Quick summary: Find out exactly what plumbing pre-apprenticeship training involves, the main benefits to students, and whether it's truly worth the investment.
If you’re interested in becoming a licensed plumber, you’ve probably done some research on the training and certification process.
Chances are, you've heard about plumbing pre-apprenticeship training and are wondering if it's worth the time and money.
Can't you just go ahead and apply for an apprenticeship without doing any training?
Sure - but chances are you won't get hired.
Why? Because most companies don't just hire apprentices right off the street, with no background or experience in plumbing whatsoever!
They prefer to hire people who already have some basic plumbing skills and knowledge. In other words, people who have taken a plumber pre-apprenticeship program.
Is this something you should be doing? Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.
What does plumbing pre-apprenticeship training involve?
In basic terms, the goal of a plumbing pre-apprenticeship program is to get you hired as a plumber apprentice.
Licensed plumbers want to hire apprentices who already have basic plumbing knowledge and standard safety training. It saves the employer time and money and makes you a faster learner.
In the pre-apprenticeship program, you’ll learn valuable skills that are attractive to any licensed plumbers looking to take on an apprentice, including:
- Reading blueprints for plumbing installations
- Safe work practices and procedures
- Proper use of plumbing and power tools
- How to install a variety of piping and plumbing fixtures, such as sinks, bathtubs and toilets
You will also graduate with all the safety certifications you’ll need in your plumbing career. These include:
- Working at Heights
- Elevating Work Platforms
- Lockout & Tag Safety
- Scaffold Users’ Hazard Awareness
- Confined Spaces Hazard Awareness
These safety certifications make you a much stronger candidate for plumber apprenticeship jobs. Employers always prefer to hire apprentices who are certified in job safety.
The bottom line: Plumbing pre-apprenticeship training gives you the certifications, tools, and knowledge you need to show up ready to work on day one of your apprenticeship.
What are the concerns with Plumber pre-apprenticeship training?
One of the biggest concerns people have with pre-apprenticeship training is the idea of learning hands-on skills in a classroom. They think the training is all theory, with no real practice.
So what’s the point, right?
This is a myth. A good pre-apprenticeship training program offers the right balance of classroom theory and hands-on training.
Yes, you need to study and understand some theory, such as plumbing safety codes. But you’ll also spend a lot of time in a workshop, learning real plumbing installation methods from licensed instructors with years of experience.
You’ll learn exactly how to conduct yourself on a real job site and how to impress your future employer.
A lot of people ask if you absolutely need pre-apprenticeship training to get hired. The answer is no—you are not legally obligated to complete this program.
But consider this: Would you get offered a job in a kitchen if you’d never even held a knife or peeled a potato? Would the employer hire you over someone with actual kitchen training and useful skills?
People with practical plumbing skills and safety certifications are always more likely to get hired as apprentices.
Plus, most pre-apprenticeship programs are affordable and fast. Herzing’s Plumbing Pre-apprenticeship training is just 24 weeks long.
What is the biggest advantage of plumber pre-apprenticeship training?
It’s very simple. With basic plumbing skills and knowledge, you’ll be prepared to land a great plumber apprenticeship and start working toward certification.
You need 8,280 hours of apprenticeship to get certified—so getting hired (and staying hired) is a crucial first step.
Steve Dramnitzke teaches the Plumbing Pre-apprenticeship program at Herzing College. As an experienced plumber of more than 27 years, he recognized a need for better-trained apprentices coming into the workforce.
"We treat the school exactly like a job site. Students are expected to be respectful, punctual, good team members, and hard workers.
Employers hire from us because they trust the quality and thoroughness of our plumber training. They know our students understand how a real job site works, and how to make themselves valuable assets.
I’m an employer myself, and I’m much more willing to hire someone who’s done this training versus a person straight off the street.
Doing pre-apprenticeship training shows employers you are serious about the trade. You’ve already made a commitment to better yourself and learn."
Steve has hired and trained countless apprentices over the years. He knows exactly what employers look for in new hires and passes that knowledge on to his students.
Learning from highly skilled and experienced plumbers is the biggest advantage of plumbing pre-apprenticeship training.
What if you’re already confident in your plumbing knowledge?
Even someone who already has some plumbing knowledge can benefit greatly from a quality pre-apprenticeship program.
In addition to plumbing codes, tools, installation skills and safety certifications, this training includes:
- Resume writing
- Interview preparation
- Customer service
- Professional communication
- Time sheet training
- Job search skills
These skills will prove useful throughout your entire plumbing career, and can even be helpful in other areas of your life.
Good plumbing pre-apprenticeship programs also offer career support after you graduate.
The college will connect you with available jobs through industry partners and help you gain membership with local unions. This network can be incredibly valuable as you build your career.
Learn more about Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship Training at Herzing College
Herzing College offers a 24-week Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship program at both our Toronto and Cambridge locations. Tools and safety gear are included in the cost of tuition.