Curious about the current state of plumber salaries around the U.S.? This complete plumber salary guide is useful for both plumbers looking to adjust their salaries and businesses looking to hire competitively. We’ll break down the figures by state and experience level.
This guide includes:
- A glance at the state of the plumbing industry. Where it’s headed and how much it’s likely to grow in 2022.
- Up-to-date information on the nationwide average for a plumber salary.
- State-by-state breakdowns of annual rates from three sources to compare.
- A discussion on understanding the different levels of plumbing experience for job seekers and business owners.
Whether you are a new plumber, or have been in the industry for years, you may be wondering what constitutes a fair plumber salary? How does it compare nationally and locally? Also, what do you need to do (and learn) to achieve that level of income?
The Industry at a Glance
U.S. News and World Report is in the business of collecting data and ranking all manner of things – cars, mattresses, even professions. This respected institution views the plumbing profession quite favorably.
Plumber ranks #2 on its list of construction-related professions, and #6 on highest-paying jobs for those without a degree. Also, plumber received a coveted spot on the top 100 jobs list on U.S. News and World Reports rankings of all jobs – regardless of industry, income or education.
Plus, the forecast for overall industry growth is promising. “The plumber job market is expected to grow by 15.6% between 2016 and 2026,” notes Career Explorer.
This industry initially took a hit in the early days of COVID. However, after being deemed essential, the plumbing profession is bouncing back faster than many other industries still suffering from the pandemic slowdown.
With a higher than average earning potential, there’s no question that it’s never been a better time to be a plumber.
Nationwide Plumber Salary Averages
In an effort to be transparent in sharing salaries, we will provide multiple sources that have collected their own data on plumber salary averages across the U.S. We hope this provides a larger aggregate of information for you to reference.
Although, keep in mind, these figures may change.
Indeed, the nation’s largest job search platform, polls its users to create nationwide averages for many professions. These averages are based on 15,500 respondents sharing their actual plumber salary. Indeed states the average nationwide plumber salary is $25.54 per hour with $6,750 in yearly overtime pay.
In addition, a journeyman plumber averages more per hour, jumping from $25.54 to $28 as a nationwide average. They also earn more overtime at $10,331 annually on average.
Salary.com offers its own statistical analysis on the state of plumber salaries across the nation. It’s process leverages HR-reported survey data. This means it’s not the actual plumbers providing information on their pay. Instead, the employer hands over the information.
This data concludes the median plumber salary in the U.S. is currently $28 per hour, with the common range falling between $25 and $32 per hour.
Of course, this hourly compensation is only a portion of the full benefits package offered for full-time employment. Indeed lists the following as the most common additional perks offered to plumbers:
- Paid Time Off
- Food Provided
- Parental Leave
- Flexible Schedules
- Relocation Assistance
- Professional Development
Now, let’s take a deeper look at each state’s average compensation.
Average Plumber Salary by State
We’ll be using three sources, one in each column, to present a more complete view of the current state of nationwide plumber salary averages. The data we’ve collected come from ZipRecruiter, USAWage.com and Career Explorer.
The values presented below are all annual compensation amounts.
|ZipRecruiter||USAWage.com||Career Explorer||Aggregate Average|
|District of Columbia||N/A||$73,280||$68,640||$70,960|
Top 5 U.S. Cities Offering the Best Salaries for Plumbers
- Chicago, Illinois – $89,470
- Kankakee, Illinois – $88,790
- San Francisco, California – $87,230
- San Jose, California – $86,030
- Fairbanks, Alaska – $85,710
Source: U.S. News and World Report
Also, don’t forget each state taxes wage earnings a little differently. California taxes earnings far higher than other states like Texas. Use this as a factor when considering the averages listed here.
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Range of Experience Affects Overall Plumber Salary
Indeed cites an entry-level plumber with less than a year of experience can make an average of $21.40 an hour. Alternatively, a seasoned veteran plumber with a decade or more experience averages $31.04. This massive range of compensation shows how challenging it is to pin down an individual plumber’s fair market rate.
Factor in experience beyond years of service, like skills and certifications, and the conversation becomes even more individual in nature.
Indeed’s top recommended skill for plumbers is Boiler Repair. Plumbers capable of repairing boilers can earn nearly 40% more than other candidates without that ability.
Licensing Impacts Salary Expectations
There are state-specific licensing requirements for plumbers that will impact their ability to operate in each state. Apprentices working with a licensed plumber can still make a wage, but holding a license is shown to increase earnings by 13.92%.
Over the past three years, there’s been an 11.69% decrease in plumbing positions requiring licensing. This may be due in part by the decreased interest in the trades by new entrants in the workforce.
Even though there’s been a decrease in requiring licensing to hold a plumbing position, this doesn’t mean you’ll never need one.
As you progress through a career as a plumber, you’ll most likely need to become licensed. Be sure to check with your state and local officials before becoming licensed or taking jobs as a plumber in your region.
How Certifications Affect Salaries
Years of experience and licensing are the main drivers in deciding a plumber’s fair market rate, but certifications are important as well.
Plumbers have a large array of certifications available. The decision to get certified on one skill or another depends on each individual plumber. However, Indeed’s top recommended plumber certification is Backflow Certification, resulting in the potential to earn over 30% more per year.
There are dozens of other certifications available, spanning industries and applications. As you progress through a career as a plumber, you may find the need to incorporate additional certifications into your portfolio.
Advice to Employers Hiring Plumbers in 2022
Given that plumbing is considered a portion of the construction industry, there may be some economic impacts on the supply chain constraints going into 2022. Necessary parts, components, tools and other business essential items may become slower to acquire or more expensive.
Although, anticipating these shortages and slowdowns can mean all the difference. If possible, plan to adjust your marketing, hiring and training to focus more on repairing existing plumbing systems – either in the residential or commercial sector.
Here are a few more tips to ensure your team is set up for success in 2022:
Recruitment Focus in 2022
The aging labor force is another factor in acquiring fresh talent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is estimating that nearly 25% of all workers in the U.S. will be above 55 years of age in 2022.
This is yet another sign that businesses focusing on recruiting young, less-experienced candidates may pay dividends years from now. Invest in building talent that remains loyal, and you’ll have less turnover down the road.
Remain Competitive Beyond Compensation
Offering competitive compensation beyond plumber salary may set your business apart to candidates.
Consider assisting employees in attaining certifications and developing skills while on the job. These assets help both the employee and employer. Also, if you help develop your workforce, they may wish to grow along with your company.
Download our FREE Plumber Hiring Guide to SUPERCHARGE recruitment for your plumbing business in 2022!
Maximize Your Plumber Salary Today
The information provided in this salary guide can be useful for each individual plumber to understand their fair market rate.
Many factors affect your (or your employee’s) paycheck, including:
- Specific skills
- Years of experience
Even within each of these categories, there’s still variance on what a competitive plumber salary may look like. Even beyond gross pay, there are other benefits that every individual needs to weigh before accepting a position with a new company.
Be sure to factor in benefits like paid time off, family leave, or assistance in acquiring certifications. Plenty of benefits that don’t include a dollar amount could be worth considering alongside the lump sum provided as your plumber salary.