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 were in high demand and that jobs were expected to increase 21% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, the mean hourly wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters was $25.46 as of May 2012, which translated to an annual average salary of $52,950. The top ten percent earned annual wages of $84,440 or more. The lowest ten percent of workers received salaries of $29,020 or less per year.

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 $53,580 as of May 2012, while those employed by the local government earned a lower mean wage of $49,090 annually. Those working in nonresidential building construction made a mean salary of $57,300, while those working in utility system construction earned an average of $48,870 per year.

The BLS reported that the navigational control instruments manufacturing, electric power generation and foundry industries were among the top-paying fields for plumbers, but there were fewer available jobs in these industries. Mean wages for these industries in May 2012 were $73,030, $68,310 and $68,270, respectively.

Salaries by Location

The BLS reported that wages were generally higher in the Northeast and West Coast, compared to the South. Plumbers in Alaska were the best paid, with a mean yearly wage of $71,600 as of May 2012. Other states with the highest mean wages were New York ($68,120), Illinois ($67,470), Massachusetts ($66,940) and New Jersey ($64,560).

Low paying states had mean wages of $21,130-$42,250. Some of these included Idaho, Florida, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Vermont and Alabama. The states that employed the greatest number of plumbers were California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.

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:

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