On a job, plumbers work with pipe systems by installing them, making necessary repairs and doing preventative maintenance to keep them running smoothly. The systems that they work on can be found in a variety of settings, such as industries, schools, private homes and public buildings. These systems do not always have to work with only water, but can also deal with waste drainage. Plumbers also install showers, toilets, sinks and bathtubs along with other appliances that make use of water piping. These individuals need to have extensive knowledge of building codes, have the ability to read house and building blueprints, different types of pipe to be used for different jobs and how to lay out the plumbing correctly.
Many plumbing careers benefit greatly from the completion of a training program, which can leader to higher pay and more job opportunities. Check out the programs below which offer free information:
Plumber Job Responsibilities
When they read a blueprint, a plumber ascertains where the pipe needs to be laid and then takes measurements of that specific area. Their primary goal is to use the least amount of materials to successfully complete the job. During installation, the individual will use a variety of tools such as wrenches, special cutting machines and may possibly have to do welding. Installation also involves putting in various fixtures in dealing with a variety of types, including plastic and copper, depending on the job. This job requires the ability to work in cramped spaces, technical knowledge, lifting, strength and physical endurance.
Plumber Training and Education Requirements
The training to become a plumber can follow different routes. Some individuals may choose to enter a community college or technical school program that is focused on this trade. For a more in-depth training experience, an apprenticeship is another choice available. This can also be done in tandem with a school-based program. Apprenticeship programs are established by a union, a company or a contractor and/or a nonunion group. Many times, the company and organization will work together to establish the necessary training experience.
In an apprenticeship program, the individual will spend a total of 4 to 5 years getting hands-on training while working under an experienced plumber and get paid during this time. Also, he or she will have to complete at least 144 hours in the classroom learning various learning various skills and tasks. These may include math, regional codes and specific regulations related to plumbing, safety procedures, how to read blueprints and application of chemistry and physics to their job. While they are getting on the job experience, the apprentice will learn how to name the different varieties of type, moving materials correctly and safely; proper use of specific tools. As the individual advances in their training, they will get practice putting in different typing systems and various fixtures on the job.
In order to enter and apprenticeship program, the individual has to be a minimum of 18 years of age and be physically fit. He or she may also be required to pass a drug test and have a high school diploma or GED. Having a high school diploma is required for programs approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. In these programs, the apprentice can even receive college credit through the local community college or university. To preparation, taking high school courses in math, drafting, computers, physics and shop classes can help to prepare the individual. Also, any military training related to plumbing can also be extremely valuable and can earn an individual some credit when they enter the program.
Plumber Salary and Wages
By 2018, jobs and the plumbing field are expected to grow, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, by approximately 18%. The average hourly wage for a skilled plumber is around $21.94. The lowest paid per hour was at or below $13.22, while the highest pay per hour was at or above $37.93. Many plumbers work either for a company, a contractor or work on their on as an individual. They are found in a number of fields, including construction and heating and air.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Those wanting to advance within the field easily moved into a supervisory position or can move up to work in areas such as building inspection. They can also become a plumbing contractor, working on larger projects such as home renovations and construction. Others have worked for the government, the petroleum industry and various chemical industries as well. These individuals helped to perform routine maintenance, new installations and various repairs.
On a national level, the federal government does not legally require a plumber to have a license under a nationally based system. At the state and local level, though, an individual may be required to be licensed. The requirements vary with each area or state, the usually a plumber will be mandated to have a minimum of 2 to 5 years of work experience and have to pass a license examination. This test will measure things such as knowledge of the work and skills required and of the area’s codes for plumbing. They may even have to attain a separate license to work with gas lines.
Plumber Professional Associations
The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association supports its members by offering educational opportunities and improving safe working conditions. Located in Falls Church, Virginia, also helps members to learn how to improve their business opportunities and advance within the profession.