All You Need To Know About A Plumber Career
You consider becoming a plumber but need additional information in this regard before making your final career choice?
Great! This article is exactly for you since I will show you everything you need to know about being a plumber in the following chapters.
Not only will you learn how much you can make as a plumber, but you will also get detailed information about job satisfaction, work-life balance, educational requirements, duties, responsibilities, future outlook and much more.
After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of whether you still want to pursue a plumber career or rather want to go for a different job instead.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Table of Contents
What does a Plumber do?
Plumbers maintain, fit, fix and improve water systems in buildings and also make sure that overall safety requirements are met so there are no unpleasant surprises in the long run.
They also install dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, showers, bath tubs and many other things where water plays a crucial role and are therefore important to keep our system running.
Responsibilities & Duties of a Plumber
- Installing and maintaining water systems in buildings
- Installing and fixing devices like dishwashers, bath tubs, showers, sink and washing machines
- Repairing sanitation systems
- Fitting and installing bathrooms
- Doing emergency repairs
- Installation of heating systems
- Fixing and maintaining important public water infrastructure
- Assuring that overall safety standards related to water devices are met
- Advising people on all sorts of water devices
What a Typical Day of a Plumber looks like?
Plumbers usually start their workday between 7 and 9 a.m.
The first thing they do once they got to work is to check their mails and to answer the most important and urgent ones.
After doing some organizational work, plumbers get to their actual work.
This includes installing, fixing and maintaining public water systems as well as private water devices as sinks, showers, bath tubs, heating systems and so on.
Thus, you should have a talent for working with your hands and you should also not be afraid of getting dirty at work so that you stay happy with your plumbing career in the long run.
After working in this style for many hours, plumbers usually finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Plumber Salary 2023
Plumber salary brackets 2023
|Salary Brackets||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Top 10 %||> $79,000||> $39.42|
|Top 25 %||$63,000 – $68,000||$31.45 – $33.89|
|Bottom 25 %||$35,000 – $39,000||$17.41 – $19.47|
|Bottom 10 %||$23,000 – $28,000||$11.38 – $13.95|
|Range||$23,000 – $82,000||$11.38 – $40.88|
Plumber salary 2023 by expert level
|Level of Experience||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|Entry level||$23,000 – $31,000||$11.38 – $15.44|
|Junior||$29,000 – $43,000||$14.42 – $21.47|
|Professional||$41,000 – $48,000||$20.39 – $23.93|
|Senior Professional||$46,000 – $57,000||$22.88 – $28.38|
|Expert||$55,000 – $69,000||$27.46 – $34.45|
|Top Expert||$67,000 – $82,000||$33.47 – $40.92|
Plumber salary by state 2023 (average)
|State||Salary (per year)||Salary (per hour)|
|District of Columbia||$44,200||$22.09|
Job Security of Plumbers
Plumbers enjoy decent job security.
While educational barriers to entry are rather low and many people can work in this field, there are still not many people who actually want to become plumbers anymore and this has led to a significant shortage of plumbers in many regions.
Consequently, you will have pretty good chances in the job market as a plumber right now.
Future Outlook of Plumbers
Not only do you have decent job prospects right now, but plumbers also have a decent future outlook since there will likely be a significant shortage of qualified plumbers in the near future and you will therefore not have to worry about getting unemployed anytime soon.
Working Hours of Plumbers
Most plumbers start their workday between 7 and 9 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.
Thus, you will work in a classical 9 to 5 environment and will have more than enough time to spend with your family, to meet up with your favorite people after work or to spend on your hobbies.
Job Satisfaction of Plumbers
Since plumbers can’t make really good money from what they are doing while they still have to work in a physically demanding environment and get dirty at work, many of them are not really happy with what they are doing and secretly wish to work in a different field.
Promotion Opportunities of Plumbers
Promotion opportunities are pretty limited for plumbers.
While you could manage a plumbing business or start your own plumbing company, it will take you many years or even decades to get more responsibility as an employed plumber.
Career Levels of Plumbers
- Plumber intern
- Plumber apprentice
- Junior plumber
- Senior plumber
- Senior plumber with personnel responsibilities
- Manager of a plumbing company
- Owner of a plumbing business
Fields and Types of Plumbers
- Plumbers focused on installing and maintaining public water systems
- Plumbers specialized in water systems inside private buildings
- Plumbers with expertise in installing bathtubs and showers
- Plumbers focused on the installation of dishwashers or washing machines
- Plumbers specialized in emergency repairs
- Commercial plumber
- Residential plumber
- Sanitary plumber
- Plumbers working self-employed
- Plumbers working for a plumbing company
- Part-time plumbers
- Full-time plumbers
- Hobby plumbers
Educational Requirements for Plumbers
You don’t need to get a fancy degree for becoming a plumber.
Instead, you just need to finish high school with decent grades and apply for an apprenticeship at a local plumbing company.
Hence, while many other people have to spend lots of time and money on education, you can become a plumber at almost no cost and can even start making money from a rather young age.
How to become a Plumber
- Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a plumber
- Apply for an internship at a local plumbing company
- Make a good impression during your internship
- Stay in touch with your colleagues
- Finish high school with decent grades
- Apply for a plumber apprenticeship
- Master the job interview
- Sign your working contract
- Work hard and gain lots of experience
- Start your own plumbing business
Character Traits you need as a Plumber
- Attention to detail helps you get the best results
- You should be reliable so that clients can count on you
- Persistence helps you push through difficult times of your career
- You should be friendly so that clients will get back to you many times
- You should be customer-focused
- Patience for clients who have a bad day
- Business sense helps you run your business profitably
- You should have a talent for forecasting potential hidden problems
- You should be a good listener
Hard Skills for Plumbers
- Excellent knowledge of various plumbing techniques
- Expertise in the installation of public water systems
- Knowledge of how to install water systems in private homes
- Expertise in installing dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and other water devices
- Expertise in the installation of heating systems
- Knowledge of how to fix water devices
- Expertise in maintaining water devices
- Knowledge of rules and regulations related to plumbing
- Math skills help you run a plumbing business in a profitable manner
- Digital skills help you promote your business
- Good problem-solving skills help as well
Soft Skills for Plumbers
- You should be good at dealing with many different people
- Patience helps you overcome difficult times
- Good communication skills help you gain the trust of your clients
- Good people skills help you lead a plumbing team
- Ability to deal with drawbacks in a healthy manner
- Empathy for clients who want to get things done as quickly as possible
- Patience for people who don’t understand your career choice
- Willingness to work in a hands-on environment
- Willingness to get dirty at work for a rather low wage
Exit Options for Plumbers
Plumbers don’t have great exit options.
While they can often also work as general maintenance or repair workers, they often have a serious problem switching to a different field due to a lack of hard skills needed in the job market right now.
Plumber – Similar Careers
- Construction worker
- Maintenance and repair worker
- Salesman for plumbing equipment
Plumber Career FAQs
Is working as a plumber physically demanding?
Working as a plumber is physically demanding since you will work with your hands all day long and will also be on your knees quite often to fix and install many different devices.
Consequently, you will be quite tired when you come home from work and just want to spend time on the couch to give your bones some time to relax.
Is working as a plumber mentally demanding?
Working as a plumber is not heavily mentally demanding.
While you need to use your brain to detect and fix issues around water systems, you still don’t have to stress your brain as much as financial analysts and many other people who work in demanding office jobs with complex models all day long.
Is it dangerous to work as a plumber?
Being a plumber is not dangerous.
While you will work with your hands and will often suffer from minor accidents and blemishes, you will not be at great risk of suffering from serious accidents at work and will also have a much safer time at work compared to police officers or firemen who have to risk their lives on a daily basis.
How long do plumbers stay in their jobs?
Plumbers stay in their jobs for many years or even decades since they are pretty specialized and have a hard time finding a job in a different industry.
In fact, while many plumbers complain about overall working conditions, they still continue to work in this field mainly due to a lack of alternatives.
Is it easy for plumbers to find a new job?
It is relatively easy for plumbers to find a new job since due to an increasing world population, also the demand for plumbing services has increased and this trend will continue in the near future.
Consequently, you will not have to worry about getting unemployed as a plumber anytime soon.
Is it hard to switch from being a plumber to another field of work?
While it is pretty easy for plumbers to find jobs in their industry, it is also pretty hard for them to find a job in a different field since plumbers are often pretty specialized and don’t learn many hard skills apart from plumbing.
Do plumbers have a high social status?
Plumbers have a pretty low social standing.
While they are important to keep our system running and can solve the problems of many people, plumbers are still often belittled instead of admired by society and you may also have to deal with many snarky comments related to your career choice if you decide on becoming a plumber.
Can you help out your family and friends as a plumber?
You can do good for your loved ones as a plumber since you can install and fix many water devices around the home and your family and friends therefore don’t need to spend lots of money on plumbing services but can rather rely on your expertise.
Can plumbers work remotely?
Plumbers are not able to work from home since they have to be present at their workplace in person to fix and install many things with their hands.
Therefore, while many other people are able to work remotely and will have an easy time managing their private and professional life at the same time, you as a plumber will be far less flexible and will also have to spend much more money commuting to work and back.
Is it easy to find a partner as a plumber?
It is relatively hard for plumbers to find someone for a long-term relationship since they often don’t make good money and are not considered good providers.
Consequently, you will have a hard time competing in the dating market with dentists or other people who make significantly more than you.
Do plumbers have to work on weekends?
Plumbers don’t have to work on weekends.
However, if you want to make additional money on the side, there are more than enough jobs you could do to increase your income if you really need the money right now.
Do plumbers have to work on holidays?
Plumbers also don’t have to work on weekends.
Instead, they can spend those days with their favorite people and also make nice city trips or just spend them on their favorite hobbies.
Do plumbers have to work at nighttime?
Plumbers don’t have to work in the late evening or at nighttime.
Instead, plumbers come home from work in the late afternoon or early evening most of the time and this gives you more than enough opportunities to meet up with your favorite people after work.
Do you have to travel as a plumber?
You don’t have to travel as a plumber.
Apart from commuting to work and back, you will be able to spend lots of time with your family after work while many other people who are away for business trips on a regular basis will often not get this opportunity.
Are plumber pensions good?
Since plumbers don’t make good money during their active careers, also their pensions will be pretty poor and many plumbers are no longer able to pay their bills once they quit their active careers and retire and get into serious financial problems at retirement age.
Are plumber salaries going up?
Plumber salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years.
Even though the demand for plumbing services is huge, there are also many people who are able to work in this field due to low educational barriers to entry and it is therefore questionable whether salaries of plumbers will go up or down in the near future.
Can you have a positive impact on society as a plumber?
While you can help out many people as a plumber and keep our system running, you will still not have as much of a positive effect on society as teachers, professors or doctors who can reach many people with their important messages on a daily basis.
How long does it take to become a plumber?
Since you will not have to spend many years on college education, you can start your plumber career right after finishing high school by applying for an apprenticeship in this field and you can therefore make money from a rather young age.
Is it difficult to become a plumber?
Since there are no fancy formal requirements to work as a plumber, almost everyone is able to work in this field.
However, you should still be passionate about what you are doing and also have a certain level of talent to stay happy with your plumbing career in the long run.
Do you need to be smart to work as a plumber?
You don’t need to be super smart to succeed as a plumber.
What’s much more important is that you are willing to work with your hands and that you are also passionate about installing and repairing things so that you stay motivated with what you are doing for many years.
Do plumbers have a good work-life balance?
Plumbers have pretty decent work-life balance since they don’t have to work on weekends or holidays and also come home from work relatively early so that they have more than enough time to spend with their families while investment bankers or consultants often work long hours and are barely able to see their loved ones.
Do plumbers have to work many extra hours?
Plumbers don’t have to work many extra hours.
Instead, they have a rather fixed schedule and once their shift is over, they will just finish their work and come back to it the next morning without having to meet strict timelines.
How to maximize your chances of becoming a plumber?
The more experience you get in this field at a rather young age, the more value you can provide to customers and plumbing companies and the easier it will be for you to find a job.
Consequently, you should start working as an intern at a local plumbing company while you are still in school to get some experience and therefore have an important edge over the competition.
Can plumbers work part-time?
Plumbers are also able to work part-time.
However, most plumbers still work full-time since their hourly wages are pretty low and a part-time job would therefore not be able to pay their bills.
Do plumbers work indoors or outdoors?
Plumbers work both indoors as well as outdoors.
Hence, you should not be afraid to work outdoors during times of bad weather. If this is the case, you should rather become a compliance officer or go for a different career where you can work indoors all day long.
What does the workplace of a plumber look like?
Plumbers fix, maintain and install water systems and devices in many different places.
Hence, your working locations will change quite a lot and you should therefore be a flexible person who is able to adjust to new situations and circumstances on a regular basis.
Do you have to look good for working as a plumber?
Your looks don’t matter that much for your success as a plumber.
However, you should still look groomed so that clients are not afraid or disgusted by your appearance but rather recommend your services to their families and friends so that you can grow your plumbing business in the long run.
Is a plumber career beneficial for your private life?
Working as a plumber is not greatly beneficial for your private life.
While you will be able to come home from work relatively early and can also fix things around the home, you will still not be able to make good money from what you are doing and may struggle to pay your bills on a regular basis.
Do you need a college degree for becoming a plumber?
You don’t need a college degree for becoming a plumber.
What’s much more important than getting fancy education and looking good on paper is that you have a real passion and talent for working in this field so that you provide enough value to your clients to stay successful with what you are doing in the long run.
Do you need to be certified to work as a plumber?
You don’t need to be certified to work as a plumber.
Instead, almost everyone can work in this field without having to get any fancy education, even though courses may be helpful to stay up-to-date with latest technologies and to expand your knowledge from time to time.
How much does it cost to become a plumber?
Since you don’t have to spend many years in college, you also don’t have to spend lots of money on tuition and other expenses related to college education.
Consequently, while many of your friends may have to take on student loans to finance their degrees, you can start making money at a rather young age as a plumber.
Is being a plumber a good career?
While you will have lots of leisure and also enjoy decent job security, you will still work in a rather unpleasant environment and will get dirty at work and will have to stress your body on a regular basis.
Moreover, you will also not be able to make really good money from what you are doing and being a plumber can therefore not be considered a good career compared to many alternatives out there.
Is it easy to start your own business as a plumber?
It is relatively easy to start your own plumbing business since you don’t have to invest lots of money on expensive machines or other equipment.
Moreover, you can also start out as a one-man or one-woman show and once you get more jobs, you can scale and expand your business in a rather flexible manner.
Can plumbers teach themselves?
Plumbers can teach themselves most things they need to succeed in their jobs.
Plumbers also learn many things on the job and it will be on you to work hard and to become a real expert in your field so that you are able to make decent money from what you are doing.
Do plumbers make good money?
While plumbers often make enough to cover their basic expenses, they are not able to make good money and are often not able to afford any luxury.
Hence, if money is really important to you, you should not become a plumber but rather become a judge or lawyer instead.
Is it ever too late to become a plumber?
It is never too late to become a plumber since you don’t have to spend many years on education.
However, it still makes sense to start your plumbing career at a rather young age since working as a plumber can be physically demanding and the older you get, the harder it might be for you to get your work done since you might suffer from serious physical health problems sooner or later.
Do plumbers have to quit their careers early?
Many plumbers have to quit their careers early due to the physical nature of the job.
In fact, many plumbers suffer from back pain and other spinal issues sooner or later and are not able to work in this field until they reach official retirement age.
What is the hardest thing about working as a plumber?
The hardest thing about being a plumber is that you will have to do rather unpleasant work on a regular basis and it is pretty hard to stay motivated with what you are doing since you will not have any fancy promotion opportunities and will also not be able to make good money as in many other jobs out there and this may really frustrate you in the long run.
Can you provide for your family by working as a plumber?
It is pretty hard to provide for your family as a plumber since you will not make good money from what you are doing and especially if you live in rather expensive regions, your spouse may have to work as well to cover your expenses.
Will plumbers suffer from old-age poverty?
Due to their low salaries, many plumbers are not able to save and invest enough money for retirement.
Moreover, their pensions will also be rather poor and many plumbers will therefore no longer be able to pay their bills once they retire and may suffer from serious old-age poverty.
Can plumbers retire early?
Most plumbers are not able to retire early since they are not able to save and invest enough money during their active careers and rather have to work until official retirement age and sometimes even longer.
Do plumbers get a fixed or variable salary?
While employed plumbers mainly get a fixed salary, the income of self-employed plumbers greatly depends on the number of jobs they have and self-employed plumbers therefore have to deal with significant income swings over time.
Can you get rich as a plumber?
Since you will not be able to make really good money, it will be almost impossible for you to get wealthy or even rich as an employed plumber.
If you want o make really good money, you should start your own business or rather become a doctor or judge instead.
Do plumbers need a second job?
While most plumbers are able to pay their bills from what they are doing for a living, some plumbers still need a second job to survive.
This is especially true in regions where rents and living costs are pretty high and a plumber’s salary might not be enough to even only cover basic expenses.
Do you get continuous training as a plumber?
While you will get some training at the beginning of your career, you will not get continuous training as a welder most of the time.
Instead, it will be on you to hone your craft and to get really good at what you are doing to stay successful in the long run.
Do you get sick pay as a plumber?
Most plumbers don’t get sick pay.
Thus, you should have an emergency fund that you can build during good times and can use during times you get sick and are not able to make any money so that you are still able to pay your bills.
Do plumbers have a high level of responsibility?
Plumbers don’t have an extremely high level of responsibility.
Even though their mistakes may lead to some financial damage, they don’t have the same high level of responsibility as doctors whose mistakes could really take away the lives of people.
Can plumbers work abroad?
Plumbers are able to work all over the world. However, educational requirements, working conditions and salaries will still be pretty different from what you are used to at home and you should therefore inform yourself in this regard before you decide on moving abroad to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Is it stressful to work as a plumber?
Working as a plumber is not stressful since you will have enough time to do your job and will not suffer from excessive time pressure.
After a few years, you will also develop a certain routine and will be able to work in a pretty relaxed manner.
Is it boring to work as a plumber?
Being a plumber may become boring if you are not passionate about working in this field since you will do many things over and over again and may lose motivation for your job relatively soon.
Is being a plumber hard?
While working as a plumber is not mentally hard, you still have to stress your body quite a lot and may suffer from serious physical health problems once you get older.
Are plumbers at risk of burnout?
Since plumbers don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work, they are also not at great risk of suffering from burnout or other mental issues and can rather enjoy their workday in a pretty relaxed manner.
Is there a dress code for plumbers?
There is no special dress code for plumbers.
However, you will still often get workwear from the company you work for to represent your employer in the best possible manner.
What kind of plumbers are paid the most?
The more experience you get and the faster you can carry out jobs, the more value you can provide to your customers and to the company you work for and the more money you can make as a plumber.
It can also help to have special knowledge not many other plumbers have to get an edge over the competition and to make more money in the long run.
What percentage of plumbers are women?
Only around 5% of all plumbers are women while 95% are men.
While this industry is dominated by men, you can still succeed as a woman if you are willing to work hard and are also in good physical condition so that you can keep up with your male colleagues.
Do I need a mentor to succeed as a plumber?
You don’t need to have a mentor to succeed as a plumber.
What’s much more important is that you are passionate and also have some talent for this kind of work and that you are also not afraid to get dirty.
Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a plumber?
While you might not be personally liable as an employed plumber for your mistakes most of the time, you will often be liable for them once you start your own plumbing business.
Hence, you should get proper insurance to be covered in case of emergency.
Do plumbers have a high life expectancy?
Plumbers have decent life expectancy since they don’t work in a risky environment and also don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work which makes it less likely that they suffer from serious mental and emotional problems in the long run.
Do plumbers suffer from sleeping problems?
Since plumbers don’t have to work in the late evening or at nighttime, most of them also don’t have to deal with sleeping problems related to their jobs since they can maintain a solid sleeping pattern.
What states are best for working as a plumber?
Since you will not be able to make good money as a plumber across states, the best thing you can do is to work in an urban area where plumbing services are in high demand while living costs are rather low so that you can make a living from your plumbing career and don’t need to get a second job to pay your bills.
Who do plumbers work with?
Plumbers work with many different clients on a regular basis.
Hence, it is crucial that you are customer-focused and friendly so that your clients will come back to you in the long run and you can really grow your business.
Is working as a plumber cool?
Working as a plumber is not considered cool by the majority of the general public.
However, you should still not choose your career according to what’s cool but you should rather ask yourself how your life will look like as a plumber and whether you really want to aspire to this career or rather want to do something different for a living.
Can you start a side hustle as a plumber?
It is pretty easy to start a side hustle as a plumber.
For instance, you could start a blog or a YouTube channel about plumbing and show your audience everything you learn on the job.
In the long run, you might be able to build a huge audience and to monetize this audience later on.
Do you have to be creative as a plumber?
Being creative helps as a plumber since every case you work on will be different and if you are creative, it will be much easier for you to find solutions to complex problems.
Do plumbers suffer from being overweight?
Since plumbers work with their hands and get lots of exercise at work, they burn enough calories and don’t suffer from being overweight most of the time.
How employable are plumbers?
Since plumbing services are in high demand right now, plumbers are pretty employable and have a rather easy time finding jobs and don’t have to worry about long-term unemployment anytime soon.
Are plumbers happy with their jobs?
Most plumbers are not happy with their jobs since they have to do rather unpleasant work and also have to work in a heavy physical manner while they are still not able to make good money from what they are doing.
Is working as a plumber exciting?
Working as a plumber is not that exciting.
After a while, you will just develop a certain routine and your initial excitement at the beginning of your career may go away rather quickly.
Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a plumber?
You will not have a significant positive impact on our environment as a plumber since you will not be able to work on projects that could really make the world a better place most often.
What are the pros and cons of working as a plumber?
If you still aspire to become a plumber, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a plumber career.
Interviews and own research.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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