What Does Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Do?
Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters are responsible for the management of pipelines and related systems. Typically, these infrastructures will carry air, water, steam or a myriad of other liquids and gasses. These professionals will install, assemble, repair and alter these lines in additional to working with heating and cooling systems. During their career, plumbers and fitters may also work with sprinkler units.
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Skills and Abilities
On the job, these professionals will have the chance to hone a host of job-related skills. Most of these abilities are specific to the industry and will be taught in the field. However, some abilities are necessary to have before seeking employment. Useful professional capabilities include:
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Duties
The exact job duties for each professional in this industry will depend on the employer, client and job title. However, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters deal with similar systems and can expect their responsibilities to fall into these categories:
- Gathering information: Through conversation, manuals and observation, these pipe professionals will need to glean important information and details from a variety of sources in order to find and fix issues.
- Handling and moving equipment: Installing, removing and replacing systems are crucial components of this profession, meaning plumbers can expect to handle and move equipment consistently.
- Solving issues: In many cases, plumbers and fitters are called to fix an issue. Thus, they will spend a great deal of time problem solving and working towards quality solutions.
- Managing systems: Especially when charged with routine oversight, these professionals must be in tune with their pipe systems and detect problems early to maximize system efficiency.
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Tools and Technology
Working with pipe systems requires the use of special tools and software. Some common industry technologies include:
- Computer aided design software
- Scientific and analytical software
- Pressure indicators
- Pipe wrenches
- Blow torch
- Specialty wrenches
- Pipe cutter
Programs and brands may change with each new employer, but professionals can easily adapt to similar frameworks.
Education and Training for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
If you’re considering this profession, you will not need a college degree or equivalent. Approximately 25 percent of the industry’s professional have some college, but only a high school diploma or equivalent certification is required. However, most employers will require you to complete an apprenticeship before working as a fully-fledged plumber, pipefitter or steamfitter.
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Salary
Professionals in this industry do quite well with a median annual salary of $50,700. The bottom ten percent can expect $29,500 while the top ten percent earn a very respectable $88,200. These numbers reflect national averages, so they are fairly good gauges of how plumbers and fitters do nationally. However, Illinois, Oregon and Alaska boast median salaries in the $70,000 range.
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Jobs by Geography
California, Texas and New York have the highest number of professional working in this industry with over 20,000 jobs per state. In terms of growth, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado beat the competition with double-digit growth in the 30s and 40s. Between excellent salaries and job market growth, plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters do very well for themselves.