Master Plumber Salary: Requirements, Colleges and Career



Master Plumber Salary


Master plumbers, who have the ability to plan and supervise work for journeymen and apprentices, are paid at the top of the profession’s pay scale. According to PayScale, master plumber salaries range from $45,000 to $106,000, based on a variety of characteristics such as company, experience, and geographic area. 

The highest level of plumbing expertise is master plumber. Plumbing masters progress from apprentice to journeyman to master. Your principal tasks as a master plumber are to install and maintain water systems in commercial and residential buildings in accordance with safety and energy efficiency laws and regulations. Sketching and reading blueprints are among your responsibilities, as are installing pipes, fixtures, and appliances for water systems such as water heaters, showers, sinks, and toilets, as well as performing service and repairs. You may be able to take on extra responsibilities as a master plumber, such as training and managing apprentice and journeyman plumbers. 

Education Requirements for a Master Plumber’s Career 

Master plumbers normally start their careers as apprentices in a plumbers’ union apprenticeship program that involves classroom work. Alternatively, they could enroll in a certificate or associate degree program in plumbing and heating, plumbing technology, or a related profession at a community college. 

Apprentices and students learn to interpret blueprints and draft them. They learn physics and chemistry fundamentals, as well as workplace safety and building requirements. Apprentices learn how to identify equipment and materials, install, maintain, service components, and repair water pipelines through hands-on training. 

Plumbers can sit for their state’s necessary journeyman plumber license exam after completing their chosen curriculum and gaining many years of supervised work experience. Journeyman plumbers can sit for the master plumber exam with further on-the-job experience under the supervision of a master plumber and more classroom instruction. Some states and municipalities may require master plumbers to take continuing education courses, mainly on new standards and regulations or energy efficiency. 

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Overview of a Master Plumber’s Career 

Master plumbers install, maintain, service, and repair home and commercial water systems using designs and tools. They could operate on drainage, gas, potable water, or waste systems, among other things. Bathroom fixture and appliance installation are other popular duties. Master plumbers may also develop and draw blueprints for water service systems. 

Master plumbers can work for themselves, for contractors, or for the government; union membership is widespread. Because of the project-based nature of the business, a master plumber’s work chances might be somewhat variable. 

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters should expect a 4% rise in jobs from 2019 to 2029, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ( New construction, refurbishment, or maintenance of existing facilities, as well as increased usage of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly plumbing materials, have all contributed to this expansion. 

Master plumbers have often worked as plumbers for several years and, as a result of a mix of experience, formal education, and state license, know more about the trade than a journeyman plumber.

Guide on how to become a Master Plumber? 

One of the first things to consider if you want to become a Master Plumber is how much education you’ll need. A bachelor’s degree is held by 14.7 percent of Master Plumbers, according to our research. In terms of higher education, 16.4 percent of Master Plumbers have earned a master’s degree. Even though some Master Plumbers have a college diploma, anyone with a high school diploma or GED can become one. 

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When it comes to learning how to become a Master Plumber, picking the correct major is crucial. When we looked into the most prevalent majors for Master Plumbers, we discovered that they typically receive a High School Diploma or an Associate Degree. Master’s Degrees and Bachelor’s Degrees are two more degrees that we frequently see on Master Plumber resumes. 

It’s possible that your previous work experience will assist you in becoming a Master Plumber. Many Master Plumber jobs, in fact, require prior experience as a plumber. Meanwhile, many Master Plumbers have prior work experience as a Journeyman Plumber or a Business Owner.

Acquire useful skills 

Master plumbers require abilities that aid in their development, success, and service. Among these abilities are: 

Plumbers operate in limited locations and use a variety of tools and equipment on a regular basis. Excellent coordination can aid you in navigating limited and unfamiliar spaces. 

Problem-solving: Plumbers must be able to solve problems and repair parts on a regular basis. To find and use the best solutions, it is critical to process challenges properly and promptly. 

Communication: It’s critical that you have excellent listening skills in order to fully comprehend the client’s plumbing issues and provide appropriate feedback. 

Reading blueprints: In order to properly install fixtures and other systems, master plumbers must be able to read and comprehend blueprints. 

A basic understanding of mathematics aids plumbers in preparing cost estimates and calculating other plumbing-related charges. 

Working with plumbing systems requires a high level of technical expertise, which includes understanding the functioning of various components, tools, and systems. As a result, plumbers always put what they’ve learned over the years to good use.

Obtain a journeyman plumber’s license by passing the exam. 

You are ready to sit for the state licensing exam to become a journeyman plumber after finishing the apprenticeship program and gaining experience working without supervision. Note that the criteria differ by state, so double-check the exact requirements you’ll need. 

The National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation issues you a journeyman plumbing license (NITC). The exam assesses what you gained during your apprenticeship program in terms of knowledge and skills. Your license may need to be renewed annually or every three to five years, depending on your state. Begin working as a journeyman plumber after obtaining this qualification. 

Obtain a master plumber’s license by passing the exam. 

You can sit for your state licensing exam to become a master plumber after you’ve completed three or four years as a consistent journeyman plumber. It is necessary to complete the registration criteria, which include a statement of experience, an application, and a certification of lawful presence, before sitting the exam.

Types of Plumbers 

Plumbers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Knowing what these sorts do can assist you in deciding what type of plumber you wish to be. The following are the most common categories of plumbers: 

Commercial Plumber 

Commercial plumbers are licensed specialists that work in commercial plumbing situations. Many commercial plumbers specialize in working with industrial equipment and work in schools, hospitals, colleges, and manufacturing plants. In business settings, this type of plumber is in charge of installing, maintaining, and repairing tanks and pipes. 

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Commercial plumbers are skilled in working with huge numbers of outlets and pipes, as well as on many floors. Residential plumbers, on the other hand, are typically contracted to work on one or two plumbing fixtures in a single home. Business plumbers are capable of dealing with a wide range of issues and must stay current on commercial plumbing codes. 

This type of plumber is frequently called upon to address a variety of difficulties in commercial facilities, including the removal of enormous volumes of trash and the installation of large-scale water systems. Their responsibilities are usually substantially broader than those of a normal home plumber. As a result, commercial plumbers are frequently far more skilled and knowledgeable about a wide range of plumbing problems than home plumbers. 

Plumbing service and repairer

Plumbers that specialize in service and repair work on plumbing systems in both residential and commercial settings are known as service and repair plumbers. This type of plumber typically acquired experience through both technical and on-the-job training. Fixing leaks, regulating low pressure, removing blockages, and cleaning plumbing systems and fixtures are all common tasks for a service and repair plumber. 

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Domestic plumber 

Installing, maintaining, and repairing plumbing fixtures and concerns in a domestic setting is the specialty of residential plumbers. Domestic plumbers spend the majority of their work installing pipe systems, doing small-scale plumbing jobs, and repairing residential plumbing systems. They work with plumbing systems such as pipes, water systems, and toilets, and can usually resolve any plumbing difficulties that arise in a home. 

Working as an apprentice under a more experienced plumber is a common way for a residential plumber to develop experience and skill. These plumbers might work as individual plumbers or for a corporation once they have gained experience in their field. 

Sanitary Plumber

A sanitary plumber is a plumbing expert who specializes in sanitary plumbing techniques. Because most residential plumbing difficulties involve the home’s sanitary system, this is the most typical sort of plumber employed. Unblocking and cleaning sanitary system jams, installing toilet and bathroom pipes, fitting suspended drains, and managing plumbing installations such as bathtubs and toilets are all common sanitary plumber responsibilities. Water heating systems and boilers can also be installed in showers and toilets by sanitary plumbers. 

Water Supply Plumber 

Plumbers who operate with water supply systems such as water tanks, kitchen tanks, bathroom tanks, overhead storage tanks, and pipes are known as water supply plumbers. Installing various water supply systems in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, as well as fitting surplus pipes and sanitation systems, are all common tasks for water supply plumbers. Basic home plumbing tasks, such as unclogging kitchen and bathroom drains and toilets, are also performed by certain water supply plumbers.

What Steps Can I Take to Advance My Plumbing Career? 

You’ll need to work as a plumber for a while before you can become a master plumber. Depending on your ability and knowledge, as well as the types of work you perform, most states grant multiple degrees of license. Typically, you’ll work your way up from an apprentice to a journeyman plumber and then to a master plumber. Each level necessitates a certain amount of work experience and increasing licensure exams. If you already have a valid master plumber license, several jurisdictions offer reciprocity, which allows you to avoid taking another state test by merely paying a fee. 

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Some states provide online renewal applications for master plumber licenses. To verify your eligibility, go to your state’s licensing page and enter your personal information, such as your license or registration number and your social security number. Some states provide you a grace period if your license has expired. If the grace period has expired, you may need to reapply and take the state examination again.

The Top 3 Plumbing Colleges 

Pipe fitting, welding, water supply, and state codes are frequently covered in plumbing curricula. Fixtures and appliances are also taught to students. It’s crucial to remember that most prospective plumbers join local unions or associated trade groups to complete their apprenticeships. Atlanta Technical College, Cleveland Community College, and Montana State University – Northern are three of the best colleges for plumbing. 

Atlanta Technical College is a technical college in Atlanta, Georgia. 

In the plumbing field of study, Atlanta Technical College (ATC) in Atlanta, GA, provides certificate and diploma programs. Plumbing and pipefitting technology diplomas, as well as certificates in plumbing services and systems and residential/commercial plumbing, are available through ATC. Basic skills classes in math, English, and interpersonal connections are included in programs in addition to general plumbing training. 

Cleveland Community College is a community college in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Cleveland Community College in Shelby, North Carolina, provides a plumbing diploma and certificate program. Students may choose to pursue a plumbing certificate, which is said to be a faster way of gaining the knowledge needed to understand water systems, drains, and residential venting. The diploma is a little more comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics such as water service, trash removal, pipe installation, and pumps, as well as codes and standards. 

Northern Montana State University 

Students can tailor their plumbing program at Montana State University – Northern in Havre, MT, by taking elective courses in welding or technical sciences. This university provides a plumbing technology Associate of Applied Science degree that blends a comprehensive liberal arts and technical education with specialised plumbing courses. Plumbing students must take courses in pipelines and fixtures, drawing, technical graphics, and welding, as well as first-aid training. 

What Are Some Alternative Careers That Are Related? 

Master plumbers, boilermakers, electricians, and heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers all have jobs that are similar to master plumbers. To prepare for their careers, they usually receive on-the-job training or finish an apprenticeship or certificate program. Boilermakers work on boilers, which are used to store hot liquids and gases. They have the potential to be utilized to heat dwellings. Wiring and electrical systems are installed and repaired by electricians. They may also work on construction sites and assist in the production of plans for electrical panel and wiring placement. Furnaces, air conditioning systems, and refrigeration units are installed and repaired by heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians and installers. They may be called upon to analyze an issue and make repairs, similar to master plumbers.

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