Plumbers keep civilization running by installing and repairing pipe systems that transport water, chemicals, or waste. Plumbers also ensure plumbing meets building regulations and safety standards.
Plumbing is a physically demanding occupation that requires flexibility, physical strength, and excellent motor skills. It also requires good vision and the ability to work in dark spaces with small tools and equipment.
Plumbers install and repair plumbing systems that move water, waste, and gases in buildings. They often work at heights or in cramped conditions and must be able to lift heavy equipment. They also need to know how to use tools correctly and safely.
The duties of a plumber include reading blueprints, understanding pipe layouts, and installing new systems and repairing old ones. The job requires analytical skills and problem-solving abilities, which help you assess a situation quickly and determine the best course of action.
A typical workweek for a plumber is 40 hours, although some may need to work overtime depending on the employer and sector. Some plumbers also work nights or weekends to respond to emergency calls from clients.
Typically, plumbers are employed by construction companies to complete maintenance and repairs on building plumbing. They work in conjunction with other professionals, such as carpenters, electricians, and HVAC specialists.
Some plumbers specialize in a particular type of plumbing, such as commercial or residential. These positions usually require more specialized training, such as a trade school diploma or an apprenticeship.
You can become a plumber by completing a four-year apprenticeship or a two-year certificate course at a technical institute. You can earn a license after gaining several years of experience and learning how to follow state and local regulations.
In addition to technical knowledge, plumbers need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills. They must be able to listen to their clients and work closely with them to solve their plumbing problems.
They also need physical strength to handle heavy equipment and machinery, such as a jack hammer or a pipe cutting saw. This helps them complete difficult tasks and perform their job well.
Lastly, plumbers need to be flexible to respond to emergencies when needed and be able to change their schedules according to the needs of the company. This flexibility allows them to keep up with the workload and maximize their earning potential.
The job outlook for plumbers is excellent, with employment expected to grow by 15% between 2016 and 2026. This is faster than the average for all occupations.
Plumbers are skilled workers who install, repair, and maintain pipes that bring liquids and gases from the source to the home or business. They handle all types of water and gas lines, including those that carry sewage, steam, and air. They work for both residential and commercial clients and can often earn a steady flow of work.
In order to become a plumber, you need to obtain a high school diploma or GED certificate and take an apprenticeship program through your local trade schools, businesses, or union chapters. Apprentices receive on-the-job training and technical instruction in plumbing, safety, blueprint reading, and piping systems.
Most apprentices go through a four- to five-year program, which includes about 2,000 hours of paid training. After completing their training, they are eligible to apply for a journeyman plumber license and can start working independently.
Those who want to advance in their careers can also obtain additional education to acquire specialized plumbing licenses, such as a master plumber’s license. This can increase the amount of money you earn, and it also provides more job security.
You can also attend a vocational school for plumbers, which offers shorter programs than traditional colleges and is less expensive. Some vocational schools offer financial aid to help cover the cost of tuition.
Some trade schools will accept a high school diploma or GED certificate as proof of education, while others require more. Regardless of what type of education you choose, it is important to have a strong background in mathematics, chemistry, and physics.
A strong understanding of the fundamentals of drafting is important in this career as well. Some plumbing trade schools will include a drafting course as part of their program.