A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN MISSISSIPPI
The official statistics of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) state that there are approximately 2,940 people working as plumbers in Mississippi. Mississippi is situated in the South-eastern region of the United States of America. As of 2019, the state had a population of 2,976,149. The population growth has been facing a trend of decline as many of the residents are migrating to other states in search of jobs. Mississippi also falls among the smaller states of the USA. The rate of poverty is high in this state with the GDP growing at a rate of merely 0.8 % in the last 5 years. However, in 2019 Mississippi had a gross state product of $104.2 billion. The employment rate is also growing at a steady rate of 2.4%. The state has abundant water resources. The Water Resources Association is putting in a lot of efforts to ensure access to clean water for all as well as create economic opportunities through these resources. It is in this context that this article will explore the career prospects of plumbing and offer a detailed guide on how to become a plumber in Mississippi.
As mentioned above, there are about 2,940 people employed in the plumbing, pipe-fitting and steam-fitting industry in Mississippi. 2.61 persons people out of every 1000 people are employed in this sector. The average annual salary of a plumber in Mississippi is $46,610. The range of wages extends from $29,780 to around $61,250. Plumbers enjoy an average hourly wage of $33.34. The average salary for a journeyman plumber is $21.80 per hour. Master plumbers earn around $26.43 per hour. On an average, apprentice plumbers earn $14.32 to $17.35 per hour. As plumbers keep moving up the ladder of experience, their wages also start increasing. With the plumbing industry being expected to grow at a rate of 15.6% across the USA, it can also be expected that the scope for plumbing in Mississippi will grow as well and especially so once normalcy resumes, post the pandemic.
WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN MISSISSIPPI?
Insurance has become an important aspect of every occupation. It is essentially crucial for plumbers because they may be confronted with many dangers, owing to the nature of their work. Since plumbers come in contact with a variety of hazardous materials, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends Mississippi plumbers to get themselves the following vaccinations:
- Hepatitis B
- Typhoid Fever
- Hepatitis A
In Mississippi, it is mandatory for plumbers to be insured and provide proof of general liability insurance in order to acquire their journeyman license. Employers often pay for plumber insurance. Self-employed plumbers must pay for their own plumber insurance. The minimum plumber insurance requirement in Mississippi is $300,000 for general liability for each occurrence. The cost of general liability insurance ranges from $671 to $1,740 annually.
Plumbing contractors who work with employees also need to get Workers’ Compensation Insurance to cover the medical costs of the technicians who get injured while performing job-related duties.
Plumbing contractors could also get Contractors’ Insurance that covers the vehicles and tools used for their businesses.
HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN MISSISSIPPI:
- Must be atleast 18 years of age
- High School or GED Certificate
- College Degree or Vocational Courses (optional)
- Apprenticeship (optional)
- Pass the Licensing Tests
Provided here is a step by step guide on how to become a plumber in Mississippi:
One must be 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma or a GED certificate in order to apply for a plumbing license in Mississippi. Career or vocational courses are not mandatory but many students enrol in these programs since they enhance their degree of knowledge and make it easier to gain employment. In order to apply for a plumbing course, one must have a valid driver’s license or identification proof (in addition to being 18 years old and having a high school diploma or GED).
Applying for a Mississippi Plumbing license does not require previous experience as an apprentice plumber. Even those having a criminal background are encouraged to apply. The licensing board however, scrutinizes the criminal background case-by-case.
HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PLUMBER IN MISSISSIPPI:
Applying for a Mississippi Plumbing license does not require previous experience as an apprentice plumber. Even those having a criminal background are encouraged to apply. The licensing board however, scrutinizes the criminal background case-by-case. The Mississippi State Board of Contractors administers the plumbing licensing procedure in the state.
There are two kinds of Plumbing licenses in Mississippi:
- Unlimited Residential Contractor License
- Unlimited Commercial Plumber License
Licenses are required for residential plumbers who perform over $10,000 of plumbing work. Commercial plumbers must be licensed if they perform plumbing work worth $50,000 or more. Each job requires plumbers to apply for permits.
Unlimited commercial plumbers can perform all types of plumbing jobs ranging from pipe installations, fixture removals, to repair work for commercial buildings. Commercial Plumbers do not have to take any exam for acquiring the license. They must however, pay a fee of $400.
Unlimited residential contractors can perform the same duties as commercial plumbers but their work is usually restricted to residential buildings. Residential contractors can also perform some sort of commercial plumbing work. However, they cannot do plumbing work in commercial buildings that exceed 7,500 square feet of area. The residential plumber license fee is $50.
Plumbing contractors are required to an exam. Those filling out the application form take the test within 6 months of submitting the application. The examination fee is usually around $100-$150 per test.
This exam has two sections – business and law that cover a range of topics like general plumbing regulations, heating valves, isometric analysis, water supply, fixtures etc. A candidate taking the exam, must score 70% in each section in order acquire their plumbing contractor license.
A plumbing license in Mississippi must be renewed every year. There is no continuing education requirement. The cost of renewing a commercial plumber license is $400 and that for renewing a residential contractor license is $100.
PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN MISSISSIPPI:
Vocational courses in plumbing hold immense significance in Mississippi. They are not mandatory but they make the road ahead for gaining employment easier by widening the student’s knowledge base. They help students to learn about the basics as well as the more advanced aspects of plumbing.
This section will list out some of best plumbing programs in Mississippi for students to look into.
- Delta Technical College, Horn Lake – offers a continuing education course in pipe-fitting. The coursework includes both classroom and hand-on training in pipe measurements, isometric readings etc. This course runs for 10 weeks and aims to teach students about the basics of pipe-fitting that will help them to gain instant entry-level jobs as pipe-fitters and plumbers.
- Hinds Community College, Raymond – offers a course in plumbing and construction. This course furnishes students with the specialised knowledge and skills required to start a career as a residential plumber, gas-fitters and entry-level contractors. Students are also prepared to take up other courses in the field of construction. Unless a student scores a minimum of Grade C, they will be asked to repeat the course. Graduates in this course are well prepared to take the plumbing exam.
- Meridian Community College, Meridian – offers two courses – one in construction trades and another in welding. These courses equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to start a career in the construction industry like a plumber or a welder.
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College – offers courses in welding technology and construction engineering.
There are many other options that interested students can explore.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a shutting down of many services including construction services like plumbing. Plumbing has however been declared as an essential service which means that this industry will not be facing as big an economic fallout as most other industries will. Members of the Mississippi National Guard have also been putting in a lot of efforts to provide water resources at four major locations. This has created an urgent need to provide access to clean water. In this regard, the role of plumbers has become crucial and almost indispensable. It can therefore be expected that the plumbing industry will keep growing at a steady rate.