Plumber ★ Find a College
Plumbers need a high school diploma or the equivalent and gain experience through on-the-job training. Many are attending technical school with courses in pipe system design, safety and tool use. Welding courses are also given in apprenticeship training programs.
A plumbers apprenticeship program usually takes 4-5 years to finish. After an apprenticeship program is completed, they are considered to be journey workers. With additional years of experience and other courses, they would become eligible to be considered master status. Most states and localities require you to have a license to work.
Job Description of a Plumber
A plumber installs or repairs pipes and fittings that carry liquids and gases. They troubleshoot dysfunctional pipe systems and repair or replace worn parts. They sometimes cut holes in floors, ceilings and walls and may need to hang steel supports from ceiling joints to hold the pipes in place which usually requires fitting, measuring and cutting pipes to fit using pipe cutters and saws. When working with copper pipes, soldering may be required.
A plumber works in factories, businesses and homes with each job varying in size, like, large water lines to buildings or small water lines to refrigerators. They also install plumbing fixtures or toilets, as well as, water heaters, dishwashers and other plumbing requirements. Their job would include unclogging pipes, fixing leaks or maintaining septic systems that are not connected to city or county sewer systems.
A master plumber would normally work on larger, construction projects and would need to read the blueprints detailing all pipe and fixture locations while meeting any building codes or regulations, as well as, location of electrical wiring. They are responsible to stay within a given budget and time schedules.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 21 percent growth in 2012-2022 in this career field due to new building construction and stricter water efficiency standards for plumbing systems.