Which Type of Plumber Training is Right for You?

Today, more and more people are training to become plumbers. Plumbing is a fast-growing, rewarding industry that offers excellent benefits and salaries. Since plumbing is expected to grow 8% by 2026, the opportunities for plumbers will only increase. As the field continues to expand, now’s the perfect time to get your foot in the door and start training to become a licensed professional plumber.  A lot of education is required, but with help from the right resources, you can enter the trades sooner than you might think.

As a plumber, not only will you need to have a firm grasp on basic plumbing principles, but you’ll also need to know about vents, water lines, plumbing system design, installation and repair, business skills and so much more. There are three different ways to get the specialized training you need: vocational school, apprenticeship and online plumbing training. Everyone’s path is a little bit different depending on which road they take. It’s important to learn about all three types of plumbing programs, so that you can make the decisions that are best for you right now as well as for your future career in the plumbing industry.

Plumbing Vocational School

A vocational school is where people can learn all about different trade and technical career fields. It’s often the first place many students go on their journey to become a mechanic, electrician, HVAC technician and, of course, a plumber. Plumbing courses cover all the skills and information you need, starting with the basics and moving on to more advanced topics. You’ll get both hands-on training as you learn techniques like soldering and welding, as well as technical education about mathematical concepts and local building codes.

There are a lot of pros and cons to attending vocational school. Some aspiring plumbers appreciate the schools’ traditional classroom setting. They also like having the ability to interact with instructors and peers face-to-face. However, the downside is that you do have to be on campus at set times. This can make it difficult to juggle other commitments, such as jobs and family life, and can pose challenges if you have to commute. In addition, vocational school is typically the most expensive option of the three.

Most students take around two years to complete their plumbing vocational program. After that, many spend another two to five years working as an apprentice under an experienced plumber.

Apprenticeship Plumber Training

Practical experience in the field is crucial to becoming a skilled plumber. That’s why an apprenticeship is so important. An apprenticeship is an arrangement in which you work alongside a professional in order to learn a specific trade. Some plumbing apprenticeship programs don’t require prior experience to get started, but some might require you to be enrolled in vocational training or have already completed it.

In this role, you usually begin by shadowing your trainer as they take calls and perform various jobs. Eventually, you’ll take on repair and installation services on your own with their supervision to guide you. You’ll also get to experience what it’s like working with customers and how business acumen comes into play, such as calculating estimates and collecting payment for your services. Over time, you’ll steadily gain more knowledge about the plumbing industry as you sharpen your skills, build strong relationships and learn how to navigate company culture. Professional shadowing and field experience are extremely valuable for becoming a plumber.

Online Education Programs

The third plumber training option for aspiring plumbers is online education. Taking courses online gives you a lot of flexibility because you can set your own schedule and progress at your own pace. It’s also very convenient since you can study at home, instead of having to travel to a campus every day. Some students worry they won’t get the hands-on training they need by doing online schooling, but that’s actually a myth.

Some programs, like NexTech Academy’s Plumbing Program, set you up with a local training leader to complement the material you’re learning online. You’ll be out in the field getting real-world experience just like you would as an apprentice. As you work your way through the curriculum, you’ll get to shadow an industry professional, simultaneously fulfilling your job training and your apprenticeship requirements in just 18 to 24 months.

In addition, online plumbing training at NexTech Academy keeps the material exciting and engaging to help you stay focused and motivated the entire time. Each topic is broken down into modules featuring reading, interactive quizzes, videos, skills practice demonstrations and more. Plus, the program teaches you important soft skills too, such as customer service and teamwork. By the end of your NexTech Academy training, you’ll be equipped with all the physical, mechanical, problem-solving and business and administrative skills you need to start a successful career as a plumber.

Start Your Career Training Today

Ready to begin your plumbing training? You can request enrollment at NextTech Academy’s Plumbing Program and unlock your potential today. The program is open to Nexstar Network members only. If you’d like to learn more, see what your next steps are. You can also request a demo course to try out NexTech for free and see if online plumber training is right for you. If you have any questions at all, please contact us by calling 651-426-2000 or by submitting our online form.

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We have been working hard on improving NexTech Academy, making changes to the program that will reduce the operating expenses. We updated pricing in September 2019, and we are launching new training resources to Nexstar Network members in Spring 2020.

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