A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN LOUISIANA
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 9,830 plumbers in Louisiana. The state of Louisiana is situated in the Deep South Region of South-Central United States. As of 2020, the state has a population of 4.6 million people and is the 24th most populous state in the USA. Similar to other states in the region, Louisiana ranks low in terms of health, educational and developmental factors and high in terms of poverty. In 2019, the state had a total gross state product of $240.48 billion and a personal per capita income of $30,952. Louisiana has an unemployment rate of 5.3% but is also one of the most-friendly states for small businesses. Louisiana has 40,000 linear miles of river, streams and bayous. Water is the most abundant and also the most important resource for the state. In this context, this article will focus on the career prospects of plumbers and provide a guide on how to become a plumber in Louisiana.
As mentioned above there are 9,830 people employed in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry in Louisiana. 5.12 out of every 1000 persons are involved in this field. The average annual salary of a plumber in this state is $55,650. The range extends from $34,030 to $78,080. A plumber in Louisiana earns approximately $26.75 per hour. A plumber apprentice’s average hourly salary is $13.56. A journeyman plumber in this state earns $22.62 per hour. The wages of plumbers keep increasing as they gain more experience and can go up to $30 per hour. Cities paying highest wages to plumbers in Louisiana are Mandeville, Slidell and Kenner. Plumbers are in high demand in the state of Louisiana.
WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN LOUISIANA
Plumbing is a hazardous activity and those working at outdoor projects might be exposed to risks from time to time. Plumbing businesses are also subject to property and financial damages. It is therefore recommended that plumbers consider getting insurance policy to cover their assets.
All plumbers in Louisiana must have the following kind of insurances:
- Property Damage Liability Insurance
- Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance for service trucks
- Workers’ Compensation Insurance for plumbers who work with employees
- Comprehensive General Liability Insurance for a minimum aggregate amount of one hundred thousand dollars. For plumbing work done in parishes with a population of thirty thousand persons or less on buildings, residences, or structures not having more than six thousand square feet of interior space, the minimum aggregate amount shall be fifty thousand dollars.
HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN LOUISIANA:
- Must be 16 years of age or above
- High School diploma or GED Certificate (Optional)
- College Degree or Vocational Courses (Optional)
- Must have work experience as an apprentice plumber
- Must pass the Licensing Tests
Provided below is a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Louisiana.
HOW TO BECOME AN APPRENTICE PLUMBER IN LOUISIANA:
The first milestone on the road to acquiring a plumber’s license is to become an apprentice plumber. Louisiana requires apprentice plumbers to pass an exam in order to gain their apprentice plumber license. Those applying for apprenticeship programs can be 1 years of age and above but must possess the physical capabilities required to do the work. Apprentices should also be able to read instructions and have basic knowledge of plumbing math. After passing the aptitude test, students will be accepted by licensed plumbers or local unions for plumbing apprenticeships.
At these programs, plumbers receive hands-on training in addition to 144 hours of classroom training through technical courses. These apprenticeships usually last for 3-4 years and the plumbers learn about the basics of pipe-fitting, cutting, repairing, water systems, installation of appliances, carpentry skills etc.
HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PLUMBER IN LOUISIANA:
There are 3 kinds of plumbing licenses in Louisiana:
- Apprentice plumber license
- Journeyman plumbing license
- Master plumber license
The state does not require a plumbing license for plumbing work costing $10,000 or less.
How to become a journeyman plumber:
In order to perform plumbing work as a journeyman, it is mandatory to have a license. The first step after completing the apprenticeship is to take the journeyman plumbing exam. A journeyman plumber must have previously accumulated 8,000 hours of work as a licensed plumber. 3 licensed plumbers are also required to sign the candidate’s application. While waiting to take the exam, a candidate can get a temporary work permit. The plumbing exam is a 3-hour open book test with the Louisiana Plumbing Code.
How to become a master plumber:
A master plumber must have 5 years of work experience a licensed journeyman plumber. There is no limit with regard to the kind of work that a master plumber can perform with an exception of work related to medical gas and water supply protection. The latter requires a special kind of licensing. In order to gain a master plumber exam, there is another 3-part exam that candidates are required to pass. The three parts consist of 145 questions and go on for 7 hours in total.
A plumbing license in Louisiana must be renewed every year by the 31st of December. The renewal fee is $100 and plumbers can opt for the license to be renewed for a period of one, two or three years. For the license to be renewed, candidates are required to fulfil a certain number of hours as a continuing education requirement:
- Journeyman plumbers – 4 hours
- Master plumbers – 6 hours
PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN LOUISIANA:
Enrolling in a vocational course on plumbing is not mandatory for acquiring a license. A lot of candidates however, look for such courses because these offer an all-round exposure to the students through theoretical and practical training. These vocational courses also help students in gaining quick acceptance at apprenticeship programs or further employment. This section of the article will list out a number of trade schools in Louisiana that offer plumbing programs:
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors’ Association of Louisiana, Baton Rouge – offers continuing education courses for journeymen and master plumbers. These courses are conducted at various locations and hep in license renewal.
- Delgado Community College, New Orleans – offers an online course on plumbing the cost of which is $2,195. This is a self-paced course in which students learn about some basic aspects of the plumbing and the piping industry. By the end of the course, students are equipped with job-ready skills and know how to work on modern plumbing systems.
- Sowela Technical Community College, Lake Charles – offers a number of plumbing training and apprenticeship programs. Students acquire the skills of plumbing construction technicians and trade helpers. These courses offer introductory training on plumbing math, trade technology and job health and safety.
- Northshore Technical Community College, Hammond – offers a similar online course as above. In addition to that, this college also offers an electrician program that provides specialised instruction and practical shop experience that helps students to gain employment in electrical trades.
- Central Louisiana Technical Community College, Alexandria – their welding program prepares students for careers in plumbing, pipe-fitting, construction, extraction industries etc. This program takes 2 years to complete and the overall cost is approximately $2,402.
- River Parishes Community College, Sorrento – offers a 1-year course on pipe-fitting. Students learn about basic pipe-fitting tools, core industry safety, blueprint reading, field measuring, pipe fabrication etc.
- Capital Area Technical College, Baton Rouge – offers 2 1-year programs on plumbing and heating. In the plumbing year, students learn about pipe fittings and tools required for installation. Domestic water heating using different technologies also falls under the curriculum. Both the plumbing and heating courses include a nationally-registered curriculum.
- UA Local 198 Plumbers and Pipe-fitters Joint Training and Apprenticeship Program, Baton Rouge – offers an apprenticeship and journeyman training program that prepares students for a better future in the plumbing and construction trade.
It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic is having and will have a profound impact on all industries of the world. USA has received a major blow on multiple fronts. The state of Louisiana has had the highest number of per capita cases of Covid-19 in the United States. The Area Deprivation Index revealed that there is a positive connection between neighbourhood deprivation and Covid-19 cases in Louisiana. Individuals residing in more deprived areas had a 40% higher risk of getting infected by the virus than those living in more developed regions. This has become a major cause of concern for the health department of Louisiana and created a need for clean water and proper sanitisation. There is a need to develop clean and environmentally sustainable appliances for water usage to prevent further health risk. In this context, the significance of good plumbing services has increased manifold.
It has been expected that plumbers will constantly be on the receiving end of a huge call volume. There will be an urgent need for plumbers to protect the health of the inhabitants of Louisiana and make healthy use of the state’s most abundant resource.
It can therefore be said that despite the slight dip that the plumbing industry has had to face this year, the demand for plumbers will rise in the days to come.