Men represent the vast majority of Plumbers in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $20.01 per hour nationwide. Overall incomes of Plumbers — including $7K bonuses, $8K profit sharing proceeds, and $20K commissions on the more lucrative end — generally ranges between $29K and $77K. Geography is the main element affecting pay for this group — tenure and the particular employer are driving factors as well. Most Plumbers report high levels of job satisfaction. Just over two-fifths of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, a little more than half report medical coverage and slightly less than a third claim dental coverage as well. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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
Plumbers sometimes assume positions such as Construction Project Managers. That role pays $70K per year on average. Plumbers moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Master Plumbers or Lead Plumbers. The median paychecks in those roles are $8K higher and $7K higher, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Plumber
Heading up the field in terms of compensation, ABC Plumbing offers the most; Plumbers earn $49K on average there.
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.
Plumbers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. 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 $46K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Plumbers make a median salary of $52K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $54K.
Pay Difference by Location
Seattle offers some of the highest pay in the country for Plumbers, 42 percent above the national average. Plumbers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+36 percent), Chicago (+29 percent), New York (+19 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). Charlotte is the lowest-paying area, 14 percent south of the national average. Employers in Orlando and Atlanta also lean toward paying below-median salaries (8 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Plumber
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