Plumbing is one of the more difficult as well one of the most dangerous trades to pursue. There is a lot of demanding, physical work involved, especially at the beginning of your career. Plumbers are continuously exposed to various hazards like injuries from using pipe cutters and saws, but they are also susceptible to many uncommon injuries and illnesses from exposure to chemicals and raw sewage.
Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services posts a lot of pages on this website about the plumbing services we offer, and we even do a weekly video podcast called Potty Mouth Guys that’s all about what plumbers do on a day-to-day basis. One of the questions we get asked the most about becoming a plumber in Houston; so, we thought we’d tackle that topic in depth, both on the show and here on the website!
Becoming a Plumbing Apprentice in Houston
The first step to becoming a plumber in Houston is to secure an apprenticeship with a licensed plumbing company. After registering as a plumbing apprentice with the state of Texas, your employer will be able to document and report your hours of experience. You must be at least sixteen years old to register as a plumbing apprentice, and a high-school diploma or GED is not required at this level.
To obtain your first license in the plumbing industry, the plumbing apprentice will need to have four-thousand hours of experience documented by the employer.
Obtaining a Tradesman Plumber’s License
After completing the necessary experiential requirements, which should take about two years of full-time plumbing work, you become eligible for your first license in the plumbing industry. The tradesman license also requires the apprentice to have completed twenty-four hours of classroom training and pass a state-sanctioned exam.
Once a technician has obtained their tradesman license in plumbing, the hard work of the first couple of years begins to pay off. The pay scale for a plumbing technician with a tradesman license can range between $40,000 – $52,500 per year depending on the employer (source: Indeed.com).
Becoming a Journeyman Plumber in Houston
The tradesman plumber must have at least eight-thousand hours of documented experience, and complete forty-eight hours of classroom training. It is expected that the technician will have obtained their G.E.D. by this point and will have to pass yet another state-administered test.
When asked, most of our plumbing technicians say the time after they’ve obtained their journeyman license is the most rewarding in terms of reaping the rewards for their years of hard work. At a minimum, the successful journeyman plumber has been working on their becoming a plumber in Houston journey for no less than five years. In most cases, these guys have been involved in plumbing since they were children, following in their father’s or even grandfather’s footsteps.
By this stage in a plumbing technician’s career, it is reasonable to expect to be earning an income in the $55,000 – 70,000 per year range. Depending on the company and a plumber’s workload, a six-figure salary is well within the achievable range after a couple of years with a journeyman license.
If you or someone in your family is thinking about taking up the plumbing industry as a trade, give us a call. Richard Saad or John Eccles will be happy to discuss the realities and expectations of a career in plumbing!