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Plumbers & Pipefitters - U.S. Earnings Averages & Opportunities in 2022

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

What is a plumber?

Plumbers are typically dealing with water and/or water-based systems, such as the transport of clean drinking or bathing water and removal of wastewater from toilets and sink into sewage. Plumbers typically work in what's considered "low-pressure" environments.

What is a pipefitter?

Pipefitters are typically installing, repairing, and/or maintaining "high-pressure" systems that may transport fluids other than water like acids, chemicals, or gases. This is usually in an industrial setting with a specialized focus.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes these two positions together when calculating average salary across the United States.

How much does a plumber or pipefitter make in 2022?

Referencing back to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), according to data released on May of 2021 the average plumber and/or pipefitter across the United States made $63,350. That's an average hourly wage of $30.46.

National estimates have total employment for plumbers and pipefitters at that time at just under 420,000. A large percentage of the total employed plumbers & pipefitters are classified in the category of building equipment contractors.

Some of the top paying industry categories for plumbers & pipefitters are petroleum & coal products manufacturing, electric power generation and pharmaceutical/medical manufacturing. The average salary or wage in these categories top $90,000!

States with the top average annual pay for plumbers & pipefitters include Illinois, Alaska, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon. All five average over $80,000 per year.

What career options are there for plumbers & pipefitters in 2022?

Proven skills in plumbing and pipefitting provide an incredibly wide scope of options for employment in high demand careers including:

  • Commercial and residential construction

  • Oil, gas & utility systems

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) systems

  • Building ships or boats

Plumbers may experience projects like installing, maintaining or repairing existing water systems. Pipefitters may experience projects like welding industrial piping. Both require math skills and hands on training.

What training do I need to be a plumber or pipefitter?

Most states require a plumber to obtain a license or certification process before practicing. This could potentially be completed through an associates level course at a local community college, an apprenticeship and/or other coursework required in the state you work in.

How do I find plumbing & pipefitting career opportunities near me?

By completing the Skill Evaluation with Paid for Trades, we can connect you with businesses and trade school programs near you in Iowa to set up opportunities such as:

  • Job shadowing

  • Part time work

  • Apprenticeships

  • Course enrollment

  • Full time job offers

The skilled trades can offer opportunities to earn faster with little to no student loan debt. We want to help you find the best career for your talents!

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