plumber salary

Guide to Plumber Salary in 2015

Regardless of your reasons for being interested in a job in the plumbing field, you’re undoubtedly interested in finding out what to expect in plumber salary. Per the most-recent version of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual salary for plumbers in the U.S. was $49,140 in 2012.

Compared to other similar construction-related professionals, plumbers are paid almost 21% more than their peers, making them one of the better-paid tradesman in the field. Even better for those considering a career as a plumber, the field is expected to grow well ahead of the national average for all positions through 2022.

This guide to plumber salary in 2015 takes an inside look at how much you can expect to get paid in your new career, and what you can do to maximize your salary.

Factors That Decide Plumber Salary

In the section below we’ve highlighted the three factors that have the greatest influence on plumber pay. Click on any of the tabs to read more about the featured topic.

ExperienceCertification & TrainingLocation


The factor that probably has the greatest impact on salary in any profession is the amount of experience you have. You’ll find that working as a plumber is no different as veteran plumbers with established reputations are able to command higher salaries than their journeyman counterparts.

The following table shows just how much of an impact experience can have.

Plumber Salary by Experience

Median Annual Salary
Less than
1 year
1-2 years $39,886
3+ years $40,837


Certification & Training

The more training and credentials you hold, the more you’re typically paid as a plumber. The reasons for this are fairly obvious:

  • Customers and employers prefer to hire plumbers who can show tangible proof of their skills, knowledge and experience
  • Being viewed as a specialist or expert in any field usually equates to a higher salary
  • The wider your knowledge base as a plumber, the more jobs you can bid on


Where you live (e.g. a major city vs. a rural area) often has as much of an impact on your earning potential as any other single factor. It’s no secret that the state you live in and the city where you work can make a huge difference in not only job opportunities, but the pay offered as well.

In most cases, you’ll find that plumbers in major cities earn considerably more than their peers in the suburbs and rural areas. Additionally, professionals who work in the U.S. Northeast and West Coast are usually paid considerably more than those elsewhere in the country.

The table below shows the five states where plumbers earn the highest annual salary.

Plumber Salary by State
State Median Annual Salary
Alaska $ 74,700
Illinois $ 69,600
Wisconsin $ 67,500
Oregon $ 67,000
New York $ 66,800
Minnesota $ 65,800
Massachusetts $ 64,700
Hawaii $ 63,800
Missouri $ 63,500
Washington $ 61,500
New Jersey $ 61,000
Connecticut $ 58,400
Delaware $ 58,100
California $ 57,400
Michigan $ 55,600

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Maximizing Your Salary as a Plumber

While the factors highlighted above all combine to determine roughly how much you’ll be paid during your career, there are always other things involved. With that being the case, you’re probably wondering how you can maximize your plumber salary and earn top dollar for your work.

The most-obvious way to increase your pay is to acquire additional training and professional certifications. As discussed, there is a direct correlation between the amount of specialized training that a plumber has and his or her salary, so additional schooling should always be something to consider.

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