Architecture and Construction > Pipefitters > Working Conditions
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Pipefitters - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, plumbers and pipefitters:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a medium level of social contact. They often work alone, but also talk to supervisors and customers.
  • Communicate by telephone and in person on a daily basis.
  • Are greatly responsible for the health and safety of others.
  • Are greatly responsible for the work done by others (usually those they might supervise).
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  • May work as part of a work group or team.
  • May on occasion be placed in a conflict situation. People might disagree on scheduling, for example.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Work both indoors and outdoors. Plumbers may spend more time indoors. Outdoors sites may be covered.
  • Are exposed to hazardous equipment on a weekly basis.
  • Are often exposed to hazardous situations that may produce cuts or burns.
  • Regularly wear safety and protective attire.
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  • Are sometimes exposed to cramped work places that require getting into awkward positions.
  • Are exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures when working. Indoor spaces might not be temperature-controlled, and the weather outdoors is unpredictable.
  • Are sometimes exposed to contaminants.
  • Are sometimes exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting and uncomfortable.
  • May on occasion be exposed to high places, such as scaffolds.
  • May occasionally be exposed to extremely bright or low light conditions.
  • Work near others. They often share the same work space with others.

Work Performance

  • Must be sure that all details are done and their work is exact. Errors could have serious consequences for the safety of workers.
  • Make decisions that strongly impact their employer, customers, and other employees on a daily basis. They make most decisions without talking to a supervisor first.
  • Set most of their daily tasks and goals without consulting a supervisor first.
  • Work in a moderately competitive atmosphere. They must abide by strict weekly deadlines.
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  • May repeat the same physical and mental activities.


  • Usually work a schedule set by conditions such as weather, length of contract, or the demands of a project.
  • Most work at least full time. Overtime work is common.
  • May work evening or weekend shifts or be on-call, when involved in maintenance work.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.