A plumber is a skilled tradesperson who installs, repairs and maintains systems that provide water for drinking, cooking and washing, as well as removes waste water through drains. Plumbers may specialize in residential or commercial work. They use a wide range of tools to inspect, diagnose and repair plumbing problems. They also use specialized equipment like power washers to clean pipes and fixtures. Plumbers can work for plumbing companies, or they can be self-employed.
A career as a plumber can be very rewarding, but it requires a lot of training and on-the-job experience. Many plumbers learn their skills through a combination of vocational school and apprenticeship, but there are also certificate programs available at some community colleges. Obtaining these certificates can help you start your career with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. Some states require plumbers to be licensed, which usually involves passing an exam and gaining several years of work experience.
The average salary for a plumber is $46,900 per year. In addition to the base salary, many plumbers make additional income from commissions on sales or overtime pay. There are also opportunities to advance in the field, such as becoming a project manager or supervisor. Some plumbers choose to start their own plumbing company after gaining experience and earning a license.
What Is a Plumber?
The work environment for a plumber can vary depending on the type of plumbing projects they’re working on. In residential settings, plumbers typically work directly in customers’ homes or apartments. This can involve navigating tight spaces and working around furniture or other household items. For plumbing projects that involve installing new fixtures or appliances, they may need to work with builders and construction crews. Plumbers who specialize in commercial or industrial projects may work in a variety of different environments, including office buildings, retail stores, schools, hospitals and power plants.
Plumbing jobs can be challenging because of their reliance on accurate measurements and complicated systems. To minimize these challenges, it’s important for plumbers to have good communication and interpersonal skills so they can understand the needs of their clients and explain complex plumbing concepts clearly. They also need to be able to follow building codes and regulations when installing or repairing plumbing equipment.
When working on plumbing tasks, it’s essential for plumbers to wear the appropriate safety equipment. This includes gloves that can protect their hands from hot surfaces and sharp objects, and goggles to prevent water or debris from getting into the eyes. Because they often work with toxic chemicals, materials and sewage, plumbers should also take steps to avoid exposure. In some cases, this means wearing a respirator when performing certain tasks.
It’s also important for plumbers to be able to identify and quickly fix problems so they don’t cause further damage to the plumbing system. As a result, it’s helpful for plumbers to have analytical thinking and problem-solving skills. In addition to these technical skills, it’s also important for plumbers to have strong customer service skills, as they interact with customers on a daily basis and may need to offer advice about repairs or maintenance.