Plumbers make a median wage of $49,140 per year, or $23.62 per hour, according to 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The upper 10 percent of plumbers make more than $84,440, while the bottom 10 percent make less than $29,020.
Apprentice pay normally begins at up to 50 percent of normal wages. The pay increases as apprentices gain more experience, and apprenticeships last four or five years. Potential plumbers can attend a technical school instead of doing an apprenticeship.
Plumbers, particularly self-employed ones, usually work full time and often respond to emergencies during non-traditional hours on nights and weekends. About 11 percent of plumbers are self-employed.