How Much Do Plumbers Make?

PLUMBER job descriptionPlumbers (also known as pipefitters and steamfitters) install, repair, and replace pipes that carry gases or liquids. This can be in homes, business premises, or factories, and can involve anything from replacing a small piece of copper pipe, to large building installations.

Plumbers work involves them going out to the property where the pipes are. Repairing pipes can involve opening walls, floors, and making other adjustments to the areas surrounding the pipes. There is often a great deal of labour involved, and the assistance of other trades persons to enable the access to the pipes may be necessary.

There is also a need to be computer literate. Plumbers need to generate estimates, statements, and sometimes plan out plumbing work on a computer to show the customer the plan of action.

Plumber Salary

Let’s take a look at how much do plumbers make on average. We can refer to the officially recorded statistics. The average plumbers salary annually is $50,660, this includes steamfitters and pipefitters too.

The median wage is calculated by looking at the recorded statistics in which half the plumbers more than, and half earned less than, giving us the median figure. The lowest 10% of plumbers earn below $29,470, while the top 10% bracket earn in excess of $88,160. The margin of difference here is less than a lot of other professions.

plumber salaryPlumbers work full-time, and also have to be flexible with their hours. It’s usual for them to work late nights, weekends and over holidays. Also, being on call is a requirement, when an individual has a burst pipe they cannot always wait until the next day. Having a water supply interrupted can make life difficult, most people are willing to pay a call out charge for an immediate fix.

From these figures you can see that a plumbers starting salary is under $29,470. Although there will be some factors to take into account, like geographic location, qualifications, and industry. Around 14% of plumbers are self-employed , meaning they can set their own schedules and amount of hours.

Top 5 Paying States

Flag
State
Employment per 1000 Jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Oregon Flag
Oregon
2.89
$34.83
$72,440
Illinois Flag
Illinois
2.78
$34.53
$71,810
Massachusetts Flag
Massachusetts
2.90
$34.26
$71,270
New York Flag
New York
2.83
$34.19
$71,120
Alaska Flag
Alaska
5.58
$33.88
$70,480

Top Paying Industries

Industry
Percent of industry employment
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Metal – Ore Mining
0.94
$37.15
$77,260
Promoters of Sports, Performing Arts, and Similar Events
0.03
$36.70
$76,330
Spectator Sports
0.06
$35.99
$74,870
Waste Disposal and Treatment
0.09
$33.14
$68,930
Research and Development
0.03
$32.96
$68,550

Plumber Job Description

what does a plumber doGenerally speaking plumbers repair, install, and replace pipes. But this can cover a much wider range of tasks, and there is a great deal of responsibility involved with some jobs. Some of the key duties that sum up, what do plumbers do:

  • Install new pipework and fixtures
  • Draw up blueprints and carry out work according to state and local building regulations
  • Procure and supply the necessary materials
  • Inspect new pipework systems
  • Replace or repair any worn or damaged plumbing parts

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are three different specialities, but are grouped together due to having many similar key duties. Example being, all three job roles involve installing pipework that carries steam, air, water, gas, and other liquid. They all connect pipes, replace any worn or damaged parts and perform tests on the work.

There are many different types of pipe systems plumbers can work on. From household systems like gas pipes to ovens, waste pipes leading out of the house, to under-the-sink plumbing. To large industrial systems such as those found in power plants, carrying steam to turbines and oil to refineries.

A plumber’s career can be a varied one, with the ability to change their working environment. Once a high level skillset has been learnt, a plumber’s skills can be applied to different areas of plumbing. A plumber working on household call-outs can change to industrial work if desired, adding a good degree of versatility to the profession.

Plumbers also have to make structural changes on occasion. Pipes are often fixed into walls, cavities, and out of reach. Cutting into walls, ceilings, and floors is often necessary. They can often call on the skills of a fitter to help, but routine jobs need to be completed by the plumber. In addition to this there are a lot of adjustments, cuts, and reshaping of pipework. A wide range of tools are required to carry out the job to a high standard.

Plumber Salary by State

Flag
State
Employment per 1000 Jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Alabama Flag
Alabama
2.862
$19.99
$41,580
Alaska Flag
Alaska
5.581
$33.88
$70,480
Arizona Flag
Arizona
2.517
$23.51
$48,900
Arkansas Flag
Arkansas
2.63
$18.35
$38,170
California Flag
California
2.306
$29.89
$62,170
Colorado flag
Colorado
3.447
$22.71
$47,230
Connecticut Flag
Connecticut
2.432
$28.74
$59,780
Delaware flag
Delaware
2.226
$27.07
$56,300
Florida Flag
Florida
2.425
$18.59
$38,660
Georgia Flag
Georgia
1.944
$21.22
$44,130
Hawaii Flag
Hawaii
3.48
$30.10
$62,610
Idaho Flag
Idaho
2.33
$21.73
$45,190
Illinois Flag
Illinois
2.781
$34.53
$71,810
Indiana Flag
Indiana
3.627
$27.86
$57,940
Iowa Flag
Iowa
3.121
$22.62
$47,050
Kansas Flag
Kansas
2.774
$24.78
$51,540
Kentucky Flag
Kentucky
2.878
$22.86
$47,550
Louisiana Flag
Louisiana
4.423
$21.99
$45,730
Maine Flag
Maine
2.946
$22.88
$47,590
Maryland Flag
Maryland
4.367
$26.82
$55,790
Massachusetts Flag
Massachusetts
2.904
$34.26
$71,270
Michigan Flag
Michigan
2.529
$26.93
$56,010
Minnesota Flag
Minnesota
3.201
$31.41
$65,330
Mississippi Flag
Mississippi
3.958
$20.01
$41,630
Missouri Flag
Missouri
2.672
$29.28
$60,910
Montana Flag
Montana
4.648
$25.14
$52,300
Nebraska Flag
Nebraska
2.944
$24.75
$51,490
Nevada Flag
Nevada
2.008
$24.78
$51,550
New Hampshire Flag
New Hampshire
2.607
$24.71
$51,400
New Jersey Flag
New Jersey
2.171
$31.14
$64,770
New Mexico Flag
New Mexico
2.688
$23.11
$48,080
New York Flag
New York
2.835
$34.19
$71,120
North Carolina Flag
North Carolina
2.128
$19.61
$40,790
North Dakota Flag
North Dakota
4.38
$24.56
$51,090
Ohio Flag
Ohio
2.5
$25.30
$52,620
Oklahoma Flag
Oklahoma
3.403
$20.94
$43,550
Oregon Flag
Oregon
2.895
$34.83
$72,440
Pennsylvania Flag
Pennsylvania
2.703
$26.47
$55,060
Rhode Island Flag
Rhode Island
2.553
$25.92
$53,920
South Carolina Flag
South Carolina
2.525
$19.25
$40,050
South Dakota Flag
South Dakota
2.192
$20.71
$43,080
Tennessee Flag
Tennessee
2.172
$22.79
$47,410
Texas Flag
Texas
3.069
$21.49
$44,690
Utah Flag
Utah
3.861
$23.39
$48,660
Vermont Flag
Vermont
2.921
$22.50
$46,810
Virginia Flag
Virginia
3.032
$21.57
$44,870
Washington Flag
Washington
2.788
$30.93
$64,340
West Virginia Flag
West Virginia
2.714
$22.82
$47,470
Wisconsin Flag
Wisconsin
2.559
$32.01
$66,580
Wyomin Flag
Wyoming
4.424
$20.61
$42,860

Top paying metropolitan areas

Area
Employment per 1000 jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Yakima, WA
0.76
$39.51
$82,170
Nassau / Suffolk – NY – Metropolitan Division
4.28
$39.49
$82,140
Boston / Cambridge / Quincy – MA – NECTA Division
2.95
$39.16
$81,450
Trenton / Ewing – NJ
1.25
$38.81
$80,730
San Francisco / San Mateo / Redwood City – CA Metropolitan Division
2.49
$38.79
$80,680

Top paying non-metropolitan areas

Area
Employment per 1000 jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Northwest Illinois – nonmetropolitan area
2.83
$38.82
$80,750
Railbelt – Southwest Alaska – nonmetropolitan area
5.15
$37.79
$78,610
Northwest Massachusetts – nonmetropolitan area
3.38
$37.75
$78,520
Southeast Alaska – nonmetropolitan area
2.64
$36.64
$76,220
Nantucket Island – Martha’s Vineyard – nonmetropolitan area
6.55
$33.91
$70,540

Plumber Job Outlook

The job outlook for plumbers is very positive, with a projected 21% growth between 2012 and 2022. Demand for the profession comes mostly from the new buildings and stricter building standards being brought into effect.

Construction of new power plants and other large industrial buildings is pushing for a higher amount of plumbers, and this is expected to add to the increase in demand. There are also changes to the Residential Code in the States, requiring a lot of new homes to have fire sprinkler systems installed.

Job opportunities for those looking for employment look positive too, with many employers citing difficulties finding skilled and quality workers. Giving rise to the opportunity for newly qualified plumbers, and with many retiring there is a demand for new plumbers.

Plumber Career Video

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Noel Griffith

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