A plumber is a licensed tradesman who specializes in maintaining and installing drainage, ventilating and plumbing systems used in public plumbing systems, especially buildings constructed before 1976. Plumbers also install sanitary systems such as drinking water systems, showers, lavatories, and toilets. They are required to have a license and be registered with the local government to practice. There are numerous plumbing contractors across the country that specialize in various kinds of plumbing services. Some of the common plumbing services that a plumber might offer include repairing burst pipes, installing storm water drainage systems, removing asbestos from walls and ceilings, repairing septic tanks and installing appliance boilers.
The plumbing trade requires plumbers to complete an apprenticeship program. Plumbers who successfully completed the apprenticeship program are allowed to take the state board exam. Once the plumber passes the exam, he is qualified to take the state licensure exam. Once licensed plumbers can work for themselves under the supervision of a union plumber or on their own. On the other hand, if they wish to go on and acquire higher qualifications, they may seek on-the-job training from an accredited plumbing school.
In the United Kingdom, plumbing companies are governed by the Civil Contract (NCB) rule. Under this rule, an individual who has reached the legal age to work in the United Kingdom and who has passed all assessments for state certification are eligible for apprenticeship in plumbing. To apply for an apprenticeship an applicant needs to fulfill the following criteria: he should have a high school diploma or the equivalent; he should have taken a placement examination (which is usually held before or during the final semester of primary education); he should have passed the examinations required for eligibility; and he should have passed the final examination required for eligibility to sit for the National Plumbing Company exam. Plumbing companies in the United Kingdom offer apprenticeship programs for plumbers who have completed their coursework and wish to pursue plumbing careers.
The plumber who reaches the legal age and who has passed all assessments for state certification is eligible for certification at the National Plumbing Company. After certification, he/she will be entitled to take an examination for a registered plumbing contractor (RNTC) license. To become eligible for passing the examination an applicant must have completed at least 500 hours of approved apprenticeship training. A minimum of five years of experience in a related field is also required. If the candidate does not hold a RNTC license, then he/she is eligible for taking up a non-requisites license.
During the course of his apprenticeship, the plumber will be trained on installation, repair and maintenance of water supply lines, sewer systems, and water fixtures. He will also be exposed to different plumbing technologies including CCTV, video surveillance, and video glass. Once he/she becomes a qualified plumber, he/she will then be entitled to receive an annual salary on completion of his/her course. The plumbing contractors who perform work in public residential and commercial buildings must be licensed by the government agencies providing local government contracts. The plumbing systems that are built by these plumbers must adhere to state and federal regulations regarding safety and sanitation.
Certified plumbers can work in different fields like waste management, drinking water treatment, construction of water pipelines, construction of sewer and gas pipelines, and plumbing for commercial plumbing purposes. It is the plumbers’ responsibility to identify the exact cause of the blockage in the pipe joint and then fix the problem. Some of the plumbing problems that plumbers deal with include issues with blocked sewage lines, leaking sewage pipes, repairing broken sewer lines, repairing gas and sewer lines, testing water pressure and leakages, repairing or replacing kitchen sinks and toilets, and installing appliance drains such as clothes washers and drainpipes. Certified plumbers can also work on water softening projects, sewer pipe repairs and water line replacements.