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Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Career Overview

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry liquids or gases to, from, and within businesses, homes, and factories.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to become a plumber, pipefitter, or steamfitter. Trade schools offer courses on pipe system design, safety, and tool use. They also offer welding courses that are considered necessary by some pipefitter and steamfitter apprenticeship training programs. Most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters learn their trade through a 4- or 5-year apprenticeship.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
Median:
High End:
$32,100 /yr
$53,910 /yr
$93,700 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • Chemistry
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Welding
  • Trade-related courses
Work Environment

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters work in factories, homes, businesses, and other places where there are pipes or septic systems. Plumbers are often on call for emergencies, so evening and weekend work is common.

Future Outlook

Employment of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. New construction and building maintenance and repair should drive demand for these workers, and overall job opportunities are expected to be good.

Schools
References
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada