In our day and age, plumbing is one of the utilities that we couldn’t do without, and plumbers play a crucial part in making sure that clean water is flowing and wastewater is flushing out.
A plumber’s job description includes a variety of tasks, from fixing leaking faucets to designing new plumbing systems for construction projects.
More complex projects require a higher level of expertise and some special qualifications.
The master plumber credential is one of the highest ranks in the plumbing industry.
Education Requirements for Master Plumbers
As with any profession, you need a lot of training and experience before being ready to practice it at the highest level.
First of all, you have to finish high school or earn a GED.
Afterward, you need to complete an apprenticeship or a post-secondary program at a trade school.
You also need several years of on the job experience under the supervision of an experienced plumber before being ready to take the licensing exam and become a journeyman plumber.
Journeyman plumbers have to practice plumbing for around two years or so before applying for the master plumber designation.
After meeting the experience requirements you are ready to take the master plumber exam- an exam that tests your knowledge and practical skills.
Master Plumber Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $55,160 as of May 2019.
This means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries for this occupation vary widely depending on several factors, such as experience and education level, but also the region and the industry of employment.
The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,690, while the top 10 percent made more than $97,170 each year.
Experience and education play an important part in determining a plumber’s salary but earnings also vary depending on the industry and the region of employment.
The numbers published by BLS show that plumbers who work for the manufacturing sector earn slightly more than those who work in heavy and civil engineering construction.
The median annual wage reported by plumbers in the manufacturing sector was $57,150, while those who worked in civil engineering were paid $52,820 per year on average.
Your earnings as a plumber are also determined by the type of plumbing work you do and whether you own your own business or not.
As a master plumber, you can start your own plumbing business and, if you have technical and customer service skills, this can help you earn a higher than average salary.
If you’re not self-employed, then your salary will also depend upon your position within the company.
A master plumber designation can help you advance to a supervisory position that comes with additional responsibilities but also higher pay.
Salaries by Region
The place where you decide to start a career as a plumber can also influence your earnings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top-paying state for this occupation is Illinois, where the average annual wage reported by plumbers was $79,400.
Other top-paying states are Alaska, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon- states where workers in this profession were remunerated with more than $70,000 per year, on average.
On the other hand, plumbers in Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, and South Dakota reported average annual wages that were below $45,000.
Read the full guide: How to Become a Plumber