What Is the Average Salary of a Plumber?

The average salary of a plumber is $35,000. The rate can vary based on the geographical location and the type of work that you are doing. Plumbers need to be licensed in order to receive their full wages. There are three levels of licensing for plumbers: apprentice, journeyman, and master plumber. A journeyman earns an average salary of $45,000 per year while a master plumber has an annual income of around $65,000-70,000 per year.

Check this article to get what you need to do as a plumber and what salary you can expect.

Who Is a Plumber?

A plumber is a person who specializes in installing, repairing, and maintaining pipes that carry water, gas, oil, or other fluids. It’s a versatile profession that requires technical knowledge, physical strength, and problem-solving skills.

A plumber’s work can be physically demanding as they often have to do the heavy lifting. This can be done to move pipes around or upstairs. They also must be good with their hands. Because they need to make quick and precise cuts when necessary for the right fit of a pipe joint.

Common Plumber Duties Listed

Plumber duties may include:

  • pipes inspection with a borescope for further repair work;
  • cutting, threading, and bending pipes of various sizes;
  • using a variety of hand tools for plumbing repairs;
  • reading blueprints or drawings to estimate necessary materials and supplies;
  • cutting pipe sections with water-cooled shears or precision saws, etc.

The duties of a plumber can vary depending on their employer. A journeyman plumber in the trade union will be held accountable as an expert electrical technician. While also being knowledgeable about air conditioning systems. This means they must have knowledge in both plumbing and other trades such as carpentry, welding, auto mechanics, etc.

The work hours are often long which is why apprentices usually prefer that type of schedule so they can still attend classes during the day while earning money after school.

plumber fixing sink pipe

How to Become a Plumber?

To become a plumber you have to complete a four-year apprenticeship program. That includes attending classes in plumbing and related theory. As well as working with experienced plumbers on the job site, and learning to pass exams.

Since becoming a licensed plumber can be expensive, it might not be worth it if you want to do this as just part-time side work.

The average wage for an apprentice is $18 per hour while a journeyman earns an hourly wage of $28 or more which totals up to about $60,000 annually. This means that once they become Journeymen Plumbers their salary will increase by 30%. They also have potential bonuses such as commissions from jobs completed (/hour) or profit-sharing at the company level (based on %).

Plumbers are usually required by law to have state licenses before starting any plumbing business. Many employers require additional training within an apprenticeship system before hiring them full-time.

Some plumbers start out working part-time while still attending high school at night. Others complete college on a four-year track program. It culminates in an associate degree from two years of study followed by apprentice work.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Plumber?

Becoming a plumber requires some time and hard work. The time it takes to complete the process varies. It depends on whether you are working with a traditional apprenticeship program or attending college.

Apprenticeships take between four and six years of work before becoming journeyman plumbers at $25-$35 per hour. Working as an apprentice allows for more flexibility in your schedule. You can still attend classes during the day while earning money after school hours.

For those who choose not to pursue an apprenticeship track, completing two-year degrees in plumbing technology will lead to entry-level jobs right out of school. It typically starts at around $19 per hour (or about $40,000 yearly). Graduates from these programs usually have no trouble finding employment opportunities. Since they receive industry certifications along with their degree, they are in a position to make more than $50,000 annually.

pipes are attached to the wall

What Is a Plumber Salary?

The average salary of a plumber is $39,000 per year. Experienced journeyman plumbers earned an annual income between $45,000 and $70,000. Plumbing rates depend on the location. But the national average rate to install sinks ranges from about $50-$150 depending on size and type. Toilets start at $40 with installation averaging around $220 nationwide. Replacing faucets can cost anywhere from about $80-$140. While repairing leaks or installing new water lines averages out to be close to $450.

Plumber Apprentice Salary

An apprentice plumber earns $20,000 per year. They typically work for an established plumbing company that trains them in the skills they need to be a journeyman.

There are different levels of experience with apprenticeships. They pay anywhere from $10-$31 per hour depending on how much time you spend at your job site each week. The more time spent working means higher wages earned throughout the week. Even though only one wage is paid by the hour or by a full week’s worth of work completed. Because apprenticeship programs require significant investment in both education and training before you become a journeyman.

You have a very high earning potential if you work your way into the top tier of plumbers in the industry or to be an owner-operator.

Plumber repairing sink in kitchen

Journeyman Plumber Salary

The average salary for a journeyman plumber is $43,000 per year. They typically live close to their job site. There are always exceptions like traveling tradesmen who travel around to different job sites each day. This can earn them more than $100,000 a year. But most journeymen do not make that much due to generally working local jobs.

The hourly wage ranges from about $18-$36 depending on where it’s being done. Rural areas will pay less while urbanized locations offer higher wages. This is because of the increased demand for skilled labor there.

Journeyman plumbers who have many years of experience can work up into the six-figure range and beyond. The average journeyman earns around $35 per hour or about $70,000-$90,000 yearly based on 40 hours each week. They may be eligible for overtime pay.

Master Plumber Salary

The average master plumber salary is about $75,000 to $100,000 yearly. The more experienced they are, the higher that amount will be. They may also make a commission on any sales of new equipment or parts for plumbing systems in addition to regular pay.

Some examples of these commissions include:

  • 38% on copper piping supplies;
  • 30% on fiberglass pipe fittings;
  • 20%-50% off all items sold at retail stores;
  • and 15-25% off labor charges incurred by customers who purchase from them directly.

Master plumbers often have an assistant working with them. This can increase their income even more because they don’t have to do everything themselves. They can split up the work between two people.

plumbing with repair wrench

Plumber Helper Salary

The average salary of a plumber helper is about $43,600 per year. They can make up to $68,800 annually as well.

There are many benefits that come with being a plumber’s assistant including:

  • no need for an education past high school;
  • fewer hours at work each day compared to a journeyman plumbing professional;
  • a higher lifetime income potential than those without the skills or qualifications needed.

Plumbers Average Salary by State

The average salary of a plumber varies depending on the region, type, and size of the plumbing service. Also, consider a number of years in the trade as well as the employer’s policy for paying overtime hours. In large metropolitan areas such as New York City or Chicago, an apprentice can expect to make around $45,000 per year. While a journeyman would be making $350,000 annually.

States with lower costs of living such as Montana may see salaries that are half those numbers at about $222,000-$253,000 per year for apprenticeship positions. And up to $175,000-$196,000 if they have been working in their profession for more than ten years.

Check the Average Plumber Salary By State chart below that highlights hourly rates in various regions.

Plumbers Average Salary by State chart

Average Plumber Salary Revealed

The average salary for plumbers is $45,000. It depends on the region, experience, and working hours you provide. Licensed plumbers are in high demand. Get more practice to turn from an apprentice to the master plumber. Plumbing can also lead to other career paths like construction and engineering management. A handyman job also requires plumbing experience. This article will help you to get how much money you can earn and what you need to do.

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