Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry liquids or gases.
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. Most states and localities require plumbers to be licensed.
Employment of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Most demand for plumbers will stem from new construction and the need to maintain and repair plumbing systems in existing residences and other buildings.
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.