What Is the Typical Salary of a Plumber?

Plumbers, which include pipelayers, pipefitters and steamfitters, make up one of the largest construction occupations. Read on to learn more about the typical salaries for plumbers, according to industry, experience and location. Schools offering Plumbing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Outlook and Salary Overview

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters were in high demand and that jobs were expected to increase 16% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, the mean hourly wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters was $27.96 as of May 2018, which translated to an annual average salary of $58,150. The top ten percent earned annual wages of $93,700 or more. The lowest ten percent of workers received salaries of $32,100 or less per year.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Licensure Required by most states
Key Skills Troubleshooting, business, customer service, mechanical, physical strength
Work Environment Areas with pipes and sewage systems, including houses, factories, and buildings
Similar Occupations Electrician, construction manager, boilermaker
Median Salary (2018) $53,910 (for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 16% growth (for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salaries by Industry

Your salary can vary a great deal depending on the industry in which you're employed. The BLS reported that the mean yearly salary for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters working for building equipment contractors was $58,350 as of May 2018, while those employed by the local government earned a lower mean wage of $57,790 annually. Those working in nonresidential building construction made a mean salary of $61,090, while those working in utility system construction earned an average of $54,860 per year.

The BLS reported that other professional, scientific and technical services; electric power generation, transmission and distribution; and aerospace product and parts manufacturing were among the top-paying fields for plumbers, but there were fewer available jobs in these industries. Mean wages for these industries in May 2018 were $83,650, $80,430 and $76,310, respectively.

Salaries by Location

The BLS reported that wages were generally higher in the Northeast and West Coast, compared to the South. Plumbers in Illinois were the best paid, with a mean yearly wage of $79,400 as of May 2018. Other states with the highest mean wages were Alaska ($75,520), Minnesota ($74,220), New York ($73,820) and Oregon ($73,810).

Low paying states had mean wages of $43,540-$44,970. Some of these included Alabama, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Carolina and South Carolina. The states that employed the greatest number of plumbers were California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois.

Education Requirements

Although most skills can be learned on the job, if you're looking for a formal education and greater job opportunities, you can earn a certificate or associate's degree in plumbing technology. While associate's degree programs typically take around two years to complete, certificate programs usually last 9-12 months. Some programs may offer apprenticeship opportunities, which can provide you with hands-on practice.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Penn Foster

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  • Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

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    • Oklahoma: Wetumka
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    • Maine: Calais
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    • Arizona: Sells