumber.
If you pass the test, it’s likely you’ll legally be allowed to work as a plumber and move forward with contracts. In some cases, you’ll still need to work within a network of qualified plumbers before moving forward with your own business.
Some may be considering a specialization in the field of plumbing, and these would be your options.
Pipelayers: A pipelayer is someone who physically installs the pipes for the plumbing system. This work includes digging and making space for the piping and grading trenches. This work is typically strenuous and should be left to those who can handle it.
Pipefitters: This type of plumbing specialization is left to those in charge of large, industrial plumbing projects. This might also mean maintaining heating and cooling systems in manufacturing, industrial and commercial spaces.
Steamfitters: This type of plumber installs piping that is in place to move steam around a building. This can be in any setting where electricity is generated.
Do bear in mind that the salary of a plumber, including those who take on specializations, will greatly depend on where you’re living as well as the terms of the projects you’re taking on.
To work as a plumber in Quebec, it is essential to obtain a valid license from the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ) which acts as a mandatory agent for the RBQ. The required RBQ license is: Plumbing Contractor (subcategory 15.5).
Apart from the rules established by the RBQ, it is important to know that it is possible for the various Quebec municipalities to establish certain specific requirements for the work carried out on their territory. While the majority of them have waived this right, others such as Westmount and Ville Mont-Royal still use it to this day.
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