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Plumbing Major

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Plumbing

57 Associates's Degrees Annually
#159 in Popularity (Associate's)
$58,150 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Plumbing Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many plumbing technology/plumber graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 789
Basic Certificate 771
Associate’s Degree 57

What Plumbing Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, plumbing technology/plumber majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Plumbing Technology/Plumber Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in plumbing technology/plumber should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Skills for Plumbing Technology/Plumber Majors

plumbing technology/plumber majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Abilities for Plumbing Technology/Plumber Majors

As a plumbing technology/plumber major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Plumbing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with plumbing technology/plumber:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 12.6% $65,230
Plumbers 15.6% $53,910
Septic Tank Servicers and Sewer Pipe Cleaners 17.2% $38,970

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Plumbing?

57 Associate's Degrees Annually
19% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of plumbing technology/plumber majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Plumbing Technology/Plumber Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 1
Black or African American 5
Hispanic or Latino 2
White 36
International Students 0
Other Races/Ethnicities 13

How Much Do Plumbing Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $41,530 to $70,540 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to plumbing technology/plumber. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Plumbing Major  ( 41530 to 70540 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with plumbing technology/plumber require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to plumbing technology/plumber have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 15.0%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 37.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 31.5%
Some College Courses 14.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.5%

Online Plumbing Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 144 schools offered some type of plumbing technology/plumber program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 74 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 81 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 16 2
Associate’s Degree 26 0
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 74 0
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Plumbing Worth It?

The median salary for a plumbing technology/plumber grad is $58,150 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 46% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $365,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to plumbing technology/plumber.

Major Number of Grads
Pipefitting/Pipefitter & Sprinkler Fitter 774
Other Plumbing & Related Water Supply Services 204
Well Drilling/Driller 11
Blasting/Blaster 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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