Plumbers address a multitude of issues related to pipes or septic systems, often working in unpleasant and even hazardous environments. A thorough knowledge of building codes and the ability to safely operate a wide range of tools is essential. Not surprisingly, plumbers typically command a significant hourly wage. What's more, employment for plumbers is projected to grow 21 percent from 2012 to 2022, a faster rate than most other occupations.
Pay Rates Vary
The average hourly rate for a plumber is $25.88, according to the 2013 data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate fluctuates widely based on the geographic region and the type of work being preformed. Median wages range from a low of $14.23 an hour to a high of $41.40 an hour.
A plumber's pay is greatly influenced by his location. In California, the hourly average is $33.45, while in Florida it is $18.41. Pay rates in rural areas are lower than in major cities and their surround areas. For example, in rural southwestern Oklahoma, plumbers average $16.66 an hour. In the New York City suburb of Long Island, the average is $39.65 an hour.
Pay by Industry
In plumbing, the average hourly rate also varies based on the industry. The hourly rate in the sector with the largest number of plumbers -- building equipment contractors -- is $26.37. The industry with the highest hourly rate of $38.22 is the amusement and recreation sector.
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