What Does A Plumber Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Plumbers

Plumbers assemble, install, or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, or drainage systems, according to specifications or plumbing codes.

Salary
$61100
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Plumbers assemble, install, or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, or drainage systems, according to specifications or plumbing codes.

  • 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.
  • Keep records of work assignments.
  • Fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Plumbers keep records of work assignments. They direct helpers engaged in pipe cutting, preassembly, or installation of plumbing systems or components.

A typical day for a Plumber will also include:

  • Install pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers or water heaters, or fixtures such as sinks or toilets, using hand or power tools.
  • Maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.
  • Review blueprints, building codes, or specifications to determine work details or procedures.
  • Estimate time, material, or labor costs for use in project plans.
  • Weld small pipes or special piping, using specialized techniques, equipment, or materials, such as computer-assisted welding or microchip fabrication.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Plumbers also cut openings in structures to accommodate pipes or pipe fittings, using hand or power tools. They may also install green plumbing equipment, such as faucet flow restrictors, dual-flush or pressure-assisted flush toilets, or tankless hot water heaters.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Plumbers compile information on governmental incentive programs related to the installation of energy or water-saving plumbing systems or devices. They might also assemble pipe sections, tubing, or fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, or welding equipment.

In addition, they anchor steel supports from ceiling joists to hold pipes in place.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.

To some Plumbers, it is also their responsibility to maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

High

62% said they were satisfied with their job and 63% said they found their job meaningful.


Z PLUMBERZ

My Typical Day No two days are the same in the plumbing industry. The plumbing profession is very personal and hands-on, and in addition to offering quality plumbing services, a lot of the job is educating home and business owners on how to properly maintain their plumbing systems. Whether the job is for an emergency … Read More


The Gentlemen Pros

My Typical Day My typical day starts with me waking at 5:30 and spending time with my daughter. I get ready for work, including my uniform, and head from home in my company service vehicle to the office. When I arrive I greet other technicians and my service manager for training. Each day, our manager … Read More


Self-employed

My name is Gerald Carpenter, I’m a professional plumber in the 3rd generation. My Typical Day A typical day at work for a self-employed plumber usually starts from going to the first client on the list. When you already have a trusting user base after a couple of years of good work, you start receiving … Read More


John The Plumber

My name is Jake and I’m a manager at a service plumbing company called John The Plumber. We do service plumbing, not new builds. I’m not sure if this fits your requirements, but I’ll answer nonetheless. My typical day I’ll describe what it’s like for residential service plumbers. The work day begins at 8AM. But … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Normal working hours (40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

How much do they make

Average salary

$61100 per year

Average hourly wage

$29 per hour

Entry-level Plumbers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $33,460 to $42,330 per year or $16 to $20 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $98,990 $48
Senior (Top 25%) $75,370 $36
Median $56,330 $27
Junior (Bottom 25%) $42,330 $20
No experience (Bottom 10%) $33,460 $16

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Plumbers based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Rail Transportation $83480 $40.14
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $81290 $39.08
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $76970 $37.00
Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing $75470 $36.28
Educational Support Services $73800 $35.48
Spectator Sports $73270 $35.23
Warehousing and Storage $73070 $35.13
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods $72780 $34.99
Technical and Trade Schools $72670 $34.94
Offices of Physicians $72350 $34.79

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Plumbers work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Plumbers including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Building Equipment Contractors 302880 $61210 $29.43
Utility System Construction 16720 $59720 $28.71
Nonresidential Building Construction 13600 $65640 $31.56
Local Government 9900 $61320 $29.48
Employment Services 7090 $53630 $25.78
Ship and Boat Building 5670 $54310 $26.11
Natural Gas Distribution 4530 $71050 $34.16
Residential Building Construction 4250 $53210 $25.58
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 4140 $66460 $31.95
Federal Executive Branch 4050 $60680 $29.17

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
10%

40 hours
61%

More than 40 hours
29%

Working schedule

89%

11%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
25%

Every day
2%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
24%

Every day
57%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
17%

Every day
67%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
59%

Once a year
35%

Once a month
6%

Once a week
0%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
10%

Slightly competitive
14%

Moderately competitive
60%

Highly competitive
5%

Extremely competitive
10%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
30%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
12%

Once a week or more
30%

Every day
28%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
0%

Once a year or more
3%

Once a month or more
28%

Once a week or more
42%

Every day
27%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
0%

Once a year or more
17%

Once a month or more
14%

Once a week or more
25%

Every day
44%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
17%

Once a year or more
23%

Once a month or more
28%

Once a week or more
26%

Every day
6%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
3%

High School Diploma or equivalent
31%

Post-Secondary Certificate
61%

Some College Courses
0%

Associate’s Degree or similar
5%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

No majors found

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
6%

1 month
1%

1 to 3 months
1%

3 to 6 months
1%

6 months to 1 year
17%

1 to 2 years
27%

2 to 4 years
32%

4 to 6 years
12%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
2%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
6%

1 month
6%

1 to 3 months
17%

3 to 6 months
0%

6 months to 1 year
21%

1 to 2 years
13%

2 to 4 years
21%

4 to 10 years
17%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
100%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
62%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
24%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
33%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
71%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
52%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
62%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
43%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
67%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
57%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
67%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ

What type of person or personality type will suit to being a Plumber?

Although there is no one “ideal” personality for plumbing, there are certain traits that will make your transition into the career easier: Problem Solver: Every day brings a new challenge to tackle, and there are infinite ways a plumbing professional could approach an issue. For the best outcomes for clients, a plumber should always be … Read More

Answered by:
Matt O'Rourke
Plumber


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