About Plumbing: I'm thinking of becoming a plumber. Can I get some advice please?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by graph-paper, Jan 8, 2015.

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  1. Jan 8, 2015 #1

    graph-paper

    graph-paper

    graph-paper

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    I'm thinking of taking up plumbing as a career. I've done a bit of research regarding the requirements (experience, license) but I wanted some insight on your experiences.

    -How long did it take for you to find a job at a company?

    -Was it difficult to complete your apprenticeship hours? How long did it take?

    -Is it realistic to think about going independent right away?

    Thank you for your time!
     
  2. Jan 8, 2015 #2

    frodo

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    graph-paper,



    it takes 4 years to get a journeyman license then, it takes another year to get your masters
    you need a masters to pull permits to do your own work.

    so, basically you aint working for your self for 5 years. during that time you need to learn

    contact the building department in your area, find the code enforcement department plumbing
    go to their office, have a sit down with a plumbing inspector, they know all the plumbers, they know who is BS and who is stand up
    tell him you are looking to getinto plumbing. you would like his advice and guidance.

    can he suggest a company that will teach you right and if their are any programs available

    if you do that, you will have 2 things going for you

    a contact in the inspectors office
    and a foot in the door at a company before you show up
    networking, pays off..

    when you get a job,,,bust your ass for the next 4 years. strive to be the best damn helper they ever seen....raise come quicker that way
    keep your eyes and ears open, mouth shut
     
  3. Jan 8, 2015 #3

    frodo

    frodo

    frodo

    Just call me Macgyver Professional Supporting Member

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    walked into a plumbers office with hair half way down my back and a beard

    he said he was not hiring...went back a week later with a hair cut and a shave

    he said he had been looking for somsone. LOL

    never did tell the SOB who i was!!!!! worked there 3 years
     
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  4. Jan 8, 2015 #4

    plbgbiz

    plbgbiz

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    First place to look for a good career is in the mirror.
     
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  5. Jan 8, 2015 #5

    frodo

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    thats true
     
  6. Jan 15, 2015 #6

    mb123

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    Frodo, I think it was you in another thread who recommended to me that I look into an apprentice program so I called the department of labor and local union and was told they only have a recruitment every 2 years and the next one will be in 2016 or 17 so does that mean I have no hope of getting into a program till then?
     
  7. Jan 15, 2015 #7

    frodo

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    IAPMO or PHCC google either of them. I believe they have on line classes

    Did you get in touch with our plumbing inspector ? He will know, if there are schools in your area, who is running the school,
    what companies are sending there guys to the schools

    most towns that have schools, the inspector is the instructor

    makes for a nice little relationship :)

    I have had inspectors pull up to the job. after a frog killing rain.

    and say, "OH. its you! you got water on it ? "

    after 30 minutes of BS'n about hunting or basketball or whatever. "see ya later"
     
  8. Jan 22, 2015 #8

    carrymytools

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    I don't have any plumbing experience! I applied with a local school district and was hired on the spot. They must have needed help bad. I get treated different because of my lack of experience. I have been doing plumbing for a month but the guy I work with has been doing it over 20 years. The guy I work with is not open to my input because I don't have the same amount of years behind me as him. We replace automatic faucets with manual faucets when all they need is 4 AA batteries every other day. He is not licensed but he knows a lot. I have not learned much. The only thing he says to me is "Carry my tools". So the moral of the story is don't expect to learn a lot right away be prepared to be more of a helper but be the best damn helper you can be. The guy I work with is an a**hole but I got tough skin so it doesn't bother me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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  9. Jan 22, 2015 #9

    JoeThePlumber

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    Where I live in PA, journeyman and master plumbing tests are open book. You have to be famiiar with the book and where to look for certain things or youll never be able to answer all the questions in time. I think that is fair because any master plumber should be able to look in the book for answers to make the right decisions before just winging it......when I started as a helper I learned to look poised. hands out of pockets away from your phone, ready to cut pipe, nail plate, fire caulk, fetch things....etc. Just try your best, always have a pencil and marker, tape, knife.....tools always help...haha your basically a sponge soaking it all in and its all about what you retain. The people who work around you may not care to teach you anything so try to make friends. Eventually you start to see the pipes before they are there and then all you need to know is where the fixtures go. The other big part is service plumbing compared to new construction, big difference. Service plumbing is more technical in its own way yet new construction is quite alot to learn as well. Many trick to both sides and its good to get a peice of both. Being a journeyman or master is not required in either field when working for someone else....its all about what you know and what rate and quality you produce. I'm non union so I dunno what union is like.... If anyone needs a job in the lehigh valley area of PA, give me a shout! 8- 24 unit apartment buildings going up... ground roughs all finished....4 roughs left and tons of finish work. More buildings going up across the street.
     
  10. Jan 22, 2015 #10

    mb123

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    I've actually been working I'm plumbing for about a year and a half I work for a local plumber in my neighborhood but I would like to get myself into the bigger picture and benefit my future in the field other than the experience I'm getting and from the advice I've gotten here apprenticeship programs and school is the way to go I'm just trying to figure out the best way to get my foot in the door
     
  11. Jan 22, 2015 #11

    mb123

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    I've actually been working I'm plumbing for about a year and a half I work for a local plumber in my neighborhood but I would like to get myself into the bigger picture and benefit my future in the field other than the experience I'm getting and from the advice I've gotten here apprenticeship programs and school is the way to go I'm just trying to figure out the best way to get my foot in the door
     
  12. Jan 22, 2015 #12

    frodo

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    After a 1 of experience, i should be able to put you into a 2 bath house and have you
    run the vents
    run the water
    size and run the gas pipe
    set the tubs have it ready for inspection.

    after 1 1/2 years, you should be on your way to figuring out a 2 story by your self

    if your are being taught correctly, you should also have enough knowledge to know the basics of a slab rough in

    if not, your company is not teaching
     
  13. Jan 22, 2015 #13

    mb123

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    Most my experience is in service, the company I work for is basically only a service company
     

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