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The Plumber>s Pay Day

How Does Your Salary Stack Up? 

Average plumber salaries vary by company, location, and experience. The current average for a plumber in the United States according to PayScale.com is $18.87 per hour. A journeyman plumber averages $22.31 per hour, while an apprentice plumber comes in at an hourly rate of only $13.97. Master plumbers typically earn $22.04 an hour.
 
There are some significant regional differences. If you"re considering a move, here"s the annual salary breakdown for you to consider in a variety of regional areas. These figures are averages for plumbers, as opposed to master plumbers or apprentice plumbers. Approximately 30% belong to a union.
 
$41,000 - Seattle, WA          
$38,000 - Chicago, IL          
$35,000 - Austin, TX             
$35,000 - Charlotte, NC      
$32,000 - Tallahassee, FL 
 
Note the vast dissimilarity between Seattle, Washington, and Tallahassee, Florida.
 
Time to Move Up?
 
According to the US Department of Labor, residential and commercial plumbers are one of the highest paid construction occupations. Other construction trades are less resilient than plumbing in tough economic times. For advancement purposes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that it is in your best interest to be able to communicate in both English and Spanish, to be able to relay instructions to those with imperfect English. Spanish-speaking workers are a major part of the workforce in many places.
 
Management positions bring an increase in pay. Some plumbers go on to supervisory roles for contractors, while others elect to start up their own business. Some go on to become building inspectors.
 
Job opportunities will be average for the next decade, with an employment expansion of 10% expected. The trend in growth is due to the number of plumbers that will be needed to repair existing residential systems, work in new construction, and remodel baths in particular. Well-trained plumbers will be in demand as experienced ones retire. Welding experience will be particularly desirable. Before embarking on your own business, plumbing instructors recommend forming a business plan. M. Gregg"s Profitable Plumbing is a suggested resource, or Lewis and Renn"s How to Start and Manage a Plumbing Service Business.
By Chris Navarro
Get Plumbing Jobs, Contributing Editor

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