Plumbers and electricians are classified as construction and extraction workers by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts 1.4 million new jobs will be added in this industry through 2020. Demand for plumbers is projected to increase by 26 percent, while jobs for electricians will grow by 23 percent. The educational requirement for both professions is a high school diploma. In addition to comparable job outlooks and education levels, the salaries of the jobs are also similar.
With a mean -- or average -- annual salary of $53,030, or a mean hourly wage of $25.50, electricians earn slightly more than plumbers, according to May 2012 salary data from the BLS. The median annual wage of electricians is $49,840. The highest 10 percent of earners made $82,930 or more, while the lowest 10 percent made $30,420 of less.
The BLS reports that plumbers earn an annual mean wage of $52,950, which is a mean hourly wage of $25.46, according to May 2012 salary data. The annual mean wage is roughly $80 a year less than electricians make. The median annual wage of plumbers is $49,140. The highest 10 percent of earners made $84,440 or more, while the lowest 10 percent of earners made $29,020 or less.
Highest-Paying Electrician Employers
Electricians earn the highest salaries with business schools and computer and management training companies, with an annual mean wage of $81,800. The natural gas distribution industry pays the second-highest wage, $75,430. Electricians working in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services make $73,210. The top-paying state for electricians is Alaska, with an annual mean wage of $74,280. New York is the second highest-paying state with $70,580, followed closely by Illinois, with $70,060.
Highest-Paying Plumbing Employers
The navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing industry pay the highest salary for plumbers with a mean annual wage of $73,030. The electrical power generation, transmission and distribution industry pays the second-highest salary of $68,310. Foundries are the third-highest paying employers of plumbers with $68,270. In terms of the highest paying states for plumbers, Alaska leads the way with a mean annual wage of $71,600. New York pays $68,120, while the mean annual wage of plumbers in Illinois was $67,470.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Projections Overview
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Electricians
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012: 47-2111 Electricians
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012: 47-2152 Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters
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