Become a Plumber in Maryland
Have you always been interested in working in a skilled trade that allows you to work with your hands rather than sitting at a desk all day? If so, you might consider working as a plumber. It’s a career that pays well and offers plenty of opportunities for employment. Your skills will be in demand at both residential and commercial locations. You’ll install and repair pipes and fixtures, troubleshoot problems, read blueprints, follow building codes and inspect and test installed pipes and equipment.
Requirements for Becoming a Maryland Plumber
The minimum age to become a plumbing apprentice in Maryland is 16. An apprentice is an individual who is learning the trade under the direction of a Licensed Master Plumber. You can apply to be an apprentice through the Plumbing Board, and hours worked as an apprentice can be applied toward a Journey Plumber license.
Earning a high school diploma or the equivalent can benefit you when it comes to working with measurements and math, and it also makes it possible to pursue postsecondary education related to plumbing.
Where Can You Obtain Training to Become a Plumber in Maryland?
In Maryland, training is available at technical colleges and vocational schools as well as through apprenticeship programs. Some places that offer training in Maryland include:
- College of Southern Maryland. This college offers a Plumbing Helper Workforce Training Certificate. This consists of two courses that provide students with core plumbing skills. Students can pursue additional training and earn a Plumbing Technician Workforce Training Certificate.
- Maryland Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association. Interested candidates can apply for an apprenticeship through this organization. The apprenticeship program combines on-the-job training with professional instruction that prepares apprentices to learn the skills and knowledge required to pass the State Journey Test.
How Do You Become Licensed to Work as a Maryland Plumber?
The state of Maryland has three levels of plumbing licenses. While you’re learning the trade, you’ll obtain an apprentice license from the Plumbing Board. After you’ve held an apprentice license for four years and have completed 7,500 hours of experience under the direction of a Master Plumber, you’re eligible to take the exam to be a Journey Plumber.
Once you’ve held the journey license for two years and have completed 3,750 hours under the control and direction of a Master Plumber, you’re eligible to take the test to become a Master Plumber and apply for a Master Plumber license.
Employment Opportunities and Salary for Plumbers in Maryland
Plumbing can be a lucrative career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, across the United States, the median annual wage for plumbers as of May 2019 was $55,160. You’ll earn less as an apprentice than you will as you gain experience and additional licenses. In the state of Maryland, plumbers earned an average salary of $59,266 as of July 2020, according to Salary.com. Maryland plumber salary ranged from $51,548 to $67,805.
Plumbing is a growing field, and employment of plumbers is expected to grow as much as 14 percent all over America between 2018 and 2028, according to CareerOneStop. In Maryland, growth is projected to be slightly less than the national average but still solid at 10 percent between 2016 and 2026.
What’s it Like to Work as a Maryland Plumber?
When you pursue a career as a plumber, your work will be anything but predictable. Plumbing problems may come up around the clock, and even if you work primarily during the day, you may have to be on call nights and weekends. You’ll need to be prepared to work in less than ideal conditions such as outdoors in all types of weather. You may have to climb ladders, lift heavy materials and work in tight spaces.
A career as a plumber can be rewarding, since you’ll know you’re helping others and providing an essential service. Job opportunities are available all over Maryland, particularly in or near large cities such as Baltimore.