Written by Kacie Goff
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says good things about the plumber job outlook in the coming years. In fact, they expect to see 14% growth in the trade, much faster than the average growth in other industries. If you have a plumber’s license and you’re looking to capitalize on that growth potential, you might be wondering about the best plumbing specialties to explore for your expansion.
We’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick look at specialty plumbing areas and their salaries. With a little extra continuing education and some on-the-job training, you can make the most of the best plumbing specialties.
One of the best plumbing specialties as far as growth and salary, pipefitting focuses on — as its name suggests — piping for a broad variety of systems, including electrical, cooling, and manufacturing systems. If you choose this specialty plumbing route, you’ll also need to learn to both install and maintain controls for the pipe systems on which you work, too.
The average pipefitter salary ranges from around $40,000 to $50,000, depending on your state. A union pipefitter salary is pretty comparable to a non-union salary, but joining the union can help score you additional benefits.
Want to really maximize your pipefitter salary? Consider moving up into the master tier. Doing so should help you earn at least a few thousand more each year. In fact, as an experienced master pipefitter, you might be able to earn about $70,000 annually.
If you don’t mind taking on a little more risk on the job, consider this specialty plumbing niche. As a steamfitter, you do the same work as a pipefitter, but you focus on piping and gauges for liquids or gases that are under high pressure.
Most pros agree that the steamfitter salary more than makes up for any additional risk you take on when you work with high-pressure substances. Steamfitters earn an average of more than $40.50 per hour. Assuming you work 8-hour days 50 weeks of the year (leaving you a couple of weeks for vacation), that’s an annual steamfitter salary of about $81,000.
As natural gas consumption increases, the plumber job outlook for gas plumbers in promising. With this specialty plumbing focus, you work on installing and repairing gas piping. You might be called on to address leaks or inspect or maintain gas pipes.
Across the country, gas plumber salaries average out to about $68,000.
These are just a few of the best plumbing specialties to check out if you’re looking to expand your business. But this list isn’t necessarily exhaustive. If you’re looking for other specialty plumbing niches to explore, we recommend checking out fire sprinkler installers, solar thermal installers, and sprinkler fitters.
Getting licensed in some of these plumbing specialties might require some continuing education. But because the plumber job outlook is so rosy, you can rest easy knowing that any time or money you invest will come back to you in the form of a higher salary.