Plumbers and Pipefitters


Overview

Introduction

Plumbers and pipefitters assemble, install, alter, and repair pipes and pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids and gases for sanitation and industrial purposes as well as other uses. Plumbers also install plumbing fixtures, appliances, and heating and refrigerating units. There are approximately 442,870 plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters working in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$55,160

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Apprenticeship


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Skills

Business Management


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Personality Traits

Conventional

Earnings

Plumbers and pipefitters had median earnings of $55,160 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The lowest 10 percent earned $32,690 or less and the top 10 percent earned $97,170 or more annually.

Pay rates for apprentices usually start at 30 to 50 percent of the experienced worker's rate, and increase by 5 percent every six months until a rate of 95 percent is reached. B...

Work Environment

Most plumbers have a regular 40-hour workweek with extra pay for overtime. Unlike most of the other building trades, this field is little affected by seasonal factors. The work of the plumber is active and strenuous. Standing for prolonged periods and working in cramped or uncomfortable positions are often necessary. Possible risks include falls from ladders, cuts from sharp tools, and burns fr...

Outlook

Employment opportunities for plumbers (especially those with Building Information Modeling software knowledge) are expected to grow much faster than the average for all jobs through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Job growth will be due to increased construction and renovation projects. Increased focus on water conservation will also create greater need for plumbers to retrofit...

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