According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers are responsible for installing plumbing fixtures and appliances in our homes and installing and repairing the water, waste disposal, drainage, and gas systems in commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. The work is very physical; however, plumbers are among the highest paid workers in the trades. According to CTI Career Search, in 2008, the median salary for a plumber in Cincinnati, Ohio was $46,600.
How to Become a Plumber in Ohio
Learn about the profession. Plumbing is difficult, but varied, work. Successful plumbers need to have a high mechanical aptitude, physical agility, good problem solving skills and an ability to work in small cramped spaces. The job also includes unusual hours and late night emergencies.
Complete your high school education. To become a licensed apprentice plumber, you must have a high school diploma or GED. Classes that may be helpful for the plumbing profession include geometry, shop courses, algebra, math, physics, and blueprint reading. Vocational plumbing classes are also available at some high schools.
Get professional training. Many vocational schools or community colleges offer plumbing programs thath can cover the skills necessary to become a plumber. These include sewage disposal, piping, venting fittings, valves, and household maintenance and fabrication.
Complete an application to become a licensed apprentice plumber. You must be 18 years of age, graduate from high school by July 1 of the application year, have a valid birth certificate, and $35 for the application fee. You will be required to take a Differential Aptitude Test, hands-on dexterity testing, and have a personal interview with committee trustees.
Successfully complete at least five years of apprentice training. This includes working in the field for 6,000 hours and participating in 1,240 hours of classroom education.
Apply to take the examination to become a licensed plumber. The exam has two parts: one on business and law, and the other on plumbing. Topics covered include estimating and bidding, labor laws and personnel policies, insurance and bonding, fixtures, traps, cleanouts and interceptors, drainage requirements, water distribution and plan analysis. You must answer 70 percent of the questions correctly to pass.
Continue learning and stay committed. To further your career or keep current on the profession, take educational classes offered by many unions to enhance your knowledge and stay up-to-date with industry trends and practices. The plumbing profession has no ceilings for someone who is dedicated and has a desire to succeed.
2016 Salary Information for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters earned a median annual salary of $51,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters earned a 25th percentile salary of $38,530, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $68,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 480,600 people were employed in the U.S. as plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.