HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN OHIO

A GUIDE ON PLUMBING IN OHIO

As per the official records of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) state there are approximately 13,330 plumbers, pipe-fitters and steam-fitters in Ohio. Ohio is located in the Mid-western region of the United States of America. It is the 7th-most populous state of the USA and is home to approximately 11.7 million people. Ohio is an exceedingly industrial state with one of the largest manufacturing sectors. In 2016, Ohio had a gross domestic product of $626 billion. The state also ranks high in terms of employment rate. Ohio also ranks second in terms of having the best business climate. The state has a labor participation rate that is higher than the national average. Ohio has abundant water resources that are being managed to the best of the state’s capacities to benefit public health. The Ohio Water Resource Committee also regularly checks wastewater to detect Covid-19 outbreaks. In this context, this article will explore the career prospects of a plumber and offer a guide on how to become a plumber in Ohio.

A guide on plumbing in Ohio

JOB OUTLOOK

As mentioned above, there are about 13,330 plumbers in Ohio. 2.45 persons people out of every 1000 people are employed in this sector. The average annual salary of a plumber in Ohio is $56,210. The range of wages extends from $31,560 to $80,720. On an average, apprentice plumbers earn around $14.55 per hour. Plumbers enjoy an average hourly wage of $23.25. Journeyman plumbers enjoy a wage of $26.14 per hour. As plumbers keep gaining more experience and knowledge, the wages keep increasing. In the wake of rising demand for skilled resources and a growing need for bright minds to devise advanced plumbing techniques, it is being expected that the plumbing industry in Ohio will grow at a steady rate in the days to come.

WHAT INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR PLUMBERS IN OHIO?

Owing to the nature of their work, plumbers and plumbing contractors face a number of varied risks on a daily basis. These risks could result in financial damages that exhaust a plumber’s resources and expose the individual to unnecessary hassles. It is therefore recommended that all plumbers get insurance coverages to protect their businesses.

Insurance

The basic types of insurances are:

  • General Liability Insurance – a fundamental type of insurance to protect the business from lawsuits and other financial claims resulting from accidents or other damages.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance – this type of insurance is mandatory for those who have employees working under them. It covers the medical costs of technicians who get injured or ill while at work.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance – offers overage for vehicles used for business purposes like transportation of supplies.
  • Business Owner’s Policy – this is an extended version of the general liability insurance and covers damages to the commercial building or other personal equipment.

Depending on their requirements, plumbers could look into other types of insurances as well. Contractors are also required to carry a minimum amount of contractor liability coverage, and the details of that can be found on the website of the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board.

HOW TO BECOME A PLUMBER IN OHIO

The first step towards becoming a plumber in the state of Ohio is to complete a five-year apprenticeship training program under a licensed contractor. This should include 6,000 hours of on-the-field work and 1,240 hours of classroom training. One must provide a permit for each of these five years and also provide the license number of the contractor they had worked under.

Apprentice training

HOW TO BECOME A LICENSED PLUMBER IN OHIO

After completing the apprenticeship, the next step is to apply for the plumbing license and pay an application fee of $35 for the same. The licensing board conducts a background check and goes through the application form before deciding whether a candidate can take the plumbing exam. The exam is computer based and consists of two sections – business and law, and plumbing. One must answer 70% of the questions correctly and pass both the sections in order to acquire their plumbing license. In order to secure their licenses, candidates must show a copy of their examination results as proof, pay a cheque of $25 to the Treasurer, State of Ohio and provide proof of at least $500,000 of contractor liability coverage as certificate of liability insurance. 

A plumbing license in Ohio must be renewed every year by paying a fee of $60.

PLUMBING SCHOOLS IN OHIO

While it is mandatory to have a high school GED or diploma in order to become a licensed plumber, the same rule does not apply for a vocational training course. However, the demand and importance of these courses have been growing at a rapid rate. Vocational courses make it easier for plumbers to gain instant employment by offering training in the right areas and adding more weigh to plumbers’ resumes. This section of the article will list out some plumbing schools in Ohio that we think are best suited for aspiring plumbers.

Plumbing training
  • Ashland County Joint Vocational School, Ashland – offers a one-year certification program in plumbing technology. Students must have a high school diploma or a GED before enrolling in the course. The coursework introduces students to various aspects of the plumbing profession like plumbing safety, usage of tools, plumbing fixtures, water and drainage systems etc.
  • PACON Plumbing School, Cincinnati – offers apprenticeship, certification and continuing education programs for plumbers and plumbing contractors. All these programs are state-approved.
  • IEC Central Ohio, Columbus – is reputed for their apprenticeship program. They also offer a number of programs ranging from journeyman certification to continuing education. This allows students to become certified electricians and perform plumbing tasks. 
  • Miami Valley Career Technology Centre, Clayton – offers a career based technical program in plumbing and related water supply services.
  • Portage Lakes Career Centre, Uniontown – offers adult education programs on a number of topics including plumbing technology. This is a 10-month program where students acquire knowledge of plumbing safety, tools, codes, mathematics, blueprint reading, installation, HVAC principles, basic welding etc.
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Association – offers apprentice training programs for prospective plumbers.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been experienced by every occupation in the world and led to shutting down of several businesses and services. But plumbers in Ohio have stated otherwise. The results for them have immensely positive. The volume of calls has increased. With more people staying at home due to the lockdown, the plumbing systems are finally being fully utilised. One of the recent changes includes plumbers also offering online consultations through Skype and Facetime. Plumbers have also updated themselves according to the need of the hour. Plumbing firms are ensuring that their personnel follow the necessary protocols and prioritise safety when visiting their clients’ homes. The Ohio Department of Health has issued a statement that requires all plumbing systems to flush out the wastes and stagnant waters, once offices resume. This means that the plumbers of the state have a very important task at hand. The industry is expected to keep delivering its best services to ensure the protection of public health in Ohio.

A plumber at work

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