Plumbers and pipefitters

Plumbers design, install and maintain sanitary, storm, water supply and gas service lines, plumbing fixtures and mechanical equipment.

What a plumber does

A plumber installs water, gas, drainage (both storm and sanitary), and vent piping systems. Plumbers also install plumbing fixtures such as lavatories, toilets, tubs, showers, kitchen sinks, drinking fountains and laundry equipment. A plumber uses a variety of skills learned during their five-year apprenticeship, such as math, drawing, codes and related theories. They also learn the use of both hand and power tools in their work of cutting, bending and threading of pipes, soldering and welding. A plumber must also run tests on installations to assure that the system is functioning properly and meets the state plumbing code. The plumber also is called upon to clear pipelines and drains, and to make repairs on faucets and leaky piping systems.

Working conditions

The work is active and sometimes strenuous. Usually the apprentices work outdoors in unfinished areas. When the work site is in the completion stage, the indoor phase of plumbing takes place final rough-in and setting of plumbing fixtures.

General qualifications

  • Age - minimum age is 18.
  • Education- high school graduate or equivalent.
  • Good physical condition - must be able to perform the work of the trade.

Admission requirements

  • Birth certificate.
  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Personal interview.
  • Aptitude test.
  • Passing of drug test (applicant’s own expense).

Terms of apprenticeship training

  • Length of program - 5 years.
  • Related training- minimum of 246 hours at night, and day students go 288 hours.
  • Additional 54 hours in second year and 54 hours in third year.
  • Associate's degree in applied science.

Recommended high school courses

  • General mathematics.
  • Algebra.
  • General science.
  • Mechanical drawing.
  • Welding.