Plumber are specialized tradespeople who install and repair plumbing systems for potable water, sewage, and drainage. They may work alone or as part of a team.
Earning a license to work as a plumber is a requirement in most states and localities. It typically requires a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience.
Plumbers are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining plumbing systems in residential and commercial properties. They may also install fixtures and appliances associated with heating, ventilation, and sanitation systems.
Job duties include assembling and repairing pipes and other plumbing equipment, inspecting and testing installed pipes to ensure safety and compliance with building codes, and handling customer queries and calls outs. They also operate specialized plumbing tools such as reamers, sewer cameras, and pipe cutters to diagnose and perform repairs.
Installation of new or replacement water lines, piping, and fixtures, including PVC, copper, and black iron piping, in residential and commercial construction. Use hand and power tools to assemble, cut, weld, thread, bend, or fusion weld pipes, tubing, and fittings, according to blueprints and specifications. Apply cement, plastic solvent, caulking, and other materials as necessary.
Repair or replace leaking, broken, or clogged faucets, drains, toilets, sinks, showers, and bathtubs, as well as water heaters, electric flush valves, and drinking fountains. Connect piping, pipes, and fixtures to heating, water, and sanitary sewer systems, using hand and power tools.
Troubleshoots problems and provides recommendations on the best solutions to customers’ concerns, such as re-piping the bathroom or installing a new shower in the kitchen. This requires listening to the customer’s complaint, determining the problem, and then solving it quickly.
Provides technical assistance to customers by answering their questions, explaining the work required, and estimating costs. This includes providing information about work time, material consumption, and man-hours consumed.
Work is performed indoors and out of doors, occasionally in environments that are dusty or noisy. You may be exposed to chemicals, solvents, and cleaners that are common in the plumbing trade but may be hazardous if not properly mixed or handled.
A high school diploma is typically required to become a plumber. Most learn their trade through an apprenticeship. However, some attend technical schools to gain the necessary training. Licensed plumbers are also required to undergo continuing education to remain current with industry developments and changes in plumbing codes.
Plumbers are tradespeople who repair and install plumbing systems, including piping that runs water, gas, and steam. They also perform a variety of other tasks, including designing plumbing layout plans for new construction and renovation projects.
Whether you’re pursuing a career in this field or are just interested in learning more about it, there are many ways to get the education you need. The most common option is to enroll in a plumbing apprenticeship program that includes classroom work and extensive on-the-job training. Apprentices learn about blueprint reading and drafting, workplace safety, and physics, as well as how to handle tools of the trade.
Other options include attending a community college that offers an associate degree in plumbing and heating or a certificate program in this area. These programs offer courses in chemistry, mathematics, blueprint reading and drafting, safety, and state codes.
Some colleges also offer online courses that allow you to study at your own pace. Most of these online classes take 1 to 2 years to complete and cover everything from identifying pipes and fittings to reading blueprints and schematics.
You should check with your local licensing agency to determine the requirements for licensure in the city or county where you intend to work before deciding on any certifications. Once you complete your training and earn a license, you can continue to build your business.
Once you have a license, it’s important to know how to keep your skills up-to-date. This will ensure that you are compliant with the latest plumbing codes and that you can handle all types of projects.
The average starting wage for plumbers is around $45,000 per year, with a pay increase to about $70,000 a year as you gain experience and become more skilled. However, you should know that your pay will depend on how good you are at your job and how hard you work.