Typically, a professional in the plumbing industry does not begin as an inspector. Plumbing is a component of the construction industry, and it is an important part that keeps homes and buildings working up to certain codes and standards. In order to become a plumbing inspector, a professional will have to get some experience working as a plumber. Certifications may be required, and at the very least, passing some written exam will likely be needed.
An individual usually begins a career path to become a plumbing inspector as a plumber first. It is this experience in learning about the different plumbing systems used that will provide the training needed to inspect this equipment in the future. The responsibility that coincides with being a plumbing inspector is great as this individual must verify that systems are installed properly, safely, and efficiently. As a result, the more exposure that a plumber has to the different types of pipes, fixtures such as toilets, and kitchen and bathroom faucets, the better.
The level of education that is typically required to become a plumbing inspector is a high school diploma. What the path to become a plumbing inspector lacks in education, it makes up for in training. Individuals who are pursuing this career should complete an apprenticeship to learn under a qualified and experienced professional. This on-the-job training will benefit a plumbing professional later. There are codes and standards in the plumbing industry that evolve alongside the building and construction industry, and so an apprentice should learn under someone who will educate him or her on recognizing and responding to those changes.
Some type of certification is going to be required to become a plumbing inspector. The level of licensing and certification that is required will vary from region to region, but professionals should expect to pass a written exam. In the U.S., a plumbing professional may need to earn certification from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers depending on the state in which the individual lives. Given that plumbing industry standards change, a plumbing inspector must keep certifications current.
Although a college education is not a prerequisite to become a plumbing inspector, some universities offer apprentice programs for plumbing. Individuals who enroll in these courses are likely to encounter a combination of book knowledge and hands-on experience. The apprenticeship will support finding that first job in the plumbing industry because many employers look to hire people who have earned industry exposure already.