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.

Great news if you’re thinking of becoming a plumber! Have a look at our comprehensive “How to Become a Plumber” guide to learn more.

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

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Oregon FlagOregon 2.89$34.83$72,440
Illinois FlagIllinois 2.78$34.53$71,810
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts 2.90$34.26$71,270
New York FlagNew York 2.83$34.19$71,120
Alaska FlagAlaska

Top Paying Industries

IndustryPercent of industry employmentHourly mean wageAnnual 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 Development0.03$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

FlagStateEmployment per 1000 JobsHourly mean wageAnnual mean wage
Alabama FlagAlabama2.862$19.99$41,580
Alaska FlagAlaska5.581$33.88$70,480
Arizona FlagArizona2.517$23.51$48,900
Arkansas FlagArkansas2.63$18.35$38,170
California FlagCalifornia2.306$29.89$62,170
Colorado flagColorado3.447$22.71$47,230
Connecticut FlagConnecticut2.432$28.74$59,780
Delaware flagDelaware2.226$27.07$56,300
Florida FlagFlorida2.425$18.59$38,660
Georgia FlagGeorgia1.944$21.22$44,130
Hawaii FlagHawaii3.48$30.10$62,610
Idaho FlagIdaho2.33$21.73$45,190
Illinois FlagIllinois2.781$34.53$71,810
Indiana FlagIndiana3.627$27.86$57,940
Iowa FlagIowa3.121$22.62$47,050
Kansas FlagKansas2.774$24.78$51,540
Kentucky FlagKentucky2.878$22.86$47,550
Louisiana FlagLouisiana4.423$21.99$45,730
Maine FlagMaine2.946$22.88$47,590
Maryland FlagMaryland4.367$26.82$55,790
Massachusetts FlagMassachusetts2.904$34.26$71,270
Michigan FlagMichigan2.529$26.93$56,010
Minnesota FlagMinnesota3.201$31.41$65,330
Mississippi FlagMississippi3.958$20.01$41,630
Missouri FlagMissouri2.672$29.28$60,910
Montana FlagMontana4.648$25.14$52,300
Nebraska FlagNebraska2.944$24.75$51,490
Nevada FlagNevada2.008$24.78$51,550
New Hampshire FlagNew Hampshire2.607$24.71$51,400
New Jersey FlagNew Jersey2.171$31.14$64,770
New Mexico FlagNew Mexico2.688$23.11$48,080
New York FlagNew York2.835$34.19$71,120
North Carolina FlagNorth Carolina2.128$19.61$40,790
North Dakota FlagNorth Dakota4.38$24.56$51,090
Ohio FlagOhio2.5$25.30$52,620
Oklahoma FlagOklahoma3.403$20.94$43,550
Oregon FlagOregon2.895$34.83$72,440
Pennsylvania FlagPennsylvania2.703$26.47$55,060
Rhode Island FlagRhode Island2.553$25.92$53,920
South Carolina FlagSouth Carolina2.525$19.25$40,050
South Dakota FlagSouth Dakota2.192$20.71$43,080
Tennessee FlagTennessee2.172$22.79$47,410
Texas FlagTexas3.069$21.49$44,690
Utah FlagUtah3.861$23.39$48,660
Vermont FlagVermont2.921$22.50$46,810
Virginia FlagVirginia3.032$21.57$44,870
Washington FlagWashington2.788$30.93$64,340
West Virginia FlagWest Virginia2.714$22.82$47,470
Wisconsin FlagWisconsin2.559$32.01$66,580
Wyomin FlagWyoming4.424$20.61$42,860

Top paying metropolitan areas

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual 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

AreaEmployment per 1000 jobsHourly mean wageAnnual 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

Noel Griffith, Ph.D.
Noel Griffith is a Doctor of Philosophy with a strong interest in educational research. He has been an editor-in-chief of since 2014. Noel is an avid reader (non-fiction), enjoys good food, live theatre, and helping others make wiser career decisions.

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