Tools a Plumbing Apprentice Must Have

You’re a plumbing apprentice now, that is great. Congratulations on your new life path. I am going to help you get started. You need tools, right? Um, yes! I’m going to tell you the top 10 tools you need to get started. I’ll even tell you what they do so you don’t get that duh look.

  1. Adjustable Pliers– will help you with the tight jobs. When you have to get a grip on a small pipe, or screw in a nut. Grab this bad boy. Careful he has teeth.
  2. Adjustable Wrench– is the wife to the adjustable pliers. She is used on the delicate jobs when you must be careful. She is toothless, so there is a less chance of damage to pipe or nuts.
  3. Tape measures– are needed to measure what length your pipe needs to be. You will want it to be durable, so it stays together when you “drop” it and it flies across a crawl space.
  4. Torpedo Level– will keep you straight, or angled. You don’t want the shower to drain away from the hole.  My favorite part – this level has magnets keeps it on the pipe. Not so much on PVC pipes. That’s what duct tape is for. Don’t use duct tape, that was a joke.
  5. Permanent Markers– are needed to mark pipes, and walls. They do roll away so keep a few on hand.
  6. Chalk Crayons– are good for the surfaces aren’t ideal for markers, like cement, and that quick game of tic tac toe during break. You know you play.
  7. A Hammer– is used to clear stuck on debris and, of course, to kill spiders. The ideal plumber hammer has flat claws that are good for scraping.
  8. Multi-bit Screwdriver– space saving, and useful. Spend a little more on this tool – the bits will last longer and not strip. Usually the bits also fit on a drill, so that’s a bonus.
  9. Pipe Wrench– will save you from looking weak. You just put it on the pipe and turn. Its ideal to have two so you can counter turn them and make a tighter seal. Trust me when I say: get an aluminum wrench.
  10. Pipe Cutters– come in a couple sizes. There is the small one that goes between 1/8” to 1”. Then the larger cutter that is 5/8” to 2 1/8”.

There will be many more tools that you will see during your apprenticeship. Be observant of the tools your licensed plumber uses the most, and for what task.  You are there to learn the skills and tricks of the trade from people who have been doing it for years. Now, imagine how impressed your supervisor will be when you show up prepared with your bag of must have tools. You will be the super star apprentice!

It’s never too early to start studying for the state exam. Visit and find your state. If you have any questions, call us at 800-727-7104.


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