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Career and Education Opportunities for Plumbers in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for plumbers. There are currently 2,340 working plumbers in West Virginia; this should grow by 7% to 2,490 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%. Plumbers generally assemble, install, and repair pipes, fittings, and fixtures of heating, water, and drainage systems, according to specifications and plumbing codes.

The income of a plumber is about $19 per hour or $39,520 yearly on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $21 hourly or $45,640 annually on average. Plumbers earn more than people working in the category of Plumbing generally in West Virginia and more than people in the Plumbing category nationally.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a plumber, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. Plumbers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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

Carver Career Center - Charleston, WV

Carver Career Center, 4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306-6397. Carver Career Center is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 391 students. Carver Career Center has a less than one year program in Plumbing Technology/Plumber which graduated seven students in 2008.

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Plumbing Technology/Plumber.

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.

LICENSES

Plumber, Journeyman

Licensing agency: West Virginia State Building and
Address: Construction Trades Council, 2301 7th Avenue, Charleston, WV 25312

Phone: None
Website: West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council

Plumber, Master

Licensing agency: West Virginia State Building and
Address: Construction Trades Council, 2301 7th Avenue, Charleston, WV 25312

Phone: None
Website: West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.