anytime plumbing
12 Oct

How Long Does It Take To Become A Plumber?

Plumbers are responsible for maintaining your home’s water, gas, and septic lines, and ensuring that appliances and fixtures like taps, showers, and toilets are working properly.

But have you ever wondered how long it takes to become a plumber, and what it involves? Whether you’re interested in a lucrative and always-growing career, or are just wondering what kind of education your plumber has, read on – and get the answers you need.

Step 1 – Graduate From High School Or Get A GED

Most plumbing programs require applicants to have completed high school, or to have a GED or similar equivalency degree, so this is the first step in the process of becoming a plumber.

Step 2 – Attend Plumbing Trade School Or Get An Apprenticeship

Interested plumbers can attend a 2-year plumbing trade school to learn the basics about the job and get hands-on experience – this is usually the fastest way to get started with plumbing.


However, plumbers who prefer to learn on the job may take on an apprenticeship under a licensed plumber. These apprenticeships take 2-5 years, depending on the program.

Step 3 – Become A Journeyman Plumber

After graduating from trade school or completing an apprenticeship, a plumber will become a “journeyman,” and can provide plumbing services under the supervision of a licensed plumber.

In California, journeymen can take on jobs that value less than $500 in labor and materials. Plumbers typically work as journeymen for at least 4-5 years.

Step 4 – Take The CSLB Exam & Get A Plumbing License In California

In California, a journeyman must have at least 4 years of experience before they take the California Plumbing Exam from the CSLB to get a full plumbing license. This exam covers 5 main subjects:

  1. Planning and Estimating
  2. Rough-in Plumbing Systems
  3. Finish Plumbing Installations
  4. Service, Repair, and Remodel Plumbing Systems
  5. Worker and Job Site Safety

After completing this test and becoming licensed, a plumber can take on any and all projects related to plumbing, even those exceeding $500.

At this point, they can start their own business or work with other certified plumbers to provide comprehensive plumbing services. They can also take on apprentices.

It Usually Takes Between 6-9 Years To Get A Plumbing License & Become A Full Plumber

So, how long does it take to become a plumber? After a plumber graduates high school, they must attend trade school for 2 years, or be an apprentice plumber for anywhere from 2-5 years, depending on the program.

Then, they can become a journeyman plumber – and after holding this certification for 4 years, they can apply for a full plumbing license, and become a certified plumber in California.

This means the total time it takes is somewhere between 6-9 years, depending on the trade school or apprenticeship program used to obtain the license.

This may seem like a long time, but plumbing is a very specialized field – and proper safety, knowledge, and understanding are critical for plumbers.

Get Help From Our Licensed Plumbers In Santa Cruz!

At Anytime Plumbing, our plumbers are fully licensed, and are experts in all plumbing jobs. Whether you need to unclog a drain, redo your bathroom, or need help with any other job involving your home’s plumbing systems, we’re here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at 831-212-3188 to get the assistance you need in Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas.

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