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Although most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn on the job through an apprenticeship, some start out by attending a technical school. Most states and localities require plumbers to be licensed.Education
A high school diploma or equivalent is required.
Technical schools offer courses on pipe system design, safety, and tool use. They also offer welding courses that are considered necessary by some pipefitter and steamfitter apprenticeship training programs.Training
Most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade through a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship. Each year, apprentices must have at least 1,700 to 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 246 hours of related technical education.
In the classroom, apprentices learn safety, local plumbing codes and regulations, and blueprint reading. They also study mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry.
Apprenticeship programs are offered by unions and businesses. Although most workers enter apprenticeships directly, some start out as helpers. Some apprenticeship programs have preferred entry for veterans. To enter an apprenticeship program, a trainee must meet the following requirements:
Some plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn on the job through specific task-oriented training. Employers provide training that enables workers to complete a variety of tasks. The Home Builders Institute offers a pre-apprenticeship training program for eight construction trades, including plumbing.
After completing an apprenticeship program, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are considered to be journey workers, qualifying them to perform duties on their own.
With additional technical education and several years of plumbing experience, plumbers are eligible to earn master status. Some states require a business to employ a master plumber in order to obtain a plumbing contractor’s license.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Most states and localities require plumbers to be licensed. Although licensing requirements vary, most states and localities require workers to have 2 to 5 years of experience and to pass an exam that shows their knowledge of the trade and of local plumbing codes before they are permitted to work independently.
A few states require pipefitters to be licensed. Several states require a special license to work on gas lines. Obtaining a license requires taking a test, gaining experience through work, or both. For more information, check with your state’s licensing board.Important Qualities
Business skills. Plumbers who own their own business must be able to direct workers, bid on jobs, and plan work schedules.
Customer-service skills. Plumbers work with customers on a regular basis, so they should be polite and courteous.
Mechanical skills. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters use a variety of tools to assemble and repair pipe systems. Choosing the right tool and successfully installing, repairing, or maintaining a system is crucial to their work.
Physical strength. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters must be strong enough to lift and move heavy pipe.
Troubleshooting skills. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters find, diagnose, and repair problems. For example, pipefitters must be able to perform pressure tests to pinpoint the location of a leak.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Pipe Fitter
Top Careers After Pipe Fitter
Hispanic or Latino12.3%
Black or African American0.5%
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Tulsa Welding School9.3%
University of Phoenix8.1%
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College7.3%
Houston Community College6.1%
Del Mar College5.3%
Southeastern Louisiana University5.3%
Trident Technical College4.9%
Baton Rouge Community College4.9%
University of Houston4.5%
Universal Technical Institute4.0%
Ferris State University3.6%
Delgado Community College3.6%
Jones County Junior College3.6%
University of Southern Mississippi3.2%
South Texas College3.2%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Pipe Fitter||American Pipe & Tank||Islandia, NY||Jan 08, 2015||$69,909|
|Pipe Fitters||M. Esposito Heating Contractors, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 16, 2009||$62,255|
|Pipe Fitter||Custom Plumbing & Heating, Inc.||Northvale, NJ||Jun 20, 2011||$59,396|
|Pipe Fitter||Custom Plumbing & Heating, Inc.||Northvale, NJ||Nov 09, 2011||$59,396|
|Pipe Fitter||Nexmat, LLC||TX||Apr 10, 2014||$56,412|
|Pipe Fitter||ATX Environmental Solutions, LLC||TX||Jun 01, 2014||$56,412|
|Pipe Fitter||ATX Environmental Solutions, LLC||TX||Apr 10, 2014||$56,412|
|Pipe Fitter||Nexmat, LLC||TX||Jun 01, 2014||$56,412|
|Pipe Fitter||GNC America Inc.||NY||Aug 01, 2011||$56,140|
|Pipe Fitter||GNC America Inc.||TX||Dec 20, 2012||$54,784|
|Pipe Fitter||Nexmat, LLC||TX||Dec 20, 2012||$54,784|
|Pipe Fitter||Hanyangeng USA Inc.||TX||Dec 20, 2012||$54,784|
|Pipe Fitters||Avon Plumbing & Heating, Inc.||NY||Dec 17, 2010||$52,770|
|Pipe Fitter||Space Plus, Inc.||TX||Mar 15, 2012||$49,149|
|Pipe Fitter||Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc.||Huntington Beach, CA||Jun 21, 2011||$48,797|
|Pipe Fitter||North American Shipbuilding, LLC||LA||Oct 01, 2013||$48,627|
|Pipe Fitter||Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC||LA||Jul 01, 2014||$48,627|
|Pipe Fitter||Kiewit Offshore Services, Ltd.||Ingleside, TX||Oct 01, 2016||$47,730|
|Pipe Fitter||Nexmat, LLC||TX||Dec 01, 2013||$46,519|
|Pipe Fitters||Orbit Plumbing & Heating||New York, NY||Mar 31, 2010||$46,519|
|Pipe Fitters||P.J.'s Softball Park, LLC||Spring, TX||May 11, 2011||$43,368|
|Pipe Fitter||F. Gavina & Sons, Inc.||Vernon, CA||Aug 03, 2010||$43,222|
|Pipe Fitter||F. Gavina & Sons, Inc.||Vernon, CA||Sep 16, 2008||$43,222|
|Pipe Fitter||Plant Process Equipment, Inc.||TX||Feb 06, 2015||$43,201|
|Pipe Fitter||Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC||LA||Sep 06, 2013||$42,825|
|Pipe Fitter||P.J.F. Fabrication, Inc.||Dayton, TX||Aug 02, 2010||$40,435|
|Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters||J.W. Huff Construction Co., Inc.||Alexander, AR||Feb 07, 2011||$39,728|
|Pipe Fitters||Foothills Fire Protection, Inc.||Scottsdale, AZ||Sep 08, 2010||$39,653 -
|Pipe Fitter||Aquarius Plumbing, Inc.||Prospect Heights, IL||Apr 07, 2009||$36,171|
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