Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Also called: Air Conditioning Installer (AC Installer), Aircraft Hydraulic Equipment Mechanic, Aircraft Hydraulic Mechanic, Aircraft Plumbing Mechanic, Commercial Plumber

$61,100

estimated salary

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. Includes sprinkler fitters.

  • Cut, thread, or hammer pipes to specifications, using tools such as saws, cutting torches, pipe threaders, or pipe benders.
  • Lay out full scale drawings of pipe systems, supports, or related equipment, according to blueprints.
  • Inspect, examine, or test installed systems or pipe lines, using pressure gauge, hydrostatic testing, observation, or other methods.
  • Plan pipe system layout, installation, or repair, according to specifications.
  • Attach pipes to walls, structures, or fixtures, such as radiators or tanks, using brackets, clamps, tools, or welding equipment.
  • Modify, clean, or maintain pipe systems, units, fittings, or related machines or equipment, using hand or power tools.
  • Select pipe sizes, types, or related materials, such as supports, hangers, or hydraulic cylinders, according to specifications.
  • Assemble pipe sections, tubing, or fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, or welding equipment.
  • Install pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers or water heaters, or fixtures such as sinks or toilets, using hand or power tools.
  • Install automatic controls to regulate pipe systems.
  • Shut off steam, water, or other gases or liquids from pipe sections, using valve keys or wrenches.
  • Keep records of work assignments.
  • Direct helpers engaged in pipe cutting, preassembly, or installation of plumbing systems or components.
  • Fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.
  • Maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.
  • Locate and mark the position of pipe installations, connections, passage holes, or fixtures in structures, using measuring instruments such as rulers or levels.
  • Review blueprints, building codes, or specifications to determine work details or procedures.
  • Anchor steel supports from ceiling joists to hold pipes in place.
  • Estimate time, material, or labor costs for use in project plans.
  • Install underground storm, sanitary, or water piping systems, extending piping as needed to connect fixtures and plumbing.
  • Inspect structures to assess material or equipment needs, to establish the sequence of pipe installations, or to plan installation around obstructions, such as electrical wiring.
  • Install green plumbing equipment, such as faucet flow restrictors, dual-flush or pressure-assisted flush toilets, or tankless hot water heaters.
  • Cut openings in structures to accommodate pipes or pipe fittings, using hand or power tools.
  • Inspect work sites for obstructions or holes that could cause structural weakness.
  • Install fixtures, appliances, or equipment designed to reduce water or energy consumption.
  • Install pipe systems to support alternative energy-fueled systems, such as geothermal heating or cooling systems.
  • Weld small pipes or special piping, using specialized techniques, equipment, or materials, such as computer-assisted welding or microchip fabrication.
  • Operate motorized pumps to remove water from flooded manholes, basements, or facility floors.
  • Repair hydraulic or air pumps.
  • Repair or remove and replace system components.
Work Context

Work Context information for this career will be available soon.

Work Activities
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
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Detailed Work Activities
  • Cut metal components for installation.
  • Fabricate parts or components.
  • Create construction or installation diagrams.
  • Inspect plumbing systems or fixtures.
  • Plan layout of construction, installation, or repairs.
  • Weld metal components.
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Knowledge

Mechanical
  • Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction
  • Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Design
  • Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
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Skills

Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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Abilities

Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Manual Dexterity
  • The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
  • The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
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Personality

People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Leadership
  • Cooperation
  • Concern for Others
  • Social Orientation
  • Self Control
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Technology

You might use software like this on the job:

Accounting software
  • Intuit QuickBooks Hot Technology
  • KRS Enterprises Service First!
  • Bookkeeping software
  • Intuit Quicken
  • Job costing software
Web platform development software
  • Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP Hot Technology
Computer aided design CAD software
  • Horizon Engineering Sigma Plumbing Calculator Hot Technology
  • Elite Software Sprinkler CAD Hot Technology
  • Elite Software Plumbing CAD Hot Technology
  • Drawing and drafting software Hot Technology
  • AEC Design Group CADPIPE Hot Technology
  • ViziFlow Hot Technology
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot Technology
  • Autodesk Building Systems Hot Technology
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Education

or

usually needed

Get started on your career:

Job Outlook

New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
Salary
$56,330
$33,460
$98,990