Why Is Plumbing a Good Career Choice?

November 25, 2022
Plumber Water Pipe Leak Repair

Plumbing systems are integral to all modern homes, offices, and factories and incorporate a complex network of pipes, valves, unions, and fittings. With more home construction projects in progress, plumbers are still able to find rewarding careers in residential construction.

A qualified, licensed plumber is necessary for planning and construction and plumbing upgrades, troubleshooting, and repairs.

The U.S. is facing an acute shortage of qualified and skilled labor professionals, and experienced plumbers are in high demand. This is an excellent time to enter this profession. A licensed plumber will never be out of work, and plumbing can be considered a recession-proof profession that offers great job security.

You may ask yourself – Is plumbing a good career choice for me? If you have any questions about whether pursuing a profession in plumbing will be worthwhile in the long run, this article should help ease your concerns.

Reasons to Consider a Career as a Plumber

Considering how integral plumbing systems are to our daily life, we will always need the services of skilled professionals with the knowledge and experience to install and maintain our piping and water systems.

A Plumber

Let’s look at ten reasons to choose a career in plumbing:

Job Stability

Like doctors, plumbers are always in demand since everyone everywhere needs them. Being a good plumber guarantees career security because you cannot outsource it.

Start Earning Quickly

College students can start their professional lives sooner after graduating. With the low cost of tuition, you also get better returns on your investment. You can even take up an apprenticeship and learn the trade from an experienced plumber while getting paid.

Opportunities for Advancement

Being a licensed and regulated trade, plumbing offers excellent opportunities for growth as you work your way up the ranks to master plumber, the highest professional level of the trade.

Master plumbers usually specialize in a particular sub-field of plumbing, earn extremely well, work flexible hours and enjoy various other excellent benefits.

Variety in the Work

Plumbing involves a lot more than repairing leaky faucets and jammed toilets. Plumbing is very diverse, and plumbers may encounter many jobs and challenges.

Beyond making house calls, plumbers design plumbing systems for new constructions, work on municipal water supply and drainage systems, install and maintain fire sprinkler systems, and develop new plumbing technologies and techniques.

Independence

Once qualified and experienced, you could choose to be self-employed by starting your own plumbing business. Running your own business allows you to work where and when you want, providing great flexibility and independence.

plumbing accessories and tools closeup

Mentally and Physically Taxing

As a plumber, you will often face challenging issues at a job site that require creative thinking.

Analyzing problems and developing creative solutions are sure to keep your mind sharp, while the often physically demanding work will naturally keep your body healthy and active.

Job Satisfaction

Saying that the plumbing industry can impact lives is not an exaggeration. Daily life would be much more difficult without easy access to fresh water and drainage systems to eliminate wastewater safely.

Plumbers significantly contribute to society by maintaining the plumbing infrastructure in our cities and homes, protecting the population from several deadly water-borne diseases.

Copper pipeline of a heating system in boiler room

Social Interaction

Plumbers don’t work behind a desk in a cubicle. They spend their time in the field, constantly meeting and interacting with new people.

If you are a people person, this is the kind of job for you, and daily interactions can forge relations that generate income in the future.

Respect

People today have a lot more respect for skilled tradespersons than they did a few years ago, and most realize the invaluable role that plumbers play in keeping homes and businesses running smoothly.

Only a few people have the skills to be a plumber, but everyone will require the services of a plumber at some point in their lives.

Own Plumbing Business

No more plumbing bills! While there may be better reasons for becoming a plumber, it is nice to know that once you have acquired the education and skills, you’ll never have to pay for plumbing repairs again.

How to Become a Plumber

Young people could apply for a plumbing apprenticeship straight out of high school with their diploma or GED.

Before applying for an apprenticeship, it would be best first to earn a college degree or attend a vocational school for one of the plumbing training programs offered by technical schools and trade schools.

  • Completing a plumbing apprentice program is the first step toward becoming a licensed plumber. These programs can run for two to five years, during which time you will learn about OSHA safety standards and state codes and how to read and draft plumbing blueprints.
  • After completing your apprenticeship, the next step in your career is to take a licensing exam to become a journeyman plumber. Unlike an apprentice, whom a master or senior plumber must supervise, a journeyman plumber can work independently and take on jobs in residential or commercial settings.
  • Journeyman plumbers who have accumulated enough time and experience on the job can then progress to becoming master plumbers.

The licensing exam includes written and practical modules, and master-level plumbers can oversee apprentice training, offer advanced services, manage plumbing crews, and specialize in a particular aspect of plumbing.

Steel of a heating system in boiler room

Career Outlook for Plumbers

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were over 400,000 plumbers across the United States. The statistics prove that the job outlook will grow by 5% this decade.

Based on geographical location, years of experience, license type, and work type, an average plumber’s salary is in the region of $63,000 per year, with the majority of plumbing professionals earning between $45,000 and $78,000 annually.

According to Comparably, highly experienced master plumbers in the United States make even more money, taking home upwards of $60,339.

The table below shows the potential annual salary of a plumber in a few states on the east coast.

StateAverage Annual SalaryMean Wages per Hour
Rhode Island$65,090$31.29
Massachusetts$84,090$40.43
Connecticut$65,330$31.41
New York$77,490$37.26
New Jersey$82,740$39.78

Here’s a look at the job-type salary details for plumbers in Rhode Island:

Job DescriptionAverage salaries per yearMean wages per hour
Journeyman$72,383$34.80
Plumbing Technician$67,979$32.68
Plumber Assistant$64,389$30.96
Service Plumber$64,248$30.89
Journeyman Plumber$64,003$30.77
Plumber/Pipefitter$61,187$29.42
Master Plumber$63,404$30.48

Conclusion

It is clear that qualified plumbers are in high demand across the United States, and the field offers a great deal of job security. However, more people need to enter this vocation to cover the number of retirements each year.

We may soon run out of plumbers to deal with the leaky pipes and clogged drains that are a part of everyday life. It is now time to enroll in a plumbing trade school and learn the skills required to become a licensed plumber.

The New England Institute of Technology offers an associate degree in plumbing and heating technology that could prepare you for a lucrative career in the plumbing industry.

Once you complete the 18-month program, you will qualify for several jobs in the field, including plumbing technician, heating technician, plumber helper, pipefitter, and steamfitter.

Students gain hands-on experience in our laboratory and the opportunity to share classes and collaborate with peers from construction management, architecture, welding, and other allied professional trades.

FAQs

How much do plumbers make?

Most plumbers make between $45,000 and $79,000 a year, with the national average hovering around the $63,000 mark.

How much does a master plumber make?

Highly specialized and experienced master plumbers can earn upwards of $100,000 a year.

What is the highest-paying plumbing job?

Master-level plumbers are the highest-paid professionals in the field.

Is plumbing a stressful job?

The job involves working in various potentially dangerous situations while trying to analyze and solve issues with water or drainage systems while facing the pressure of time constraints, so yes, the plumber’s life can get stressful at times.

Can plumbers make six figures?

Not usually, although specialized, highly experienced, and reputed master plumbers could earn six figures a year.

What skills do you need for plumbing?

Manual dexterity and coordination are essential physical skills to succeed as a plumber. Analytical thinking, problem-solving and interpersonal skills also go a long way in this field.