Do Plumbers Make Good Money? Self-Employed Plumber Salary

Discover the average earnings and those of master plumbers in 2023

Nelmie Jane Pardo | Updated March 9, 2023

Do plumbers make good money? Self-employed plumbers make an average salary of $80,293 (USD) per year in 2023. Non-self-employed plumbers earn an average wage of $63,350 per year. The plumbing trade in the US ranks as the 7th construction sector by market size in 2022.

Average Salary Range of Self-Employed Plumbing Contractors

Independent plumbers earn around $38 per hour, equivalent to $1,502 per week or $6,510 per month (2)

Employed plumbers have an average hourly wage of about $30.46.

Plumbing business owners make varied earnings depending on factors like location and experience. 

Here’s the annual self-employed plumber salary range in the US: 

Annual Plumber SalaryHourly Plumber Wage
National Average$78,126$38
75% $88,000$42
25% $39,000$19
Top Earners$123,500$59
self-employed plumber salary range in the US

Top earners throughout the US make around $123,500 annually.  

The highest annual salary for self-employed master plumbers is up to $256,000, whereas the lowest salary range is around $14,000. 

In comparison, employed plumbers earn up to $99,920 annually and as low as $36,700 a year.  

Owning a plumbing business can be quite profitable, especially for those who offer emergency services around the clock. 

Key Takeaway: Experienced independent contractors generally earn higher than plumber employees, especially if they lock in more hours. Master plumbers make the highest figures, whereas apprentices and journeyman plumbers are on the lower end of the pay scale. 

Top 10 Cities With the Highest Plumbing Salaries

If you’re wondering which cities have the highest plumbing business owner salary ranges, check out the following top 10 cities with the most lucrative earners: 

US City Yearly Salary 
Atkinson, Nebraska$104,346
Lake Marcel-Stillwater, King County, Washington$90,934
New York City, New York$90,874
Bridgehampton, New York$89,434
Great Neck Gardens, New York$86,926
Deer Park, California$86,700
Boston, Massachusetts$86,478
Bend, Oregon$86,408
Green River, Wyoming$86,186
Morton, Washington $85,037

Factors Affecting the Profitability of a Plumbing Business

A plumbing business thrives depending on these factors: 

factors affecting plumbing profits

Skill, Knowledge, and Experience Level 

Do you have the necessary skills and knowledge to offer the highest standard of service?

  • People will likely trust a master plumber with years of hands-on experience.
  • Having formal education in the plumbing trade can also boost your credibility. 

Stay one step ahead of the competition by learning new techniques and staying up to date with your skills. 


Plumbing businesses in bustling cities typically charge higher rates than those in remote areas.

For example, self-employed plumbers in Saint Paul, Minnesota have an average hourly rate of $48.08, whereas independent contractors in Morgantown, West Virginia earn around $20 on average. 

Competition Level

If you have tough competitors, you may find it more challenging to gain leads as you enter the market. Find ways to stand out by pinpointing your unique selling proposition and applying the right marketing strategies. 

Certifications, Awards, and Licensing 

Showcase your best awards and certifications to impress prospects. Your plumbing business becomes more valuable when you have proper licensing and relevant certifications, reassuring clients that you’re dependable.

Key Takeaway: Your skills, experience, service area, and competition level are critical factors affecting how much you can make as a self-employed plumber. You earn more when you’re a widely trusted and reputable contractor.

FAQs About Plumbing Contractor Earnings 

Do self-employed master plumbers earn well? 

A master plumber specializing in plumbing issues like repairing leaky pipes and clogged toilets earns lucratively upon acquiring experience and honing valuable skills. 

Master plumbers make anywhere from $76,000 to $189,000 annually, with an average salary of around $103,333.

How do I earn well as an independent plumbing contractor? 

Take plumbing courses, undergo proper training, and complete an apprenticeship program to jumpstart your career as an independent plumbing contractor. 

Master plumbers with at least four to five years of hands-on expertise charge higher rates and earn better customer trust.

How do I run a successful plumbing company?

Show complete dedication starting from day one of your business operations. It helps to gain experience first in your industry, acquire relevant certifications, and learn the intricacies of running a plumbing business, including smart online and offline advertising tactics. 

Customer service is a top priority. Go the extra mile to ensure every client is satisfied with your work. Happy clients will certainly get you more referrals and give you glowing testimonials. 

Embrace technology to ease your day-to-day operations and do more in less time, from creating accurate estimates to evaluating costs.

Final Thoughts: Be Your Own Boss 

Take time to master the essentials of plumbing business operations, and go out there to observe the competition. 

You can also seek mentorship to receive valuable guidance and insights. 

Learn the benefits and drawbacks of operating a one-man plumbing business before doing everything yourself. 



Written by Nelmie Jane Pardo

Nelmie Jane Pardo

Nelmie Jane Pardo is a senior contributing writer who lends insight into digital marketing methods and business solutions. She regularly writes at BusinessHue to help business owners take their online marketing to the next level.