dcsimg

Plumber

Job Duties

Plumbers work with water, gas, and waste systems that include pipes, fittings, and fixtures. They assemble, install, and repair these systems within the codes and specifications of the plumbing occupation. They may install sinks, tubs, and other products and connect them to local water and sewage systems. In addition to the installation work, plumbers service and repair these products. Plumbers with experience, particularly those at the journey level, may give written estimates to customers. Plumbers who work in new construction use blueprints to ensure the plumbing lines are installed in the correct positions. After determining which size pipes to use, they lay it out and cut it to the correct lengths. They then connect and fit the pipes together with valves. Pipes are usually made from copper, glass, lead, plastic, ceramic, cast iron, or steel.

After connecting the pipes together, plumbers connect the pipe system to a water supply and sewage system and test the setup to make sure everything is in working order and free of leaks. Then they must wait until the floors and walls are finished, at which time they return to install sinks, bathtubs, showers, and other fixtures. They also test these new fixtures to ensure they are leak-free. Plumbers who do maintenance work on existing plumbing systems are responsible for locating the source of the problem or leak and then correcting it. They may open clogged drains and pipes, thaw frozen pipes, replace parts, or extend pipe systems.

Job Skills

Plumbers must be in excellent physical condition. They need to have a mechanical aptitude and good manual dexterity. They need to be able to think logically and solve problems effectively. They must be good at working independently, and they must have good customer service skills.

Income

Earnings for plumbers vary greatly depending on the size of the company they work for, their location, and whether they belong to a union. Those with little experience and no union membership may earn between minimum wage and $17 per hour. Non-union apprentices earn between minimum wage and $37 per hour. Those with experience and no union membership earn between $9 and $38 per hour. Journey-level union employees earn between $30 and $39 per hour. Most plumbers work between 35 and 40 hour per week. When they work overtime, they usually make double their normal wages.

Training and Education

Most plumbers are trained through formal apprenticeship programs that last between 4 and 5 years. These apprenticeship programs include classroom training and full-time on-the-job training. Classroom courses include drafting, blueprint reading, mathematics, and local plumbing codes and regulations. After they complete the program, apprentices take a test from the union and licensing test from a State agency. In order to be admitted to an apprenticeship program, applicants must have a high school diploma and pass certain aptitude tests. Licensing requirements vary from community to community. Journey-level plumbers can advance to supervisor or superintendent. Others may open their own plumbing businesses. Visit this page about trade schools for more information on related careers.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of plumbers is expected to increase about as fast as the average. This will be due to overall growth in the economy as well as population growth and an increase in the rate of new construction projects.


Plumber Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Plumbing
            • A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
            • Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
            • Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
            • Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
            • Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            HVAC Technician (11-month diploma program)
            UEI College , Ontario
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Electrical Training Program
            Intercoast Colleges , West Covina
            • Morning, afternoon, evening and weekend classes are available.
            • Offers lifetime career assistance services to graduates, including resume and cover letter assistance, employer networking, and one-on-one employment counseling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 8 campuses located across California, with 3 additional campuses in New Hampshire and Maine and online options.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid
            Degree - Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            HVAC/R
            Mayfield College , Cathedral City
            Good for Working Adults
            • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
            • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
            • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Business Administration - Property Management (BS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).


            Show more [+]