The current statistics regarding jobs in plumbing seem quite promising, in terms of current salary, for entry, intermediate and professional level, demand and overall outlook. It is safe to say that the constantly developing infrastructure of cities all across the United States means that there will always be a need for plumbers to perform installation, maintenance and repair procedures.
However, before being permitted to work as a plumber, an individual will be required to attain the proper certification. The good news for those that do not want to follow the courses of a technical or vocational schools offering plumbing courses and pay the tuition fees is that apprenticeship with a contractor for a predetermined period can deem him eligible for the examination required to obtain the license.
Job search plumbing details: Freelancing versus joining the union
A relatively small percentage of plumbers (meaning around 10%) choose to work as freelancers rather than be hired by a contractor company, landlord or state department. However, the problem associated with freelancer work and the lack of affiliation to the union is the limited amount of work available. To put it simply, even though the growth in demand for plumbers is estimated by the Department of Labor to be at 16% in the 2008-2018 period, most contracts are awarded to established companies rather than individual contractors.
What are the most prolific fields?
It is estimated that pipefitters and steamfitters will be the two plumbing specializations most in demand in the near future. The positive outlook for these two particular categories of plumbers is related to the quickly developing infrastructure of the United States and the investments made in this direction. However, statistics also indicate than in the next 10 years, the retirement rate for many individuals working in this field will make room for other plumbing specialties as well. It is necessary to point out that work in construction is only temporary for most plumbers, so being affiliated to the union and a contractor company boosts the individual’s chances for continuous work.
Information on average earnings
As this guide mentioned, plumbing jobs are quite financially rewarding as well as stress-free. The current salary earned by a certified plumber is around $47,000 per year at entry level. However, the pay increases with experience and specialization of the plumber and varies from state to state in accordance to the demand. As far as comparison to the average US wage is concerned, an entry-level plumber currently earns 34% less.
Finding a plumbing job
Following education (high school and vocational training and/or apprenticeship), the steps to becoming a working plumber include:
- Researching demand for plumbers in the city
- Becoming part of the PHCC union
- Contacting local companies and presenting a CV and cover letter
- Accepting the most lucrative offer
It is necessary to point out that joining the PHCC union is not mandatory and the income of members is slightly lower than in the case of an independent contractor. However, it is equally true that being part of a union also entails certain guarantees and more protection.
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