A plumber specializes in the installation and maintenance of the piping that runs in and under homes, businesses and more. The pipes carry the water necessary for comfortable living. Most plumbers run their own businesses, working on an as-needed basis in their community. Pay tends to be very high, particularly for self-employed plumbers, and educational requirements are lenient. Plumbers work in a number of capacities, doing everything from commercial wellhead installations to residential pipe laying.
Plumber Education Requirements
Plumbers only need a high school diploma or GED to get started. Most of the training comes from an apprenticeship under a more experienced plumber than can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Plumbers must be skilled at communicating with customers to determine where the problem is in the pipe and be able to navigate cramped and tight conditions. A moderate amount of strength is required as pipes are often rusted and in locations where there is little leverage.
Plumber Job Market
The job market for plumbers is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2022. This projection is above average when compared to other careers with an estimated 13,050 jobs opening each year. Plumbers often work for companies or strike out on their own to become independent service providers. Plumbers are also often employed by hospitals and universities due to the amount of plumbing systems used in buildings on these campuses.
Plumbers are paid well for their work, making anywhere from $14 to $16 an hour during their apprenticeship to $19 to $46 an hour once fully certified. The annual salary for plumbers can be as high as $77,000 to $83,000, and those who run their own companies are able to charge whatever prices they desire. Plumbers who work for companies, like a local plumbing shop, usually make slightly less than independent plumbers.