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A plumber specializes in the installation and maintenance of the piping that runs in and under homes, businesses and more. The pipes carry the water necessary for comfortable living.
Most plumbers run their own businesses, working on an as-needed basis in their community.
Pay tends to be very high, particularly for self-employed plumbers, and educational requirements are lenient.
Plumbers work in a number of capacities, doing everything from commercial wellhead installations to residential pipe laying.
Plumbers only need a high school diploma or GED to get started or formal training program may not be required to become a plumber, it can aid advancement and teach students useful skills that can come in handy on the job. Many trade or technical schools and community colleges offer formal training programs for aspiring plumbers.
Most of the training comes from an apprenticeship under a more experienced plumber than can last anywhere from a few months to several years.
Plumbers must be skilled at communicating with customers to determine where the problem is in the pipe and be able to navigate cramped and tight conditions.
A moderate amount of strength is required as pipes are often rusted and in locations where there is little leverage.
- Reading, drawings, and figures to understand the layout of water supply, waste, and venting systems.
- Installing, repairing and maintaining domestic, commercial, and industrial plumbing fixtures and systems.
- Being able to work in confined spaces or at certain heights.
- Communicating effectively and confidently with colleagues, subcontractors, and management.
- Locating pipe connections, passage holes, and fixtures in walls and floors.
- Using hand and power tools, as well as machines, to measure, cut, bend and thread pipes.
- Planning and performing calculations for specific and unique projects.
- Providing time and cost estimates of the work to be performed (both labour and materials).
- Being able to test pipes for leakages using water as well as air pressure gauges.
- Knowledge of legal restrictions and safety rules
- Meeting safety standards and taking note of build regulations.
The job market for plumbers is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2022. This projection is above average when compared to other careers with an estimated 13,050 jobs opening each year.
Plumbers often work for companies or strike out on their own to become independent service providers.
Plumbers are also often employed by hospitals and universities due to the amount of plumbing systems used in buildings on these campuses.