They may not be among the most glamorous professionals. Nonetheless, living a comfortable life is nearly impossible without Plumbers who install and maintain pipes and fixtures in any site that requires running water.
Similar Job Titles
- Drain Technician
- Residential Plumber
- Service Plumber
- Commercial Plumber
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Plumbers do?
A Plumber would typically need to:
- Install and maintain pipelines for potable water, heating, drainage, irrigation, and sewage in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.
- Understand or plan the layout of plumbing, waste disposal, and water supply systems by reading blueprints and drawings while keeping local building codes in mind.
- Prepare cost estimates for clients by determining the supplies and equipment required for work.
- Cut, construct, and install pipes and tubes while keeping existing infrastructure, such as electrical wire, in mind.
- Inspect and test installed pipe systems and pipelines for airtightness and water tightness.
- Repair or replace broken drainage lines, clogged drains, and faucets; maintain, troubleshoot, and repair defective plumbing systems.
- Install and repair household appliances such as showers, sinks, ovens, gas fireplaces, and washing machines; maintain air conditioning, ventilation and radiators.
- Attend emergency calls to find and repair problems with water supply lines (e.g., leaks), particularly in cold weather; install weather-proofing material on roofs, chimneys, and walls.
- Installing and connecting rainwater, soil, and drainage pipelines; doing routine maintenance on boilers and other appliances
- Assist with the upkeep of septic systems, which are enormous, underground holding tanks that collect waste from homes that are not connected to a public sewer system.
- When working as a master plumber, assist in the development of designs that depict the location of pipes and fittings; ensure that the plumbing fulfills building requirements.
- Save architects time and money by sharing their experience in establishing the ideal sites for wall passage and fixture locations.
Standard Work Environment
Plumbers operate in factories, houses, and enterprises where running water is necessary. They must climb ladders, lift heavy materials, and work in cramped quarters.
Some people go to work every day and may have to plan overnight stays away from home. Work outside in all weather conditions may be required.
Plumbers typically work full-time, including nights, weekends, and holidays. They are frequently called upon to address emergencies. Professionals who work for themselves may be allowed to determine their own hours.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Plumbers can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting companies directly, using job search platforms, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies. Consulting and self-employment are feasible choices.
Plumbers are generally employed by:
- Building Contractors
- Construction Firms
- Architectural Firms
- Educational Institutions
- Municipal Authorities
- The Armed Forces
- Owners of Buses, Recreational Vehicles, Large Aeroplanes, Yachts, and Cruise Ships
Unions / Professional Organizations
Most plumbers are members of trade unions, which offer training and certification programs, as well as health insurance, vacation time, and retirement benefits. If you join a union, you will most likely earn higher money and have better job security.
Professional groups and organizations, such as The World Plumbing Council, are essential for a Plumber who wants to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their industry or trade.
Membership in one or more of these organizations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Susceptibility to injuries such as cuts from sharp tools burns from hot pipes and soldering equipment and falls from ladders
- Neck, shoulder, and back problems from carrying heavy tools and material and being on call 24/7/365
- The need to work at heights, in confined spaces around electrical work, natural gas lines, human waste, and all sorts of weather
- Unsteady source of income until well-established in the field
- High probability of going home with the lingering smells from the drains and sewage
Suggested Work Experience
Apart from an established reputation for consistently outstanding work, self-employed plumbers may not require any further qualifications.
Individuals looking for work can consider enrolling in an apprenticeship program, where they will receive four to five years of paid on-the-job training as well as access to classroom teaching through a day or block-release course at a technical-vocational school.
Apprenticeship programs are frequently sponsored by unions, trade groups, and local businesses. Most applicants begin as helpers or complete a pre-apprenticeship training program before entering a program.
A high school diploma or equivalent is usually required to become a plumber. Pipe system design, safety, and tool use are all taught in vocational-technical schools.
It could take four to seven years to become a journey-level plumber who works under the supervision of a Master Plumber. This time span covers the time required to complete an apprenticeship and get a trade school diploma or associate degree.
Some educational institutions give a range of technical certificates in mechanical engineering services – plumbing. During brief intensive training courses, trainees learn about water regulations assessment, unvented hot water evaluation, and gas safety competence, some of which include home study choices.
Make sure you took math, physics, and chemistry in high school because your vocational-technical course will contain all of those courses as well as safety, drafting, blueprint reading, applied physics, and local plumbing laws and regulations.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
Optional plumbing design certification from a reputable and objective organization will help you distinguish yourself in a competitive employment market and further your career.
To practice as a plumber, you must have a valid license. Furthermore, most employers require a driver’s license. Typically, licensure includes an application, processing fees, a trade knowledge examination, and relevant education and experience. For more information, contact your local licensing board.
Anyone installing or repairing gas fittings or appliances is required by law to register. Plumbers who operate on gas installations must register with the appropriate local authorities and obtain the necessary ID card before beginning work.
A background check is also required by prospective employers. A person’s job history, education, credit history, motor vehicle records (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, usage of social media, and drug screening are all examples of employment background checks.
Projected Career Map
Career advancement is driven by performance, experience, and the acquisition of professional certifications.
Plumbers with significant experience who pass a qualifying exam can advance to become Master Plumbers, Supervisors, or Project Managers. You can specialise in one of four areas: heating, ventilation, refrigeration, or air conditioning. Some plumbers go on to work in design consulting, education, and management.
After obtaining additional licensure, you might also choose to become an independent contractor and manage your own business or specialist firm.
Candidates with expert qualifications, licensure, and substantial experience have the best career prospects.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Plumber in developing personal skills and competency through work-based learning, a professional activity, formal education, or self-directed learning.
Journey-level Plumbers can advance to master plumber status by studying for and passing a demanding exam.
Those who meet the eligibility criteria may be granted endorsements for medical gas piping installation or expertise in multipurpose home fire prevention or water supply protection.
Plumbers who install and maintain well-functioning systems that convey water, waste, gases, or hot liquids will always have pipes, wrenches, and elbow grease in their lives, whether they are on call 24/7/365 as workers of a small plumbing firm or the company’s owner.
Advice from the Wise
“Trade is the way forward.” You obtain benefits such as no college debt, a paid apprenticeship, and compensated internships. If you find the proper employer or join a union, you can get an education. After four years, you’ll have a plumbing journeyman’s licence. The sky is the limit after that. You can work as a worker, foreman, manager, road supervisor, project manager, or establish your own business. It is all up to you.”