How much do plumbers make?

Plumbers, like most tradespeople, tend to make more than the average Canadian. The job outlook is good—due to the need for ongoing maintenance and trend toward water conservation—and highly skilled workers are always in demand. What plumbers get paid depends on how much experience they have, where they work, and who they work for.

General wages

According to the 2009 Labour Force Survey, the median hourly wage — meaning half of the people in this occupation earned less than this amount and half earned more — for plumbers was $26.00. This is fairly higher than the median hourly wage for all occupations, which was $21.00. The average hourly wage for plumbers was $24.90.

Pay increases with experience. Junior plumbers at the journeyperson level can make between $37,000 and $52,000 per year, while salaries for highly experienced plumbers range from $54,000 to $72,000.

Things to consider:

  • The biggest industry for plumbers remains in construction, where job growth has been steadier than in most Canadian sectors. This work sometimes involves overtime, so that can significantly increase your annual salary.
  • Plumbing apprentices make a percentage of their employer’s standard wage until they reach journeyperson status. Pay usually increases as you gain more experience. It’s great to earn while you learn, but you won’t make very much during those first few years. The national average hourly wage for junior apprentices is $12-$18, and annual salaries range from $25,000 to $37,000 a year.
  • Pay varies depending on geographical location. Currently, the highest hourly average wages are earned in Calgary, Alberta at $30.78, and the lowest are earned in Fredericton, New Brunswick at $18.47.
Published on April 17, 2012
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