Good plumbers are hard to find. If you ask High School kids about their career plans, hardly any of them will consider plumbing as an option. Why is that?
Plumbing is considered a “dirty job”. While it’s true that plumbing projects do sometimes get messy, a good plumber will always clean up after themselves. There is also plenty of protection gear like special suits and gloves, so nobody has to touch anything with their bare hands if they don’t want to. However, plumbers’ work often involves significant manual handling hazards. Handling heavy and awkward objects, often in uncomfortable postures because of lack of space to move freely, creates a risk of traumatic injury such as back strain. If you want to make sure you stay healthy as a plumber, you should consider doing recreational sports and specific workouts to stay fit.
Is plumbing lucrative?
Plumbers are always needed because Massachusetts law prohibits anyone but a licensed professional from installing, removing or repairing plumbing. The reasons for this may not, at first, be obvious, but public safety is of primary importance.
According to the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, the median income for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters nationwide is over $50,620 annually. That’s significantly higher than the national median income for all occupations at $36,200. The average salary for a plumber in Massachusetts is around $64,300 per year, so even better.
To become a plumbing apprentice in Massachusetts, you will need to set up an account and apply through the ePLACE portal (same as a journeyman). Requirements and information needed to accompany the apprentice application include:
· Affirmation of a High School Diploma or GED;
· Completion of 550 hours of apprentice education training;
· Completion of 6,800 hours of work experience;
· Enrollment status in Vocational High School;
· Licensing and application fee ($14).
You can apply for your apprentice license after completing the hours of monitored plumbing work. Finishing an apprenticeship normally takes four to five years. Added working at least three years with your apprentice license, you can apply to become a journeyman plumber.
So next time you get a plumbing job quoted and think it sounds like a lot, consider how hard these people work and how many hours of training they had to do to be there and help you now.
If you consider a career in plumbing and would like to talk to us about it, we’re happy to chat.
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