Plumber Job

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Plumber Job

Have a way around pipes or consider yourself pretty handy with a wrench? Then you may want to consider a job as a plumber.  With the need for these tradesmen expected to rise by 21 percent by 2022, it's definitely a career worth pursuing.


Plumbing In a Nutshell

In the world of pipes and fixtures, plumbers are the experts. Whether they carry water, gas or steam these tradesmen are there to install, repair and maintain plumbing systems in homes, businesses, and factories. They are also the people to rely on to make sure plumbing is up to code.


Why Plumbers Are Needed

From minor leaks in your home to mapping out gas delivery systems in a factory, plumbers are essential when it comes to installing and repairing pipes and fixtures that service residential and commercial properties. They also inspect, test, and troubleshoot pipeline systems as well as study blueprints to make sure plumbing systems meet local and state regulations.


How Plumbers Get the Job Done

Depending on the type of piping work that needs to be done, plumbers use the following tools: 

Plumbing Wrenches: to grip pipes and uninstall fittings, plumbers need a wide range of wrenches that include Stillson, Basin and adjustable wrenches.

Cutting Tools: Hacksaws, metal files and cement glue are common tools plumbers use to cut pipes cleanly and safely.

Plungers: To tackle blocked pipes, plumbers need plungers to clear them up and get them working properly.

Types of Plumbers

Pipefitters: Specialize in installing and maintaining pipes that are mostly used in manufacturing industries that carry acids, gases and chemicals.

Sprinklefitters: Pipefitters who specialize in the installation and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems of businesses and buildings.

Steamfitters: Pipefitters who specialize in the installation and maintenance of steam pipes. 

Master Plumbers: Develop blueprints that include where pipes and fixtures will be built. They make sure these plumbing systems meet building codes and will function well with other project features.

While on the Job

Plumbers use their mechanical skills to handle tools to install and fix pipes. They also test pipes for leaks and check gauges to make sure pressure levels are where they need to be. They also have to be strong enough to lift and move the heavy piping and fixtures that they're working with. More experienced plumbers may be reading blue prints and making sure they meet local building codes. Outside of actual plumbing work, plumbers interact with customers.

What it Takes

To become a plumber, you need to have a high school diploma or something equivalent to start. You can then enter a technical school and take courses such as pipe system design, plumbing tools and work safety. To really learn the trade, many plumbers go through a 4or 5-year apprenticeship program. There you can learn things such as local codes and physics as well as receive paid on-the-job training. Each year a plumbing apprentice must have at least 246 hours of technical school education and 1,700 hours of on-the-job training.


Once the apprenticeship is program is completed, you will be considered a journey worker and can get your license to start plumbing work on your own. If you want to be a master plumber, you may need additional courses, several years of experience and, in some states, a contractor's license. Make sure you check you state's local requirements.

Plumbers Toolbox (chart)


Required Education

Technical School ; Apprentice Program

Preferred Skills / Experience

Ability to work with plumbing tools, troubleshooting skills and knowledge of building codes

Tools on the Job

Wrenches, Hacksaw, Metal Filers, Plungers


Non-slip work boots

Career Outlook

Number of jobs expected to grow 21% by 2022



Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters,  on the Internet at