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Can a Felon Become a Plumber?

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When it comes to finding a job after being released, felons find it challenging.  Jobs they once had and careers may be gone.

There are resources available.  Felons may think no one will hire them.

They will have to be creative and willing to learn a new trade or start a different career.  This is the opportunity for felons to begin a new profession.

This blog post will address the issue of whether a felon can become a plumber.

  • What is a Plumber?
  • What Training Does a Plumber Need?
  • How Much Does a Plumber Earn?
  • An Opportunity for Felons?
  • Supporting a Felon in Becoming a Plumber


What is a Plumber?

A plumber is a worker who installs and repairs plumbing and water pipes in homes and buildings.  They also install sinks, toilets, and showers along with dishwashers and water heaters.

They must study building plans and determine material requirements and pipe locations.

A plumber measures, bends, cuts, and threads pipes.   They install pipes and waterlines.

A plumber inspects faulty systems and appliances and replaces worn pipes and fixtures.

There are a number of skills one must have to be a plumber:

  • Good manual dexterity skills and hold hands and arms steady while using tools to manipulate objects
  • Must be able to spot problems while measuring and aligning fixtures
  • Must be able to work in cramped spaces in difficult positions
  • Climb, lift, and carry heavy objects
  • Knowledge of math and the ability to do quick calculations
  • Good communications to understand the needs of the situation
  • Mechanical basics to know if an installation or repair will hold
  • Must be able to read and understand blueprints
  • Able to apply reason and logic and to be able to analyze alternatives
  • Able to make quick decisions, use good judgment, and be able to focus on a problem.

Plumbers must be reliable, dependable, and responsible.  They must be detail oriented, able to work on their own, and be persistent in solving a problem.

What Training Does a Plumber Need?

There are certain steps to follow to become a plumber.  First, they must graduate from high school or get their GED.  They can take plumbing courses at a vocational school to learn the basics.

Plumbers need to complete an apprenticeship that lasts four to five years and combines classroom education and on-the-job training.

The majority of apprenticeships are basically a paid learning experience managed by a plumbing union.  In most states, an apprentice license must be acquired before beginning an apprenticeship.

Usual requirements for an apprenticeship include 250 classroom hours and as much as 2000 hours of on-the-job training.

Once the apprenticeship is completed, a journeyman license will be granted by passing an exam.  After gaining experience as a journeyman plumber another exam will make them a master plumber.

How Much Does a Plumber Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 391,000 are employed as plumbers as well as in the related occupations of pipe-fitters and steamfitters.  Approximately 474,000 will likely be needed by 2024, a growth of approximately 21%.

The average annual salary for a plumber is about $55,000.

An Opportunity for Felons?

While the requirements for felons becoming a plumber differ somewhat depending on the state, typically, the regulations indicate certain factors.

These will be considered as to whether a crime relates the occupation of a plumber.  These criteria include:

  • Nature and seriousness of the crime
  • Relationship of the crime to the purposes of plumbing installation or inspections
  • Extent to which a plumbing license might offer for further criminal activity
  • Relationship of the crime to the duties and responsibilities of a licensed plumber
  • Extent and nature of past criminal activity
  • Age when the felony was committed
  • Amount of time since last criminal activity
  • Amount of time since release from incarceration
  • Conduct and work history before and after the conviction
  • Evidence of rehabilitation
  • Other evidence of fitness, including letters of recommendation from law enforcement officials and employers

In order to be successful in this pursuit, it is essential for felons to be honest about their background.

They are already working with the often negative perceptions of being dishonest, untrustworthy, and unwilling or unable to follow directions from authority figures.

Remember there are many success stories, as the Guide to Being Employed, reveals, showing how having a goal, commitment, dedication, and perseverance can assist felons in achieving their dream.

There are re-entry programs, such as drug treatment, and educational opportunities.

Supporting a Felon in Becoming a Plumber

For families of felons wanting to pursue a dream of becoming a plumber, encourage your loved one and support their efforts to live an honest life, change their lifestyle, and keep their dreams alive.

Your family member is worth making the effort for, if they are sincere in their desire to become a plumber.

Help them realize their ambition no matter how difficult the road might be.

What do you think about this blog post?  Are you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to become a plumber with a felony?  What was that like for them, and how did they achieve success?  Please tell us in the comments below.

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