What Does a Plumber Do?
Plumbers work for maintenance businesses and travel to various job sites to diagnose and solve plumbing issues. They respond to emergencies like burst pipes and perform routine maintenance to keep plumbing systems safe and functional while preventing future problems like leaks or rusted pipe fittings. Plumbers source the right materials to help homeowners, businesses and government offices maintain their plumbing, enabling appropriate drainage and water flow for indoor and outdoor areas. They enter crawl spaces in homes to solve problems with pipes and make sure they connect properly to indoor plumbing fixtures like water heaters, toilets and sinks.
Plumber Skills and Qualifications
Because much of their work is later hidden and inaccessible and is expected to last for many years, plumbers must be highly skilled and experienced. They must complete specialized training and several years of apprenticeship and be licensed, and they must also know and adhere to state and local requirements.
Here are some of the skills and qualifications employers look for in plumbers:
- A high school diploma or GED
- A valid plumber’s license
- Three or more years of trade experience as a plumber or plumber’s apprentice
- Thorough knowledge of plumbing system maintenance and repairs
- Time management skills
- Ability to drive company vehicles to various commercial and residential sites for work
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills in client and co-worker relations
- Understanding of current field regulations
- Level 2 Intermediate Plumbing Diploma is preferred
- Level 3 Advanced Plumbing Diploma is desirable
Plumber Salary Expectations
Plumbers in the United States make an average of $25.45 per hour. The average overtime pay for a plumber in the United States is $6,750 per year. Salary depends on the location of the plumber position and the level of experience the plumber has. Plumbers can gain tenure over three years to earn a higher salary, and they can also continue training and education to gain further certificates and degrees for higher pay and managerial positions.
Plumber Education and Training Requirements
A person who wants to be a plumber will first need a high school diploma or GED. They will then need to gain certification from a technical school, community college or trade school by taking vocational classes. Finally, a plumber can become licensed once they’ve completed an apprenticeship under a master plumber or through an apprentice program. An apprenticeship for plumbing usually lasts four to five years. Most states require plumbers to have a plumbing license before working on a site.
Plumber Experience Requirements
When looking for experienced applicants, you’ll need to specify the amount or type of experience you’re looking for. The job description for entry-level positions may state that there is no experience required. Typically, job descriptions for plumbers include an experience requirement of two to three years. As many plumbers begin work as apprentices, this can count as work experience. If the job is a higher level position with a higher pay rate or responsibility for other employees, you may want to attract more experienced applicants by requiring three or more years of experience.
Job Description Samples for Similar Positions
Here are some similar job description samples in case this isn’t quite what you’re looking for: