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What is a Plumber?

Occupation Description Assemble, install, or repair pipes, fittings, or fixtures of heating, water, or drainage systems, according to specifications or plumbing codes.

Life As a Plumber: What Do They Do?

  • Determine sizing requirements for solar hot water heating systems, taking into account factors such as site orientation, load calculations, or storage capacity requirements.
  • Install green plumbing equipment, such as faucet flow restrictors, dual-flush or pressure-assisted flush toilets, or tankless hot water heaters.
  • Locate and mark the position of pipe installations, connections, passage holes, or fixtures in structures, using measuring instruments such as rulers or levels.
  • Maintain or repair plumbing by replacing defective washers, replacing or mending broken pipes, or opening clogged drains.
  • Keep records of work assignments.
  • Recommend energy or water saving products, such as low-flow faucets or shower heads, water-saving toilets, or high-efficiency hot water heaters.

Qualities of a Plumber

These are the skills Plumbers say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Troubleshooting: Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Types of Plumber Jobs

  • Drain Cleaner, Plumber
  • Plumber
  • Plumbing Technician
  • Plumbing and Heating Mechanic
  • Water Softener Servicer

What Kind of Plumber Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 480,600 jobs for Plumber in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 15.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 75,200 new jobs for Plumber by 2026. There will be an estimated 61,000 positions for Plumber per year.


The states with the most job growth for Plumber are Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Alaska, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Plumber Make?

The typical yearly salary for Plumbers is somewhere between $32,100 and $93,700.


Plumbers who work in Illinois, Alaska, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Plumbers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $45,260
Alaska $75,520
Arizona $48,950
Arkansas $43,540
California $61,410
Colorado $53,350
Connecticut $63,780
Delaware $61,640
District of Columbia $69,800
Florida $44,200
Georgia $48,680
Hawaii $73,810
Idaho $47,320
Illinois $79,400
Indiana $60,030
Iowa $52,060
Kansas $55,140
Kentucky $55,890
Louisiana $54,940
Maine $50,830
Maryland $60,610
Massachusetts $70,320
Michigan $61,620
Minnesota $74,220
Mississippi $45,280
Missouri $63,550
Montana $60,940
Nebraska $55,110
Nevada $55,600
New Hampshire $55,180
New Jersey $71,370
New Mexico $45,420
New York $73,820
North Carolina $43,750
North Dakota $53,800
Ohio $55,640
Oklahoma $50,710
Oregon $73,810
Pennsylvania $60,380
South Carolina $44,970
South Dakota $43,600
Tennessee $48,850
Texas $49,180
Utah $51,970
Vermont $51,210
Virginia $50,330
Washington $67,090
West Virginia $60,000
Wisconsin $68,510
Wyoming $53,550

Tools & Technologies Used by Plumbers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Plumbers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Bookkeeping software
  • Intuit Quicken
  • Maintenance management software
  • Estimating software
  • Insight Direct ServiceCEO
  • Job costing software
  • Drawing and drafting software
  • Wilhelm Publishing Threshold
  • Atlas Construction Business Forms
  • Wintac Pro
  • Contractor City Contractor Forms Pack

Becoming a Plumber

Learn what Plumber education requirements there are.


How Long Does it Take to Become a Plumber?


Who Employs Plumbers?


The table below shows the approximate number of Plumbers employed by various industries.



Image Credit: Tomwsulcer via Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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