Plumbers, Pipefitters, & Steamfitters
Also called: Pipefitter, Plumber, Sprinkler Fitter, Steamfitter
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters keep civilization in running water, sanitation, and heat for comfort and cleaning. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipe systems to transport water, chemicals, and waste. They use saws to make holes in floors and walls and pipe cutters to size pipe accurately. Plumbers work on water, drainage, and gas pipes in homes and businesses. They also install plumbing fixtures and appliances. They rescue homeowners from leaks, clogged drains, and malfunctioning septic systems. Pipefitters install and repair pipes that carry chemicals, acids, and gases— usually in power plants and industrial settings. Some install fire sprinkler systems. Steamfitters install pipe systems that move steam under high pressure; most work at college campus facilities and natural gas power plants. With high rates of injury on the job, precautions must be taken with common tasks such as lifting heavy materials, handling tools, and climbing ladders. Work schedules are full time, and may include nights, weekends, and emergency calls. A 4- to 5-year apprenticeship is typically required, combining paid on-the-job training with classroom study. A license is generally required for plumbers, and some states license pipefitters and gas line workers. Helpers assist experienced trades professionals, haul tools and materials, and clean work areas. They typically have a high school education, and learn on the job.
What they do:Assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. Includes sprinkler fitters.
On the job, you would:
- Shut off steam, water, or other gases or liquids from pipe sections, using valve keys or wrenches.
- Install underground storm, sanitary, or water piping systems, extending piping as needed to connect fixtures and plumbing.
- Assemble pipe sections, tubing, or fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, or welding equipment.
Engineering and Technology
- building and construction
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
- customer service
Safety and Government
- public safety and security
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
- put together small parts with your fingers
- hold or move items with your hands
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- use rules to solve problems
- use your lower back and stomach
- exercise for a long time without your muscles getting tired
- imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
- Bentley Systems AutoPIPE
- Watter Hammer Software Hytran
Computer aided design CAD software
- Drawing and drafting software
- Control & Valve Installers & Repairers
- Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, & Steamfitters
- Septic Tank Servicers & Sewer Pipe Cleaners
You might like a career in one of these industries: