Skilled Trades Careers

What is a Plumber and What Do They Do at Work?

DateSeptember 3, 2023
what is a plumber

If you're unsure of exactly what a plumber is and what their work looks like, this article will provide simple explanations and explain why they play a crucial part of our daily lives.

Plumbers are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining the plumbing and sewage infrastructure that keeps modern society comfortable. From fixing leaks and unclogging drains to installing water heaters and repairing pipes, they are essential workers worldwide.

Whether you're facing a plumbing issue or simply curious about the profession, this article will shed light on the world of plumbers and their important work.

Types of plumber and what they do

Plumbers play a vital role in ensuring the proper functioning of plumbing systems in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. Here are some of the different types of career paths you can follow in this trade.

Residential: Residential plumbers focus on the needs of homeowners, landlords, and property managers. They specialize in installing and repairing pipes, fixtures, and appliances in houses and apartments. They handle common tasks like unclogging drains, fixing leaky faucets, and installing water heaters.

Commercial : Working in office buildings, retail stores, and other commercial spaces, commercial plumbers deal with plumbing systems on a larger scale. They are equipped to handle complex piping systems, water supply, and drainage systems. Their skills range from installing sprinkler systems to repairing plumbing emergencies in commercial settings.

Industrial Plumbers: These are experts in working with plumbing systems in industrial settings such as factories and warehouses. They are responsible for maintaining and repairing industrial plumbing equipment, including power tools, and ensuring that the plumbing installations meet building codes and safety protocols.

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How much do plumbers make?

The average salary can vary based on their type of specialization, level of experience, and certifications. According to the latest data, the median annual salary is around $36,700 for apprentices, $59,880 for journeymen, and $99,920 for masters.

Plumber salaries America SkillHero

Plumbers with years of experience, advanced training, and certification as a master plumber often command higher salaries, as do experienced trade workers who own and operate their own businesses.

What skills does a plumber need?

Plumbers need a combination of technical knowledge, practical skills, and problem-solving abilities to excel in their field.

Attention to detail is crucial, as even a minor error in installation or repair tasks can lead to significant issues down the line. They should also possess physical stamina and dexterity to work in tight spaces and use heavy tools.

Effective communication and customer service skills are also essential, as plumbers often interact with clients and must be able to explain complex plumbing issues in layman's terms.

If you're interested in pursuing a career in plumbing, consider signing up for a free SkillHero account. Our app connects aspiring plumbers and trade workers with valuable resources, training opportunities, and job prospects to help them embark on a successful career.

How to become a plumber

Becoming a plumber requires a combination of education, training, and hands-on experience. Here are the steps to help you on your path to becoming a skilled plumber.

  • Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent such as GED: A solid educational foundation is important for any trade career.
  • Build a professional resume: A professional and updated resume is crucial in the job search process. Here are some plumbing resume examples that show how the SkillHero app helps you update and share your resume.
  • Complete technical school courses: Consider enrolling in a certificate program or associate degree in plumbing from a technical school. These courses provide a comprehensive understanding of plumbing systems and techniques.
  • Seek apprenticeships or on-the-job training: Apprenticeships are a cornerstone in successful skilled trade careers. You can connect with local mentors via the SkillHero app.

Plumber trade skills

One crucial plumbing skill is knowledge of different types of pipes, appliances, and plumbing and sewage systems. They require proficiency with a variety of manual tools and power tools and must know how to follow industry protocols to avoid accidents or incomplete projects.

Soft skills

Soft skills play a crucial role in the skilled trades. Communication skills are vital to effectively understand and explain issues to clients. Problem-solving skills are also critical.

Plumbing issues can often be complex and require creative thinking to find the most efficient and cost-effective solutions.

Teamwork is also essential for working on larger projects or alongside other tradespeople. Collaborating with others, sharing knowledge, and coordinating tasks ensures efficient and timely completion of projects.

To learn more about important job skills and how to display them on your resume, sign up for a free SkillHero account.

A day in the life of a plumber - who is this career for?

Each day brings new challenges and opportunities as workers tackle various issues such as leaky pipes, clogged drains, and malfunctioning water heaters. They apply their problem-solving skills to identify the root cause of these problems and implement effective repairs.

Depending on their specialization, workers in this field may spend all day doing different residential repairs or spend a full shift working on one or two industrial plumbing fixtures.

Suitable traits for a career in plumbing include physical stamina and a high tolerance for uncomfortable and potentially unpleasant situations, such as fixing an overflowing toilet.

If you have a knack for problem-solving, an interest in fixing things, and enjoy working with your hands, this career path may be ideal for you.

Sign up for a free SkillHero account to explore training opportunities and connect with professionals in the field.