Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
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Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
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Overview
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair pipes that carry liquids or gases to, from, and within businesses, homes, and factories.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are expected to grow by 16%, and should have about 62,600 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are less likely to be automated than 65% of other careers.
Workforce size
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, with 480,600 workers, form a larger workforce than 91% of careers.
Education
Only 4% of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters have bachelor's degrees than 87% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is higher than 58% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.
This job's median $54KAll jobs' median $39K$54K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 1% of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters -- that's a smaller percentage than 97% of other jobs.
Gender of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, the median men's salary was 7% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 12% of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are minority, and 17% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (17%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 39% of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, and 52% have company-sponsored health insurance (14% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Exposed to Contaminants (89%)
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings (78%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (77%)
  • Time Pressure (74%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (73%)
  • Exposed to High Places (62%)
  • Consequence of Error (49%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions (44%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (33%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. In particular, the ACS data is reported for the larger career group pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, which combines the data for 2 careers, including plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data is classified by SOC specialty, and excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters (BLS Salary Data)
$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$54K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. Additionally, we only have ACS survey data for the larger career category and not for the specialty level. We first show the full salary distribution for all pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters (ACS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters (ACS)
Private for-profit (78.8%)
Private not-for-profit (1.9%)
Local government (4.7%)
State government (1.4%)
Federal government (1.2%)
Self-employed incorporated (4.9%)
Self-employed not incorporated (7.2%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$44K$44K$50K$50K$37K$43K$47K$55K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$54K$56K$54K$54K$56K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$51K$50K$37K$28K$47K$50K$52K$42K$53K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
020K40K60K80KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters and gender

With 1% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 97% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
1%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Men (99%)
Women (1%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, with the median salary for men 7% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$41K$44K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 80% of other jobs.

7%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters than for 86% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
White (82% )
Black (7% )
Other (6% )
Multiracial (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
Asian (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
17%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$35K$35K$37K$40K$42K$42K$46K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAmerican IndianOtherHispanicBlackMultiracialAsianWhite
Distribution: Salaries for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters by nativity
$35K$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100KAll foreign-bornAll native citizens

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.

Education attained by pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required to become a plumber, pipefitter, or steamfitter. Trade schools offer courses on pipe system design, safety, and tool use. They also offer welding courses that are considered necessary by some pipefitter and steamfitter apprenticeship training programs.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

Most states and localities require plumbers to be licensed. Although licensing requirements vary, most states and localities require workers to have 2 to 5 years of experience and to pass an exam that shows their knowledge of the trade and of local plumbing codes before they are permitted to work independently. In addition, most employers require plumbers to have a driver’s license.

Some states require pipefitters to be licensed; they may even require a special license to work on gas lines. Licensing typically requires an exam, work experience, or both. Contact your state’s licensing board for more information.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters? Below we see the distribution of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$33K$44K$50K$54K$51K$47K$40K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KNone (15%)High School (48%)Some College (25%)Associate's Degree (7%)Bachelor's Degree (4%)Master's Degree (0%)Professional Deg/Doct (0%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Plumbing Technology/Plumber
1,377
Pipefitting/Pipefitter and Sprinkler Fitter
510
Specialized Study in Plumbing and Related Water Supply Services
61
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

What jobs will most pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfittersConstruction laborersFirst-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workersManagers (specialized areas)Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installersConstruction managersWelding, soldering, and brazing workersMaintenance and repair workersHand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters as well as 1% of respondents after working as pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Maintenance and repair workers
155,500
$0$200K$42K
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
70,600
$0$200K$56K
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers
39,100
$0$200K$43K
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
376,900
$0$200K$41K
1.1%
Janitors and building cleaners
350,300
$0$200K$27K
1.1%
Maintenance and repair workers
155,500
$0$200K$42K
1.1%
Construction laborers
153,300
$0$200K$30K
2.9%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
2.2%
First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers
70,600
$0$200K$56K
1.6%
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
68,500
$0$200K$44K
56.9%
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers
39,100
$0$200K$43K
1.7%
Construction managers
34,800
$0$200K$66K
1.0%
No occupation
7.5%
Read about plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters typically do the following:

  • Prepare cost estimates for clients
  • Read blueprints and follow state and local building codes
  • Determine the material and equipment needed for a job
  • Install pipes and fixtures
  • Inspect and test installed pipe systems and pipelines
  • Troubleshoot malfunctioning systems
  • Repair and replace worn parts

The movement of liquids and gases through pipes is critical to modern life. In homes, water is needed for both drinking and sanitation. In factories, chemicals are moved to aid in product manufacturing. In power plants, steam is moved to drive turbines that generate electricity. Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair these pipe systems.

Although plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters perform three distinct and specialized roles, their duties are often similar. For example, they all install pipes and fittings that carry water, steam, air, or other liquids or gases. They determine the necessary materials for a job, connect pipes, and perform pressure tests to ensure that a pipe system is airtight and watertight. Their tools include drills, saws, welding torches, and wrenches.

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters may use many different materials and construction techniques, depending on the type of project. Residential water systems, for example, use copper, steel, and plastic pipe that one or two plumbers can install. Power plant water systems, by contrast, are made of large steel pipes that usually take a crew of pipefitters to install. Some workers install stainless steel pipes on dairy farms and in factories, mainly to prevent contamination.

In addition to performing installation and repair work, journey- and master-level plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters frequently direct apprentices and helpers.

Master plumbers on construction jobs may be involved with developing blueprints that show the placement of all the pipes and fixtures. Their input helps ensure that a structure’s plumbing meets building codes, stays within budget, and works well with the location of other features, such as electric wires. Many diagrams are now created digitally with the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM), which allows a building’s physical systems to be planned and coordinated across occupations.

The following are examples of types of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters:

Plumbers install and repair water, drainage, gas, and other piping systems in homes, businesses, and factories. Plumbers install plumbing fixtures such as bathtubs and toilets, and appliances, such as dishwashers and water heaters. Plumbers also maintain septic systems—the large, underground holding tanks that collect waste from houses that are not connected to a sewer system.

Pipefitters, sometimes simply called fitters, install and maintain pipes that carry chemicals, acids, and gases. These pipes are used mostly in manufacturing, commercial, and industrial settings. Fitters install and repair pipe systems in power plants, as well as heating and cooling systems in large office buildings. Some pipefitters specialize as gasfitters, sprinklerfitters, or steamfitters.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Communication skills
Plumbers must be able to direct workers, bid on jobs, and plan work schedules. Plumbers talk to customers on a regular basis and need to understand and communicate problems and directions.
Dexterity
Plumbers must be able to maneuver parts and tools precisely, often in tight spaces.
Mechanical skills
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters use a variety of tools to assemble and repair pipe systems. Choosing the right tool and successfully installing, repairing, or maintaining a system is crucial to their work.
Physical strength
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters must be strong enough to lift and move heavy tools and materials.
Troubleshooting skills
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters find, diagnose, and repair problems. For example, pipefitters must be able to perform pressure tests to pinpoint the location of a leak.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was higher than 58% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $54KAll jobs' median $39K$55K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are anticipated to grow by 16% over the next decade; only 10% of jobs are predicted to grow more.

The projected employment for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300200,000400,000600,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.02.04.06.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Median salary ratio: Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters to all workers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.02.5
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
Choose the similarity measure to compare careers
Interests
Environment
Knowledge
Physical Abilities
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