If you’re thinking about becoming a plumber, you’ve made the right choice. Plumber’s salaries are right there at the very top of the trades and they span across all kinds of industries, commercial and residential. The job market is almost always good for plumbers, and salaries are on the rise.
Average salaries for plumbers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for plumbers was above $50,000 per year for the year 2013. Top-end plumbers come in around $86,000 per year with those earning their own businesses in the $250,000 per year range. Average salaries for apprentices come in at about twice that of minimum wage.
Plumber salaries in comparison
When compared to other tradesmen, plumber’s salaries come in right there at the top. Average pay for plumbers is right now at the $54,000 per year level, about the same as electricians. While the average plumber makes considerably more than a construction worker ($35,000), he also bests painters and carpenters. The only other tradesmen averaging more than plumbers do so in a managerial role with Construction managers coming in at $84,000 per year.
Best salaries for plumbers by city
Of course where you work also makes a difference when it comes to how much you make. Here is a short list of the best cities in America when it comes to average salaries for plumbers. Remember, while these salaries are much higher than the national average, the cost of living in these places is also higher.
Nassau, New York - $82,460
San Francisco, California - $81,700
Milwaukee, Wisconsin - $79,710
San Jose, California - $79,370
Boston, Mass. - $78,570
(based on 2013 figures from the BLS)
Breaking wages down by skill level
While these of course are the averages, it’s important to distinguish pay scales by experience and level of expertise. An apprentice, while his or her wages are considerably lower than a master plumber, expect them to be so. Someone in the apprentice stage of their plumbing career fully understand that this is just a stepping stone to better things. Still, when you consider than wages for a plumber’s apprentice are still twice that of minimum wage, it’s not a bad place to get started.
Salaries for plumber apprentices
While the average pay for an apprentice can vary, it tops out in the $25,000 a year range. This is not great pay but remember, as an apprentice you are still in the learning stage. Compare this to other professions where when you are in school you are not only earning nothing, you are paying for the privilege. Getting your plumbing license means increased pay and job flexibility.
Salaries for journeymen plumbers
Once you’ve earned your journeyman’s license, you’re ready to start working on your own. Even better, your pay increases significantly. The average journeyman earns as much as $40,000 per year, depending upon of course which industry he is in or where he is located. While the national average for the journeyman is almost the national average
Salaries for master plumbers
For the master plumber, salaries vary greatly. While many master plumbers make as much as $80,000 per year, others can make in excess of $100,000. But the real money comes when you open your own business.
Being a master plumber means having the ability to pull permits and bid on jobs. Some master plumbers who own their own companies make in excess of a quarter million dollars a year.