What Does a Plumber Do?
Plumbers do much more than unclog drains and install new faucets. Plumbers install and maintain numerous types of piping systems found in residential and commercial properties, power plants, water treatment facilities, waste disposal plants and factories. If you are considering a career in plumbing, read on to find out what plumbers do and what areas you can specialize in. Schools offering Plumbing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Plumber Job Duties
Plumbers are primarily responsible for installing and maintaining various types of piping systems and fixtures. The exact responsibilities of a plumber depend on the particular project type. As a plumber, you must be able to follow blueprints, work with plumbing tools and know what types of materials you need for each job. Plumbers may also design piping systems for new construction projects.
During plumbing jobs, you may need to perform basic carpentry to access pipes inside walls or brace pipes to keep them in place. You will also weld, solder and attach fittings together when necessary. Once a piping system is installed, you'll install fixtures, such as bathtubs, showers, toilets, water heaters and dishwashers.
Pipelayers, pipefitters and steamfitters are all specialties within the plumbing profession. As a plumber, you can specialize in a particular area or offer services in multiple specialties, including pipelaying and pipefitting.
Pipelayers set and install the piping needed for various plumbing systems, such as water mains and storm drains. As a pipelayer, you can expect to dig and grade the trenches where the pipe will lay, set the pipes in the trenches and secure the pipes together through welding, cementing or gluing.
Pipefitters and Steamfitters
Pipefitters are mainly involved with large industrial plumbing projects. They install and maintain heating and cooling piping systems, as well as systems used to generate electricity. Steamfitters specialize in high-pressure systems that move gases or liquids, such as water, steam and compressed air.
You can train to become a plumber through plumbing apprenticeships found through trade schools and community colleges. Plumbing training programs typically take 4-5 years to complete, and usually require you to have a high school diploma or GED. Apprenticeships provide you with on-the-job training and build your knowledge of piping types, systems, tool usage, mathematics, blueprint reading, plumbing codes and water distribution.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: