How to Become a Plumber in New York
You might not think about it much, but plumbing is an essential infrastructure, without which life would be much more difficult. Not only does plumbing bring water right into the home, but it is also used in heating and cooling systems and to deliver various gasses used for industry and medicine. With such a high demand for working plumbing systems, a career as a plumber has a lot of promise.
So, what is it like working as a plumber? It can vary depending on how you specialize your skills or where you work. In general, though, plumbers spend much of their time installing, inspecting, maintaining and repairing various types of piping and systems. Other duties can include preparing estimates, reading blueprints, checking pipes, troubleshooting problems and welding.
Working as a plumber will require a great deal of physical stamina and manual dexterity. You will often need to work in tight spaces, finding and repairing leaks. A good eye for detail and the ability to communicate with coworkers and customers will also be essential skills.
A basic plumbing program may cover some of the following topics:
- Vent systems
- Plumbing codes
- Construction education. Eg. Construction safety
- Plumbing maintenance
- Use of hand and power tools
- Plumbing drawings
- Water distribution systems
- Commercial and residential plumbing systems
- Plumbing fixtures such as carbon steel pipe, copper, and cast-iron
- Drainage systems
- Air conditioning
- How to maintain and repair pipes
- Design plumbing systems
Licensing in New York
Although New York State does not require licensing for plumbers, local regulations often govern their work. For instance, in New York City you will need to become licensed as a Master Plumber if you want to supervise other plumbers. It will be necessary to check the local regulations in the areas in which you wish to work for specific requirements.
Plumbing Schools in New York
Prior to training in the field, you will need to have acquired a high school diploma or equivalent. Once completed, training is generally sought through an educational course, apprenticeship or a combination of the two. Options for training prospective plumbers in New York include:
- Berks Trade and Business School in Long Island City offers a Comprehensive Plumbing Maintenance Program. The 30-week plumbing course will teach students to measure, connect and install various systems as well as to read blueprints and design drawings. Once completed, graduates will be prepared to begin working as plumbing apprentices.
- SUNY Delhi in Delhi offers a course in Plumbing and Electrical Instrumentation. Students will learn to install, maintain and repair plumbing and heating systems as well as become familiar with New York State code.
For those looking for local apprenticeships, it is possible to begin training on the job by searching for a match in your area.
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Contact the financial office at the institute you are interested in for more information.
There are many specific areas in which a plumber can become certified. Obtaining a certification can help build your business potential within a specialized niche. Some examples of certifications include Residential Plumbing Inspector, Master Certified Green Professional, and Plumbing Plans Inspector.
Salaries and Career Growth Expectations in New York
Where wages and growth are concerned, this career is full of potential. According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers in New York are among the highest-paid in the nation, bringing home an average annual salary of $76,810 in 2021.
Job growth projection numbers for the career are also positive, with an expected 22 percent growth expected over the next 10 years.
Opportunities for Plumbers in New York
Since plumbing is such a vital infrastructure, plumbers are needed nearly everywhere, making the job potential in the plumbing industry incredibly varied. The most common industries in which plumbers are employed include building contracting, utility construction, non-residential building construction and local governments. In New York, potential employers include Roto-Rooter, Westchester Medical Center, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Mount Sinai.
Whether you are hoping to find a long-term position with benefits, run a business, or simply work for yourself, this career choice has the potential to help you fulfill your goals.