Plumber/Pipefitter Helper  What They Do

Just the Facts

Helpers - Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters Career Video

Helps plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, or pipelayers by performing duties requiring less skill. Duties include using, supplying or holding materials or tools, and cleaning work area and equipment.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Measures, cuts, threads and assembles new pipe, placing the assembled pipe in hangers or other supports.
  • Cuts or drills holes in walls or floors to accommodate the passage of pipes.
  • Performs rough-ins, repairs and replaces fixtures and water heaters, and locates, repairs, or removes leaking or broken pipes.
  • Assists pipe fitters in the layout, assembly, and installation of piping for air, ammonia, gas, and water systems.
  • Cuts pipe and lifts up to fitters.
  • Fits or assists in fitting valves, couplings, or assemblies to tanks, pumps, or systems, using hand tools.
  • Requisitions tools and equipment, selects type and size of pipe, and collects and transports materials and equipment to work site.
  • Mounts brackets and hangers on walls and ceilings to hold pipes, and sets sleeves or inserts to provide support for pipes.
  • Excavates and grades ditches, and lays and joins pipe for water and sewer service.
  • Disassembles and removes damaged or worn pipe.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Drain Technician --
  • Gas Fitter -- Installs, inspects, repairs and maintains gas lines and gas equipment such as meters, regulators, heating units and appliances in residential, commercial and industrial establishments.
  • Helper --
  • Irrigation Installation Specialist --
  • Irrigation Technician -- Designs, installs and maintains of irrigation systems.
  • Plumber's Helper --
  • Service Technician --
  • Sprinkler Fitter --
  • Sprinkler Installer --
  • Sprinkler Repair Technician --