Careers In The Trades: Plumbers

Plumbing installed at a new home construction site.
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CHARLOTTE – The outlook is good for those high school students, graduates and adults seeking a career alternative that offers good pay and provides various options to pursue in a growing trade in need of certified workers, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs.

FATman Plumbing Pro supporting local youth.
FATman Plumbing Pro supporting local youth.

To learn more about the plumbing profession, we contacted Chris Lovick, Owner of FATman Plumbing Pro located in Waxhaw, North Carolina, who had expressed an interest in wanting to participate in our feature articles about different career options available for many of our young people.

First, the writer had to ask Lovick, how did the name of the company originate? “It’s an acronym for ‘faucet and toilet plumbing professional,'” he stated.  “The mission statement behind FATman Plumbing Pro is faithful and trusted one.”

The requirements to become a plumber vary from state to state. In North Carolina, aspiring plumbers must meet the state requirements of two years of both technical training and 2,000 hours of on-the-job site training or 4,000 hours of on-the-job training. Once accomplished, a candidate can apply for a license examination application and enclosed associated testing fees will be provided. The candidate must apply, take, and pass the state examination, said Lovick.

According to Lovick, someone wanting to become a plumber should apply for a plumbing job with a company that has A+ credits. Also, some college courses to earn a certificate or a two-year associate’s degree may be available to pursue. It could prove to be beneficial in getting your first job to gain the experience required to fulfill the state requirement of on-the-job training and the possibility of an internship to get your foot in the door of a potential employer. Also, the most popular program option nationwide for aspiring plumbers is an apprenticeship.

Plumbing plan for a kitchen and homesite.
Plumbing plan for a kitchen and homesite.

Regarding job opportunities in the industry, it will vary depending upon location. There are online job sites such as Indeed or ZipRecruiter that will help an individual to find and locate a good fit for themselves to accomplish their goal of achieving a professional plumber’s license or advancing their career in the field.

The average plumber earns $56,000 annually in North Carolina as of July 28, 2021, according to data researched and information provided. The typical range is between $48,700 to $64,100 annually. Ultimately, a plumber’s salary depends upon experience, knowledge, location, and on the job performance.

Some of the top skills you will need to be a good plumber? The ability to access confined spaces, apply adhesives, sealants, and caulk, and clean sewer lines; physical hand and arm strength; ability to install appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, water softeners, and water heaters; installing pipe systems for gas, water steam, and other liquids; and manual dexterity, and precision. There are other skills required including some creativity, flexibility, problem-solving, and the ability to make on-the-job adjustments to ensure a particular job is done correctly and professionally based on the situation encountered.

Plumbing may not be a career for everyone, but those who have an interest should check their options online for technical and trade school training. Also, contact A+ plumbing companies in our area to discuss apprenticeship opportunities that will meet your on-the-job experience required while working and learning alongside a certified professional as your mentor teaches the necessary skills required for success.

“It’s extremely important to listen and learn every aspect of the trade,” said Chris Lovick, Owner of FATman Plumbing Pros. If you are in need of a plumber, feel free to contact local professionals like FATman Plumbing Pros, at (704)550-8626, and for appointments

We will be featuring a different profession or trade each month, and how to become an electrician will be highlighted in October.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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