Your plumber's license means you know how to work with materials like copper and PVC to move water and waste in residential and commercial settings. But with a pipefitting certification, you can also showcase your ability to design and install pressurized pipe systems for industrial purposes. Sample certifications include:
You learned how to weld and braze pipes during your apprenticeship, but are you actually good at it? Having a welding or brazing certification on your resume tells a potential employer that you're truly a skilled pro. In addition to certifications offered by local unions, consider the following:
If you're particularly interested in working with gas systems, make sure your resume contains a couple of these certifications:
Do you know the Uniform Plumbing Code backward and forward? Do you already stay up to date on code changes like it's your job? Then maybe it should
be your job. These certifications may help you land a position as a plumbing inspector:
Plumbers play an important role in reducing water waste. But beyond that, do you know what materials are effective and environmentally friendly? Do you know about the latest green technologies and strategies? These certification courses will bring you up to speed and help you earn business from environmentally conscious clients.
Do you enjoy the technical or problem-solving side of plumbing? Then you might be interested in design certifications. Although these don't take the place of an engineering degree, you can learn the basics of designing efficient plumbing systems in a variety of settings, including skyscrapers, hospitals, and chemical labs. You can also learn how to incorporate fire safety in such designs.
Although not unique to the plumbing trade, safety certifications demonstrate that you prioritize on-the-job safety, and in the case of first-aid certifications, that you're a good person to have around in the event of an emergency.
Just starting out? Show employers you mean business by obtaining these general certifications to supplement your resume. They lay a good foundation for other certification programs you may enroll in at a later date, but they don't take the place of the formal training required to become a licensed plumber. In fact, you'll typically need a certain amount of experience to qualify for these exams in the first place.
No. A license grants you legal authority to provide plumbing services. A certification confirms that you have a certain level of skill and knowledge in a particular area. Almost all states
require plumbers to obtain licenses. Plumbing certificates are generally not required by state or local governments, but they're strongly recommended to maintain a competitive edge in the industry.
Yes. You'll need to periodically renew a certificate to confirm that you still remember the specific knowledge and skills, and to show you've remained up to date on evolving best practices in the industry. The expiration date varies from certificate to certificate. Many last for two to four years.
To avoid wasting time and resources, certifying organizations require individuals to apply for a certification exam. This confirms you have the necessary experience and training to do well on the exam. Requirements vary for every certificate. In some cases, you'll need to complete a specific educational program to take the certification exam.
No, certification exams are typically not free. Expect to pay $100 to $200 for most certifications and renewals. Your employer may be willing to sponsor these fees, since it's also in their best interest to have certified employees.
Ideally, your certification will come from a well-recognized and reputable association. A certification from a group no one has ever heard of doesn't carry the same clout. With that said, you can take certification exams online or in person, through a national or local association, or through a community college or university. Find the program that works well for you.
As a plumber, you're already part of the Proudly Essential Pros family, powered by MORSCO. But if there's a professional goal you want to achieve, these certifications can give you a boost while you keep your eye on the prize.