How to Become a Plumber
Plumber Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of a Plumber
Plumber Salary
Influential Professionals in the Plumber Field
Leading Plumber Organizations
Top Cities for Plumber Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Plumber

Plumbers - as the name signifies - are those who take care of and maintain the plumbing work of a building, be it residential or commercial. History, dating back to the ancient days, along with excavations, has shown the quality of plumbing that was used during those days, and it is apparent that plumbers have been around for centuries. Plumbers are in high demand and one simply cannot construct a building without them. Apart from buildings, whenever there is any type of construction job, from dams, to underground sewage systems, to overhead water supply tanks, all of them demand the assistance of plumbers at some stage or the other.

Most plumbers start out as apprentices and they get their training through community colleges and technical or career schools. As an apprentice they also have the opportunity to learn while on the job. There are special apprenticeship programs that the help the new plumbers to learn more about this profession.

For the most complete training available for such jobs, apprenticeship programs are the best option. These programs are usually run by union locals along with their associated organizations and also by contractor organizations that do not belong to any unions. There are many organizations that sponsor apprenticeships and they include the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; the Associated Builders and Contractors; the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors; etc.

Even though there are no specific licensing requirements, most communities and states necessitate that the plumbers have a valid license. In order to secure a license the plumbers should have two to five years of working experience and they are also required to successfully complete an examination that checks out their knowledge regarding the trade and also their knowledge about local plumbing codes and ordinances before they are permitted to work independently. Some states require plumbers to obtain a special license before they are permitted to work on gas lines. Again, pipe fitters require a special license in order to work in certain states. Obtaining these licenses requires the budding plumber to undergo a test or depends on their skills and in some instances, a combination of both.

What does a Plumber do?

Though in general we simply call them plumbers, this particular trade consists of specific branches, all of which come under the `plumber' category and they include pipe layers, pipe fitters, steam fitters and plumbers. If you have ever faced any problem with the plumbing system of your residence or if the drain has ever become clogged, you have probably required the services of a plumber. When you are constructing a new building you require the services of the pipe layer, who plans how the pipes of the building should be arranged and he consults directly with the architect of the building under construction.

Using the plans provided by the blueprint, he lays out the different pipes from the reservoir to the overhead tank and from there to the different outlets in the building that require water. Pipes leading from the bathrooms, kitchens outlets etc. to the drainage system are also laid by him. Once his job is over, the pipe fitter comes in. His job is to fit together all the pipes laid out by the pipe layer and requires a great deal of experience. The plumber then steps in and fits the outlets of the pipes to cisterns, internal water storage tanks and also fixes up faucets and showers as and where required. The plumber is also expected to maintain the pipe fittings of a building as and when there are any problems.

In industrial organizations the plumbers, along with the pipe layers and pipe fitters, are expected to install and maintain along with undertaking the repairing of various types of pipe systems. There are some systems that flow the water to the water treatment section of the municipal organization and from there to public, commercial and residential buildings. There are many other different types of pipe fittings like those that carry gas to the stoves or pipes that are used to provide the cooling and heating requirements of buildings.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Plumber?

Apart from plumbing skills, you need to have the capacity to work unsupervised and have a good knowledge of basic mathematics. You should have the capabilities to read documents and technical diagrams like blueprints and understand the various plumbing symbols used by programs like Autocad. You should also have the capability to make an accurate estimate of how much the job is going to cost along with assessing how much material will be required. Being comfortable with the tools of the trade, both mechanical and electrical, is an absolute must. Communicating in a clear and concise way with the customer along with the ability to draw up paperwork portraying the materials used and where they were used is essential. You should also be of sound physique and have the ability to lift reasonably heavy weights.

How much do Plumbers make?

Depending on the type of job, a plumber can expect $17.86 to $25.00 per hour. The lowest pay scale is for working for the local government and the highest is for those working in the natural gas distribution sector.
Plumber Salary | More details for Plumber Jobs | Salary

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

The American politician, James P. O'Toole owns a small business and is a member of the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 562 labor union.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

There are a number of plumbing and related organizations and some of them are: American Society of Plumbing Engineers, American Supply Association,, Plumbing Foundation City of New York and United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices.

What are the top cities for Plumbing jobs?

As long as there is any construction work, be it an industry, a residential building, a mall, or even a pipeline over the desert or under the sea, there will be work for plumbers. This is one industry that is not region specific. However, recent statistics indicate that Baltimore, Dallas, Columbia and Houston are good locations for plumbers seeking work.

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