Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

6.4/10 job score
risk level
by 2031
or $28.79 hourly
as of 2021

What is the risk of automation?

We calculate this occupation to have an automation risk score of 21% (No worries)

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated
Qualities required for this occupation:
Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions
Finger Dexterity
Manual Dexterity
very important
quite important
[Show all metrics]

What do you think the risk of automation is?

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

How quickly is this occupation growing?

The number of 'Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters' job openings is expected to rise 1.9% by 2031
'Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters' is expected to be a slow growing occupation in comparison to other occupations.
* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031.
Updated projections are due Sep 2023.

What are the median wages for 'Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters' in the United States?

In 2021 the median annual wage for 'Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters' was $59,880, or $28.79 hourly
'Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters' are paid 30.9% higher than the national median wage, which stands at $45,760
* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

How many people are employed as plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters?

As of 2021 there were 417,620 people employed as Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters within the United States.
This represents around 0.30% of the employed workforce across the country.
Put another way, around 1 in 337 people are employed as Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters.

Job description

Assemble, install, alter, and repair pipelines or pipe systems that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. May install heating and cooling equipment and mechanical control systems. Includes sprinkler fitters.

SOC Code: 47-2152.00


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Leave a comment

Carl Wyatt (Small chance) says
I can envisage machines installing plumbing and heating in new builds however most plumbing tasks such as repairs/maintenance or installations on old buildings require dexterity and flexibility which are difficult criteria's for machines to meet. I'm sure it'll be possible one day but I believe plumbing to be one of the last professions to be automated.
Jul 04, 2021 at 10:07 PM
Pierce (Small chance) says
Robots can't think critically to solve unusual problems that are always guaranteed to happen.
May 16, 2021 at 01:58 PM
Frank (No chance) says
How in the world, in the relatively near future, will automation enter a job site and set a toilet for example???? Ridiculous!!
Apr 13, 2021 at 11:02 AM
Elon Musk says
The probability of a robot being able to diagnose a plumbing or drain issue and have the engineering benefit of that being in development is possibly more likely for new construction rather than residential services or retro construction in the next 30 if at all ever.
Apr 13, 2021 at 05:24 AM
Nathan Wood (Small chance) says
Unless they are all pre fabricated buildings. No robot will be able to do repairs, fit in a crawl hole or remodel a home or office either.
Dec 30, 2020 at 02:38 AM
bringthon (No chance) says
no chance lol forget it..

manual skilled jobs will be hard to replace but they will evolve
Aug 09, 2020 at 09:39 PM
lol (No chance) says
I'm not sure if robot could do this correctly, or if it will be cheaper than from human beings
Jul 02, 2020 at 09:11 AM
Josh says
I would have preferred a robot from 1994 than the spud who did my bathroom refurb!
Jun 09, 2020 at 09:34 AM
Andreas (Small chance) says
In buildings or industrial facilities where there is a standardised infrastructure built with all used parts digitised in an archive, maybe. But everything with existing infrastructure needs the experience of humans to decide and take action. However, it would be awesome to have a robot with me at work doing stuff like heavy lifts, cleaning, carrying equipment and parts.
May 09, 2020 at 05:58 PM
Mister man (No chance) says
While I understand the seemingly repetitive nature of pipe work, it strikes me as the sort of business that takes a lot more figuring than more repetitive work, such as cashiering
Mar 10, 2020 at 05:54 PM
Marty (No chance) says
Are robots going to go into people's homes to deal with plumbing issues? I highly doubt it.
Jan 27, 2020 at 07:17 PM
Franklin (Small chance) says
I think robots capable of this are decades away and when they do arrive it will probably be cheaper to hire a human.
Dec 21, 2019 at 09:57 AM
Phillip (No chance) says
I just don't see how your gonna get a robot to come to a house, diagnose the plumbing issue and then perform the work to fix it. Thats a complex task and modern robots can still only reliably perform the simplest of tasks. The tech is a long ways away and even if it weren't I don't feel like replacing plumbers would the first thing on the agenda for that tech.
May 23, 2019 at 10:58 PM
Kenn says
Well instead of the robot coming into houses it would be a robot per household capable of completing any plumbing, carpentry, pretty much any trade repair needed within that household. That robot would he owned by the family and essentially a crazy advanced butler. The tech is def not in the next decade but 15-30 years from now it's quite a possibility.
Nov 24, 2020 at 10:50 AM
Kenny (Small chance) says
Would need very good robots to do this.
May 07, 2019 at 05:57 AM

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