How Much Do Plumbers Make?

Working with Commissions

A wide variety of factors can affect a plumber’s salary. For one, plumbers in the service industry are often paid commission on the jobs they perform. For example, if a plumbing technician performs a job costing $1,200, the technician earns a percentage of that overall cost. This percentage typically falls between 18% and 20%. These commission wages are usually added to a technician’s hourly pay, but may also be their only source of income from that job. These policies vary from company to company and should be strongly considered when searching for employment as a plumber.

While many may see commission pay as a detrimental practice that encourages companies and technicians to charge their clients as much money as possible, that is most often not the case. The main goal of plumbing is to satisfy the client’s needs and ensure their plumbing system is working properly and safely. A technician may suggest products and services to clients if the technician sees an issue in the client’s system or if the product or service could greatly benefit the client. Commissions should merely be seen as a way that service companies can pass their profits on to their technicians.

Increasing Your Value

Another factor that affects a plumber’s salary is the value of their services. A plumber’s overall value comes from several sources. For one, how were they trained? Plumbers who received professional training on a wide range of areas within plumbing have a higher value than those who may have inadequate training. Up-to-date training also helps improve a plumber’s overall value, since it enables them to learn the latest technology, fixtures, codes, and other parts of plumbing which are subject to change over time. By failing to keep their training updated, plumbers stand the chance of falling behind and missing opportunities to perform jobs and earn income. Plumbers with updated training are able to service and install the latest fixtures, while those without the training cannot be guaranteed to perform these tasks properly.

Professionalism is another value-adding trait for plumbers. High-quality, state-of-the-art equipment, professional demeanor, and clean uniforms and vehicles add value to plumbing companies’ services in clients’ eyes. In turn, this value is transferred to the technicians working for the company. Simply put, plumbing services that are deemed more valuable by clients will bring in more money. Clients are willing to spend more to ensure their plumbing services are installed and repaired in the most professional way possible.

An In-Demand Position

As more and more high school graduates choose to attend college over trade schools, there are fewer plumbers to replace the previous generation, who are closing in on retirement. An even smaller number of those entering the plumbing trade have the necessary training and experience to replace the older, more seasoned plumbers exiting the business. At Alpha Tradesmen Academy, we are doing our part to solve this issue by providing online plumbing training that makes it possible for apprentices to train on their own time while pursuing a plumbing career. To find out more, visit

Making the Most of a Plumbing Career

  The U.S. News & World Report states that plumbers can expect a median annual income of $53,910, and lists plumbing number seven in its list of highest-paying jobs without a degree. According to the New York Times, the median salary in larger markets, such as Chicago and New York, reaches nearly $70,000. The top 25% of plumbers in the U.S. make $71,140 annually and higher, with these figures projected to go higher in the coming year. By continuing to expand their training, build their value, and being willing to work extended hours, it is possible to have a six-figure career in plumbing.

How ATA Can Help

With Alpha Tradesmen Academy’s groundbreaking online plumbing program, plumbers of all experience levels can gain valuable trade education from a credible, professional source. Our program helps introduce novice plumbers to the concepts of plumbing while providing updated training to more experienced plumbers. Since our program is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our students can train at their pace while pursuing real-world experience as plumbers and plumbing apprentices. For many people, professional plumbing training can be the gateway to a career in a recession-proof industry with high demand and a promising outlook.



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