A Guide To Plumbing Salaries

By Indeed Editorial Team

March 4, 2021

Because of the constant development and construction of new buildings, as well as the necessity for constant maintenance, there is a high demand for plumbers. Aside from having a positive job outlook, individuals that enter this field can leverage their experience and expertise to make substantial income in this skilled profession. In this article, we'll explain what plumbers do, explore some of the opportunities for advancement and higher pay, detail their typical work environments and schedules and list the average salary for plumbers, nationally and in major cities.

Related: Learn About Being a Plumber

What does a plumber do?

Plumbers are responsible for installing, maintaining and repairing the pipes that transport both water and waste to and from places. Additionally, they install and repair various plumbing fixtures, such as washing machines, dishwashers, toilets, sinks and bathtubs. They often work closely with other trade professionals and construction workers, especially during the construction, renovation or demolition of a building. Here are some of the other responsibilities of plumbers:

  • Troubleshooting issues with plumbing and drainage systems as well as determining the best course of action to repair them

  • Installing and repairing plumbing fixtures and pipes

  • Clearing obstructions from toilets and drains

  • Utilizing various equipment, such as pressure and vacuum gauges, to inspect, test, locate and determine the cause of issues

  • Recommending the best course of action as well as providing an estimation of costs to customers

Aside from completing the necessary training and certification, plumbers must possess a few key skills to be effective in this occupation. Some of these skills are:

  • Physical strength: Plumbers are often required to lift heavy tools and equipment so they need to be physically capable of completing strenuous tasks.

  • Communication skills: Verbal communication is a key aspect of this industry. Plumbers need to be able to clearly explain issues and pricing to customers as well as answer their questions.

  • Critical thinking: Because plumbers often need to weigh options in demanding scenarios in order to troubleshoot issues, critical thinking is a valuable skill to possess.

  • Problem-solving skills: Professionals in this line of work must be able to work through issues in order to locate the source of issues and develop the solutions necessary to fix them.

  • Listening skills: Customers will likely lack the training or proper terminology to effectively explain issues that they may be experiencing. Plumbers need to be able to interpret their complaints in order to determine the cause.

Master plumber certification

After working as a journeyman plumber for several years, you can pursue the title of master plumber. This opportunity for advancement increases a plumber's earning potential as well as provides new career opportunities for skilled individuals in this field.

In order to reach this advanced level, you must first earn the licensing necessary to become a journeyman plumber. To do this, you will need to complete an apprenticeship program through a trade school or union. These programs typically take four years to complete and incorporate both on-the-job training and classroom instruction. After successfully completing an apprenticeship, you will need to take a licensing exam to become a journeyman plumber.

Once you have earned your licensing, you will need to work as a journeyman for two to five years (depending on your state's specific requirements). During this time, you should master the trade and increase your familiarity with the relevant laws. After the allotted amount of time, you can then take the state exam to become a master plumber.

Within this role, there are a lot of opportunities that have an impact on your potential earnings as a master plumber. For instance, you can own your own business or even work as a project manager, superintendent or foreman. Additionally, you can specialize in a specific type or aspect of plumbing, such as steel manufacturing, utility system construction or nonresidential building construction. Regardless, master plumbers that are members of a union tend to be among the highest-paid individuals in the industry.

Related: 5 Types of Plumbers and Their Duties and Salary

Work hours and environments for plumbers

A majority of plumbers work full-time. In fact, most plumbers end up working more than 40 hours a week, causing them to go into overtime. Additionally, plumbers have to be on call often to respond to potential emergencies and frequently work weekends and evenings.

Most of the time, plumbers must travel between work sites, such as factories, office buildings or homes, each day. They are frequently required to work indoors and in tight spaces. However, occasionally they have to work outdoors and in all types of weather.

The average salary for a plumber

On average, plumbers make $25.22 per hour with roughly $6,750 of overtime pay per year, according to plumber salaries listed on Indeed, which continues to be a source for updated salary information. However, these numbers can also vary based on the level and area of expertise, years of experience and the specific geographical location.

Related: Learn About Being a Handyman

Salary by location

Here's a list of the average salaries for plumbers in all 50 states. Again, for updated plumber salary figures, refer to the salaries listed on Indeed:

  • Alabama: $22.38 per hour

  • Alaska: $39.00 per hour

  • Arizona: $20.18 per hour

  • Arkansas: $23.14 per hour

  • California: $27.69 per hour

  • Colorado: $28.15 per hour

  • Connecticut: $36.27 per hour

  • Delaware: $35.75 per hour

  • Florida: $19.68 per hour

  • Georgia: $24.32 per hour

  • Hawaii: $30.74 per hour

  • Idaho: $21.32 per hour

  • Illinois: $34.64 per hour

  • Indiana: $23.37 per hour

  • Iowa: $20.55 per hour

  • Kansas: $22.35 per hour

  • Kentucky: $20.05 per hour

  • Louisiana: $35.04 per hour

  • Maine: $24.03 per hour

  • Maryland: $26.30 per hour

  • Massachusetts: $40.37 per hour

  • Michigan: $24.49 per hour

  • Minnesota: $32.58 per hour

  • Mississippi: $22.55 per hour

  • Missouri: $28.07 per hour

  • Montana: $25.73 per hour

  • Nebraska: $22.49 per hour

  • Nevada: $24.32 per hour

  • New Hampshire: $35.61 per hour

  • New Jersey: $33.10 per hour

  • New Mexico: $22.49 per hour

  • New York State: $24.69 per hour

  • North Carolina: $20.51 per hour

  • North Dakota: $23.84 per hour

  • Ohio: $22.08 per hour

  • Oklahoma: $21.90 per hour

  • Oregon: $25.36 per hour

  • Pennsylvania: $23.58 per hour

  • Rhode Island: $33.47 per hour

  • South Carolina: $20.87 per hour

  • South Dakota: $25.33 per hour

  • Tennessee: $21.89 per hour

  • Texas: $24.49 per hour

  • Utah: $35.44 per hour

  • Vermont: $22.08 per hour

  • Virginia: $32.36 per hour

  • Washington State: $33.71 per hour

  • West Virginia: $20.55 per hour

  • Wisconsin: $27.82 per hour

  • Wyoming: $25.47 per hour

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