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
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Estimate time, material, or labor costs for use in project plans.
- Install underground storm, sanitary, or water piping systems, extending piping as needed to connect fixtures and plumbing.
- Inspect structures to assess material or equipment needs, to establish the sequence of pipe installations, or to plan installation around obstructions, such as electrical wiring.
- Install green plumbing equipment, such as faucet flow restrictors, dual-flush or pressure-assisted flush toilets, or tankless hot water heaters.
- Cut openings in structures to accommodate pipes or pipe fittings, using hand or power tools.
- Weld small pipes or special piping, using specialized techniques, equipment, or materials, such as computer-assisted welding or microchip fabrication.
- Install alternative water sources, such as rainwater harvesting systems or graywater reuse systems.
- Recommend energy or water saving products, such as low-flow faucets or shower heads, water-saving toilets, or high-efficiency hot water heaters.
- Accounting software — Intuit QuickBooks ; Intuit Quicken; Job costing software; KRS Enterprises Service First! (see all 5 examples)
- Analytical or scientific software — Elite Software DPIPE; Elite Software FIRE; Klear Estimator; Quote Software QuoteExpress (see all 7 examples)
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk Building Systems; Elite Software Plumbing CAD; Elite Software Sprinkler CAD; Horizon Engineering Sigma Plumbing Calculator (see all 5 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software; Insight Direct ServiceCEO; PricePoint; Wintac Pro
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Facilities management software — Maintenance management software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Project management software — Estimating software; FastEST FastPipe; FastEST software; Vision InfoSoft Plumbing Bid Manager
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Atlas Construction Business Forms; Contractor City Contractor Forms Pack; Microsoft Word ; Wilhelm Publishing Threshold
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Adjustable widemouth pliers — Water pump pliers
- Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable slip lock nut wrenches
- Air compressors
- Ball peen hammer — Ball peen hammers
- Bandsaw wheel — Bandsaws
- Bench vises — Bench chain vises; Bench yoke vises; Tristand chain vises
- Blow torch — Acetylene torches; Butane torches; Propane torches
- Bolt cutters
- Box end wrenches — Ratcheting box wrenches
- Caulking guns
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Deburring tool — Deburring tools
- Desktop computers
- Detection apparatus for non metallic objects — Inductive clamps; Line locators; Transmitters
- Dewatering pumps — Utility pumps
- Diagonal cut pliers — Diagonal cutting pliers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Video diagnostic tools
- Drain or pipe cleaning equipment — Drain cleaning cables; Hand spinners; Power sink machine drain cleaners; Toilet augers (see all 9 examples)
- Drain or toilet plunger — Plungers
- Dump trucks
- Fluid regulators — Pipe freezing kits; Water stoppers
- Gas detectors — Gas leak detection devices
- Gas generators — Generators
- Hacksaw — Hacksaws; Mini hacksaws
- Hammer drills — Rotary hammers
- Hand reamer — Inner/outer reamers
- Heat guns
- Hex keys — Allen wrenches; Hex wrenches
- Hole saws — Hole cutting tools
- Hose cutter — Gasket cutters
- Impact hammers
- Inspection mirror — Telescopic inspection mirrors
- Laser measuring systems — Laser alignment tools
- Laser printers
- Leak testing equipment — Trutest smoke detectors
- Levels — Torpedo levels
- Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Light pickup trucks
- Liquid leak detectors — Ultrasonic leak detectors
- Locking pliers — Channel lock pliers; Vise grip pliers
- Metal detectors — Magnetic locators; Rebar locators
- Moisture meters
- Notebook computers
- Nut drivers — Universal nut wrenches
- Offset socket wrenches — Hollow core socket wrenches
- Oil gun — Oilers
- Open end wrenches — Crescent wrenches
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Pipe bending tools — Tube bending springs
- Pipe extractors
- Pipe or tube cutter — Pipe cutters; Power pipe cutters; Ratcheting polyvinyl chloride PVC cutters; Tubing cutters (see all 10 examples)
- Pipe reamer — Spiral ratchet pipe reamers; Straight-fluted pipe reamers
- Pipe vises — Pipe welding vises; Tripod vises
- Pipe wrenches — End pipe wrenches; Offset pipe wrenches; Straight pipe wrenches
- Plumb bobs
- Power drills — Direct tap machines; Right-angle drills
- Power flaring tool — Flaring tools
- Power grinders — Seat dressers
- Power saws — Reciprocating saws
- Pressure indicators — Air pressure gauges; Heavy duty water pressure gauges; Maximum reading water pressure gauges; Water pressure gauges (see all 5 examples)
- Pressure or steam cleaners — Rodders; Root ranger jetter nozzles; Water jetters
- Pry bars — Crowbars
- Pullers — Compression sleeve pullers; Faucet handle pullers; Faucet stem and cartridge pullers; Tub drain removers
- Ratchets — Manual ratchet threader sets
- Screwdrivers — Flat blade screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers
- Sewage pumps
- Sheet metal grooving machine — Roll groovers
- Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine — Shielded arc welding tools
- Slip or groove joint pliers — Slip joint pliers
- Soldering iron — Soldering equipment
- Specialty wrenches — Chain wrenches; Spud wrenches; Strainer wrenches; Water heater element removal wrenches (see all 20 examples)
- Spot welding machine — Welders
- Square file — Thread repair files
- Staple guns
- Strap wrenches — Rubber strap wrenches
- Sump pumps
- Swaging tools
- Tablet computers
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Tapping machine attachment — Tapping tools
- Thermographs — Non-contact infrared thermometers
- Threading die — Threading machine die heads
- Threading dies — Plastic pipe/conduit die heads
- Threading machine — Power pipe threading machines; Receding threaders; Three-way pipe threaders
- Threading taps — Pipe taps
- Tinners snips — Tin snips
- Tongs — Chain tongs
- Torque wrenches — No hub torque wrenches
- Torx keys — Four-in-one keys; Shut-off keys; Water meter keys
- Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe — Lathes
- Trenching machines — Trenchers
- Tube end finisher — Tube crimping tools
- Two way radios
- Utility knives
- Vacuum gauges
- Vibration testers — Vibration analyzers
- Welder torch — Brazing equipment
- Welding masks — Welding hoods
- Wire or cable cutter — Cable saws
- 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.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- 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.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- 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.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Detailed Work Activities
- Install plumbing or piping.
- Weld metal components.
- Record operational or environmental data.
- Inspect plumbing systems or fixtures.
- Direct construction or extraction personnel.
- Maintain plumbing structures or fixtures.
- Measure materials or objects for installation or assembly.
- Mark reference points on construction materials.
- Cut metal components for installation.
- Review blueprints or specifications to determine work requirements.
- Estimate construction project costs.
- Estimate construction project labor requirements.
- Inspect work sites to determine condition or necessary repairs.
- Install green plumbing or water handling systems.
- Cut openings in existing structures.
- Communicate with clients about products, procedures, and policies.
- Estimate materials requirements for projects.
- Install solar energy systems.
- Test green technology installations to verify performance.
- 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.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 41% responded “Some freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 39% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “Some freedom.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 46% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Moderate results.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 49% responded “High responsibility.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 40% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 45% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 36% responded “More than half the time.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 47% responded “Important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 55% responded “Very important.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 36% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Physical Proximity — 61% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 61% responded “40 hours.”
- Consequence of Error — 45% responded “Serious.”
- Exposed to Disease or Infections — 31% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 50% responded “More than half the time.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 37% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 32% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 59% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Fairly important.”
- Exposed to High Places — 40% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
|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 hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, nannies, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: RCI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- 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.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
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 (2017)||$25.28 hourly, $52,590 annual|
|Employment (2016)||481,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2016-2026)||Much faster than average (15% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2016-2026)||61,000|
|Top industries (2016)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data and 2016-2026 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.