Are you looking to start a career with a great future, then you’re in the right place. Plumbing is a rapidly growing field with lots of opportunities. The salaries and benefits are healthy and the field is ready for a new generation to take over.

“It’s time for new blood, new techniques, and new methods. Plumbers use computers now. And that’s what we need in the trades today” Carl Kruse, Founder of Kruse Plumbing in Vancouver.

Plumber Job Description & Job Application

The stereotype of a plumber is a middle-aged guy with a plunger who works on toilets, kitchen sinks, and water heaters. Repairing household plumbing issues is still part of the job, but the role of a plumber is much broader. While preparing this blog post we spoke with one plumber who has been in the industry for years, and he has never touched a plunger. Today’s plumbers use computers and their roles range from basic maintenance to business owners.

The most common job titles include plumber’s helper, apprentice, journeyman, and master plumber. For people who want to move out of the field, there are opportunities in sales and purchasing. Some organizations like universities have plumbing departments that oversee large facilities.

There are also a variety of projects to work on. I already mentioned residential repairs, but residential work also includes new construction and remodeling. Larger projects include commercial construction and civil projects, and there are even plumbers who work at nuclear facilities.

Plumber Job Requirements and Duties

Plumbers need both general characteristics and specific skills. The most important characteristic is a great work ethic. It’s no secret that plumbing is a physical job and plumbers have to move equipment while working. Another characteristic that several plumbers mentioned is being on time for work. Veteran plumbers consistently expressed frustration with employees who are talented but don’t show up for work on time. A late employee can put the entire team behind schedule for the whole day.

Most plumbers learn on the job. The most experienced plumbers teach the junior members and the knowledge flows downhill. To be a great plumber you have to be able to teach, to learn, and to adapt quickly.

The tangible skills include basic math. Plumbing projects require calculations and measurements. A plumber will also be required to read blueprints and execute those plans. Plumbers should also be familiar with the basic tools they will be using on the job.

A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record, so you can get to job sites, are also essential.

Plumber Job Salary

The salary of a plumber has a broad range because of all of the career opportunities. The median compensation for a full-time plumber in the US is $56K. Here are some of the pay ranges for different certification levels:

Apprentice: $17-$20/hour

Journeyman: $25-$30/hour

Master Plumber: $45-$60/hour

Larger companies will provide a full set of benefits including health insurance and retirement plans.

As a master plumber, you can explore a number of options and even start your own business.

Is plumber a good job?

Being a plumber is a great job and a great career. The salary and benefits are good but there are a number of intangible benefits that plumbers enjoy. One plumber we spoke with said he loves driving by a building and telling his kids that he built it. He also loved the family atmosphere at his company. Many plumbing businesses are family-owned with long-tenured employees. As a plumber, you get to teach and learn as well as be creative.

How to get a plumber job?

There are two basic paths to becoming a plumber. You can “earn while you learn” or go to trade school. Most plumbers learn on the job. They start out as a helper or an apprentice and then become a journeyman. From there they become a master plumber. Earning your master plumber’s license usually requires a 4-5 year apprenticeship and there is an extensive exam you have to pass.

The other route is a vocational school. Most community colleges have vocational programs where you can learn the basics of plumbing systems and how to use the equipment for the trade. Fortunately, there are plenty of scholarships available to help you pay for vocational programs.

Plumber Job Openings

There are 470,000 plumbing jobs in the US and that number is expected to increase by 23, 400 by 2030. The average plumber is 55 so many plumbers are nearing retirement age.


Plumbing is a hot career with a bright future. Salaries are competitive and you can create your own path. If you start as a young person in your 20s, you can earn 6 figures without incurring any student debt. The average college student graduates with $75K in student debt.

Regardless of your location, whether it is a major city or a small town, there will be a need for services and the average age of a plumber today is 55.

What are you waiting for? Instead of creating a job alert, go sign up at and create a profile. We specialize in skilled tradespeople.