The median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $50,620 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,680, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $89,720.
The starting pay for apprentices usually is between 30 percent and 50 percent of the rate paid to fully trained plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters. As they learn to do more, apprentices receive pay increases.
The vast majority of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters work full time, including nights and weekends. They are often on call to handle emergencies, and overtime is common.
About 1 in 10 plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters were self-employed in 2014. Although self-employed plumbers can set their own schedules, they are also more likely to deal with afterhours emergencies.