How to Become a Plumber in Florida
As a plumber, you would install piping fixtures and systems as well as provide repairs and maintenance on them. This could include work in residential, industrial, governmental and commercial settings in bathrooms, kitchens and other areas where piping is present.
There is plenty of job opportunity working as a plumber in Florida or around the country, and this occupation pays well in relation to the fact that professionals generally get started through on-the-job training.
Requirements for Becoming a Plumber in Florida
You can become a plumber with a high school diploma or GED. It’s not required for you to go through an educational program to get started in this role, although programs do exist through vocational and technical schools. These programs can teach you about pipe system design, tool use, welding and related topics.
The common way to become a plumber is to perform an apprenticeship as a form of on-the-job training. These paid apprenticeships tend to include 2,000 hours of training in addition to technical instruction per year for four to five years.
Check into apprenticeship training programs in advance. Some require welding courses before you start and some may include the technical instruction you would receive through a separate training course. Sometimes the apprenticeship is part of a career or technical school.
Training Courses in Florida
You can find various apprenticeships and training programs to become a plumber in Florida. These are some available to you:
- UA Local 295 Plumbers & Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship: Located in Daytona Beach, this apprenticeship takes place on Saturdays and lasts for five years.
- South Florida Institute of Technology: The plumbing technician course in Miami teaches plumbing knowledge, water supply systems and more in preparation for plumber apprenticeships.
- Orange Technical College: This is a paid apprenticeship with no-cost training that takes place in Winter Park.
- The College of the Florida Keys: This is an apprenticeship that includes paid on-the-job training and free classes. It takes place in the Middle Keys.
Working as an Apprentice Plumber in Florida
An apprenticeship is a common path to becoming a plumber in Florida as well as in other states. This path allows you to start on-the-job training so you’re immediately working and being paid in the profession.
As an apprentice, you work with a master or journeyman plumber who has experience in the field. You learn from a trained, experienced professional as you assist with small tasks. As you gain years of experience and qualifications, you work your way up to the journeyman and master levels to increase your pay and your job opportunities.
The experience you gain as an apprentice is essential for fulfilling the four-year experience requirements of gaining licensing to practice as a plumber in Florida.In general, a plumbing apprenticeship in Florida tends to last four to five years, and includes instruction on plumbing and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training per year.
Plumbing apprenticeships in Florida are posted on regular job board websites such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter. The Florida Department of Education has a site with registered apprenticeship programs. Or you can perform a Google search for a program that is local to you. For example, these are some local plumbing apprenticeships in Florida:
- Broward County Plumbers & Pipefitters JATC, Fort Lauderdale
- Plumbers & Pipefitters of Daytona Beach UA 295, Daytona Beach
- The College of the Florida Keys, Middle Keys
- Orange Technical College, Winter Park
Certification or Licensing for Becoming a Plumber in Florida
To be a plumber in Florida, you need a license from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which requires showing you have four years of work experience or a combination of education and experience. You need to pass an exam. You also need insurance, including property damage, public liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
You have the option to get certification in certain plumbing specialties to improve your job prospects. Also, there are different licensing levels, and you can move up from an apprentice to a journeyman to a master plumber as you gain experience.
Career Outlook and Salary Expectations
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers have an anticipated job outlook growth of 14 percent from 2018 to 2028. This growth rate is considered much faster than the average across all occupations, and this means increasing opportunities in the field expected over the coming years.
The average plumber salary in Florida is $20.41 per hour or $42,617 per year, according to Indeed. This is lower than the national average. It’s also likely for a plumber to make overtime income.
Working as a Plumber in Florida
Most plumbers work for plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors, states the BLS. Alternatively, some are self-employed or work for construction, government or manufacturing employers. The work is usually full-time but can be as-needed and can involve being on call during evenings and weekends in case of a piping emergency.
Becoming a plumber in Florida could provide you with good job prospects in a steady career field. You can get started as an apprentice through on-the-job training or start with a training program.