Careers in plumbing normally require the completion of an apprenticeship, though some have gained experience as assistants. Others attend technical school to earn a degree, the credits of which can be used toward completing an apprenticeship. Although many routes to become a plumber are available, a high-school diploma or equivalent is required, as is licensing in many US states.
Many technical schools are available for general or specialized training. Technical schools offer courses on pipe system design, safety, and tool use, as well as welding courses considered to be necessary by some pipefitter and steamfitter apprenticeship training programs.
Most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade during a 4–5-year apprenticeship. With additional coursework and several years of plumbing experience, plumbers can become eligible to earn master status.
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