Electrician VS. Plumber – Career Comparison

When young people finish high schools, many of them are not yet sure what they want to study.

At the start of their professional career, they may be thinking about two or more trade careers.

Being that there are a lot of trades out there such as construction, oil and gas professionals, HVAC techs, etc, it is not unusual that you do not know which job you can get into.

We would like to speak about two of the most common trades nowadays – the electrician trade and the plumbing trade.

This is due to the fact that in every state there is a great need for electricians and plumbers.

Similarities between the two careers exist, but there are also some factors that make them very different.

Our aim with this article is to compare and contrast the electrician and plumbers job while looking at the positives and negatives of each career.

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Electrician Job Tasks​

First, we need to think about the description of an electrician’s job responsibilities and we will give you some basic details of this profession.

Electricians are people who are trained to be in charge of putting in the wires and equipment that move electricity into and around a building.

Their job is not just to set up the electrical equipment  in a safe and efficient way, but also to use a variety of measurement tools to make sure that it’s safe and “up to code.”

The future electricians can look for a job in a variety of different settings, from private homes to commercial structures.

They need to have in mind that both of them can vary greatly in size and layout.

A commercial building can be a store, a stadium, or a skyscraper.

They can expect to do outdoor work, as they are in charge of connecting and maintaining electrical circuity that connects power plants to businesses and homes throughout the area.

Plumber Job Tasks​

Quite contrary to the people’s opinion that there is not a great deal of variety in the plumbing occupation, we are here to speak more about plumbers who do a really important job.

Plumbers are not just fixing toilets, but are in charge of installing the pipes that transport materials, liquids, and gases into and out of a building.

Furthermore, they do maintenance work after pipes have been installed.

What makes their tasks similar to electricians is that they work on different kinds of buildings, including factories and power plants, malls, office buildings, restaurants, and shops and homes and apartments.

Any place that has pipes, needs a plumber.

When looking for a job the significant data would be related to the number of jobs that there are currently in the United States.

We came across a statistic that there are currently 500 300 plumbers in the United States, whereas there are almost a quarter-million (715 400) electricians.

According to these details, it is our conclusion that becoming an electrician is a much more popular choice.

How much does it take to become one?​

The journey towards becoming a licensed electrician which is also known as a journeyman electrician is not at all easy.

Actually, a person is required to complete an electrical apprenticeship that lasts ​two to five years.

It is good to know that in most states, the apprenticeship is four to five years, and many people think that this is too long, but the process is long due to the fact that there is a lot to learn.

The apprenticeship takes place during normal work hours, and it is usually 40 hours a week.

During this period, the apprentice has hands-on learning at each job site and are paid for their work.

What is even better, they will receive higher payments at specific points during the program, as they advance.

Apprenticeships can be difficult to reach, as there are an entrance exam and a round of interviews.

In order to get ready for this in case you do not possess any experience, you can take classes at a local community college or vocational/technical school.​

If you are lucky enough to find an apprenticeship without this prior education, school is not necessary.

On the other hand, for plumbers, the apprenticeship is very similar, since it takes about the same amount of time.

The process lasts four or five years, and similarly to electricians, plumber apprentices are also paid for the work they do.

During the process of training, their salaries raise.

So as to become an apprentice, you will need to get familiar with different rules and regulations in each state, and only when you find out about the specific requirements where you live or want to work, you should start your journey towards this career.

It can be concluded that the training periods are very similar for electricians and plumbers, training for both occupations takes a long period of time, but you get the fantastic opportunity to learn a trade and at the same time get paid for it.

Electrician Salary vs. Plumber Salary​

When it comes to their salaries,  we would like to mention that according to the latest data the average salary for electricians is a bit higher than it is for plumbers.

The median pay for plumbers in the United States is $53,910 per year

The average pay for electricians in the United States is $55,190 per year.

The average means that half of the plumbers make more than $53,910 per year and half of the plumbers interviewed make less than $53,910 in a given year.

Another important thing to mention is that wages vary from state to state, and even from city to city, so you should look for statistics in the specific city you live in.

How Many Jobs Are There Currently In The United States?

When looking for a job the significant data would be related to the number of jobs that there are currently in the United States.

We came across a statistic that there are currently 500,300 plumbers in the United States, whereas there are almost a quarter-million (715,400) electricians.

According to these details, it is our conclusion that becoming an electrician is a much more popular choice. That shouldn’t affect your decision at all, but it’s interesting to note.

Career Outlook​

In case you are thinking about becoming an electrician or a plumber, another significant thing that may interest you is the career outlook.

It is not only important to start your apprenticeship but to find a job when you finish it.

No matter which of the two careers you choose, it is believed that these professionals should not worry about their job prospects.

There is the expected growth for all occupations in the U.S., but the expected growth for electricians is 10%, while for plumbers, it is 14%.

To conclude,  both expected growths are quite higher than for other occupations and it is perceived as positive. Still, have in mind that it is impossible to predict exactly what jobs will be around.

Difficulties of Being a Plumber and an Electrician

As in any other profession, there are both easy and difficult tasks that must be done.

The plumbing profession is not an exception and it depends on what kind of plumbing work you do.

Both electricians and plumbers do a lot of installation work on new buildings.

When it comes to plumbers, those pipes are clean as can be, which is considered an ideal occasion, while on the other hand, there are plenty of situations where plumbers have to work around human waste, which is not at all pleasant.

But you have to know that it is not uncommon for electricians to encounter work situations that are absolutely disgusting, as well.

They work in cellars where small animals have died many years ago or in restaurants where they come across rotting food all over the place and/or tons of grease build-up from deep fryers.

They work in industrial plants–including sewage treatment plants and electricians just get plain dirty a lot of the time.

All in all, when difficulties are in question, electricians win, but not by much.

Electricians get dirty, but plumbers, in many cases, deal with a lot of grimy stuff and with human waste.

Which Career to Choose?​

The most difficult part for us is when we have to make a decision.

According to all things we said about these two professions, both of them earn livings that are above the national average, enjoy expectations of solid job growth in the future, and both take about the same amount of time to become one when it comes to apprenticeships.

The only difference is in the difficulties that you may encounter during your work, but even they are not so too great.

Basically, it comes down to your interest.

You should choose that career that you find more satisfying and that will match with your personality.

Our advice is that the more research you do, the better idea you will have as you need to make an informed decision.

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