Plumber apprentice applicants must be 18 years old and a graduate of a recognized high school. If the applicant has not graduated from an accredited high school then he or she must have a valid GED. A plumber apprentice is an individual learning the specialized trade of plumbing from a plumber or organization appropriately registered and the apprentice must be working under the guidance of a journeyman or master plumber.
A helper plumber apprenticeship involves 4 to 5 years of education, with 144 of those hours yearly being classroom education and the rest hands on experience. The classroom work includes all manner of technical education, including but not limited to blue print reading, chemistry, plumbing codes, math skills and local regulations.
An apprentice plumber learns under the supervision of a journeyperson or master plumber. Apprentices make less than journeyman, but as time during the apprenticeship goes on and skill level increases, so do wages. Journeyman plumbers have worked for at least 3 years as an apprentice and have also successfully completed 300 hours of classroom education. Master plumbers have passed an examination and have at least 100 hours education in advanced plumbing techniques. Master plumber frequently own their own businesses and employ journeyman and apprentices.