List of Skills Plumbers Need to Have

Besides Mechanical Knowledge, What Else Do You Need?

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Beyond using a plunger on an overflowing toilet or using some liquid drain cleaner, real plumbing work is not one of the easiest do-it-yourself professions. A call to a plumber is most likely going to be your best bet. And, as long as people continue to have indoor plumbing (the outlook is good), a job as a plumber will always be in demand.

Plumbers repair and install the pipes and drainage systems that are connected to appliances, machines, and water fixtures.

Some plumbers concentrate on residential plumbing, while others focus on commercial. Some focus on installing systems in new construction, while others are adept at repairing existing systems.

Top Skills Needed

When you're applying for jobs, there are certain skills that employers expect applicants for plumbing jobs to have. Here are a few of the top skills needed to succeed as a plumber.

Manual Dexterity and Physical Demand

Working with pipes, usually in tight, confined spaces, requires the strength to hold up pipework, appliances, or toilets, and the ability to hold pipe fittings steady, while having good control of your hands to manipulate small objects. You will need to have good vision to thread fittings, read small gauges and interpret blueprints.

Mechanical Know How

When dealing with water pressure, you need to have an understanding of how plumbing systems work. Training for plumbing jobs is available from trade schools, community colleges, and on the job as an apprentice.

Most states require a plumber to be licensed to practice on your own. Though requirements vary by location, two to five years of experience and successful completion of a test covering trade knowledge and knowledge of local code and regulations is usually necessary before a license will be issued.

Good Problem Solving

Since plumbing problems can sometimes be severe, plumbers should possess the persistence needed to see the job through to a successful conclusion.

Often working alone, you will need to figure out the reason on your own and will need self-motivation to keep yourself on task.

General Skills List for Plumbers

Review the general skills employers seek in the candidates they hire for plumber jobs. Skills will vary based on the position for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Also, if you are thinking of a career switch, take a look at all of the skills you have acquired as a plumber. A number of these skills are transferable to other fields.

Accessing Confined SpacesFollowing Safety ProtocolsPlanning Projects
AccuracyFriendly DemeanorPlumbing Installations
AnalyticalGetting Along with CoworkersPlumbing Repairs
Applying Adhesives, Sealants, and CaulkHand and Arm StrengthPrecision
Applying AlgebraIdentify ProblemsProducing Viable Estimates for Project Costs
Applying GeometryInspecting Systems Once InstalledPromoting Business
Applying Principles of HydronicsInstalling Appliances Like Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Water Softeners and Water HeatersPurchasing Materials
Attention to DetailInstalling Pipe Systems for Gas, Water, Steam and Other LiquidsReliable
Calculating Basic MathInstall Plumbing SystemsRepairing Pipe Systems
Choosing the Right Tools for the JobInstalling Sinks and FaucetsRepairing Plumbing Systems
Cleaning Sewer LinesInstructing Customers Regarding Use and Maintenance of SystemsReplacing Defective Parts
Collaborating with Other Grade and Construction WorkersInterpreting BlueprintsResolving Problems with Customers
Completing Paperwork to Document Services RenderedLearning and Complying with Building CodesSetting Prices for Services
ComputerLogical ReasoningState and Local Plumbing Code
Convincing Customers to Invest in New SystemsMaintain Plumbing SystemsSupervising Staff
Customer ServiceMaintaining Financial RecordsTeamwork
Decision MakingManual DexterityTolerating Potentially Dangerous, Noisy or Unpleasant Working Conditions
Diagnosing Plumbing and Piping ProblemsMechanical ReasoningTraining Assistants and Apprentices
Estimating Types and Amounts of Materials Required for ProjectsNegotiating Agreements for ServicesTroubleshooting
Fixing Leaking and Clogged LinesOngoing Learning About New Systems and MaterialsUsing Soldering Techniques
FlexibilityOrganizationalUtilizing Tools to Assemble Components
Following DirectionsPerforming Pressure Tests on Pipe SystemsWelding