***The listed wages may vary by state and county.***
Retirement And Pension Funds
Must Be 18 Years Old For Hire
High School Diploma or GED
Do you care about the environment?
Did you know that plumbers protect the health of our nation and conserve our natural resources? Plumbers install piping systems that carry liquids, gasses and waste for residential, commercial and industrial operations. Plumbers also install fixtures such as sinks, toilets, water heaters, drinking fountains, bathtubs and showers in homes, businesses, schools and hospitals among other places.
Like most trades, plumbers may work in the extreme heat of summer and harsh cold of winter. Ladders and lifts are used to work in elevated or confined spaces.
Enroll in a Plumbers apprenticeship program through Local 34, here.
The recommended prerequisites for high school students include construction courses, shop courses, and math and science courses. Knowledge of chemistry, physics, algebra and geometry are all applied to the plumbing trade almost every day. Blueprint reading and welding are useful skills to experience before starting an apprenticeship.
Plumbers practice their mechanical skills regularly by using a variety of tools. Applicants also must enjoy problem-solving, as plumbers need to be able to see a problem, diagnose the source and fix the issue.
Completion of high school classes do not count for hours in the apprenticeship program, but the experience and classes taken are valuable in building students skill set.
A two-year diploma is not required to qualify for a plumber apprenticeship.
A plumber apprenticeship is a four-to-five year paid program in which apprentices receive both on-the-job practical training and classroom instruction. The apprenticeship requires 8,500 hours of on-the-job training and 144 classroom training hours each year.
An apprentice may choose to pursue one of several paths which are unique to each local.
For example, here is the process of applying to the St. Paul and Mankato Plumbers Union Local 34. Candidates can apply to St. Paul College, to begin an apprenticeship through Local 34. View the application. Applications are reviewed for acceptance two times per year on September 30 and January 1.
After applying, candidates take the Accuplacer exam, which includes reading, arithmetic and mechanical aptitude tests. For more information on how to schedule and pass the Accuplacer read here. Applications are accepted year-round but potential candidates must take the Accuplacer exam by September 30 to be considered for an interview in October. Fees for supplies are about $750 per semester.
Interested candidates should resource local offices listed below for apprenticeship opportunities in your area.
When a plumber apprentice can demonstrate competence in vital skills, the apprenticeship will be complete. Apprentices will graduate to journey-level status after passing the Minnesota State Plumbing License exam. After joining the union, apprentices will be eligible for benefits after two months of work.
Rochester Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 6
Apply for an apprenticeship with Local 6.
Duluth and Detroit Lakes Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 11
Apply for an apprenticeship with Local 11.
Minneapolis & St. Cloud Plumbers Local 15
Apply for an apprenticeship with Local 15.
Saint Paul & Mankato Plumbers Local 34
Apply for an apprenticeship with Local 34.
Minneapolis Gasfitters Local 340
Apply for an apprenticeship with Local 340 by calling 612-379-3241.
Saint Paul & Mankato Pipefitters Local 455
Apply for an apprenticeship with Local 455.
Virginia Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 589
Apply for an apprenticeship with Local 589 by calling 218-741-2482.
Manual dexterity and being comfortable adjusting to small spaces and often cramped work environments is important for a plumber’s success. Plumbers also must be good at communicating their ideas, especially if the work is done in residential areas or in teams. Knowledge of a variety of tools and being cautious and aware of safety practices at all times ensures a plumber gets the job effectively.
High school students preparing to become a plumber should seek out part-time jobs that require being physically fit and outdoors in a variety of conditions. A knowledge of tools such as the experience one gets working at a local hardware store is beneficial to a plumber apprentice candidate.
Military members applying for a plumbers apprenticeship, no training hour credit can be granted unless the applicant has plumbing experience and can meet Minnesota code standards. Veteran’s can search job opportunities at www.helmetstohardhards.org.
An employer/contractor/apprenticeship instructor may require drug and alcohol testing of employees and applicants for employment, including random testing.