The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted an 18 percent growth rate in the number of plumbers/pipefitters/steamfitters for the 2002-2012 period, gaining 91,942 jobs to a total of 584,068 jobs in 2012.

Over that same 10-year period, the BLS predicts that the construction industry as a whole will grow 15.1 percent, just over 1 million jobs, from 6.7 million in 2002 to 7.7 million jobs in 2012.