Plumbers install and repair pipes that carry water, gas, steam or drainage within homes, businesses, factories or power plants. They are responsible for the installation of plumbing systems in homes, such as toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers and even septic systems. Plumbers will follow blueprints to install, test and troubleshoot these systems, and they will also repair and replace any damaged ones.
Duties and responsibilities
- Install water, gas, steam or drainage pipes
- Repair and replace damaged pipes
- Follow and/or create blueprints for piping systems
- Test and troubleshoot pipe systems
- Manage and prepare costs for clients
- Allocate materials and equipment for job
- Keep record of jobs performed
- Manage or direct workers installing plumbing systems
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
On call for emergencies
Plumbers work in various environments such as homes, businesses, factories or power plants. Much of their job involves travelling to different locations to install or repair a plumbing system.
Physical stamina and strength are required for this role as there is a lot of lifting, carrying, bending and climbing involved. Plumbers can also be exposed to injuries when using sharp tools, handling hot pipes or climbing ladders.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
A high school diploma or equivalent is usually sufficient for aspiring plumbers. Some may choose to attend a trade school that offers related courses, or they may participate in a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship programme to enhance their training.
Once they have completed an apprentice program, plumbers are considered to be journey workers, meaning they can work independently. With several years of plumbing experience, they can earn a master status after passing an exam.
Most states require that plumbers are licensed. In order to work independently, these professionals need two to five years of experience and to pass an exam. Some also need a driver’s licence.
Plumbers can move up to management positions within a firm, which involves training and managing employees. After participating in an apprenticeship, plumbers can delve into different areas of residential or commercial plumbing, like waterproofing or gas-fitting, or they may even advance to large-scale projects, such as water treatment or irrigation systems.