What is a Plumber

Plumbers are also known as pipefitters or steamfitters. They install and repair pipes carrying either liquids or gases in residential or commercial properties. As a plumber, you will also install domestic appliances that have to do with cooling, heating, etc. Also, you are to handle queries from clients and respond to call-outs. In addition, troubleshooting and resolving problems is also one of your responsibilities.

Put differently, you are responsible for fixing leaks, damages, and any other problems homeowners might encounter with their pipes, heating, and cooling system. Apart from this, you need to prepare cost estimates and come to an agreement with homeowners on the cost. Plus, you must determine the best working practices to reduce costs. However, most plumbers tend to learn the job through being an apprentice. Some, however, attend technical school. A high school diploma is usually required for this position. A plumber makes about $56,696 on average annually.

What Does a Plumber Do

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry liquids or gases to, from, and within businesses, homes, and factories.

Learn more about what a Plumber does

How To Become a Plumber

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:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Pass a basic math test
  • Pass substance abuse screening
  • Know how to use computers

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.

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Average Salary
$56,696
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
14%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
7,326
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Plumber

Plumbers in America make an average salary of $56,696 per year or $27 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $99,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $32,000 per year.
Average Salary
$56,696
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Plumber Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Plumber. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Plumber Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Plumber resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Plumber Demographics

Plumber Gender Statistics

male

91.1 %

female

5.1 %

unknown

3.7 %

Plumber Ethnicity Statistics

White

68.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.6 %

Black or African American

9.3 %

Plumber Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

72.2 %

French

6.1 %

German

4.2 %
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Plumber Education

Plumber Degrees

High School Diploma

53.1 %

Associate

15.0 %

Diploma

12.2 %
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Online Courses For Plumber That You May Like

Flow of fluids through piping systems, valves and pumps
udemy
4.3
(469)

Learn to size valves & piping systems, calculate pressure drop, flow of liquids & gases through pipe, fittings & valves...

Know Read Understand Piping & Instrumentation Diagrams P & IDs
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Learn how Process Control, Safety Instrumented Systems, Interlock & Alarms are represented in engineering P & ID drawings...

PG Diploma in Piping Design Engineering
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Learn Piping Design Engineering...

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Top Skills For a Plumber

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.2% of plumbers listed hand tools on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and dexterity are important as well.

  • Hand Tools, 10.2%
  • Pipe Systems, 9.8%
  • Plumbers, 8.7%
  • Customer Service, 8.7%
  • Cast Iron, 6.1%
  • Other Skills, 56.5%
  • See All Plumber Skills

12 Plumber RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Plumber

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a plumber. The best states for people in this position are Oregon, Alaska, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Plumbers make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $89,812. Whereas in Alaska and Rhode Island, they would average $87,589 and $83,159, respectively. While plumbers would only make an average of $80,361 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Montana

Total Plumber Jobs:
85
Highest 10% Earn:
$126,000
Location Quotient:
2.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Alaska

Total Plumber Jobs:
59
Highest 10% Earn:
$120,000
Location Quotient:
2
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Plumber Jobs:
182
Highest 10% Earn:
$154,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Plumbers

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