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Plumber Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Plumber, or Pipefitter, is someone who fixes broken pipes and drains, installs pipework into new construction and retrofits or upgrades existing plumbing. Their duties include measuring and cutting pipe to length, welding joins for a leak-free junction and using the correct type of pipe and material for the job at hand.

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Plumber job duties and responsibilities

A Plumber handles a wide range of duties and responsibilities when installing and maintaining plumbing, some of these functions include:

  • Installing, maintaining and repairing pipe including joins, valves, drains and fixtures in all types of structures
  • Coordinating with a General Contractor and other building professionals on a jobsite
  • Understanding and following blueprints or building plans
  • Following current rules and regulations related to plumbing to ensure that systems pass inspection for the first time
  • Keeping and maintaining records of time spent on a job and materials purchased for the work
  • Preparing budgets and estimating costs to bid on potential work
  • Responding to plumbing emergencies, determining the issue and making a repair
  • Performing regular maintenance of plumbing systems to prevent emergencies
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What does a Plumber do?

Plumbers may repair a break in the plumbing or replace old pipes with new pipes. A Plumber works according to their customer’s specifications. They design plumbing layouts in accordance with local and national regulations and can provide valuable information as to the correct placement of pipe into new construction for Architects. A Plumber also installs and maintains water systems and hot water heating systems and installs or maintains domestic appliances.

Plumber skills and qualifications

A Plumber should be capable of cutting pipe to the correct length, making a water-tight joint or weld and properly diagnosing a plumbing issue. A successful Plumber candidate will have various skills and qualifications these typically include:

  • Proficiency with hand and power tools specific to the plumbing trade
  • Knowledge of building codes regulations
  • Working familiarity with plumbing materials and their appropriate use
  • Proficiency in maths
  • Ability to show initiative
  • Possess a current plumbing licence (blue CSCS card)

Plumber experience requirements

The experience required of a Plumber varies depending upon the size of the job and company. At a minimum candidates should have at least two years of work experience. For speciality plumbing, candidates with at least five years of work experience are considered to make sure their finished work is clean and holds up to the stresses of use.

Plumber education and training requirements

Plumbers must have at least minimum high-school diploma or General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs) in maths and English. They have the option to do an apprenticeship and learn their skills as they advance, or they can begin their career by taking courses at a City & Guilds approved training centre. Education and qualifications for a Plumber include a BTEC Level 1/2 First Award in Construction and the Built Environment, an EAL Level 2 Intermediate Diploma in Plumbing,  an EAL Level 3 Advanced Diploma and Plumbing or a Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

Plumber salary expectations

According to Indeed salaries, the average salary for a Plumber is £16.49 per hour. Pay depends on geographical location, experience and the exact company.

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Plumber job description FAQs

What are the day-to-day duties of a Plumber?

A Plumber begins the day by going over the scheduled appointments and making sure they have the required parts for the planned work. They go to each appointment to take care of the customer’s needs and leave the customer with properly functioning plumbing. A Plumber has to anticipate problems and unknown construction with existing plumbing. They need to be ready to stop the work and find a replacement part as quickly as possible to restore the plumbing to an operating state. A Plumber also has to take care of invoicing a customer for payment of services and parts.

Do Plumbers have different responsibilities in different industries?

The duties of a Plumber tend to be the same regardless of the industry. The basic requirements for plumbing skills are the same regardless of the building or facility type. Regulations do affect the type of plumbing that’s installed, but the Plumber still has to follow blueprints for installation in an office building and know how to repair a household drain.

What qualities make a good Plumber?

A good Plumber is an individual who is capable of doing the job right the first time and with few mistakes. They’re capable of welding or soldering a tight joint that won’t leak. A good plumber is one who can lay out pipe in straight lines and places bends that follow the wall or ceiling with clean angles. They are capable of tackling almost any plumbing problem and making repairs that last for years.

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