Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, & Steamfitters
Also called: Helper, Irrigation Installation Specialist, Plumber's Helper, Sprinkler Fitter
Produced by CareerOneStop
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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: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.
On the job, you would:
- 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.
Engineering and Technology
- building and construction
- customer service
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
- hold or move items with your hands
- keep your arm or hand steady
- exercise for a long time without getting out of breath
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
You might use software like this on the job:
Office suite software
Word processing software
- Construction Laborers
- Machine Feeders & Offbearers
- Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, & Tenders, Metal & Plastic
- Refuse & Recyclable Material Collectors
- Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders
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