In-Demand Jobs: How to Pursue a Plumbing Career

A strong U.S. economy has produced a construction surge that is projected to continue for the foreseeable future. Associated Builders and Contractors recently ranked Arizona third in the nation for policies that support continued construction growth.

Unfortunately, the number of new tradespeople entering the construction industry has not kept up with this demand. Ninety-five percent of Arizona contractors report having difficulty keeping enough skilled workers on the job. To avoid costly construction delays, contractors are trying harder than ever to recruit new professionals to the skilled trades. 

Plumbers are currently among the most sought-after skilled workers in construction. Because of this demand, careers in plumbing offer job security, competitive salaries, and a variety of options for work environments. 

Plumbers make an average of nearly $49,000 per year in Arizona, making it one of the highest-paid construction trades. That salary only increases with years of experience and state licensure.

Education and Training

Employers are seeking to build a highly-skilled, well-educated workforce for the improvement of the industry. Naturally, the first step to becoming a plumber is getting the right training.

Prior to taking the contractor licensing exams with the state of Arizona, prospective plumbers are required to complete an apprenticeship program. Apprentices earn a respectable hourly wage while learning their craft, typically over the course of about four years. Apprenticeships have affordable fees that can be paid overtime, without requiring student loans. 

Trade schools also offer plumbing education in a classroom setting with hands-on training integrated into the curriculum. Graduates of trade school programs leave with an associates of applied science (AAS) degree or a certificate of completion in the plumbing trade.

Those who are still undecided on a plumbing career might want to begin with a pre-apprenticeship program. This is a series of courses, sometimes offered online, that serves as an introduction to the plumbing profession. A pre-apprenticeship teaches basic terminology, safety guidelines, and an overall survey of the plumbing industry.

Plumbing Licensure

Once an apprenticeship has been completed, Arizona plumbers are considered journeyman plumbers until they have obtained a plumbing license.

To apply for a license in Arizona, plumbers are required to pass a business management exam, as well as a test related to their preferred career path (commercial or residential plumbing). After passing these exams, plumbers can then apply for their state license to become a master plumber.

Opportunities in Plumbing 

A plumbing career isn’t limited to making house calls and fixing leaky pipes. In reality, residential plumbing is just one option among many for licensed plumbers. With a commercial plumbing license, you can specialize in installing plumbing in new construction projects, as well as servicing office buildings, or even industrial properties. 

Some plumbers may choose to remain an independent contractor and start their own plumbing business. Others opt to work hourly as a subcontractor on various new construction projects. There are also plenty of full-time positions in commercial plumbing, or multi-family residential plumbing.

Whatever the plumbing career path you have in mind, SitePro Solutions can match you with the right employment opportunity. To view our current plumbing job openings, visit