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Career and Education Opportunities for Plumbers in St. Louis, Missouri

Plumbers can find many career and educational opportunities in the St. Louis, Missouri area. There are currently 10,110 working plumbers in Missouri; this should grow 14% to about 11,570 working plumbers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for plumbers are expected to grow by about 15.3%. In general, plumbers assemble, install, and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water, and drainage systems, according to specifications and plumbing codes.

Income for plumbers is about $26 hourly or $55,080 yearly on average in Missouri. Nationally, their income is about $21 hourly or $45,640 annually. Plumbers earn more than people working in the category of Plumbing generally in Missouri and more than people in the Plumbing category nationally.

The St. Louis area is home to seventy-one schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree as a plumber. Given that the most common education level for plumbers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a plumber if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Plumber

Plumber video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, plumbers assemble, install, and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water, and drainage systems, according to specifications and plumbing codes.

Plumbers assemble pipe sections, tubing and fittings, using couplings, clamps, screws, bolts, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing and welding equipment. They also set up pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters, and fixtures such as sinks and toilets, using hand and power tools. Equally important, plumbers have to trim openings in structures to deal with pipes and pipe fittings, using hand and power tools. They are often called upon to fill pipes or plumbing fixtures with water or air and observe pressure gauges to uncover and locate leaks. They are expected to measure and bend pipe to required angles, using hand and power tools or machines such as pipe cutters, pipe-threading machines, and pipe-bending machines. Finally, plumbers study building plans and inspect structures to gauge material and equipment needs, to determine the sequence of pipe installations, and to develop installation around obstructions such as electrical wiring.

Every day, plumbers are expected to be able to twist and stretch their arms and legs to get work done. They need to control and manipulate objects at a fine level of detail. It is also important that they control objects and devices with precise control.

It is important for plumbers to keep records of assignments and produce detailed work reports. They are often called upon to clear away debris in a renovation. They also perform complex calculations and planning for special or very large jobs. They are sometimes expected to ready written work cost estimates and negotiate contracts. Somewhat less frequently, plumbers are also expected to trim openings in structures to deal with pipes and pipe fittings, using hand and power tools.

Plumbers sometimes are asked to locate and mark the position of pipe installations and fixtures in structures, using measuring instruments such as rulers and levels. They also have to be able to direct staff working on pipe cutting and preassembly and placement of plumbing systems and components and set up underground storm, sanitary and water piping systems and extend piping to connect fixtures and plumbing to these systems. And finally, they sometimes have to set up oxygen and medical gas in hospitals.

Like many other jobs, plumbers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Plumber Training

Ranken Technical College - Saint Louis, MO

Ranken Technical College, 4431 Finney Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63113-2811. Ranken Technical College is a small college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,626 students. Ranken Technical College has a one to two year program in Plumbing Technology/Plumber which graduated thirty-six students in 2008.

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, 3400 Pershall Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63135. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley is a medium sized college located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,515 students. Saint Louis Community College-Florissant Valley has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Plumbing Technology/Plumber which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Vatterott College - Berkeley, MO

Vatterott College, 8580 Evans Avenue, Berkeley, MO 63134. Vatterott College is a small college located in Berkeley, Missouri. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 971 students. Vatterott College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Plumbing Technology/Plumber which graduated seventeen and zero students respectively in 2008.

Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville, IL

Southwestern Illinois College, 2500 Carlyle Ave, Belleville, IL 62221-5899. Southwestern Illinois College is a large college located in Belleville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,308 students. Southwestern Illinois College has an associate's degree program in Pipefitting/Pipefitter and Sprinkler Fitter which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Standard Journeyman Plumber: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an independent testing program designed to provide licensing agencies with information regarding.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Standard Residential Plumber: The International Code Council's National Contractor Trades Examination Program is an.

For more information, see the International Code Council website.

Journeyman Plumber: This certification is designed to test the knowledge that a journey level plumber has of the Uniform Plumbing Code published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Journeyman Pipefitter-Steamfitter: The NITC journey level pipefitting/steamfitting certification is based on a written examination that consists of 100 multiple choice questions.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Medical Gas Installer 6010: This examination is covered under NITC's scope of accreditation by the American Standards Institute (ANSI).

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Medical Gas Specialist 6005: Candidates shall have successfully completed twenty-four (24) hours of training covering all facets of piped medical gas and medical-surgical vacuum systems.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Medical Gas Maintenance Personnel 6040: Candidates must have completed thirty-two (32) hours of training in the maintenance of medical gas/vacuum systems, and have a minimum of one (1) year experience in the maintenance of medical gas/vacuum systems.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Bulk Medical Gas Systems Installer 6015: Certification to this standard shall be through a method approved by the firm's Quality Control Unit (QCU).

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

IAPMO Mechanical Inspector: IAPMO's National Personnel Certification Program for Inspectors, Plans Examiners and Code Administrators is a nationally recognized, comprehensive testing and certification program that assesses the knowledge of construction codes as an indicator of competence and professionalism.

For more information, see the National Inspection, Testing and Certification Corporation website.

Automatic Sprinkler System Layout: This certification program is for engineering technicians engaged in the layout and detailing of automatic sprinkler systems which must meet existing and proposed code and statutory requirements.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.