Texas High School Students Who Complete the Program Qualify for the Tradesman Limited Exam Immediately Upon Graduation
In an effort to address the current shortage of well-trained, skilled and licensed plumbers in the State of Texas, the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE), has approved a course outline developed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that will offer high school students a direct path to the Tradesman Limited plumbing license upon graduation. Following months of research, development, and academic and agency scrutiny, the plan was unanimously approved by TSBPE Board members on November 10.
This ground-breaking opportunity for students was made possible by an amendment added to HB 636 by Representative Matt Schaefer during the 87th Legislative Session. “Turning a wrench can turn on success. Teaching plumbing to students in high school and community college is way overdue. Restoring real-world skills training to students, and giving them more options to succeed is good for all Texans. Students who complete the requirements in high school, or college will have an actual license and can make good money immediately,” said Representative Schaefer.
The new course sequence creates an additional accelerated path into the plumbing industry and facilitates faster upward mobility within the industry. “This initiative, spearheaded by Representative Schaefer, will have a huge impact to meet the pent up demand for skilled plumbers which has been created by Texas’s robust economy,” said TSBPE Chairman Frank Denton.
In addition to high schools, this course of study will also be available to any institution of higher education. “The potential impact this could have on the number of skilled and licensed plumbers in Texas is huge,” said Lisa Hill, the TSBPE Executive Director, “we’ve received several inquiries from trade and career schools across Texas already and anticipate that many will adopt the program in short order.”
The plumbing industry is vital to the overall well-being of Texas’ citizens, a fact that was driven home in the aftermath of the winter storm that paralyzed Texas in mid-February 2021. As TSBPE staff worked to meet the needs of the moment, Board members and agency leadership mobilized efforts to ensure that the plumbing industry would continue to be a standout resource during future catastrophic events. This program advances that goal. “By expediting the approval of this course outline,” Ms. Hill noted, “the Board has taken great strides in its continuing effort to protect the health and safety of the people of Texas.”