Career Opportunities in the Plumbing Industry

Interested in a highly paid career in the plumbing industry? Then check out these job opportunities below.

The plumbing industry is an essential part of the infrastructure of any nation. It ensures that clean water gets to our homes and waste water is disposed of safely. As society continues to evolve and grow, the demand for skilled professionals in the plumbing industry remains consistent. The industry offers various career paths with opportunities for advancement and competitive salaries.

Here’s a detailed look at career opportunities in the plumbing industry and the expected salaries for each.

Apprentice Plumber

An apprentice plumber works under the guidance of a journeyman or master plumber. This role is for individuals who are just starting out in the field. During this period, apprentices learn the basics of plumbing, including how to use tools, understand plumbing codes, and perform basic installations and repairs.

Expected Salary: The average salary for an apprentice plumber is typically between $46,678 annually, although this can vary depending on the region and the employer.

Journeyman Plumber

After completing the apprenticeship, plumbers can pursue the status of a journeyman. Journeymen plumbers are more experienced and can work without direct supervision. They handle more complex tasks, understand plumbing codes in depth, and might even supervise apprentices.

Expected Salary: Journeymen plumbers can expect to earn between $64,245 annually. With more years of experience and specialization, some can even earn higher.

Master Plumber

The pinnacle of a plumber’s career is becoming a master plumber. This role requires years of experience, and in many places, passing a stringent examination. Master plumbers can work on big projects, supervise teams, and even start their own plumbing business.

Expected Salary: The salary range for a master plumber starts from $73,000 and can go up to $100,000 or more, especially for those who own a successful plumbing business.


While often grouped with plumbers, pipefitters specialize in designing and installing the layout of pipes for larger establishments like factories or power plants. They work with various types of piping systems, ensuring that they are efficient, safe, and adhere to regulatory standards.

Expected Salary: A pipefitter can expect to earn $56,042 annually, depending on the complexity of projects they handle and their level of expertise.


A subset of pipefitters, steamfitters specialize in systems that carry steam. They often work in places where heat and electricity are generated, like power plants. The role demands knowledge about high-pressure systems and the safety protocols associated with them.

Expected Salary: Steamfitters have a salary range similar to pipefitters, typically earning $60,647, but this can be higher in specialized sectors or regions with higher demand.

Plumbing Inspector

Plumbing inspectors play a crucial role in ensuring that plumbing systems adhere to local codes and regulations. They inspect installations and repairs, ensuring everything meets the required standards. They typically work for local government or regulatory bodies.

Expected Salary: A plumbing inspector can expect an average salary of $58,332 to $87,016 annually.

Plumbing Instructor

With years of experience under their belt, some professionals choose to impart their knowledge to the next generation. Plumbing instructors teach in vocational schools, colleges, or even offer private workshops. They cover theoretical knowledge, safety practices, and hands-on training.

Expected Salary: The salary for a plumbing instructor can vary widely based on the institution and location. However, they typically earn between $45,000 to $65,000 per year.

Sales Representative for Plumbing Equipment

For those who have in-depth knowledge about plumbing tools and equipment but wish to transition out of hands-on work, a sales role could be ideal. They work with manufacturers or wholesalers to sell plumbing products to businesses or individual contractors.

Expected Salary: Salaries in sales can vary greatly based on commission structures, but a base salary typically ranges from $40,000 to $70,000, with potential for more depending on sales performance.


The plumbing industry offers diverse career paths, each with its unique challenges and rewards. Whether you’re interested in hands-on work, supervision, teaching, or even sales, there’s a role that will fit your interests and skills. Moreover, as urbanization continues and the demand for reliable plumbing systems grows, so will the opportunities in this sector. With competitive salaries, chances for advancement, and the satisfaction of providing an essential service, the plumbing industry remains an attractive field for both new entrants and seasoned professionals.