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Education And Training

Richard Noble, a plumber for thirty-four years in New Jersey, explains the ways in which one goes about becoming a plumber: “It takes five years of practical experience in the plumbing trade, working under a journeyman [experienced] plumber. After five years, you apply for a state license and then take a test. The test is all about the plumbing code, which specifies what is required by law for the installation of water lines, waste and vent lines, and building structures.”

Most plumbers learned the ins and outs of the trade working as a plumber's apprentice, or helper. Apprentices are often required to carry some of the plumber's heavy equipment and perform some of the lesser tasks of the job. But in exchange for their work, they get hands-on experience in the field. Once a helper learns the many different tasks a plumber must be able to do, he or she is able to start out as a full-fledged plumber.

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