A plumber installs and maintains water, gas, drainage, and sewage systems in homes and businesses. Their work requires strong technical skills and a high level of reliability.
Typically, plumbers have a trade school diploma or completed an apprenticeship program. They may attend technical or trade schools for further training in pipe system design, safety and tool use.
Plumbers install, repair and maintain pipes that carry water, gas, air, sewage or other fluids. They may work in residential or commercial buildings and can be employed by a large contractor, or they can be self-employed.
Their job duties include evaluating plumbing systems to identify problems and resolve them, installing new systems or fixing existing ones, inspecting the work site for safety issues and ensuring that the work meets health codes, and communicating with clients regarding costs and scope of the project. They often travel to different work sites each day, and they are on call for emergencies.
They work with a variety of materials and equipment, including plumbing supplies, pipe fittings, tools, and electrical fixtures. They may also use specialized techniques, such as performing computer-assisted welding or working with special piping used in microchip fabrication.
The job of a plumber requires strong problem-solving skills and a high level of physical strength. They may be required to lift heavy equipment and move pipes, and they have to be able to work long hours as they often perform repairs on weekends or nights.
A plumber can also work with a team of other professionals, such as electricians who install electrical fixtures and drywallers who work on constructing walls. Their ability to collaborate with each other can save time and money on the project.
You may be involved in the design of a project, drafting blueprints and helping make the installation process more efficient. You can also help plan the layout of a plumbing system, ensuring that it fits properly in a home or building.
Your duties also include assessing a job site to determine the materials and equipment needed, and locating underground piping as necessary. You can then plan the layout, use hand and power tools to cut and thread pipes, and use specialized methods to repair leaks or replace broken pieces of pipes.
The job of a plumber is an interesting and rewarding career, with many people continuing in the field well beyond retirement age. It is also a profession that offers excellent prospects for upward mobility, job security and low stress levels.
Plumbing is a specialized trade that requires years of training and experience. If you’re interested in becoming a plumber, consider completing a trade school program that will prepare you for on-the-job work and help you meet the state licensure requirements.
In addition to classroom learning, you can take courses on job estimation, layout, and installation of piping systems and fixtures. You’ll also learn about gas and electric welding and backflow prevention devices.
You can enroll in an apprenticeship program with a union or trade organization or a college-level plumbing program. Many of these programs last between two and five years. After gaining the required experience, you’ll become a journeyman plumber.
The process of becoming a certified plumber takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work. It involves a series of steps that include getting your high school diploma or GED, completing an apprenticeship and gaining experience on the job, passing licensing exams and meeting other qualifications.
A high school diploma or GED gives you a base of knowledge in math, science and English. These are important skills to have on the job because you’ll be communicating with your clients about their plumbing problems and creating bids to sell services.
After graduating from a plumbing apprenticeship, you’ll need to pass a series of tests that assess your knowledge of codes and regulations. You’ll also need to prove that you have a background check and that you’re in good health.