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Summary Report for:
47-2152.02 - Plumbers

Assemble, install, or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, or drainage systems, according to specifications or plumbing codes.

Sample of reported job titles: Commercial Plumber; Drain Cleaner, Plumber; Drain Technician; Journeyman Plumber; Master Plumber; Plumber; Plumber Gasfitter; Plumbing and Heating Mechanic; Residential Plumber; Service Plumber

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Assemble pipe sections, tubing, or fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, or welding equipment.
  • Install pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers or water heaters, or fixtures such as sinks or toilets, using hand or power tools.
  • Keep records of work assignments.
  • Fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.
  • Direct helpers engaged in pipe cutting, preassembly, or installation of plumbing systems or components.
  • Maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.
  • Locate and mark the position of pipe installations, connections, passage holes, or fixtures in structures, using measuring instruments such as rulers or levels.
  • Measure, cut, thread, or bend pipe to required angle, using hand or power tools or machines such as pipe cutters, pipe-threading machines, or pipe-bending machines.
  • Review blueprints, building codes, or specifications to determine work details or procedures.
  • Anchor steel supports from ceiling joists to hold pipes in place.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Drain or pipe cleaning equipment — Drain cleaning cables; Hand spinners; Power sink machine drain cleaners; Toilet augers
Pipe or tube cutter — Pipe cutters; Power pipe cutters; Ratcheting polyvinyl chloride PVC cutters; Tubing cutters
Pressure indicators — Air pressure gauges; Heavy duty water pressure gauges; Maximum reading water pressure gauges; Water pressure gauges
Pullers — Compression sleeve pullers; Faucet handle pullers; Faucet stem and cartridge pullers; Tub drain removers
Specialty wrenches — Chain wrenches; Spud wrenches; Strainer wrenches; Water heater element removal wrenches

Technology used in this occupation:

Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks software; Intuit Quicken software; Job costing software; KRS Enterprises Service First!
Analytical or scientific software — Elite Software DPIPE; Elite Software FIRE; Klear Estimator; Quote Software QuoteExpress
Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk Building Systems; Elite Software Plumbing CAD; Elite Software Sprinkler CAD; Horizon Engineering Sigma Plumbing Calculator
Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Insight Direct ServiceCEO; PricePoint software; Wintac Pro Software
Word processing software — Atlas Construction Business Forms; Contractor City Contractor Forms Pack; Microsoft Word; Wilhelm Publishing Threshold

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Knowledge

Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

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Skills

Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Abilities

Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — 67% responded “Every day.”
Exposed to Contaminants — 51% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 56% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Telephone — 57% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 52% responded “Every day.”
Time Pressure — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 63% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
61   Post-secondary certificate Help
31   High school diploma or equivalent Help
  Associate's degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: RCI

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

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Work Values

Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

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Related Occupations

47-2011.00 Boilermakers Green Occupation
47-2152.01 Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
47-2211.00 Sheet Metal Workers Green Occupation
49-9012.00 Control and Valve Installers and Repairers, Except Mechanical Door
49-9021.01 Heating and Air Conditioning Mechanics and Installers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
49-9021.02 Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
49-9044.00 Millwrights Green Occupation
49-9051.00 Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers Green Occupation
49-9071.00 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General Bright Outlook Green Occupation
49-9092.00 Commercial Divers Bright Outlook

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.
Employment data collected from Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.
Industry data collected from Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.

Median wages (2013) $24.13 hourly, $50,180 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 387,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 130,500
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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