Men represent the vast majority of Plumbers in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $19.96 per hour nationwide. Total cash incomes of Plumbers run from $29K to $76K, depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $8K, profit sharing that reaches $7K, and some commissions of nearly $20K. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience and the individual firm. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Although more than half have medical coverage and roughly a third have dental coverage, more than two-fifths claim no health benefits at all. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Plumber
Plumbers are responsible for installing and maintaining water systems within buildings, including drinking water, drainage, heating, sanitation, and sewage systems. Plumbers are not only involved with the installation and development of new houses and plumbing systems, but also with assessing and fixing problems in existing and older systems.Read More...
This profession requires thorough expertise in water systems, as plumbers are involved in all aspects of their upkeep and must be able to identify a wide range of problems. When installing new systems, they must read blueprints to understand and follow the exact specifications for where a building's plumbing will be installed. In doing this, they must also fully understand regulations set by state and county and the particular building's code. This also calls for knowledge of the site's water supply system.
Specifically, installing plumbing systems requires manual labor, including measuring, cutting, bending pipe material, and assembling valves, fittings, tubes, and appliances such as sinks. Plumbers work in a variety of locations, as the nature of the job requires them to visit multiple sites. The work can be both indoors and outdoors depending on the particular project and where the drainage systems are located. In some cases, they work under a manager or for a firm, and in other cases they are self-employed. When working for a company they work full-time hours and are often on-call during the day and/or night. When self-employed, they generally set their own hours. Though no formal education is necessary for plumbers, some may study at a technical school or serve apprenticeships.
- Install and repair pipes and fixtures and open clogged drains.
- Cut openings in floors and walls to accommodate pipe and pipe fittings.
- Utilize appropriate plumbing and shop tools.
- Cut and thread pipes.
- Install vents and traps in the plumbing system, in accordance with required codes.
Common Career Paths for Plumber
Though not the most common occurrence, Plumbers sometimes become Construction Project Managers, where the average income is $70K per year. Plumbers most often move into positions as Master Plumbers or Lead Plumbers; those groups report median salaries that are $8K higher and $8K higher, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Plumber
ABC Plumbing attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $51K.
Offering a median salary of only $40K, Roto-Rooter pays the least. Not only that, but the earnings range of $25K to $62K is pretty narrow, too.
Pay by Experience Level for Plumber
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $35K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $45K. Plumbers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $51K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $54K.
Pay Difference by Location
Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for Plumbers, 39 percent above the national average. Plumbers will also find cushy salaries in Boston (+38 percent), Washington (+36 percent), New York (+23 percent), and Chicago (+18 percent). The lowest-paying market is Charlotte, which sits 15 percent below the national average. Workers in Richmond and Atlanta earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (11 percent less and 5 percent less, respectively).