Job Family: Construction, Building, and Extraction Plumbers and Pipe Fitters
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | National Guard

Photo 1: Plumbers inspect well system. Photo 2:
Plumber cuts pipe down to size,

Short Description
Military buildings and equipment require pipe systems for water, steam, gas, and waste. Pipe systems are also needed on aircraft, missiles, and ships for hydraulic (fluid pressure) and pneumatic (air pressure) systems. Plumbers and pipe fitters install and repair plumbing and pipe systems.

What They Do
Plumbers and pipe fitters in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Plan layouts of pipe systems using blueprints and drawings
  • Bend, cut, and thread pipes made of lead, copper, and plastic
  • Install connectors, fittings, and joints
  • Solder or braze pipe and tubing to join them
  • Install sinks, toilets, and other plumbing fixtures
  • Troubleshoot, test, and calibrate hydraulic and pneumatic systems

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include math and shop mechanics. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to work with detailed plans
  • Preference for doing physical work

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction, including practice in repairing plumbing systems. Course content typically includes:
  • Installation, operation, and repair of pipe systems
  • Installation and repair of plumbing fixtures and boiler controls
  • Maintenance and repair of hydraulic and pneumatic systems
  • Methods of soldering, welding, silver brazing, and cutting

Work Environment
Plumbers and pipe fitters work both indoors and outdoors on land and aboard ships.

Civilian Counterparts
Civilian plumbers and pipe fitters usually work for mechanical or plumbing contractors or as self-employed contractors. Some plumbers and pipe fitters work for public utilities. Civilian plumbers and pipe fitters perform duties similar to those performed in the military.

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