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Plumbing & Water Supply Major

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Plumbing & Water Supply

$52,780 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Plumbing & Water Supply Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many plumbing and water supply graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 1,182
Basic Certificate 1,012
Associate’s Degree 195

What Plumbing & Water Supply Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, plumbing majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Plumbing Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in plumbing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Plumbing Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to plumbing:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Plumbing Majors

As you progress with your plumbing degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.

What Can You Do With a Plumbing & Water Supply Major?

People with a plumbing degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas 25.2% $46,120
Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas 19.9% $44,430
Explosives Workers, Ordnance Handling Experts, and Blasters 7.9% $49,860
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 12.6% $65,230
Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters 15.6% $53,910
Plumbers 15.6% $53,910
Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas 24.6% $53,800
Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners 17.2% $38,970
Solar Energy Installation Managers 12.6% $65,230

How Much Do Plumbing & Water Supply Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $47,570 to $58,150 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to plumbing. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Plumbing & Water Supply Major  ( 47570 to 58150 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with plumbing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to plumbing have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 19.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 38.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 27.1%
Some College Courses 11.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 1.4%
Master’s Degree 0.4%

Online Plumbing & Water Supply Programs

In 2017-2018, 167 schools offered a plumbing program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 97 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 102 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 19 1
Associate’s Degree 47 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 97 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Plumbing & Water Supply Worth It?

The median salary for a plumbing grad is $52,780 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 32% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $257,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to plumbing.

Major Number of Grads
Electrical & Power Transmission Installers 20,200
Building Management & Inspection 4,947
Carpentry 4,022
Construction 1,740
Masonry 492
Other Construction 344

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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