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Plumbers and Pipefitters

Pipefitters and Plumber Training and Jobs


Schools and Degrees

Most plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters receive training through jointly administered apprenticeships or from community colleges or technical schools. Apprenticeship programs usually provide the most thorough training for these occupations. Most of these apprenticeship programs are managed jointly by union locals and their affiliated companies or by nonunion contractor organizations.

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Training and Education

Successful employees find it useful to have long-term on-the-job training. According to recent surveys, 4% of pipefitters and plumbers had received a degree. Workers with some schooling beyond high school, but not a college degree, total about 29%. A high school degree was all that was needed for 68% of employees.


Job Overview

Pipefitters and plumbers are involved with assembling, installing, maintaining and repairing pipe systems used to transport water, air, liquids and gases. They also install plumbing fixtures such as toilets and bathtubs as well as refrigeration and heating units. Plumbing and pipefitting are regarded as separate trades, however many qualified workers have skills in both fields.

Pipefitters install and repair high pressure and low pressure pipe systems utilized for manufacturing, generating electricity and for heating and cooling buildings. Pipefitters also install the automatic controls that are utilized to regulate these systems.


Job Requirements

Most plumbers and pipefitters receive training through apprenticeships. Some individuals acquire skills while on-the-job or from courses they take on their own. Apprenticeship committees typically require applicants to have a high school diploma.


Nature of Work

  • Install and repair plumbing fixtures
  • Install and repair water, waste disposal and gas systems in houses and in commercial and industrial buildings
  • Cut holes in walls, floor and ceilings of a house
  • Hang steel supports from ceiling joists to hold pipe in place


Area Job Conditions

Looking at pipefitters and plumbers per capita, Pascagoula (Mississippi), Baton Rouge (Louisiana), and Evansville (Indiana) rise to the top of the list. Utica (New York), Texarkana (Texas), and Scranton (Pennsylvania) have the fewest per capita.

The highest salaries for workers are in and around Chicago (Illinois), San Jose (California), and Champaign (Illinois). The lowest-paying areas are Albany (Georgia), McAllen (Texas), and Brownsville (Texas).


Part-Time and Self Employment

Pipefitters and plumbers working less than full time, whether by design or chance, were 3% of the total. If you have this occupation and work on your own rather than for another company, you are part of the 12% of workers who do so.


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Pipefitters and Plumbers by Metropolitan Area (city and its surroundings)

In the table below, a Job Density near 0% means the area has an average number of people in this occupation, for its population. A higher or lower Job Density (e.g., +22% or -45%) tells you there are that many more or fewer workers of that type there than in the average US metro area. So, the higher the number, the more common the occupation.

Alabama

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Anniston $38,000 100 -8%
Birmingham $41,000 1,010 -24%
Decatur $38,000 140 +9%
Florence $56,000 240 +92%
Huntsville $41,000 460 -16%
Mobile $38,000 1,230 +166%
Montgomery $45,000 280 -34%
Tuscaloosa $41,000 230 +1%

Alaska

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Anchorage $68,000 520 +19%
Fairbanks $60,000 280 +281%

Arizona

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Flagstaff $37,000 110 -19%
Phoenix $44,000 3,940 -18%
Prescott $37,000 150 +15%
Tucson $37,000 910 -1%

Arkansas

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Fayetteville $45,000 590 +10%
Fort Smith $38,000 390 +23%
Hot Springs $33,000 140 +68%
Jonesboro $33,000 100 -10%
Little Rock $45,000 760 -19%

California

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bakersfield $43,000 670 -4%
Chico $52,000 130 -24%
El Centro $48,000 60 -50%
Fresno $55,000 590 -31%
Hanford $60,000 120 +54%
Los Angeles $59,000 6,630 -40%
Madera $42,000 100 +37%
Modesto $62,000 400 -1%
Napa $57,000 150 -2%
Oakland $70,000 2,700 -1%
Oxnard $51,000 570 -29%
Redding $46,000 90 -38%
Riverside $41,000 3,180 -4%
Sacramento $51,000 2,720 +15%
Salinas $42,000 230 -45%
San Diego $56,000 3,780 +5%
San Francisco $60,000 2,330 -14%
San Jose $74,000 1,770 -28%
San Luis Obispo $60,000 190 -19%
Santa Ana $53,000 3,570 -10%
Santa Barbara $57,000 530 +21%
Santa Cruz $57,000 200 -8%
Santa Rosa $68,000 410 -10%
Stockton $53,000 300 -46%
Vallejo $61,000 320 +4%
Visalia $36,000 280 -20%
Yuba City $62,000 120 +35%

Colorado

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Boulder $46,000 410 +3%
Colorado Springs $47,000 850 +26%
Denver $48,000 3,130 -8%
Fort Collins $43,000 660 +104%
Grand Junction $41,000 300 +118%
Greeley $46,000 400 +123%
Pueblo $49,000 170 +24%

Connecticut

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bridgeport $54,000 980 -15%
Danbury $51,000 150 -11%
Hartford $60,000 1,290 -18%
New Haven $59,000 880 +21%
Norwich $49,000 530 +68%
Waterbury $53,000 180 +8%

Delaware

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Wilmington $51,000 1,130 +29%

District of Columbia

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Washington $49,000 7,120 +7%

Florida

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Cape Coral $40,000 910 +78%
Deltona $32,000 450 +12%
Fort Lauderdale $50,000 1,970 +3%
Fort Walton Beach $39,000 120 -37%
Gainesville $38,000 340 +9%
Jacksonville $37,000 2,630 +61%
Lakeland $39,000 300 -40%
Miami $44,000 1,560 -42%
Naples $46,000 660 +131%
Ocala $34,000 400 +81%
Orlando $37,000 2,440 -12%
Palm Bay $38,000 650 +25%
Palm Coast $31,000 50 +47%
Panama City $34,000 190 +12%
Pensacola $37,000 530 +37%
Port St Lucie $34,000 630 +106%
Punta Gorda $34,000 150 +65%
Sarasota $37,000 1,000 +52%
Tallahassee $46,000 380 -10%
Tampa $38,000 1,920 -39%
West Palm Beach $38,000 1,680 +19%

Georgia

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Albany $40,000 80 -47%
Athens $36,000 120 -32%
Atlanta $45,000 5,280 -17%
Augusta $43,000 840 +55%
Brunswick $40,000 60 -37%
Columbus $37,000 300 +6%
Dalton $42,000 70 -58%
Gainesville $39,000 180 +5%
Hinesville $35,000 50 +78%
Macon $39,000 200 -12%
Rome $48,000 90 +12%
Savannah $43,000 430 +11%
Valdosta $33,000 120 +1%
Warner Robins $41,000 100 -22%

Hawaii

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Honolulu $57,000 1,790 +50%

Idaho

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Boise $43,000 800 +15%
Idaho Falls $39,000 140 +26%
Lewiston $39,000 190 +272%
Pocatello $34,000 110 +61%

Illinois

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bloomington $60,000 160 -8%
Champaign $68,000 350 +35%
Chicago $70,000 9,860 -5%
Decatur $44,000 260 +142%
Kankakee $63,000 80 -17%
Peoria $58,000 660 +47%
Rockford $66,000 370 +1%
Springfield $67,000 210 -24%

Indiana

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Anderson $47,000 100 +13%
Bloomington $53,000 260 +51%
Columbus $49,000 70 -21%
Elkhart $49,000 290 +5%
Evansville $55,000 820 +82%
Fort Wayne $54,000 970 +80%
Gary $67,000 1,270 +76%
Indianapolis $52,000 3,610 +47%
Kokomo $65,000 110 +22%
Lafayette $46,000 170 -9%
Michigan City $55,000 200 +108%
Muncie $49,000 60 -44%
South Bend $55,000 270 -19%
Terre Haute $56,000 280 +67%

Iowa

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Ames $45,000 80 -7%
Cedar Rapids $48,000 560 +55%
Davenport $61,000 530 +8%
Des Moines $48,000 700 -21%
Iowa City $51,000 210 +20%
Sioux City $47,000 280 +56%
Waterloo $40,000 250 +16%

Kansas

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Lawrence $39,000 60 -41%
Manhattan $55,000 170 +36%
Topeka $51,000 250 -11%
Wichita $48,000 800 +4%

Kentucky

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Elizabethtown $34,000 130 +24%
Lexington $41,000 660 +3%
Louisville $47,000 2,300 +39%
Owensboro $39,000 160 +42%

Louisiana

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Alexandria $40,000 300 +91%
Baton Rouge $49,000 2,200 +119%
Houma $38,000 710 +196%
Lafayette $39,000 660 +78%
Lake Charles $46,000 570 +157%
New Orleans $42,000 2,340 +63%
Shreveport $43,000 820 +73%

Maine

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bangor $45,000 150 +0%
Lewiston $40,000 160 +33%
Portland $46,000 570 +7%

Maryland

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Baltimore $53,000 4,620 +29%
Bethesda $57,000 2,360 +50%
Cumberland $39,000 50 -41%
Hagerstown $40,000 270 +10%
Salisbury $42,000 50 -61%

Massachusetts

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Barnstable Town $55,000 180 -29%
Boston $64,000 4,880 +2%
Brockton $52,000 440 +94%
Framingham $63,000 300 -30%
Haverhill $57,000 290 +41%
Lawrence $63,000 90 -38%
Leominster $73,000 70 -41%
Lowell $54,000 390 +26%
New Bedford $59,000 140 -12%
Peabody $77,000 310 +20%
Pittsfield $47,000 130 +76%
Springfield $54,000 940 +17%
Taunton $47,000 130 +23%
Worcester $59,000 570 -15%

Michigan

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Ann Arbor $58,000 390 -11%
Bay City $58,000 100 +35%
Detroit $64,000 1,680 -8%
Grand Rapids $46,000 840 -18%
Holland $47,000 90 -63%
Jackson $60,000 150 +29%
Kalamazoo $56,000 520 +48%
Lansing $58,000 530 +1%
Monroe $65,000 110 +30%
Muskegon $44,000 100 -26%
Niles $48,000 70 -50%
Saginaw $57,000 250 +22%
Warren $59,000 2,000 -32%

Minnesota

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Duluth $60,000 220 -35%
Mankato $55,000 170 +25%
Minneapolis $68,000 3,640 -26%
Rochester $65,000 240 -8%
St Cloud $49,000 410 +69%

Mississippi

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Gulfport $36,000 340 +24%
Hattiesburg $33,000 180 +30%
Jackson $34,000 850 +25%

Missouri

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Columbia $37,000 170 -15%
Jefferson City $49,000 350 +90%
Joplin $38,000 160 -19%
Kansas City $53,000 2,410 -13%
Springfield $44,000 580 +15%
St Louis $59,000 5,260 +43%

Montana

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Billings $56,000 250 +19%
Great Falls $52,000 110 +30%
Missoula $53,000 170 +35%

Nebraska

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Omaha $57,000 2,990 +134%

Nevada

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Las Vegas $63,000 2,960 +27%
Reno $55,000 400 -21%

New Hampshire

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Manchester $50,000 330 +25%
Nashua $48,000 280 -21%
Portsmouth $49,000 260 +86%

New Jersey

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Atlantic City $70,000 310 -18%
Camden $66,000 1,700 +19%
Edison $61,000 1,660 -41%
Newark $62,000 1,810 -34%
Ocean City $55,000 150 +56%
Trenton $56,000 310 -49%

New Mexico

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Albuquerque $45,000 1,400 +34%
Farmington $50,000 350 +196%
Las Cruces $39,000 160 +2%
Santa Fe $31,000 130 -14%

New York

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Albany $63,000 1,130 -8%
Binghamton $50,000 220 -24%
Buffalo $51,000 1,580 +5%
Elmira $55,000 140 +58%
Glens Falls $48,000 70 -44%
Ithaca $56,000 120 +25%
Kingston $40,000 210 +43%
Nassau $64,000 4,890 +41%
New York $65,000 11,060 -23%
Poughkeepsie $56,000 600 -9%
Rochester $48,000 1,150 -16%
Syracuse $49,000 950 +13%
Utica $41,000 160 -50%

North Carolina

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Asheville $43,000 320 -31%
Burlington $32,000 100 -27%
Charlotte $36,000 2,120 -10%
Durham $45,000 430 -42%
Fayetteville $38,000 270 -17%
Goldsboro $35,000 70 -26%
Greensboro $35,000 640 -33%
Greenville $36,000 80 -52%
Hickory $32,000 110 -71%
Jacksonville $36,000 300 +199%
Raleigh $39,000 1,240 -12%
Rocky Mount $31,000 290 +107%
Wilmington $38,000 490 +38%
Winston Salem $37,000 360 -36%

North Dakota

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bismarck $42,000 160 0%
Fargo $45,000 390 +24%
Grand Forks $47,000 100 -13%

Ohio

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Akron $46,000 730 -16%
Canton $54,000 350 -20%
Cincinnati $48,000 2,480 -11%
Cleveland $54,000 1,610 -43%
Columbus $44,000 1,780 -29%
Dayton $35,000 1,770 +71%
Lima $52,000 170 +36%
Mansfield $55,000 110 -12%
Sandusky $58,000 100 +25%
Springfield $49,000 100 -12%
Steubenville $46,000 100 +3%
Toledo $57,000 490 -38%
Youngstown $55,000 690 +14%

Oklahoma

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Lawton $38,000 170 +78%
Oklahoma City $39,000 2,010 +28%
Tulsa $40,000 1,400 +20%

Oregon

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bend $53,000 290 +88%
Corvallis $55,000 50 -17%
Eugene $54,000 270 -26%
Medford $58,000 180 -7%
Portland $63,000 2,690 -4%
Salem $45,000 390 +0%

Pennsylvania

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Allentown $70,000 670 -28%
Altoona $46,000 80 -46%
Erie $47,000 310 -7%
Harrisburg $46,000 1,110 +29%
Johnstown $40,000 100 -26%
Lancaster $45,000 500 -20%
Lebanon $44,000 130 +21%
Philadelphia $61,000 4,060 -23%
Pittsburgh $52,000 3,800 +21%
Reading $44,000 480 +10%
Scranton $45,000 410 -41%
State College $48,000 180 +17%
Williamsport $28,000 150 +21%
York $44,000 380 -18%

Rhode Island

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Providence $54,000 1,520 +0%

South Carolina

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Anderson $36,000 100 -27%
Charleston $35,000 790 +2%
Columbia $36,000 630 -33%
Florence $35,000 190 -4%
Greenville $39,000 850 +5%
Myrtle Beach $33,000 380 +36%
Spartanburg $45,000 310 +5%
Sumter $34,000 120 +61%

South Dakota

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Rapid City $38,000 190 +22%
Sioux Falls $40,000 430 +19%

Tennessee

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Chattanooga $33,000 530 -13%
Clarksville $39,000 150 -23%
Johnson City $30,000 210 +18%
Kingsport $38,000 220 -30%
Memphis $41,000 1,480 -12%
Morristown $27,000 60 -45%
Nashville $40,000 1,540 -24%

Texas

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Abilene $43,000 120 -22%
Amarillo $46,000 490 +80%
Austin $43,000 2,360 +10%
Beaumont $46,000 1,310 +210%
Brownsville $29,000 250 -26%
College Station $36,000 270 +16%
Corpus Christi $38,000 1,230 +162%
Dallas $42,000 4,460 -23%
El Paso $31,000 740 +1%
Fort Worth $43,000 2,220 -6%
Houston $47,000 8,840 +22%
Killeen $35,000 330 -1%
Longview $40,000 280 +16%
Lubbock $38,000 440 +35%
Mcallen $34,000 250 -59%
Midland $31,000 200 +30%
Odessa $40,000 260 +90%
San Angelo $36,000 130 +34%
San Antonio $41,000 1,890 -21%
Sherman $41,000 120 +24%
Texarkana $40,000 60 -54%
Tyler $42,000 250 +10%
Victoria $42,000 190 +67%
Waco $39,000 350 +38%
Wichita Falls $53,000 220 +64%

Utah

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Logan $39,000 190 +69%
Ogden $44,000 1,010 +91%
Provo $49,000 750 +68%
Salt Lake City $44,000 2,010 +21%

Vermont

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Burlington $45,000 330 +15%

Virginia

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Charlottesville $39,000 240 +10%
Danville $41,000 230 +190%
Harrisonburg $38,000 270 +99%
Richmond $42,000 2,210 +32%
Roanoke $41,000 310 -24%
Virginia Beach $43,000 4,410 +113%
Winchester $43,000 190 +60%

Washington

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bellingham $55,000 430 +135%
Bremerton $57,000 720 +246%
Kennewick $59,000 620 +143%
Longview $59,000 90 +19%
Mount Vernon $52,000 130 +24%
Olympia $51,000 280 +11%
Seattle $63,000 4,020 +4%
Spokane $57,000 430 -21%
Tacoma $71,000 840 +18%
Wenatchee $43,000 120 +33%
Yakima $49,000 160 -24%

West Virginia

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Charleston $45,000 500 +32%
Huntington $49,000 320 +10%
Morgantown $31,000 60 -53%
Wheeling $39,000 70 -56%

Wisconsin

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Appleton $59,000 540 +83%
Eau Claire $56,000 150 -18%
Fond $63,000 360 +258%
Green Bay $48,000 400 -10%
Janesville 80 -48%
La Crosse $57,000 170 -4%
Madison $72,000 780 -15%
Milwaukee $67,000 2,220 -2%
Oshkosh $61,000 210 -5%
Racine $75,000 170 -8%
Sheboygan $58,000 150 +11%
Wausau $64,000 130 -20%

Wyoming

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Casper $44,000 180 +114%
Cheyenne $45,000 140 +40%
*FOOTNOTES: Job Facts salary and numbers data is based on US Department of Labor Statistics data for 2011. Other data on page may be from earlier years. Typical salary is given as median salary, where 50% in the job make more and 50% less. Salary range is Job Hunt's estimates of typical starting salary as being at the 10th percentile of reported pay and typical top end salary, for the most senior workers, as being at the 90th. Job openings is an estimate of new jobs every year due to growth plus those leaving the field. Where NA is given data is not available. Suggested studies is based on Job Hunt research, suggesting a minimum degree level that is judged to offer the best opportunities for entry-level employment. This Plumbers and Pipefitters schools and career page was originally researched by CityTownInfo.com.