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Plumber vs. Electrician Salary: Comparing Compensation in the Trades


Staff member
Mar 19, 2024
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Are you considering a career in the trades but aren’t sure whether to pursue plumbing or electrical work? One of the factors you may be weighing is plumber vs. electrician salary.

In this article, we’ll:

  • Compare the plumber vs. electrician salary
  • Review the factors which affect the salaries
  • Contrast the differences in the work performed by the two trades

Let’s dive in and explore the plumber vs. electrician salary and the key differences in compensation between these two trades!

Plumber vs. Electrician: What’s The Difference?​

Before we jump into the specifics of plumber vs. electrician salary, let’s take a moment to understand what each profession entails. Though both are considered trades they are vastly different.

Plumbers are responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining plumbing systems, including pipes, fixtures and water heaters.

Electricians, on the other hand, work with electrical systems, wiring and components, installing and repairing lighting, outlets and electrical panels.

Factors Affecting Salary​

Several factors can influence the salary of plumbers and electricians, including:


Experience plays a significant role in determining salary in both professions. Entry-level plumbers and electricians may start at lower wages but can expect their earnings to increase as they gain experience and expertise in their respective trades.


Salary can vary based on geographic location, with plumbers and electricians in certain regions earning higher wages due to cost of living and demand for skilled labor. For example, urban areas experiencing rapid growth may offer higher salaries to attract talent.


Plumbers and electricians may work in various industries, including residential, commercial, industrial and government sectors. Salary can vary depending on the industry, with certain sectors offering higher wages or more opportunities for advancement.


Both plumbing and electrical work offer opportunities for specialization, such as working in niche areas like:

  • Solar energy
  • HVAC systems
  • Industrial automation

Specialized skills and certifications can command higher salaries within these niche markets.

Average Salary Comparison​

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters was $61,550 in May 2023. In comparison, electricians earned a median annual wage of $61,590 during the same period.

While these figures provide a general overview of salary trends, it’s essential to note that individual earnings can vary based on factors such as experience, location and industry.

Advantages of a Career in Plumbing​

  • High Demand: Plumbers are in high demand, with job opportunities available in various industries and sectors.
  • Job Security: Plumbing services are essential for maintaining public health and safety, providing job security even during economic downturns.
  • Hands-On Work: Plumbers enjoy hands-on work, solving problems and helping customers with their plumbing needs.
  • Opportunities for Advancement: With experience and additional training, plumbers can advance to supervisory roles or start their own plumbing businesses.

Advantages of a Career in Electrical Work​

  • Diverse Opportunities: Electricians can work in residential, commercial, industrial and government sectors, providing diverse opportunities for employment.
  • Steady Demand: Electricity is an essential utility, ensuring steady demand for electricians in both new construction and maintenance and repair projects.
  • Technical Skills: Electricians develop valuable technical skills and knowledge, working with complex electrical systems and components.
  • Potential for Specialization: Electricians can specialize in areas such as renewable energy, automation or telecommunications, opening up additional career paths and earning potential.

Plumber vs. Electrician Salary: Both Get Paid!​

Now, you have a better idea of plumber vs. electrician salary, as well as the key similarities and differences between the two trades. While plumbers and electricians may earn similar median wages, individual earnings can vary based on factors such as experience, location and industry.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • Both plumbing and electrical work offer rewarding career opportunities with competitive salaries and job stability.
  • The right career choice for you will depend on your interests, skills and career goals.

Whether you’re drawn to the hands-on work of plumbing or the technical challenges of electrical systems, both trades offer fulfilling careers with opportunities for growth and advancement.

Related: 12 Benefits of Field Service Management Software

The post Plumber vs. Electrician Salary: Comparing Compensation in the Trades appeared first on FieldEdge.
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