How to Become a Plumber

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions need start off through an apprenticeship. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then a certificate or associate’s degree from a technical school along with real world experience can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a plumbers.

How Much Do Plumbers Make? 
$49,140 (median salary)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:
Steamfitting, gasfitter, management, teaching and pipefitting.

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Pipefitters page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Plumber

California tops the list for employment opportunities nationwide, with over 30,000 jobs in the field being currently staffed. The highest annual mean wages, however, can be found in New York, which offers plumbers a mean annual salary of $69,580.

One of the benefits of working as a plumber is that starting your own practice and working for yourself is common in the field. Working as a plumbing employee will give you the technical skills required to run your own plumbing business, where you will then learn business and management skills. Plumbers work anywhere that might experience pipe and septic system issues. Locations may include:

  • Factories
  • Homes
  • Businesses
  • Plumbing contracting services
  • Self-employed/business owner

Employment and Salary Information by State for Plumbers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Plumbing. All data is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a highly credible government agency.

Employment and Information Data for Plumbing

Why You Should Become a Plumber

The plumbing trade is a challenging and each job will be unique. You will be working to solve problems and make people’s lives easier by fixing urgent plumbing issues and designing custom solutions for new plumbing needs. As a plumber, your tasks will be varied and interesting, including: install pipes and fixtures, determine material and equipment solutions, inspect pipes and pipelines, replace worn parts and interact with clients. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of plumbers is projected to grow 21 percent over the next 10 years, faster than most career averages.

Plumbers can fit into different categories including pipefitters, gasfitters and steamfitters. Each category of plumbing includes tiers of management and ownerships. As you progress in your plumbing career you will have the opportunity to grow and take on larger responsibilities.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Plumber

  • Introduction to Plumbing
  • Plumbing Drawing
  • Pipes, Valves & Fittings
  • Drainage Systems
  • Water Supply Systems
  • Plumbing Fixtures & Applications
  • Gas Piping, Venting & Appliances
  • Plumbing Codes
  • Advanced Plumbing Applications

Degrees to Help You Become Expert Plumber

To enter the plumbing industry, employees are expected to have a high school diploma as well as some professional training, degree or certificate. There are several schools, both online and on the field, that offer the proper training required to launch a promising career in plumbing.

Diploma Programs & Technical Certificate
Several schools and technical institutions offer an education in plumbing techniques and knowledge. These programs provide students with the skills to enter the plumbing field as well as careers in related industries. In addition to providing a challenging education, many schools offer job placement programs that help their graduates find a job right away.

Apprenticeship Programs
Apprenticeship programs are typically offered to prospective plumbers who have already earned a plumbing degree or certificate. Apprenticeships are paid assistant programs similar to internships. As an apprentice you will apply your knowledge to real plumbing situations and work with experienced plumbers to learn tricks of the trade and best practices. After completion of an apprenticeship program, you will be prepared to work as a professional plumber, either as an employee or as an independent contractor.