Plumbers are the folks you call when a pipe bursts, a toilet is backed up, you have no hot water, your dishwasher isn’t working, or you’ve taken on water in the basement and don’t know why.
They are the heroes that save us from being stinky, waterless, and having to do our dishes by hand.
All jokes aside, plumbing is not an easy job, and it takes a lot to become licensed in Portland, Oregon, just like it does in the rest of the country.
Plumbers are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining systems that keep us in safe and sanitary conditions.
If those systems are unsafe, so are we.
That’s why becoming a fully licensed plumber in Oregon takes 5 years and many hours of schooling and hands-on training through an approved apprenticeship program.
But not to worry, as an apprentice, you do get paid.
In fact, Portland is pretty good, at an average of $42,000 per year.
The average fully licensed plumber makes $88,900 in Portland, OR, which is about 15% more than the national average.
If you’re interested in becoming a plumber in Portland, Oregon, read on for more information.
Portland Community College
About The School
Portland Community College opened in 1971, and is the largest post-secondary school in Oregon.
With over 50,000 students, they offer skilled trades and associate degree programs.
Located in the heart of Portland, the school is close to public transportation, cultural, and social activities.
Portland Community College is accredited by the Northeastern Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Financial aid is available to qualified students.
The foundations of plumbing program is a self-paced course that is 145 hours in length.
Students have up to 12 months to complete the requirements and have the full support of an instructor.
The skills covered include plumbing terminology, use of tools and equipment, safety, residential and commercial plumbing systems, troubleshooting, and more.
The course can be taken independently or in conjunction with an apprenticeship.
Students must have a high school diploma.
The cost of the tuition is $2,450.
Address: 705 Killingsworth St. Portland, Oregon 97217
About The Program
Job Corps is the largest job training program in the United States that is completely free of charge and allows students to live on campus.
The program allows people ages 16-24 to learn a skilled trade, as well as workplace readiness and social skills.
Students are provided with a room, meals, clothing, an allowance, books, and everything else needed to succeed.
The plumbing program offers students the opportunity for classroom instruction and hands-on experience.
Skills covered include job safety, sanitary stay, drain cleaning, installation of fixtures, pipes, and water heaters.
Instruction will also include state codes, blueprint reading, and measurement math.
Address: 30 N. Webster St. Portland, Oregon 97207
About The Program
The Oregon Tradeswomen program helps the Portland community by providing free job training and education for women in need.
At the same time, they help other nonprofits and businesses in need by providing free improvements to their properties.
The Pathway To Success course is 192 hours long and uses a combination of classroom instruction, guest speakers, field trips, and hands-on training to expose women to different trade careers.
Upon completion of the course hours, students will be placed in an apprenticeship based on their choice of trade.
All applicants must have a high school diploma, be considered low-income, and pass a drug screen at the beginning and during the program.
The plumbing portion of the program focuses on safety, hand and power tools, building code, drainage systems, faucets, fixtures, and piping.
There are 30 hours of hands-on training in the field as well.
Students will be prepared to become plumbing or pipe fitting apprentices.
Address: 454 SE 18th St. Portland, Oregon 97233
Oregon Bureau Of Labor And Industries
About The Program
This nonprofit organization promotes and develops skilled workers throughout the state of Oregon.
They also protect workers’ rights and enforce compliance with the laws.
The Bureau partners with labor unions, government agencies, and educational institutions to educate, train, and find apprenticeships for people in areas like construction, allied health, electrical, and plumbing.
Once applicants have been processed, they are given the opportunity to take part in various pre-apprentice classes like communication skills, math, and other job readiness skills.
Applicants must pass all screenings including drug and background checks.
They will then be placed with one of the bureau’s partners into an approved apprenticeship for the plumbing trade.
Here, they will get paid, hands-on training in plumbing systems, including drainage systems, fixtures, and water heaters.
Address: 800 NE Oregon St. Portland, Oregon 97232
Read the full guide: How to Become a Plumber