Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
47-3015.00

Help plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, or pipelayers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying, or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

Sample of reported job titles: Plumber's Helper

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Measure, cut, thread and assemble new pipe, placing the assembled pipe in hangers or other supports.
  • Cut or drill holes in walls or floors to accommodate the passage of pipes.
  • Perform rough-ins, repair and replace fixtures and water heaters, and locate, repair, or remove leaking or broken pipes.
  • Assist pipe fitters in the layout, assembly, and installation of piping for air, ammonia, gas, and water systems.
  • Cut pipe and lift up to fitters.
  • Fit or assist in fitting valves, couplings, or assemblies to tanks, pumps, or systems, using hand tools.
  • Requisition tools and equipment, select type and size of pipe, and collect and transport materials and equipment to work site.
  • Mount brackets and hangers on walls and ceilings to hold pipes, and set sleeves or inserts to provide support for pipes.
  • Excavate and grade ditches, and lay and join pipe for water and sewer service.
  • Disassemble and remove damaged or worn pipe.
  • Clean shop, work area, and machines, using solvent and rags.
  • Install gas burners to convert furnaces from wood, coal, or oil.
  • Fill pipes with sand or resin to prevent distortion, and hold pipes during bending and installation.
  • Immerse pipe in chemical solution to remove dirt, oil, and scale.
  • Clean and renew steam traps.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology
Hot Technologies are requirements most frequently included across all employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — 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.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • 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 materials.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • 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.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • 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.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 58% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 11% responded “Never.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing — 44% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Contact With Others — 53% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 54% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Important.”
  • Time Pressure — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling — 46% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 67% responded “40 hours.”
  • Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Telephone — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 21% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 25% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 66% responded “Important.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 32% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 28% responded “Very important results.”
  • Consequence of Error — 32% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 39% responded “Fairly important.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 40% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running — 38% responded “About half the time.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 32% responded “Never.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 22% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 27% responded “Very high responsibility.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, tellers, and dental laboratory technicians.
SVP Range
3 months to 1 year of preparation (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

No skills met the minimum score.

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Knowledge

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • High school diploma or equivalent required for some jobsmore info
  • Post-secondary certificate required for some jobs
  • Master’s degree required for some jobsmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • 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.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • 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.

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Interests

Interest code: R
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.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • 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.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • 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.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • 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.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$17.18 hourly, $35,720 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2021)
47,800 employees
Projected growth (2021-2031)
Slower than average (2% to 3%)
Projected job openings (2021-2031)
5,900
State trends
Top industries (2021)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2021-2031 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2021-2031). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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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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