We may be a little biased about this, but the Boston Globe recently ran an item about the most overrated and underrated jobs. Coming in at Number 10 on the “underrated” list was “plumber”. Plumbing isn’t glamorous, by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re looking for a new career, or haven’t decided what you want to do with your life, plumbing has a lot going for it!
As it turns out, plumbing is a “growth industry,” at least as far as the Bureau of Labor Statistics can tell. Demand for plumbers in Massachusetts is up even though construction isn’t generating a lot of new buildings right now. Better still, the demand for plumbers is expected to remain high through 2020.
Plumbers do more than just unclog drains. As a plumber, you’ll be licensed by the State, and can work in either a residential or commercial setting. You may or may not be part of a union. Plumbers work on both existing and new systems, and with both fresh and wastewater. In addition, plumbers also install pipes and valves for liquid, gas and steam delivery systems, as well as fire control systems like those found in commercial buildings. Education includes formal classroom training, as well as a significant period of on-the-job training supervised by a master plumber.
In Massachusetts, about 8,800 people are licensed as plumbers, pipefitters and/or steamfitters. These three occupations are all related. Pipefitters and steamfitters usually work exclusively in commercial settings, including new construction projects, commercial remodeling, in hospitals and in other commercial buildings.
The annual mean wage for plumbers in Massachusetts in 2011 was about $66,500. Keep in mind that this isn’t a starting salary. This figure represents the average wage of all plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, regardless of their level of experience. A better estimate for a starting salary for plumbers is in the mid-$40,000 range.
Massachusetts ranks second among all states for mean wages among plumbers, meaning that Massachusetts plumbers are among the best-paid in the nation. Within the state, plumbing professionals in Peabody enjoy the highest mean annual salaries. This metropolitan area is the only area in Massachusetts that ranked nationally in terms of salary, despite the overall high salary potential in the state.
At Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating, we provide both plumbing and heating & cooling services, so our crew is certified to handle all plumbing, heating and cooling issues that you might encounter. We work on gas as well as steam/water heating systems, and we perform oil-to-gas conversions, winterizations, system maintenance and other services.
If you’re interested in plumbing as a profession, or would like more information about the services we provide at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating, please contact us at (617) 288-2911.