How to Become a Plumber in Nevada
Plumbing systems exist nearly everywhere that humans live. They bring water to homes and businesses, remove wastes, provide us with gas for cooking and heat and even help us stay cool. Plumbing can even be found in systems that supply industrial and medical gasses to manufacturers and hospitals.
With plumbing needed in so many residences and industries, is it any wonder that plumbers can be found working in so many institutions? If this is a career you’ve been considering and wondered if it would be a suitable choice for longevity and stability, the answer is yes. So, what is it like working as a plumber? Keep reading to find out.
Plumbers design, install, maintain and repair piping systems of all types. They often work in tight spaces, inspecting, cutting and replacing pipes. The work requires a great deal of knowledge about the trade, as plumbers are responsible for the safety of the systems they install. For instance, a plumber repairing a drinking system would need to know which pipes would contaminate the water.
The job requires plenty of physical stamina, a good eye for detail and the manual dexterity and strength to use the necessary tools. Plumbers also need to know how to properly price materials and labor to prepare estimates and contracting bids for potential clients. Other essential knowledge includes the ability to read blueprints and extensive understanding of building codes.
Licenses for Nevada Plumbers
Plumbers in Nevada need to acquire a license in order to work. Licenses are managed through the Nevada Board of Plumbing Examiners in two different varieties, Journeyman Plumber and Master Plumber. All applicants will be required to pass an examination.
Training Programs in Nevada
Training to become a plumber usually means participating in an apprenticeship or training program, for which a high school diploma is a required prerequisite. In Nevada, a few possible programs include:
- Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno offers an Apprenticeship Certificate of Achievement. The program covers a number of different professions, one of which is plumbing.
- The College of Southern Nevada, with campuses in Charleston, Henderson and North Las Vegas, offers an Associate of Applied Science in Construction Management. Students will learn the basics of various types of construction skills, with a focus on management.
- Western Nevada College in Carson City offers an Associate of Applied Science in Construction. This program also places a strong focus on management.
Plumbing Apprenticeships in Nevada
Wherever there are homes, businesses and industrial facilities, there will be a need for plumbers. Plumbers don’t just fix a leaky toilet—they are highly skilled professionals with the knowledge to design, maintain and install the complex systems that bring us safe and reliable water, natural gas and sanitation. Because this role is so crucial to the functioning of our society, most U.S. states strictly regulate and license plumbers, and this includes the state of Nevada.
The Nevada State Contractors’ Board is responsible for licensing plumbing contractors—senior-level plumbers who can bid on jobs and lead a plumbing team. You’ll need to prove four years of experience and take a business exam as well as an exam specific to plumbing in order to qualify.
The best way to get the experience you need is to become a plumbing apprentice. Apprenticeship is partly a job, partly training. You sign on to work for a company for four years and are paid a decent wage that increases as you learn. You’ll be taught everything there is to know by experienced plumbers, and will carry out increasingly challenging plumbing tasks under close supervision. It’s also a good way to learn what the industry is like in your area and to establish strong professional networks.
You can apply for apprenticeship positions like any other job, by searching on websites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter. Alternatively, you can find apprenticeships advertised by plumbing unions. For example, the plumbers’ union in Las Vegas maintains a robust apprenticeship program with its own training school.
Plumbers have the ability to achieve various certifications designed for specific types of tasks. For instance, a plumber can become certified as a Certified Plumbing Design Technician, a Plumbing Plans Examiner or a Residential Plumbing Inspector. Achieving these certifications could help you move your career in a new direction, qualify for specific types of jobs or accelerate your business.
Salary Expectations and Growth Projections
Plumbers’ salaries in Nevada are well above the national average of $59,800, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listing the average annual wage in the state for 2019 at $61,730. The difference between the top and bottom 10 percent is significant, with a range between $35,990 and $100,830.
Nationwide, the career can expect substantial growth, with Projections Central predicting a 13.7 percent job growth overall.
Nevada Plumbing Opportunities
Plumbers find jobs in a variety of industries, from schools and hospitals to plumbing companies small and large. Many even choose to own and operate their own business, sometimes as a one-person operation and other times as large companies with many employees. In Nevada, a few of the possible employers include Amentum, the State of Nevada, Atlantis Casino, Aerotek, the City of Las Vegas and the Army National Guard.