Plumbers assemble, install and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures related to heating, water, or drainage systems. They also ensure new and existing pipes and drainage systems are up to code. They may be required to assemble sections of pipes using a variety of methods including clamps, screws, cement, caulk, or welding. Plumbers may work in residences, business, factories, or wherever pipes or septic systems are found. The majority of them work indoors, but plumbers can occasionally work outdoors under a variety of weather conditions. They are often required to lift heavy objects and equipment, work on ladders, or work in cramped spaces. Because plumbing emergencies require immediate attention, plumbers are often on call on nights and weekends in addition to a traditional full-time schedule. A high school diploma or equivalent is generally a prerequisite for a job as a plumber and the majority also go through some sort of post-secondary training including technical school and apprenticeships.
When hiring for plumbers, it’s important that candidates have a certain degree of mechanical aptitude as well as the necessary math and language skills to read and interpret blue prints, work orders, and instrument measurements. There are two pre-employment tests that are typically administered for plumber positions. The Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) assesses the basic math and verbal skills required for the position. The Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA) measures an applicant’s ability to learn about, maintain, repair, and operate machinery and equipment. Together these tests look at an applicant’s ability to take in new mechanical concepts and apply them to solve a problem.
If a plumber will be working within a customer’s home, there are several additional assessments that are relevant for the position. The Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP) looks at personality traits that are important to customer service positions including cooperativeness, patience, and diplomacy. This may be important if an employee is interacting with customers and homeowners regularly. The Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP) is a behavioral risk assessment that can minimize the risk involved in working unsupervised in other people’s homes. The WPP is used for entry and mid-level positions and measures a candidate’s reliability and work ethic, as well as their attitudes towards theft.
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Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2014-2024:
Number employed (2014): 425,000
Education level of Plumbers: