Career Profile: Plumber

Career Profile: Plumber

by Erin Kelly
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Plumbers in Ontario install and repair water supply lines, waste disposal systems, and sometimes related appliances and fixtures. A plumber is a physically demanding job that requires strength, stamina, and the ability to work in different environments.

The environment in which a plumber may work can vary from more comfortable office-esque areas to wedging one’s self into a crawl space to fix a broken drainage line.

There are times when a plumber will be dispatched for scheduled maintenance or installation however, for many plumbers, urgent work is where they receive the majority of their compensation.

If a plumber works in construction, they may be required to develop blueprints for pipes and fixtures, and may be required to familiarize themselves with building codes, budget restrictions, and any relevant provincial legislation guiding this work.

As a plumber, you may work more than 40 hours per week, and may be on call during evenings, nights, and weekends. The type of urgent work that plumbers do though is oftentimes very appreciated, pays well, and provides strong job security. If the late hours bother you, there are similar jobs – including pipefitting and related skilled trades.

Education or Experience required

Though some plumbers do learn on the job via apprenticeships, many seek out certifications beforehand to provide them with the basic tenants of the job.

Most provinces require plumbers to be licensed. To accomplish this, apprenticeships are required.

It is commonly recommended to seek additional education or experience as a plumber. For example, those who are certified with welding experience are highly sought after in many provinces.

Though not all employers seeking a plumber will require these skills and certifications, many prefer them.


Plumbing is a strong, dependable trade that labor statistics predict will continue to grow in the coming decade.

Many current plumbers in Ontario are expected to retire in the 2020s, leaving room for skilled plumbers – including those with welding experience and/or environmentally friendly certifications – to be in high demand.

The job market of plumbers in Ontario is expected to grow by as much as 21 percent in the next decade, faster than average for occupations. There are some employers who are already experiencing a shortage of qualified applicants and are in need of plumbers.

The lowest pay offered in plumbing is in the $29,000-$30,000 range. The average annual salary for plumbers range from $49,000 to $55,000. More experienced plumbers may earn as high as $84,000 and higher. Many apprenticeships offer a lower wage, with standard pay increases scheduled as a plumber learns to do more.

Roughly 11 percent of plumbers are considered self-employed. As an independent contractor, you can set your own schedule. However, in the world of plumbing, being self-employed can mean having to deal with more after-hours emergencies.

Despite building activities rising and falling in accordance with the national economy, plumbing is an area where there tends to be more stable employment. Even in tough times, plumbers are still needed.

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