Army Plumber (MOS 12K)

Army Plumber (MOS 12K): Career Details

Army Plumber (MOS 12K) performs functions related to plumbing and pipe fitting activities on military installations and in the field.

Plumbers are responsible for the installation and repair of pipe systems and plumbing fixtures.

This position is similar to a civilian plumber, but can include additional job responsibilities.
<h2Qualifications,Training and Duty Stations

Those who wish to enter into this MOS must first take the ASVAB test and score at least an 88 on the General Maintenance (GM) portion of the test.

A high school diploma or GED is required along with passing all physical and medical evaluations.

To train for this position, recruits will attend Basic Combat Training for 10 weeks.

After successfully passing Basic Combat Training, soldiers will attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for seven weeks at Sheppard Air Force Base, TX.

AIT focuses on developing skills with practice using carpentry and masonry tools.

Skills that are helpful:

  • Preference for a job surrounding physical labor
  • Interest in a job with math and shop mechanics
  • Ability to read/deliver detailed plans

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Duty Stations

Those serving in the Army as an MOS 12K can expect to be potentially based at one of the following duty stations:

Inside the Continental US (CONUS)

  • Ft. Belvoir, VA
  • Ft. Benning, GA 
  • Ft. Bliss, TX
  • Ft. Bragg, NC
  • Ft. Campbell, KY 
  • Ft. Carson, CO
  • Ft. Drum, NY
  • Ft. Hood, TX
  • Ft. Irwin, CA
  • Ft. Knox, KY
  • Ft. Leonard Wood, MO  
  • Ft. Lewis, WA
  • Ft. Polk, LA
  • Ft. Riley, KS
  • Ft. Shaw, MT
  • Ft. Stewart, GA

Outside the Continental US (OCONUS)

  • Cuba
  • Grafenwoehr, Germany
  • Schofield, HI

What Does an Army Plumber Do?

Army Plumber
Army Plumbers receiving instruction on pipe threading. Image:

Army Plumbers are an integral part of building installation and repair.

The Plumbers perform all basic plumbing repair and maintenance.

Whenever there is an installation problem, or a leak, they are the ones who are called.

They must be familiar with how to install and repair boiler controls, water purification and distillation systems.

Plumbers must also perform maintenance on the above systems in addition to hydraulic, pneumatic, heating, basic water supply and water distribution systems.

Maintenance activities include working on plumbing fixtures, pipes, traps, insulation, stacks, vents and brackets.

They will replace valves, water closets, urinals, control devices and laboratories.

Part of this position is spending time reading and interpreting construction plans.

Plumbers must be detail oriented and ensure that they meet all specifications written out in the plans.

Math is an important part of this job because Plumbers are constantly measuring and meeting the detail specifications for each part written in the plans.

They must be familiar with types of materials and how those materials react in the presence of water.

Some types of materials include copper tubing, PVC tubing, galvanized steel and cast-iron. 

The plumbers install pipe systems for waste water and sewer distribution.

To complete their work plumbers use a variety of hand-tools and equipment that range in size and complexity.

Some tool examples include pipe cutters, pipe threading machines, soldering tools, clamps, welding equipment, cement, plastic solvent and pipe bending machines.

They will read blue prints and drawings when setting up or performing maintenance activities to assist with leak detection and proper installation.

The Plumbers must understand the positive flow of systems and will follow lock-out tag-out procedures when working on live systems.

This position may require individuals to get into drainage areas or confined spaces.

During training, 12K soldiers will be trained in carpentry because they will assist in that area when they do not have plumbing related tasks.

Plumbers often assist electricians as well and will perform basic electrician tasks.

Being part of construction requires team work and cooperation between different units.

They work in all areas from training facilities and dining facilities to setting up temporary facilities in the field.

The plumbers may also work in residential homes performing installation or repair duties.

Plumbers generally work standard hours in garrison environments, but may be on-call for emergency scenarios.

The Army video below provides more information on the job functions of a Plumber.

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What Does an Army Plumber Get Paid?

Those in the enlisted active duty Plumber position will be paid based on rank and time of service.

With no prior Military experience or education, recruits can expect to start at just above $1600 a month in base pay.

Indeed, a website that uses employee feedback to estimate business salaries, states that the average annual salary for this position is $44,557 a year.

The Army base pay table can be found below.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationMinimum Monthly Pay
E-1 +4 monthsPrivatePVT$1,917.60
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$2,149.20
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$2,259.90
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,503.50
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,503.50
e-6E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,980.50
E-7Sergeant First Class SFC$3,445.80
army master sergeant iconE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,957.20
E-8First Sergeant 1SG$4,957.20
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$6,055.50
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$6,055.50
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$6,055.50


Base pay is not the only compensation provided to Army soldiers.

Army soldiers receive bonus opportunities, special pay and other benefits that all add to the base income.

You can receive a bonus of up to $40,000 for in demand positions, or smaller amounts for other bonus opportunity scenarios.

In demand positions and bonuses opportunities change depending on the needs of the Army.

Special pay is available for situations such as deployment or hazard pay.

Other benefits include:

  • Medical and dental
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Tuition assistance
  • Vacation
  • Sick time
  • Retirement

Job Reviews

This position is described as productive in reviews.

When you do not have work, you are helping out in carpentry or electrical field areas, and are constantly working.

Working in this many fields provides skills that transfer to the civilian workforce.

Positive reviews discuss benefits, learning new skills regularly and the team work.

Negative aspects are similar to other Army positions.

They include time away from family and leadership have an impact on progression and overall job satisfaction.

The review below provides specific job function details.

Image: Indeed

This review shows pros and cons of the position.

Army MOS 12k
Image: Indeed

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Civilian Career Opportunities

Working as a 12K provides skills related to civilian plumbers, electricians and carpenters.

Army Plumbers can take their skills to start a plumbing business or work for an established company.

Other job areas include heating and air conditioning, pipe fitters, inspectors and geothermal technicians.

For those who wish to focus on one of those areas, the Army’s COOL program has credentialing opportunities that may be eligible to be paid for with Army or GI Bill funding, provide Military promotions and additional civilian job opportunities.

These credentials are from agencies that are nationally recognized.

The Army also has a program called PaYS that allows recruits to establish a relationship with a Military friendly employer and guarantees a job interview with the employer of their choice (from the list of participating establishments), once they complete their contract.


Plumber Army
Army Plumbers and Electricians work together during a training exercise. Image: wikimedia

Army Plumber (MOS 12K) performs functions related to basic plumbing installation, repair and maintenance.

They complete leak detection tasks, read blue prints and install pipes.

This MOS is entry level, has ASVAB minimum score requirements for entry and soldiers are paid based on rank.

Training includes Basic Combat Training and AIT to develop skills related to 12K functions and similar carpentry/electrician tasks.

Available reviews discuss the position positively and recommend it to others.

After the Army, soldiers have an opportunity to work in a variety of career fields based on the job duties they perform while enlisted.

Related ArticleArmy Internment/Resettlement Specialist (MOS 31E): Career Details


Job Salary-Indeed

Army MOS 12K


Rob V.
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