Plumbers are skilled professionals who install, troubleshoot, and repair plumbing fixtures and appliances. They often work with pipes made of copper, steel, or other materials. Companies typically employ plumbers, but some start their plumbing businesses after gaining several years of experience in the trade.
Most plumbers train through an apprenticeship program that combines classroom studies with paid on-the-job training. These programs usually last four to five years. Visit Website to learn more.
The job duties of plumbers are to inspect, install and repair plumbing fixtures and systems that can include water heaters, toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers, and more. They can also work on pipes that carry sewage or gas in residential and commercial structures. Plumbers often work on construction sites and are responsible for planning the layout of plumbing materials during the building process. Plumbers are also expected to keep up with evolving technologies in the field.
Some of the most important skills required for plumbers are manual dexterity, coordination and physical strength. They must be able to read blueprints and diagrams, and they must have excellent analytical problem-solving abilities. Customer service skills are also essential, as plumbers deal with the public on a daily basis.
Plumbers use a wide range of tools and materials to complete their work. They may need to cut, bend, solder, or weld pipes and components. They also need to know how to operate power tools and vehicles such as trucks or vans.
While the specifics of the work differ slightly between plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, all three are responsible for installing equipment that will transport water, gas or other substances. This includes determining what materials will be needed, working with those materials to create a functional system, and testing the systems to ensure that they are safe and secure.
A plumbing career can offer a lot of variety and is suitable for people who like to be constantly on the move. It is not uncommon for plumbers to be called out on weekend or evening hours, especially if there is an emergency situation. These calls can sometimes be lucrative and offer a great source of extra income.
The physical demands of this type of work are fairly high, and it is not recommended for those who are overweight or have back problems. In addition, plumbers must be able to work in cramped spaces and climb stairs or ladders on occasion. They should also be able to handle the fumes from some of the chemicals used in their work.
Education and Training Requirements
Plumbing is a skilled trade and there are many ways to obtain the necessary training. Obtaining a high school diploma and completing a vocational education program is one way to get started in the industry. Another option is to enroll in an apprenticeship. This can last from four to five years and offers on the job training while allowing you to earn a living. Apprenticeship programs are typically offered by unions and can be found throughout the country.
Other educational options include attending a community college or obtaining an associate’s degree in plumbing technology. These programs often offer a well-rounded education with courses such as English, history and math in addition to plumbing classes. They can take up to two years to complete and are an excellent choice for someone who wants to own a plumbing business someday.
There are also online schools that provide a vocational education in plumbing. For example, Penn Foster Career School offers a diploma in plumbing technology that is both regionally and nationally accredited. This program offers classroom and virtual instruction in a wide variety of topics such as piping, water and waste systems, tools, plumbing code requirements, drafting and blueprint reading. The program also provides hands on experience by utilizing a state of the art lab that features numerous models of common pipes and fixtures.
Once a plumber has obtained the proper education and training, he must pass a licensing trade exam to be licensed by his state or county. Exam requirements vary by location, but all include some type of coursework on plumbing codes and regulations. Once licensed, plumbers must keep up to date on new technologies and best practices in the industry to maintain their certification.
Additional qualifications that plumbers must have to meet the needs of customers include strong physical strength and a willingness to work outdoors in inclement weather. Additionally, they must be comfortable using hand and power tools and have good math skills to understand blueprints and rough drawings. They must also have the ability to read and convert measurements. Finally, plumbing technicians should be familiar with various types of materials such as PVC, CPVC and cast iron.
A plumber’s work environment can vary widely. Some plumbers are self-employed and can set their own hours, but others may work for plumbing companies or on construction sites where they have to follow the lead of supervisors and other trade workers. Many plumbers are in demand and can make a good income, but the job can be physically demanding and stressful.
For example, plumbers often work in cramped spaces and must be able to maneuver in tight corners to unclog drains or repair pipes. They also must be comfortable working with power tools and other machinery. If a high school student wants to become a plumber, they should seek out part-time jobs that can provide them with experience in these areas, such as working at a hardware store.
In addition, plumbers have to deal with the pressure of ensuring that water and waste are processed safely. They are responsible for the plumbing systems in homes, buildings and other structures, so it’s important that they are able to work safely and keep up with any changes in regulations. Some plumbers are in demand and can earn a good salary, but others may be unemployed or underemployed at certain times of the year.
As with other tradespeople, employment of plumbers is sensitive to overall economic activity. In some cases, plumbing contractors must lay off workers during slumps in construction. However, the maintenance and repair of plumbing systems must continue during these periods, so there are still jobs available for plumbers. Many plumbers are members of labor unions, which can help them get jobs when there’s a shortage. Some unions also provide apprenticeship programs for prospective plumbers, who can receive on-the-job training while earning a paycheck. This can be a great way to learn the trade and begin a career without incurring significant debt. Certification is required in most states for plumbers, and it may be possible to earn a journeyman license with two or five years of on-the-job experience. This can open up opportunities for advancement and higher salaries. In addition, it indicates that a plumber has met certain standards of practice and knowledge of the plumbing code.
Plumbers help to maintain a safe and healthy environment in homes and commercial buildings. They provide a vital service that helps to ensure easy access to clean drinking water and safe drainage systems to eliminate waste. Without these vital services, human life would be much more difficult and dangerous.
The career path of a licensed plumber offers many benefits including job security, financial stability and a sense of achievement and pride in one’s work. As the demand for these professionals continues to increase, so too will wages. While the job may not be for everyone, it is well worth considering if you have manual dexterity and coordination, like working with your hands and enjoy meeting new people. You should also be prepared to work hard and learn quickly.
In addition to earning a great salary, being a plumber can lead to opportunities to grow your skillset and move up the ranks in the industry. For example, some plumbers choose to pursue additional education and become certified in specialized areas such as medical gas systems or sustainable plumbing solutions. These certifications often allow them to command higher plumber wages than those who have not.
Another way to boost your salary is to build a strong professional network and effectively market yourself and your services. This can result in increased opportunities to meet with clients, contractors and other plumbers who could potentially refer you to more jobs or become repeat customers.
Plumbers with the right combination of skills, experience and training can easily earn more than $100,000 a year. This is significantly higher than the average American’s annual income of $52,590 and demonstrates that being a licensed plumber is an excellent career choice.
The future looks bright for the plumbing industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment in this field to grow 7% through 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This is due to the continued need for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters to maintain and repair the plumbing in our homes and businesses. In addition, the demand for new construction projects will continue to drive hiring.