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Career Outlook for Individuals with a Certificate or Degree in Plumbing

Career News February 19, 2016

If plumbing is a career that you would wish to pursue someday, read this article to learn some essential information about the education requirements before getting employed, job prospects for plumbers and the salary details for plumbers.

Degree Programs for those interested in Plumbing

To be a plumber, you need to acquire some training either through apprenticeship or by pursuing a certificate or degree program. Apprenticeship programs usually take between 4-5 years and may cover areas such as pipe system designing, welding and how to use different tools. After getting trained, graduates can look for jobs as general plumbers, sprinkle fitters or pipe fitters.

•Career – General plumbers, sprinkle fitters and pipe fitters
•Education details – Apprenticeship program or degree
•Additional details – State acquired license
•Estimated job growth rate – 12%
•Average salary (2012) – $50,660

Career Options for those in the Plumbing Profession

As noted previously, there are three main career paths that someone with a degree or certificate in plumbing can venture into such as the following:


They fix, install, repair and help maintain pipes and other systems used in the transportation or drainage of liquids and gases. In the factories and industries, plumbers usually work alongside the area municipality to ensure that the building in question has met all the necessary regulatory and safety standards. Besides this, they fix and install the piping systems in the factories and hook up the factories water systems from their source suppliers. On the other hand, plumbers who work for plumbing repair companies deal with fixing broken pipes, repairing water and sewer systems, fixing sinks and toilets or simply repairing worn out pipes.

Pipe Fitter

Their work revolves around installation and fixing of high and low pressure gas and water pipes. They are mainly employed in the power generation, heating and manufacturing industries. Pipe-fitters may choose to specialize in a single line of work such as the movement of high pressure gases or work in all fields of pipe-fitting.

Sprinkle Fitter

They concentrate on installation and repair of automatic fire sprinkler systems. Usually, sprinkle fitting is a branch of pipe-fitting, and as such, training given is often the same. Sprinkle fitting work is more common during the construction of big industries and high rise buildings, as the law demands that high rise residential and commercial buildings install automatic sprinkler systems before renting them out. However, sprinkler fitters may also be called upon to give repair services to the already installed systems.

Job Outlook and Salary Details

The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) estimates that during 2012 – 2022, jobs for plumbers, steamfitters and sprinkler fitters will grow at a rate of twelve percent owing to a demand in safer and more efficient piping systems in industries and commercial buildings. The BLS also estimates that graduates with a degree in plumbing will be likely to get higher paying jobs than those without. Finally, professionals in this career field is expected to earn an average yearly salary of $50,660 in 2012, although professionals in the recreation and beverage industries earned higher salaries.

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