Occupation Summary

Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

O*NET 47-2152.00


Assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. Includes sprinkler fitters.

Annual Wages:
Employment Rate:
Employment is expected to increase by 16.58%.
Education Level:
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED). According to O*Net, the majority of people employed in this occupation have this level of education.
Business and Industry

  1. Cut, thread, or hammer pipes to specifications, using tools such as saws, cutting torches, pipe threaders, or pipe benders.
  2. Lay out full scale drawings of pipe systems, supports, or related equipment, according to blueprints.
  3. Inspect, examine, or test installed systems or pipe lines, using pressure gauge, hydrostatic testing, observation, or other methods.
  4. Plan pipe system layout, installation, or repair, according to specifications.
  5. Attach pipes to walls, structures, or fixtures, such as radiators or tanks, using brackets, clamps, tools, or welding equipment.
  6. Modify, clean, or maintain pipe systems, units, fittings, or related machines or equipment, using hand or power tools.
  7. Select pipe sizes, types, or related materials, such as supports, hangers, or hydraulic cylinders, according to specifications.
  8. Assemble pipe sections, tubing, or fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, or welding equipment.
  9. Install pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers or water heaters, or fixtures such as sinks or toilets, using hand or power tools.
  10. Install automatic controls to regulate pipe systems.
  11. Shut off steam, water, or other gases or liquids from pipe sections, using valve keys or wrenches.
  12. Keep records of work assignments.
  13. Direct helpers engaged in pipe cutting, preassembly, or installation of plumbing systems or components.
  14. Fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to detect and locate leaks.
  15. Maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.
  16. Locate and mark the position of pipe installations, connections, passage holes, or fixtures in structures, using measuring instruments such as rulers or levels.
  17. Review blueprints, building codes, or specifications to determine work details or procedures.
  18. Anchor steel supports from ceiling joists to hold pipes in place.
  19. Estimate time, material, or labor costs for use in project plans.
  20. Install underground storm, sanitary, or water piping systems, extending piping as needed to connect fixtures and plumbing.
  21. Inspect structures to assess material or equipment needs, to establish the sequence of pipe installations, or to plan installation around obstructions, such as electrical wiring.
  22. Install green plumbing equipment, such as faucet flow restrictors, dual-flush or pressure-assisted flush toilets, or tankless hot water heaters.
  23. Cut openings in structures to accommodate pipes or pipe fittings, using hand or power tools.
  24. Inspect work sites for obstructions or holes that could cause structural weakness.
  25. Install fixtures, appliances, or equipment designed to reduce water or energy consumption.
  26. Install pipe systems to support alternative energy-fueled systems, such as geothermal heating or cooling systems.
  27. Weld small pipes or special piping, using specialized techniques, equipment, or materials, such as computer-assisted welding or microchip fabrication.
  28. Operate motorized pumps to remove water from flooded manholes, basements, or facility floors.
  29. Repair hydraulic or air pumps.
  30. Repair or remove and replace system components.

National Industry Employment Patterns

Industry % of Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters employed Annual Growth Rate
Building equipment contractors 65.8 1.59
Utility system construction 3.4 1.45
Nonresidential building construction 3.3 1.20

Labor Market Information

2020 Statewide average hourly wage $24.44
2020 National average hourly wage $29.37
2018 National employment 500,300
2018 Texas employment 49,483
Texas projected employment by 2028 57,686
Texas projected annual employment and Turnover openings through 2028 6,764

* Due to confidentiality rules, not all regions may have the data displayed. The sum of all the regions may not be equal to the state total.

Top 10 Relevant Knowledge Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Top 10 Relevant Skill Areas Relevant Importance Levels
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Quality Control Analysis
Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Time Management
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Top 10 Relevant Abilities Relevant Importance Levels
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

  • Performing General Physical Activities
    -- Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Getting Information
    -- Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
    -- Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Handling and Moving Objects
    -- Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
    -- Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Other Activities

  • Independence
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Relationships
    - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.


Adjustable widemouth pliers: Water pump pliers;

Adjustable wrenches: Adjustable slip lock nut wrenches; Adjustable wrenches;

Air compressors: Air compressors;

Alternating current AC arc welder: Alternating current AC welding equipment;

Augers: Augers;

Backhoes: Backhoes;

Ball peen hammer: Ball peen hammers;

Bandsaw wheel: Bandsaws; Vertical bandsaws;

Bench vises: Tristand chain vises; Bench chain vises; Bench yoke vises;

Blocks or pulleys: Pulleys; Block and tackle equipment;

Blow torch: Propane torches; Cutting torches; Acetylene torches; Air-acetylene torches; Butane torches;

Bolt cutters: Bolt cutters;

Box end wrenches: Ratcheting box wrenches; Box end wrenches;

Calipers: Calipers;

Caulking guns: Caulking guns;

Circuit tracers: Wire tracers;

Claw hammer: Claw hammers;

Cold chisels: Cold chisels;

Conventional truck cranes: Truck cranes;

Cutting die: Metal cutting dies;

Deburring tool: Deburring tools;

Demolition hammers: Power hammers; Pavement stompers;

Depth gauges: Pit depth gauges;

Desktop computers: Desktop computers;

Detection apparatus for non metallic objects: Line locators; Inductive clamps; Transmitters;

Dewatering pumps: Utility pumps;

Diagonal cut pliers: Diagonal cutting pliers;

Digital camcorders or video cameras: Video diagnostic tools;

Direct current DC arc welder: Direct current DC arc welder;

Drain or pipe cleaning equipment: Pressurized water pigs; Power sink machine drain cleaners; Power spinners; Sewer tapes; Sectional drain cleaning machines; Toilet augers; Hand spinners; Drain cleaning cables; Heavy duty drain cleaning machines;

Drain or toilet plunger: Plungers;

Drill press or radial drill: Drill presses;

Dump trucks: Dump trucks;

Explosimeters: Explosimeters;

Flow sensors: Flow gauges;

Fluid regulators: Pipe freezing kits; Water stoppers;

Forklifts: Forklifts;

Gas detectors: Gas leak detection devices;

Gas generators: Generators;

Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus: Oxyacetylene welding equipment; Plasma cutting guides; Torch cutter guides;

Hacksaw: Hacksaws; Hand hacksaws; Mini hacksaws; Power hacksaws;

Hammer drills: Rotary hammers;

Hammers: Hammers;

Hand reamer: Inner/outer reamers; Reamers;

Heat guns: Heat guns;

Hex keys: Hex wrenches; Allen wrenches;

Hoists: Chain falls; Tirfors; Tuggers;

Hole saws: Hole cutting tools; Hole saws;

Hose cutter: Gasket cutters;

Hydraulic truck cranes: Hydraulic cranes;

Impact hammers: Impact hammers;

Impact wrenches: Impact wrenches; Hydraulic valve turners;

Inspection mirror: Telescopic inspection mirrors;

Jacks: Pipeline jacks;

Ladders: Ladders;

Laser measuring systems: Pipe lasers; Laser alignment tools;

Laser printers: Laser printers;

Leak testing equipment: Trutest smoke detectors;

Level sensors or transmitters: Transit levels;

Levels: Laser levels; Levels; Dumpy levels; Automatic levels; Two-hole pins; Split bubble levels; Torpedo levels; Pocket levels; Pipe flange aligners;

Light trucks or sport utility vehicles: Light pickup trucks;

Liquid leak detectors: Leak-testing gauges; Ultrasonic leak detectors;

Locking pliers: Channel lock pliers; Locking pliers; Vise grip pliers;

Manlift or personnel lift: Manlifts;

Metal detectors: Rebar locators; Magnetic locators; Null locators;

Metal inert gas welding machine: Metal inert gas MIG welders;

Metal markers or holders: Magnetic circle layout tools; Centering head tools; Radius markers;

Micrometers: Quality control QC welders' gauges;

Mill saw file: Single-cut mill saw files;

Moisture meters: Moisture meters;

Mud pumps: Mud pumps;

Notebook computers: Notebook computers;

Nut drivers: Universal nut wrenches;

Offset socket wrenches: Hollow core socket wrenches;

Ohmmeters: Ohmmeters;

Oil gun: Oilers;

Open end wrenches: Crescent wrenches;

Personal computers: Personal computers;

Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers: Personal digital assistants PDA;

Pipe bending mandrel: Pipe bending mandrels;

Pipe bending tools: Tube bending springs; Manual pipe benders; Pipe bending tools;

Pipe extractors: Pipe extractors;

Pipe or tube cutter: Power pipe cutters; Polyvinyl chloride PVC cutters; Polyvinyl chloride PVC saws; Ratcheting polyvinyl chloride PVC cutters; Soil pipe cutters; Tubing cutters; Wide roll pipe cutters; Copper cutting machines; Mini tubing cutters; Pipe cutters;

Pipe reamer: Spiral ratchet pipe reamers; Straight-fluted pipe reamers;

Pipe vises: Pipe vises; Pipe welding vises; Tripod vises; Stands; Welding clamps;

Pipe wrenches: End pipe wrenches; Offset pipe wrenches; Pipe wrenches; Straight pipe wrenches;

Plumb bobs: Plumb bobs;

Pneumatic grinders: Angle air grinders; Air operated grinders; Pneumatic pipe bevelers;

Pneumatic hammer: Jackhammers;

Power drills: Right-angle drills; Power drills; Direct tap machines;

Power flaring tool: Flaring tools; Pipe flaring tools;

Power grinders: Pedestal grinders; Offset grinders; Portable grinders; Seat dressers; Stationary grinders;

Power saws: Circular saws; Reciprocating saws;

Pressure indicators: Pressure gauges; Water pressure gauges; Maximum reading water pressure gauges; Hydrostatic testers; Heavy duty water pressure gauges; Comprehensive water gauges; Air pressure gauges;

Pressure or steam cleaners: Rodders; Root ranger jetter nozzles; Water jetters;

Pry bars: Crowbars; Pry bars;

Pullers: Faucet handle pullers; Faucet stem and cartridge pullers; Compression sleeve pullers; Tub drain removers;

Rasps: Rasps;

Ratchets: Jam-proof ratchet threaders; Manual ratchet threader sets;

Safety harnesses or belts: Safety harnesses;

Saws: Metal hand saws;

Scaffolding: Scaffolding;

Screwdrivers: Flat blade screwdrivers; Flat head screwdrivers; Impact screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers; Screwdrivers;

Sewage pumps: Sewage pumps;

Shears: Shears; Pipe fabrication shears;

Sheet metal grooving machine: Roll groovers;

Shielded metal arc welding or stick welding machine: Shielded arc welding tools;

Skid steer loaders: Skip loaders;

Slings: Material-hoisting slings;

Slip or groove joint pliers: Slip joint pliers;

Soldering iron: Soldering equipment;

Specialty wrenches: Water heater element removal wrenches; Telescoping basin wrenches; Six-step faucet seat wrenches; Stillson wrenches; Strainer wrenches; Spud wrenches; Plastic nut basin wrenches; Pop-up plug wrenches; Rapwrenches; Seat wrenches; Shower valve socket wrenches; Compound leverage wrenches; Cleanout plug wrenches; Bibb seat tools; Basin wrenches; Basket strainer wrenches; Chain wrenches; Monkey wrench sets; One stop wrenches; Pedestal sink wrenches; Internal wrenches;

Spot welding machine: Welders; Portable welding machines;

Square file: Thread repair files;

Squares: Framing squares; Combination squares;

Staple guns: Staple guns;

Strap wrenches: Strap wrenches; Rubber strap wrenches; Nylon strap wrenches;

Sump pumps: Sump pumps;

Swaging tools: Swaging tools;

Tablet computers: Tablet computers;

Tachometers: Hand tachometers;

Tape measures: Measuring tapes;

Tapping machine attachment: Tapping tools;

Taps: Metal cutting taps;

Thermographs: Non-contact infrared thermometers;

Threading die: Threading machine die heads;

Threading dies: Plastic pipe/conduit die heads; Pipe threaders; Drophead dies;

Threading machine: Three-way pipe threaders; Receding threaders; Pipe threading machines; Power pipe threading machines;

Threading taps: Pipe taps;

Tinners snips: Tin snips;

Tongs: Chain tongs;

Torque wrenches: No hub torque wrenches;

Torx keys: Four-in-one keys; Shut-off keys; Water meter keys;

Tracer or duplicating or contouring lathe: Lathes;

Trenching machines: Trenchers;

Tube end finisher: Tube crimping tools;

Tungsten inert gas welding machine: Tungsten inert gas TIG welding equipment;

Two way radios: Two way radios;

Utility knives: Utility knives;

Vacuum gauges: Vacuum gauges;

Vibration testers: Vibration analyzers;

Voltage or current meters: Amp meters;

Water pumps: Water pumps;

Water samplers: Water samplers;

Welder torch: Brazing equipment;

Welding masks: Welding hoods;

Wheel loaders: Loaders;

Winches: Winches;

Wire brushes: Pneumatic wire brushes; Air wire brushes;

Wire or cable cutter: Cable saws;


Accounting software: Bookkeeping software; Intuit QuickBooks; Intuit Quicken; Job costing software; KRS Enterprises Service First!;

Analytical or scientific software: Pipepro Pipefitting; Klear Estimator; Heat loss calculation software; COADE CAESAR II; Bentley Systems AutoPIPE; Elite Software DPIPE; Elite Software FIRE; Elite Software HSYM; Elite Software Spipe; Quote Software QuoteExpress; Watter Hammer Software Hytran;

Computer aided design CAD software: ViziFlow; Elite Software Sprinkler CAD; Elite Software Plumbing CAD; Autodesk Building Systems; AEC Design Group CADPIPE; Computer aided design CAD software; Horizon Engineering Sigma Plumbing Calculator; Drawing and drafting software;

Data base user interface and query software: Database software; Insight Direct ServiceCEO; PricePoint; Wintac Pro;

Electronic mail software: Email software;

Facilities management software: Maintenance management software;

Internet browser software: Internet browser software;

Office suite software: Microsoft Office;

Project management software: Piping construction costs estimation software; Estimating software; FastEST FastPipe; FastEST software; Vision InfoSoft Plumbing Bid Manager;

Spreadsheet software: Microsoft Excel; Spreadsheet software; PipingOffice;

Web platform development software: Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP;

Word processing software: Microsoft Word; Contractor City Contractor Forms Pack; Atlas Construction Business Forms; Wilhelm Publishing Threshold; Word processing software;

Related O*NET occupational titles for Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters include:
  • 47-2011.00 Boilermakers
  • 47-2031.00 Carpenters
  • 49-9092.00 Commercial Divers
  • 49-9012.00 Control and Valve Installers and Repairers, Except Mechanical Door
  • 49-9051.00 Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers
  • 47-2111.00 Electricians
  • 49-9021.00 Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
  • 49-9071.00 Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
  • 49-9044.00 Millwrights
  • 47-2211.00 Sheet Metal Workers

Sources of Additional Information
  • For more information about plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, including apprenticeship opportunities, visit: Mechanical Contractors Association of America
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association
  • American Fire Sprinkler Association
  • National Fire Sprinkler Association
  • United Association: Union of Plumbers, Fitters, Welders, and Service Techs
  • For apprenticeship information from the U.S. Department of Labor, visit the Apprenticeship program online or call 877-872-5627. To search for opportunities, visit apprenticeship.gov
  • For more information about apprenticeship or other opportunities, contact the offices of the state employment service; the state apprenticeship agency; local plumbing, heating, and cooling contractors or firms that employ fitters; or local union–management apprenticeship committees.
  • For more information about pre-apprenticeship training, visit: Home Builders Institute
  • Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association
  • National Building Trades Union
  • CareerOneStop

  • For a career video on plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, visit: Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
  • Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
  • Solar Thermal Installers and Technicians

  • Contact Texas Workforce Commission
    Labor Market and Career Information  |  101 E. 15th Street, Annex Room 0252  |  Austin, Texas 78778
    Official Website  |  1-800-822-PLAN (7526)  |  512.936.3200

    ** The information in this report may be derived from many sources like O*NET, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), OOH (Occupational Outlook Handbook), and Career One Stop.