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Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
Quick Facts : Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters*
2010 Median Pay$46,660
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012419,900
Job Outlook26% (Faster than average)
Employment Change107,600


Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases to and in businesses, homes, and factories. They connect pipes, determine the necessary materials for a job, and perform pressure tests to ensure a pipe system is airtight and watertight. They also install, maintain, and repair many different types of pipe systems.

What Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Do

  • Install, maintain, and repair pipes and fixtures
  • Study blueprints and follow state and local building codes
  • Determine the amount of material and type of equipment needed
  • Inspect and test installed pipe systems and pipelines
  • Troubleshoot and repair systems that are not working

Work Environment

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters work in factories, homes, businesses, and wherever else there are pipes or septic systems. Workers must often lift heavy materials, climb ladders, and work in tight spaces. Some plumbers travel to a variety of work sites every day.
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Job Outlook

Employment of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is projected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, spurred by the demand from construction of new power plants and factories.
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Pay

The average salary of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $46,660 in May 2010.
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Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

46660

Construction Occupations

43910.3704

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters*
Percent Change in Employment

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

25.6251

Construction Occupations

21.314657794104683

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade from a 4-5 year apprenticeship. They must have at least 1,700 to 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 246 hours of related technical education each year. Apprentices learn safety, local plumbing codes and regulations, and how to read blueprints. They also study mathematics, applied physics, and chemistry.
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