Updated November 2022
If you’re thinking about a career in the plumbing trade, one of the most important factors you need to consider is how much you could earn.
Plumber salaries depend on several factors, such as the amount of experience you have and whether you work on staff at a company or run your own business.
We looked at earnings for apprentices, licensed plumbers, and contractors.
Keep reading to discover the latest salary info and see how you can get started in this trade.
APPRENTICE PLUMBER salaries
Apprentice plumbers get paid while they develop their skills on the job alongside experienced plumbers. Apprentices’ wages increase as they advance through their training.
It’s not easy to get a handle on apprentice plumber salaries.
According to Indeed, the average wage for an apprentice plumber in Ontario is $25.85 per hour.
But PayScale says the median wage for an apprentice plumber in Toronto is $19.25 per hour.
Of course, how much you earn as an apprentice largely depends on how far along you are in your apprenticeship (first-year apprentice versus fourth-year apprentice). So we looked at job postings to get a sense of apprentice plumber pay at different levels.
We found many positions for first- and second-year apprentice plumbers that paid between $15 and $25 per hour. Meanwhile, fourth- and fifth-year apprentice plumbers were commonly being offered $30 to $45 per hour.
The bottom line: As an apprentice plumber, you’ll likely start out making $15 to $25 per hour. By the fourth and fifth year of your apprenticeship, you can make at least $30 per hour.
LICENSED PLUMBER salaries
Once you complete your plumbing apprenticeship and obtain your Certificate of Qualification, you become a licensed plumber (also known as a journeyperson).
According to the Government of Canada Job Bank, the top plumbers in Ontario make $45 per hour. That’s the highest rate among all Canadian provinces.
The Job Bank pegs the median hourly wage for Ontario plumbers at $30. Indeed says plumbers in the province make an average of $35.16 per hour.
During our review of job postings, we found plumber salaries as low as $20 per hour and as high as $57 per hour. However, most were in the $35-to-$45 range.
The bottom line: Fully licensed plumbers in Ontario typically make $30 to $45 per hour.
PLUMBING CONTRACTOR salaries
You can also choose to go into business for yourself as a plumbing contractor. That can be a lucrative path.
Plumbing contractors in Ontario earn more than their peers in other provinces, according to data from the Job Bank. Ontario’s plumbing contractors have a median hourly wage of $47.10, and the top earners make $56 per hour.
Both figures are higher in this province than anywhere else in the country.
The bottom line: Plumbing contractors throughout Ontario generally make $47 per hour or more.
WHAT’S THE JOB OUTLOOK FOR PLUMBERS IN ONTARIO?
Now that you know how much you could make as a plumber, you’re probably wondering how easy it will be to find a job.
Good news: plumbers have bright employment prospects throughout Ontario. The provincial government estimates that jobs for plumbers will grow by at least 14% between 2021 and 2025.
Up to 5,000 openings for plumbers are expected over that period. Plus, another 800 positions should become available for plumbing contractors.
So you shouldn’t have to look far to find well-paying opportunities.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A PLUMBER?
In Ontario, plumbing is a compulsory trade. That means you must complete an apprenticeship and earn a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) in order to become a plumber.
But most companies don’t just hire apprentices right off the street. They want people who already know the fundamentals.
Quality plumber pre-apprenticeship training equips students with the theory and practical skills employers want in new apprentices.
A good program will teach you how to:
☑️ Read blueprints and specifications
☑️ Install and fix various kinds of pipes and plumbing fixtures
☑️ Interpret the Ontario Building Code
☑️ Follow safety regulations
Steve Dramnitzke has more than 25 years of plumbing experience and is now an instructor in the plumber course at Herzing College.
“My goal is to make them a useful apprentice on day one at a job site. This means that by the time students graduate, they understand all the different types of piping and materials, joining methods, codes, and how to use plumbing tools correctly.
Every one of my students finishes the program with the tools and knowledge to show up ready to work!”
READY TO GET STARTED WITH PRE-APPRENTICESHIP PLUMBER TRAINING?
Herzing College’s 24-week plumbing pre-apprenticeship program aims to help you secure a plumbing apprenticeship.
The program is led by licensed, experienced plumbers who know what it takes to get hired.
Training covers plumbing installation and repair methods as well as building codes and blueprint reading. It also includes several industry-standard safety certifications.
Need more info? An admissions advisor can walk you through all the details of the training and help you determine if it’s a good fit.
Click below to explore the plumbing program and chat live with an advisor. We’re here to help!