Careers Finding a Job Plumber Skills List and Examples Share PINTEREST Email Print Paul Bradbury / Getty Images Finding a Job Job Searching Skills & Keywords Resumes Salary & Benefits Letters & Emails Job Listings Job Interviews Cover Letters Career Advice Best Jobs Work-From-Home Jobs Internships Table of Contents Expand Top Skills Plumbers Need Manual Dexterity and Physical Strength Mechanical Know-How Problem-Solving and Troubleshooting Skills General Business and Administrative Skills Regulatory Compliance Skills Soft Skills for Plumbers How to Highlight Plumbing Skills in Resumes By Alison Doyle Updated on 09/06/21 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 home projects. A call to a plumber is most likely going to be one’s best bet when pipes freeze or other residential plumbing issues arise. And, as long as people continue to have indoor plumbing (the outlook is good), skilled plumbers 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 specialize in commercial. Some focus on installing systems in new construction, while others are adept at repairing existing systems. They work in homes, businesses, factories, and in other locations where there are pipes. Top Skills Plumbers Need When you're applying for jobs, there are certain skills that employers expect applicants for plumbing jobs to have. Here are some of the top skills needed to succeed as a plumber. Manual Dexterity and Physical Strength 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. Some of the physical tasks and abilities required of plumbers include: Accessing Confined SpacesApplying Adhesives, Sealants, and CaulkCleaning Sewer LinesHand and Arm StrengthInstalling Appliances Like Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Water Softeners, and Water HeatersInstalling Pipe Systems for Gas, Water, Steam, and Other LiquidsManual DexterityPrecisionTolerating Potentially Dangerous, Noisy, or Unpleasant Working ConditionsUsing Soldering TechniquesUtilizing Tools to Assemble ComponentsWelding Mechanical Know-How When dealing with water pressure, you must 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 their 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. Mechanical know-how enables plumbers to perform activities such as: Applying AlgebraApplying GeometryApplying Principles of HydronicsChoosing the Right Tools for the JobFixing Leaking and Clogged LinesInstalling Sinks and FaucetsInterpreting BlueprintsMechanical ReasoningPerforming Pressure Tests on Pipe SystemsPlumbing InstallationsPlumbing Repairs / Repairing Pipe SystemsPursue Ongoing Learning about New Systems and MaterialsReplacing Defective Parts Problem-Solving and Troubleshooting Skills Since plumbing problems can sometimes be severe, plumbers should possess the persistence needed to see the job through to a successful conclusion. Plumbers need to be able to find, diagnose, and repair problems. Often working alone, you will need to figure out the reason for issues on your own and will need self-motivation to keep yourself on task. You’ll need solid problem-solving skills, analytical and logical reasoning talents, and attention to detail in order to: Calculate Basic MathDiagnose Plumbing and Piping ProblemsIdentify ProblemsInspect Systems Once InstalledPlan ProjectsProduce Viable Estimates for Project CostsTroubleshoot System Failures General Business and Administrative Skills If you decide to work as an independent contractor, you’ll need to know the following business administration and management capabilities: Computer KnowledgeCompleting Paperwork to Document Services RenderedEstimating Types of Materials Required for ProjectsMaintaining Financial RecordsNegotiating Agreements for ServicesPromoting BusinessPurchasing MaterialsSetting Prices for ServicesSupervising Staff Regulatory Compliance Skills Especially in commercial plumbing, all completed projects will be subject to inspection. Employers and customers will expect you to continually: Follow Safety ProtocolsLearn and Comply with Building CodesReview Updates and Changes in State and Local Plumbing Codes Soft Skills for Plumbers In addition to the mechanical skills you’ve mastered in your plumbing training and apprentice programs, you’ll need to be able to communicate and collaborate with customers, team members, and supervisors effectively. As you advance in your career, you may also be called upon to train plumbing apprentices. The “soft skills” (both personal and interpersonal) you’ll require include: Ability to Follow DirectionsCollaborating with Other Grade and Construction WorkersConvincing Customers to Invest in New SystemsCustomer ServiceFlexibilityFriendly demeanorGetting along with coworkersInstructing Customers Regarding Use and Maintenance of SystemsReliabilityResolving Problems with CustomersTeamworkTraining Assistants and Apprentices How to Highlight Plumbing Skills in Resumes When you create a plumber resume, first review the general skills employers list in their job advertisements and then try to mention as many of these as possible in your resume. These skills will vary based on the position for which you're applying, so you should edit each resume you send out to reflect the qualifications that each employer is specifically seeking. Why is it important to use the skills keywords mentioned in job ads on your resume? Doing this is a smart strategy because many employers use automated applicant tracking systems to screen the job applications they receive. If your resume doesn’t contain the keyword phrases these programs are programmed to search for, it may be eliminated from consideration.