Nearly all areas of construction rely on plumbers. If you enjoy working with your hands and problem-solving, then this trade is for you. There will always be a need for reliable plumbers. Plumbers install, repair and maintain drainage and water systems in residential, commercial and/or industrial buildings. This may seem like an unpleasant job, but plumbers are very important, and well-paid for their work. 

Make a Difference

A Typical Day

  • Review blueprints, building codes, or specifications to determine work details or procedures.
  • Locate and mark the position of pipe installations, connections, passage holes, or fixtures in structures.
  • Assemble pipe sections, tubing, or fittings, using couplings, clamps, cement, plastic solvent, caulking, or soldering, brazing, or welding equipment.
  • Install pipe assemblies, fittings, valves, appliances such as dishwashers or water heaters, or fixtures such as sinks or toilets and test for leaks.
  • Maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.
  • Install underground storm, sanitary, or water piping systems, extending piping as needed to connect fixtures and plumbing.

Recommended Credentials

2 year degree + apprenticeship

Education & Training

Regional employers often hire graduates of these programs.


Northwest Lower Michigan


Construction Technology Degrees and Certificates
— Northwest Michigan College

Elsewhere in Michigan


Center for Certification Training & Testing 
— Ferris State University
Plumbing and Pipe Fitting
— Macomb Community College
Industrial Training Program
— Washtenaw Community College

Explore This Career

Try it before you buy it!

Job shadow plumbing installation or repair at a family/friend's home or business.

The Local Advantage Learning Pathway

Pathway 1

Northwest Education Services' Career Tech Center Construction Trades to understand the industry and seek plumbing assistant work

Pathway 2

NMC 2-yr degree: A.S. in Construction Technology
Certificate in Electrical/Plumbing (ex. if have a different degree already)

Pathway 3

Get apprenticeship with U.A. Local 85, including certification to be a

  • Journeyperson license
  • Journey-level pipefitter/steamfitter
  • UPC Journeyman Plumber

Sample Employers in Our Region

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Contact one of these companies and ask for an informational interview, to see if you can job shadow, or to find out if they hire interns.


Sample Job Titles...

  • craftsman
  • journeyman
  • pipe fitter
  • artisan
  • artificer
  • steamers

Hear It From The Pros

10-Year Job Growth Projections

10-County Region

Employed Regionally

In 2021 (10-County Region)

Wage Range & Median 10-County Region


Annual Hires Regionally

In 2021

Other Regional Career Resources

Learn more about Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters at O*NET Online.

Related Careers

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Real World Career Pathways

It doesn't have to be a straight shot! Hear from people who have taken unique pathways.