- One of the requirements that a plumber-to-be must fulfill early on is perhaps also one of the most critical. Most trade schools and community colleges offer certification and degree programs for those interested in becoming plumbers, and some independent organizations also offer training and certification opportunities. Individuals with pre-existing knowledge of the plumbing trade may qualify for a certification without additional training, though not all certification programs allow applicants to take the exam without paying for some measure of training.
- With the proper education and certification, a potential plumber still lacks experience that he must have before establishing his own plumber business. Depending on the state where the plumber resides, regulations may require a number of hours worked in an apprentice role. States that do not require apprenticeships may require a plumber to obtain experience in some other manner, like working for a commercial plumbing company, before he can establish his own business. Potential plumbers should consult a local occupational licensing authority to verify specifics on experience requirements.
- With certification and experience, a plumber is ready to establish his own plumbing enterprise. Like any business, though, a plumber must first obtain the proper licenses. In many areas, a plumber must obtain both a basic business license that allows him to conduct business in the city or county and a professional or vocational license that demonstrates licensure in his field. Depending on the state, county and municipality, these licenses may be obtained through the county clerk or municipal courthouse. In some locations, a separate state, county and municipal license must be obtained before advertising the plumbing business.
- A key component of any plumbing venture is a well stocked tool box. With proper tools, including a variety of wrenches and grips, a plumber can quickly and easily attack most plumbing jobs. The specific tools required vary depending on the plumber's specific business venture, but many plumbers may expect to purchase their own tools and toolbox. Plumbers who work on their own may also consider their vehicle a tool, and should invest in a well-stocked truck or van accordingly.
Get the Business Basics
- While plumbers who seek employment with large plumbing firms and commercial plumbing departments may have their business essentials provided, those who start their own plumbing businesses must provide some basic business necessities. Items like business cards, receipts, quote and invoice papers, and envelopes will help get the business rolling, and a dedicated mobile or land line telephone may help the business seem more professional.