How to Become a Plumber on Cruise Ships

The U.S. Department of Labor offers the following job description for plumbers:

Plumbers install and repair the water, waste disposal, drainage, and gas systems in homes and commercial and industrial buildings. Plumbers also install plumbing fixtures—bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets—and appliances such as dishwashers, waste disposers, and water heaters.
wwww.bls.gov

Although most of us are familiar with plumbers that work in a residential environment, plumbers are actually quite versatile. They work in many different environments and industries including commercial, military, and mobile or travel. If you are an experienced plumber and you would like to work in a unique environment that’s always on the move, you might be the perfect fit for a cruise ship.

In order to become a plumber on a cruise ship, you must have the same education and experience as plumbers working in land-based positions. You should obtain training through an apprenticeship or technical or community college. Apprenticeships take 4-5 years to complete. They offer the most comprehensive training for these skilled positions. Apprenticeships are paid positions and they are either union or nonunion.

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada sponsor apprenticeships as well as the Mechanical Contractors Association of America or the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors. Other sponsors include: a union associated with a member of the National Fire Sprinkler Association; the Associated Builders and Contractors; the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors; the American Fire Sprinkler Association; and the Home Builders Institute of the National Association of Home Builders.

In addition to apprenticeships, Armed Forces training is considered excellent preparation for a career plumbing. After obtaining the necessary training, licensure is the next logical step. Although not required most employers prefer to hire licensed plumbers. This will definitely place you ahead of the pack during your job hunt.

The job outlook for plumbers is considered very good. Employment growth is projected at 16 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. Plumbers (pipelayers, pipefitters, and steamfitters) are also part of one of the largest construction occupations with more than 555,900 jobs held in 2008. Overall, plumbers earn anywhere from $42,952-$54,600 per year. Seasoned plumbers can expect to earn $78,000+ per year. Plumbers on cruise ships may earn anywhere from $30,000 annually for entry-level positions up to $40,000 or more per year for all other positions. Keep in mind that plumbers on cruise ships do not have to pay for accommodations, meals, or air travel to and from the ship. This means, they get to keep more money in their pockets than plumbers working in land-based positions. Salaries vary greatly by cruise line, the size of the ship, and experience, of course.

To apply for plumber jobs on cruise ships, if you have a specific cruise line in mind, locate the cruise lines’ OFFICIAL website first. Visit the Ships and Cruises Directory for official listings. Once you have located the site, visit the website and search around for job postings. Most cruise line websites have a career center or job postings page. If the cruise line lists job openings, be sure to follow the application procedure to the letter. Applicants that do not follow directions are typically passed over in favor of those that do. If the cruise line does not list job openings on its site, send a polished cover letter and resume to the cruise lines Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department is typically located at the cruise lines headquarters. This information is usually listed on the cruise line website. It is important to include the position you are interested in so that it can be directed to the appropriate department manager.

For more information about jobs on cruise ships visit Cruise Ship Jobs online. Here, you can download the 2010 cruise ship employment guide; you can read through cruise line profiles; you can find out which ships are hiring and for what positions — and you can even apply for a cruise ship job right online. Please note that this website charges a fee. You can apply for a job on your own, free of charge, sign up with a placement agency, or use Cruise Ship Jobs’ service.

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