How to Become a Plumber in Michigan

Plumbers repair and install pipe and drainage systems.
Plumbers repair and install pipe and drainage systems. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Plumbers are trained professionals who install and repair drainage and pipe systems. Plumbers receive extensive on-the-job training and, in the state of Michigan, must be licensed. The plumbing profession in Michigan is regulated by the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for plumbers is expected to increase, resulting in an increase of 16 percent more jobs from 2008 to 2018. The bureau also reports that the highest paid plumbers made as much as $37.93 per hour as of 2008.

Complete the minimum education requirements--a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.

Take vocational courses or courses from a technical school or community college. Macomb Community College, Bay de Noc Community College, Henry Ford Community College and Kellogg Community College all offer coursework in pipe fitting and plumbing. For instance, Henry Ford Community College offers a certificate program in energy technology that takes less than one year to complete and covers basic aspects of plumbing including studies in fundamental pipe fitting and plumbing, blueprint reading, hot water and steam heating systems and materials joining and the fundamentals of fabrication.

Obtain a position as an apprentice. This is the most common way that plumbers learn to do their job. An apprenticeship allows you to work under a master plumber and get paid while you learn. Apprenticeship programs typically last four years, but some can go five. In Michigan, once you have been accepted as an apprentice, you must file a form with the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth within 30 days of starting your training.

Apply for your journeyman's license through the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. To apply for a license in Michigan, you must be at least 18 years of age, have worked for a minimum of three years as an apprentice and pass the examination required by the state. The application for a journeyman's license must be accompanied by an examination fee. You must also pay a separate fee to be licensed by the state. As of 2010, the examination fee was $100 and the licensing fee was $40.

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