Plumbers will always be in demand, all over the world, including in the State of Georgia.
If you want your job to have the possibility of turning into a career, you can consider becoming a plumber.
Through this guide, you’ll learn what are the steps to enter this trade in Georgia.
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Plumber Job Description and Requirements
This job involves working with your hands quite a lot, so this is something to keep in mind when trying to decide.
You’ll often have to work outside regardless of weather conditions, and not everyone can or is willing to do so.
Carrying various heavy items is also to be expected, at least from time to time.
Most of the tasks you’ll be expected to complete include:
- Installing, repairing and maintaining water supply systems
- Installing, repairing and maintaining sewage systems
- Installing, repairing and maintaining gas piping systems
- Reading blueprints
- Ensuring the safety regulations are met
All these procedures will include actions such as:
Choosing and using various tools in a certain order is how these actions and tasks are performed.
However, you cannot perform any of these tasks without a proper license.
You’ll need to first enroll in a training program and only after you can obtain your plumber license.
There are 3 licenses available in Georgia:
- Journeyman plumber license,
- Master plumber license Class I,
- Plumber license Class II.
Plumber Training in Georgia
The most common way of completing your training is through an apprenticeship.
You can also enroll in a vocational college, but you’ll still have to complete an apprenticeship period.
This period is about 4 years long, or 8,000 hours in total.
You should know that classroom education is mandatory for those who choose to go straight for the apprenticeship.
You’ll have to attend 160 hours in a classroom, although online classes are also available with some programs.
As an apprentice, you’ll work supervised by a licensed master plumber and also earn a wage just like the other plumbers.
The requirements to enroll in these programs are as follows:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a high school diploma or GED
- Have the physical ability to perform the job
- Fill out an application form
You’ll study topics such as:
- Foundations of mathematics,
- Plumbing drawings,
- Water supply systems,
- Drainage systems
- Plumbing codes
Becoming a Journeyman Plumber in Georgia
Like in most states, if you want to become a journeyman plumber, you’ll have to first complete your apprenticeship.
Your next step is to pass an exam and you can only sit through the test after applying.
To become a journeyman you need at least 3 years of experience as an apprentice.
These professionals can install, maintain, alter, or repair plumbing fixtures and systems, while still being supervised.
Becoming a Master Plumber
As already mentioned, there are two licenses available to those who want to become master plumbers.
- Class I
- Class II
To become a Class I master plumber you need to accumulate at least 5 years of experience in the field, with 2 years of primary experience.
These professionals are allowed to complete repairs, installation, and drainage work on dwellings designed for no more than 2 families.
In some cases, they can work on commercial structures that are smaller than 10,000 square feet.
For the Class II master plumber license you need:
- At least 5 years of experience, with 2 years of primary experience
- Experience in the commercial and/or industrial setting
These professionals have no restrictions when contracting plumbing jobs.
Plumber Salary Information
Plumbers start earning money since they enroll in the apprenticeship program.
When you start working the paycheck will be rather low, but it will gradually increase the more time you work in the field.
In cities like Atlanta, Athens, Roswell, and Alpharetta, you have the possibility of earning more than in the rest of the state.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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The plumbing licenses are valid for 2 years but you’ll be reminded 2 months in advance, and the renewal fee is $75.
If you plan on moving to or away from Georgia, you should know that this state doesn’t have any license reciprocity agreement with any other state.
Plumbers also need to have insurance that will cover damages to the property or injuries to the client.
The Georgia Board of Construction Industry has more information related to how much money you need for insurance.
As a plumber, you have the possibility of joining a union because this brings many benefits, such as access to a pension plan, a higher salary, and health insurance.
The disadvantages include having to pay a union membership fee and having to obey regulations you may not agree with.