PLUMBERS install, maintain, and repair many different types of plumbing and pipe systems. Plumbers install and repair drinking water, waste disposal, drainage, and gas systems in homes and commercial and industrial buildings. They also install plumbing fixtures such as bathtubs, sinks, and toilets, and appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters. Plumbers must be able to follow building plans or blueprints and instructions from supervisors, lay out the job, and work efficiently with the materials and tools of the trade.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $48,000 average per year ($23.00 per hour)
- A large occupation (358,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.5% per year)
PLUMBERS generally undergo some type of apprenticeship training. Apprenticeships, both union and nonunion, take 4 to 5 years of on-the-job training, plus about 144 hours of related classroom instruction a year. Classroom subjects include drafting and blueprint reading, mathematics, applied physics and chemistry, safety, and local plumbing codes and regulations. Applicants may require a high school diploma or equivalent and must be 18 years old. Armed forces training in plumbing is considered very good preparation.